Five Ways To Better Overall Health and Fitness

Published on 05/14/2014 by

Photo: Healthy BreakfastPublisher's Note: This article on healthy choices is a great foundation for building smart, everyday habits. Add a healthy plate of pasta to the list as a perfect pre or post-workout meal. With a nice balance of complex carbs and protein, nutrient-rich veggies, fresh herbs and heart-healthy fats, pasta provides slow-burning energy, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals and - fabulous flavor!! Just my -slightly biased - two cents! Read on...

Guest Post By Courtney D Ryan

The choices you make every day such as skipping breakfast, or not consuming enough water could be affecting your overall health. These simple decisions may not be life altering, but they could be keeping you from obtaining your ideal fitness level. Here are five ways to hopefully increase personal health for overall fitness.

1. Eating Breakfast

I'm sure everyone has heard at least once, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," but how many actually know the reasons as to why eating breakfast is extremely beneficial to a person's overall health? Eating nutritionally rich food in the morning has been proven to improve concentration, lower cholesterol levels, and increase physical endurance. A healthy breakfast has the potential to jumpstart the metabolism, aiding in weight control and maintenance. Eating a healthy breakfast can prevent hunger later in the day, which can lead to unhealthy snacking and consumption of empty calories.

2. Smart Snacking

Snacking throughout the day is not always a bad thing, it just depends on what you choose to eat. Refueling with a piece of fruit, or handful of almonds can be a great way to increase nutrient intake. It is common to feel a mid-day slump. Eating a small, high protein or fiber snack can help sustain energy levels without causing blood levels to fluctuate drastically, which is what can cause the feeling of tiredness. Studies have shown that by eating more healthy foods, the less likely a person is to consume unhealthy foods.

3. Get Sweating

Working up a sweat gets the heart pumping blood, which ultimately can strengthen your heart and increase lung capacity. Sweating helps regulate body temperature when working out. Without sweating, the body could overheat. Keeping hydrated during a workout is key to keep all of the body's functions working properly. Sweating is one mechanism the body can do to keep itself healthy. When individuals experience a fever, the body responds by sweating to fight it off. Another reason sweating is important is that it allows your body to release toxins. Sweating has the potential to keep your skin clear by ridding your pores of toxins that build up each day.

4. Color Your Plate

It is important to have variety in what you eat. While broccoli, spinach, and zucchini are all great food choices, you wouldn't want your entire plate to be green. A helpful reminder to remember to eat a balance of all the food groups is, "Is your plate colorful?" A colorful plate is a balanced one.

5. Staying Hydrated

The body relies on fluids for maintaining organ function, energy, and digestion. Drinking water before a meal not only decreases appetite so you are less likely to overeat, but keeps the digestive tract working properly. It is especially important to replenish your fluids after a workout in which you were sweating. If water or other liquids are not consumed to replace the lost fluids, the body can become dehydrated which can lead to heatstroke or heat exhaustion.

Individuals looking to learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle can check out the Fitness and Nutrition Certificate
offered through Penn Foster. For those looking to increase their knowledge, but do not want to be committed to attending on-campus classes may be interested in various online certificate programs involving the study of health and fitness.

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photo credit: urbanfoodie33 via photopin cc

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