Nutrition and Exercise: Building Blocks for Good Health
Health and wellness take commitment. And a plan. Nothing complicated, just a dedicated plan for good nutrition and regular exercise. Few things affect our health as much as the food we consume each day. Food fuels our bodies, provides necessary nutrients, satisfies our hunger and pleases our taste buds. What you choose to eat, however, can also greatly affect your health. Besides the possibility of weight gain, foods high in fat may increase cholesterol and blood pressure levels; a diet high in sugar may lead to diabetes.
Food also contains building blocks – the vitamins, minerals and amino acids that we all need for good health.
Food generates calories; and contrary to popular belief, calories aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Calories provide energy, and you need energy to function. Think of your body as a furnace; it needs fuel to keep running. That’s what calories do – they are the fuel that keeps our “furnace” running. The trick is in selecting foods that are nutrient rich and not full of “empty calories” that contribute nothing.
How do you begin choosing food that lends itself to your good health?
Start by reading labels. If it comes in a package, chances are that sugar, salt and saturated fat are in the ingredients. It’s essential to get in the habit of reading labels; just because the wrapper touts “sugar free” or “fat free” does not always mean it is a healthy choice.
Here are a few ideas to remember when you hit the grocery store:
- Eat fresh rather than canned or processed. Try to shop around the perimeter (outer aisles) – that’s where you often find the freshest food.
- The next best items are frozen fruits and vegetables, which are “flash frozen” and still full of the nutrients you would find in fresh produce.
- Remember that not all carbs are bad; complex carbs such as those found in whole grains are essential to a healthy meal, especially before working out.
- When shopping, do your best to avoid refined (white) sugar. Not just in baked goods, sugar can be hiding in condiments, snacks, and breakfast bars. (That’s when reading labels comes in handy).
- Rather than using salt, flavor your food with herbs and spices.
A little about exercise.
The more active you are, the more your metabolism is raised and the more calories you’ll burn. Womens Fitness Clubs of Canada offer numerous services to help you get in gear, with exercise programs that range from low impact (such as Yoga) to vigorous (High Intensity Interval Training or H.I.I.T.).
With single station cardio equipment like treadmills, ellipticals and cycles, you can get your heart pumping and your metabolism racing. Or try strength training to build and tone muscles. Work solo or enjoy group classes.
When coupled with good nutrition, exercise enhances heart health, safeguards bones against osteoporosis, and improves your numbers (weight, blood pressure and cholesterol).
With five locations in Ontario, Womens Fitness Clubs of Canada can help you put together a winning strategy for good nutrition and exercise. We offer on-site personal trainers and nutritionists who can coach you along the way.
Honor your body. Dedicate yourself to good nutrition and exercise, the essential building blocks of health and wellness. Why wait?