Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Be a Healthy Mommy!- A Common Sense Health Approach to Eating and Exercise

Is good health your way of life or not? Mothers need to take good care of themselves in order for their children to learn the proper healthy way to live in regards to healthy eating and exercise. If your eating habits could use a boost then don't despair, it is never too late to make modifications in the way you live. Make a promise to yourself and your children (or future children) to take exceptional care of yourself and incorporate the following healthy habits into your lifestyle repertoire.

Start your day with the most nourishing breakfast possible.
Studies have proven that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day and are less inclined to pack on the pounds. As well children who eat breakfast have the tendency to perform better in school, and adults, better at work. Your brain needs fuel to start the day. It is not called "break the fast" for anything.

Drink H2O in plentiful supply.
Drink lots of water throughout the day, the more the better. A good amount to aim for is at least four to six 8-ounce glasses per day. In fact drinking a glass of water when you first get out of bed in the morning is an excellent way to get a jumpstart on your day. The body loses water constantly by way of sweating and urinating and therefore needs to be replenished. This is even more important during the hot, humid summer months and also when you have fallen ill.

Variety is the spice of life (or so they say).
It is so true, believe it. Get into a habit of eating a variety of different foods with your meals, just make sure that at least five servings are fruits and vegetables. This is not always easy to do but it is possible. And remember, your body is not picky about the kinds of fruits and veggies you eat- it will gladly accept the nutrients and vitamins from whichever ones you choose to feed it! Aim for plenty of green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale. Colorful vegetables tend to be high in nutrients and minerals. Whatever you do eat your veggies at meals and enjoy fruit whenever you can. Be creative about your meals. Mix up a zany salad and add fruit to yogurt, your cereal or porridge in the morning, etc. Use your imagination mother!

Keep fit and active by getting your body in gear.
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine, however you can. What type of exercise you do is not as important as the fact that you get off your couch and get your legs and feet it. Walk, swim, bike, play a sport, dance, jog, skip, take an aerobics class, whatever it is that suits you, do it and find enjoyment in getting, and staying, fit. Aim for 20 minutes to 30 minutes a day, the more the better. No exercise is ever worthless or in vain. Vary your types of exercise in order to not get bored. You might want to find a walking buddy or jogging buddy to keep your morale up. If you walk alone bring a Discman along for company. Music makes walking more pleasant and it takes the emphasis off of the energy you are exerting.

Eat your share of fish, lean meats and whole grains.
Include plenty of lean, high protein foods in your daily diet such as lean meat, fish, chicken and beans. Stay away from salted and processed meats. Avoid fatty, fried and salted foods at all costs as they serve to clog arteries and increase the chance that you will develop heart attacks and strokes. Also eat grains, whether they be in the form of wholegrain cereal, breads etc. Grains provide the body with fiber, iron and B vitamins and are therefore a necessity for everyone.

Get your milk moustache.
Milk is more than just a delicious tasting beverage, it is nourishing to the body as well. Just remember to choose low fat (one percent) or fat free (skim) milk. A cup of skim milk contains only eighty calories but also contains a good dosage of protein and calcium. How much milk you need and what kind depends on your age as well. For example homogenized contains the most fat and young children require this kind and expectant mothers do as well. If you do not like the taste of milk, consider trying soy milk or at least try to get your share of milk products such as cheese, yogurt and sherbet. For weight conscious individuals, cottage cheese has the lowest milk to fat content of all the different types of cheese. When there is a choice between regular cottage cheese and low fat, always choose low fat.

Be aware that limitations are food boundaries you should not fall victim to.
Some foods, such as potatoes and cheese often get a bad rap as being extremely fattening. Perhaps it is a reputation they do not deserve because "everything in moderation" is a good rule of thumb to live by. Don't get into a habit of eliminating any one entire food group from your diet, as this is not a healthy route to take. You are likely to miss out on important nutrients the body needs such as calcium and magnesium when you choose to limit your food choices. Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy eating just do not overindulge on anything that is not good for you. Many people who are on diets choose to cut out a whole food group such as meat or milk and dairy products. This could lead to a food deficiency, which could then lead to a serious health problem.

Do not overload on caffeine.
Caffeine can be found in coffee, soft drinks and chocolate. Too much of any one of these things can cause dehydration. Soft drinks also contain a great deal of sugar. An average can of soda pop has 150 calories of sugar and does not contain any nutrients whatsoever. Do not overload your system with caffeine in any one way. Be aware that some kinds of tea contain a certain level of caffeine as well.

Dieting can be hazardous to your health.
There are healthy ways to drop pounds and they don't include taking diet pills. Diet pills work to suppress the appetite but can cause a tremendous amount of problems to a person's health. Avoid them, avoid them and avoid them some more. Fad or crash diets are not wise either, and studies have shown that their effectiveness rates are not high. They may provide speedy results but once you go back to your regular eating patterns, you will gain the pounds back unfortunately. Instead of dieting attempt to adopt a healthier way of living and strive to make dietary changes that you can maintain well after the weight is gone.

The vegetarian or vegan life just might be for you.
If you make the decision to embrace the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle speak to your doctor or health care provider first to learn about the specific dietary needs of this type of lifestyle. Vegetarians, and vegans even more so, need to supplement their diets with vitamins to replace what they no longer receive from specific kinds of foods. They also need to make sure they take in enough protein on a consistent basis. Your energy level can be zapped if you do not get the required amount of nutrients

Take vitamins on a regular basis.
Vitamins are no longer just for those who don't eat properly. Everyone, no matter what their day-to-day diet is can benefit from taking vitamins to supplement their daily intake of food. Consider a multivitamin that will provide you with everything you require. Centrum is an excellent choice of a multivitamin and Centrum Forte is even better as it can provide you with all of the essential minerals you need mothers to keep you in the best of health possible.

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