Most of us have been at a place in our lives where we are struggling to regain our physical fitness. The accumulation of a few – or many – pounds over a few years, a sedentary lifestyle spent sitting at a desk, and a chaotic schedule that has not allowed much time for ourselves have all contributed to an unhealthy body. But for those of us looking to right the wrong and get healthy, there can be no greater connection between diet and fitness.
Overall health comes with a strong body that is being fed nutritiously and is physically active. Most of us understand that in order to lose weight and get healthy we must combine diet and fitness through a concentrated and consistent implementation of a healthy food plan and exercise regime. There is no way around this formula; for all the magic diet pills and get healthy quick schemes – it all comes down to this simple combination. And if you ignore the combination then you will ultimately fail at achieving long term health.
To begin a diet and fitness regime you must first know where you are starting. Begin with your food intake and look for ways on a weekly basis to begin eliminating those food groups that are contributing to weight gain and an unhealthy lifestyle. Many people, when embarking on a new diet plan, will eliminate everything right away, and while this may hold up for a few days or even weeks, eventually that person will go right back to their old eating habits. The key word here is “habit” and in order to establish a new habit you must do it slowly. For the first several weeks focus on removing those food groups that are high in saturated fat, or greasy, fried foods. Begin adding more fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins into your diet. Following this, begin to eliminate those items containing sugar including products made from white flour. Instead, introduce products that contain whole grain or wheat. Move towards a diet and fitness program that focuses on whole, natural foods and avoids any food that is processed in any way and is therefore likely to contain sugar and preservatives.
A diet and fitness regime must also account for physical activity and this should be moved into gradually as well. Begin by incorporating small amounts of physical activity into your daily life – taking the stairs, taking short walks, stretching in the morning – and build from there. Work towards a consistent and weekly regime that includes cardiovascular exercise – such as walking, running, and aerobics; stretching and core work – such as yoga or Pilates; and weight training – such as the lifting of free weights or the use of machines.
If you proceed gradually and begin to take control of your life through food and exercise, you will soon find that your diet and fitness regime has paid off in weight loss, increased energy, and overall health.