The Complete Fitness Saga – Nutrition and Exercise!

Only having a well-built body or a slim figure doesn’t ensure complete fitness or good health. To be appropriately fit means to consume the essential foods in a proportionate manner and to be able to perform daily functional activities without any hindrances.

The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends a minimum daily 30 minute brisk walk for EVERYBODY as a part of daily lifestyle. Also with combined Resistance and Flexibility training, it is even more beneficial, especially in fat loss programs.

Apart from your daily walk, a basic exercise regime, diet and nutrition, and regular consumption of water helps one stay fit and healthy for longer periods of time. A study showed that bus conductors were much less likely to die of heart disease than bus drivers. Why? Because the conductors spent their working day walking. If you wish to protect your heart, you have to do more than potter in the garden. The exercise needs to be reasonably strenuous. Jogging is not for everyone and a round trip to the gym takes a couple of hours, plus the monthly membership fee is only good value if you visit regularly. The answer is simple: walk.

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The few benefits of basic exercise are:

a) It helps prevent heart disease and strokes, as well as helps maintain blood pressure in normal individuals and reduces the tension in Hypertensive Individuals for those suffering from High Blood Pressure.

b) Regular exercise reduces body fat, helping prevention and control of type2 diabetes.

c) Exercise increases muscle strength, endurance, improved flexibility, posture. Regular exercise can prevent back aches.

d) Osteoporosis – Regular weight bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss, associated with ageing.

e) Daily exercise improves mood, reducing depression, anxiety and helps you manage stress better.

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Diet and Nutrition by understanding your Body Metabolism

The Food Pyramid – Your Daily Intake should include, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, nuts and oil seeds, meats and beans, fats and oil, water and a minimum physical activity of 30 minutes daily.

The components of food could include, macronutrients like:

  1. Carbohydrates which provide energy should be only 60% which could include, simple carbohydrates including, Mono and Di Saccharides like sugars – sucrose, fructose, glucose, while, complex carbohydrates like Oligo and Polysaccharides include, dietary fibre, found in whole grains, cereals, rice, wheat, jowar,  bajra, oats, ragi as well as vegetables, beans and fruits.
  2. Fats (Lipids) like, saturated fats which include, whole milk, cream, butter and cheese and only 20% of total daily energy should come from fats. Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) N9 Oleic acid included in olive oil, canola oil, almonds. Polyunsaturated (PUFA)-n3 (Linoleic) and n6 (linoleic) included in sunflower, soya bean, walnuts and Flax seeds. Trans-fats are man-made which are consumed through deep frying of foods, junk food, bakery products and are a cause of heart disease which can be avoided. Miscellaneous fats include, cholesterol, sterolother such fats.
  3. Proteins: Amino Acids are a main component and known as the building blocks of the body. The ideal requirement is 1g/kg IBW (Ideal Body Weight) for males and 0.9/kg IBW for females.

The best sources for amino acids or proteins are milk, beans, meat, eggs and poultry.

The components of food could include, micronutrients like:

a) Vitamins, including water soluble vitamin B complex and fat soluble, vitamin A, D, E and K. The sources of which include, fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products, beans, grains, cereals and sunlight.

b) Minerals, which include, calcium, chlorine, copper, cobalt, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, zinc, molybdenum and selenium. The sources of such minerals include fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products, beans, grains and cereals.

An essential consumption should include, off 60-70 % of the body is water, as it is a solvent for digestion, nutrient transporter, vehicle for waste products, and lubricant.

Some of the ingredients for water content include:

a) Fruits, vegetables, meats,

b) Metabolic water minimum 450 ml per day,

c) Dehydration – ORS,

d) Salt up to ½ tsp. plus sugar up to 4tsp. in 1 litre of water,

e) The daily requirement of water is 0.5ml x per pound of body weight, which on an average comes to at least 8-12 glasses per day.

So the ultimate formula to good health, under expert guidance is 70% Diet & Nutrition + 30% Exercise, with adequate rest.

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