What do you see when you imagine the “picture of health”? Do you see someone who is laid up in a bed, in the 80s, who cannot fend for themselves? Or do you see that same 80-year-old person living in their own house and doing their own yard work? Many may think the latter is impossible, but it is not. In fact, this is totally within your grasp. Aging is a process we all have to go through, but it does not have to be bad. In fact, it can be quite rewarding if you take your own health and fitness into your own hands.
When it comes to proper health and fitness, there are two main factors – your diet and your exercise routine. Over the years people have been taught that in order to be considered to be “fit” you had to work out – cardiovascular – for hours a day. However, for proper health and fitness, this is not the case. When it comes to good health and fitness you must have one thing – healthy muscle tone and mass.
This is something many people do not think of. Unfortunately we have been trained / taught that proper health and fitness simply means that you are slender and eat like a bird. This is not to say that you need massive muscles like a body builder – leave that to the professionals. It simply means that you work, tone, and build the natural muscles that your body has. Working out 2-3 times a week for about 30 minutes a session will push these muscles to their max; you will look good not bulky so don’t fret.
Here’s the cool thing, muscles naturally burn fat too. So, what this means is that as you work and tone your muscles – throughout your life – you shouldn’t really have to worry about fat mass because you will already be working it off. As you can see this is a great start to proper health and fitness. But, remember, make these changes part of your life; if you want them to work they are not temporary.
Okay, so to feed your muscles and your body, and work towards proper health and fitness you must also eat a well-balanced diet. This is to say, stop cutting calories and make sure you are eating enough to fuel your body. The average person should be eating 1500-1800 calories every day. (With a proper strength training routine you will likely be closer to the larger end of the scale.) Over time you will find what works best for you as each person is just a little different.
But, for true health and fitness you need to go back to the basics of the food pyramid; stick with the outer aisles of the grocery store – fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and nuts and grains. If you fill 80% of your diet with these foods you will be the image of health and fitness. The combination of these two lifestyle changes will put you on the path to being that 80-year-old doing your own yard work; you will be the elder person that everyone is either envious of or dreams to be.