There is no doubt that some type of physical activity every
day is needed to stay healthy. Starting an exercise program alone may not be
enough though to achieve your fitness goals. Odds are that most people who have
made the decision to get fit will have to incorporate some changes in their
eating habits as well. The good news is that if you are exercising, your body
will be burning fat faster.
The United States Health and Human Services Department
recently published its’ physical activity guidelines for Americans and it
encourages people to engage in some type of activity every single day.
For substantial health benefits they say “adults should do
at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or
75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical
activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous intensity
aerobic activity.” The same report also recommends limiting the daily caloric
intake to about 2000 while avoiding foods high in saturated fats and trans fats.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a food
guide which helps people who want to start eating more healthy plan their meals.
It encourages consumption of more dark green vegetables, legumes, fruits and low
fat milk. The USDA guide spells out the proper amount of servings for each food
type each day; 2.5 cups of fruit, 6 ounces of grains, 5.5 ounces of beef or
legumes, and 3 cups of milk.
A balanced diet coupled with an exercise program is the
best way to get healthy. There are other factors that could sabotage your
efforts like smoking and drinking. If you smoke, quit and if you drink, the best
advice is to do so in moderation. The gains that you achieve in one area from a
better diet and exercise will be wiped out in another area by those bad habits.
Discipline is the key to making your exercise program work and being able to
make the necessary changes in other areas of your life to truly become