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Aiming for a Healthy Body

by Jennifer Gumba

Did you know that a healthy body reflects a healthy lifestyle? Living a healthy lifestyle, your body functions efficiently and your mind is clear and alert. Aiming for a healthy body may follow these guidelines…

A healthy diet is a vehicle to a healthy body. Eating healthy is all about what you are putting into your body and how your body is using it (or not using it) for fuel and repair. Most nutritionists consider a diet that is low in fat, sodium, and sugar while high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and protein to be a healthy one. It’s not about starving yourself to be thin; it’s about giving your body what it needs so that you can feel satisfied and healthy. If you have a tendency to overeat, eat slowly, perhaps by cutting your food into small bites, to give your brain enough time to tell your body that it’s not hungry anymore.

Exercise controls weight. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases. Exercise improves mood and boosts energy. Three kinds of exercise are important to fitness. Stretching improves flexibility and mobility. Aerobic exercise burns fat, strengthens your heart, and releases endorphins that help fight listlessness and depression. Weight training reverses the decline in muscle mass that occurs with aging, strengthens bone density and raises metabolism so that you don’t gain weight as easily.

Substance Use

Excessive use of alcohol dehydrates you, damages your liver, increases the risk of accident and shortens your lifespan. Moderate drinkers, however, live longer on average than non-drinkers. Because of the strength of its addictive properties, there is no moderate level of tobacco use for most people. Smokers risk lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and a host of other chronic diseases.


Sleep isn’t exactly a time when your body and brain shut off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing a wide variety of biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead. In the hours of your slumber, many important functions occur, like muscle building, tissue regeneration, blood sugar/insulin regulation and fat metabolism. Good quality sleep is also needed to for recovery of and prevention of mental stress, and studies have shown that it can even make you smarter and more productive. Sleep deprivation can lead to numerous problems in our daily lives. Behavioral disorders, memory problems, and even illnesses have been attributed to lack of sleep in some people


“Meditation is a wonderful way to reduce stress,” says Timothy McCall, M.D., author of Yoga as Medicine(Bantam). “Stress not only makes people miserable in their day-to-day lives, it also undermines their health.” The goal of most meditation practices is simple: Bring your attention to one thing in order to deepen your awareness of the present moment.
Excessive stress can lead to a host of health disorders, including heart disease and mental illness. If your lifestyle subjects you to high levels of stress, practice relaxation techniques such as meditation. According to the Mayo Clinic, a few minutes of meditation every day yields significant psychological and physical benefits and can help you fight disease.

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