The Importance Of A Healthy Diet And Exercise

“Exercise” or “workout”, many have heard of these, some are activists of these, while the majority is either considering or ignoring the importance of staying active. It is true that proper dieting is the key to weight management however, including exercise as part of the regime elevates the results by improved caloric balance and control and many other health benefits.

Eating a well balanced diet with appropriate amounts of calories properly allocated into intakes of carbohydrates (50-70%), protein (20-40%), and fat (10-30%) is the key to optimal health. The whole idea is to achieve balance in calorie input and expenditure. When calorie balance is achieved, maintenance on body weight can be expected.

Increase intake of foods with high contents of fiber such as brown rice, vegetables and fruits to achieve the feeling of being full for a longer period of time to reduce any additional calorie intake due to “perceived hunger”. Replace salt, sugar, and sauces with herbs and spices as condiment is also recommended. Other than reducing sodium and sugar intake, there are a good amount of micronutrients that can be obtained from herbs and spices.

Reduce intake of foods with added sugar and fats such as soft drinks, ice cream, cakes, and pastry will improve the progress of weight loss as these foods are dense in calorie with little beneficial nutrients. Also, it is important to be aware of intake of fruit juice as it requires fruits at an exceeded amount to make up to a cup of juice. Not only it reduces our fiber intake from eating fruits as a whole, it also increases a substantial amount of fructose which will not be beneficial when consumed in excess.

According to the Malaysian Dietary Guidelines by the Ministry of Health, key message 3 stated that we should “Be physically active every day”. Physical activity includes the effort used by our body to physically move and that includes our daily activity of walking, occupational work, household chores, and leisure-time exercises. It is recommended that we stay physically active every day, walking up and down the stairs, doing housework and gardening work as much as we can. It is also recommended that we accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity for at least 5 to 6 days a week. Physical activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, badminton, football and any other sort of sports. Lastly, it is also recommended that we participate in activities that improve flexibility, strength and endurance of muscle as many as 2 to 3 times a week.

Research showed that exercising regularly reduces the risk of diabetes, cancers of some sort, heart disease, obesity, and other diseases. Being physically active at an early age also proved to be beneficial in fighting against osteoporosis. Combining a well balanced diet with regular exercise has become the gold standard of longevity. People have changed their lives with a healthy diet, a good exercise program; consequently adding more productive years to their life span.

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