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A Guide To A Healthier Lifestyle.

February 5, 2019 by  
Filed under Health, Sports, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comWhen we discuss health, there can be a tendency to focus on illness and how to deal with it, rather than taking the time to build up a healthier body. While we can’t prevent all disease and illness, we can give our bodies the tools to fight against them and one of the ways of doing that is by having a solid base to work from. With that in mind, we are going to look at how you can improve your health.


If you are going to be taking a look at your health, then one of the most important things to consider is exercise. We aren’t talking about being able to enter the Olympics or Mr. Universe. No, instead what we are looking at here is fulfilling your body’s needs and requirements as per studies conducted by medical science. What this means is that, according to the Mayo Clinic, we should all be getting a minimum of 150 minutes aerobic exercise per week and three days of strength training. So you don’t have to dedicate hours and hours to your health through exercise, just three hours a week. But what do they mean by these terms? Well, our first thing to look when it comes to exercise is these two types of fitness regimes.


  • Aerobic


Let’s first get an understanding of what aerobic exercise is and then look at some of the ways you can incorporate it into your routine. In a nutshell what you are doing when you take on aerobics is taking part in physical exercise that relies on the aerobic energy generating process – otherwise known as doing an activity that requires a greater amount of oxygen in your body.

Some aerobic exercises include:

  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Kickboxing


  • Strength Training


Now, when you see strength training you might consider that you are going to need to be grunting and lifting heavy weights, but that isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to this type of exercise. The plan is doing training that specializes in the use of resistance with the idea being to induce muscle contraction which will build strength. There are many types of exercise that will do just.

Strength training exercise include:

  • Squats
  • Push Ups
  • Planking
  • Weight Training e.g. Dumbbell Row, Bench Press
  • Jumping Jacks

So that answers the question of how often and what exercise you should be doing, but next comes the where? We all have many ideas about getting fit and doing the necessary workouts, only to fall down when it comes to getting started. Well, here are some of the options that are open to you when it comes to places to do your exercise routine.


  • The Gym


The first place to discuss is the gym. These purpose built buildings are meccas to the world of exercise and for very good reasons. Firstly, the equipment that is available to gym users will far exceed what you are able to build up at home whether you are looking to use the machines or just make the most of different exercise tools.

As well as being somewhere that you can make the most of many facilities, you will also find that the professionals working at the gym will be able to provide with help and knowledge that you might not be able to get elsewhere. Personal trainers have certification they must require before they can start working with the public and that education means they are uniquely placed to assist you in learning how to perfect certain exercises and avoid injuries.

There are cons involved with attending the gym as well, the most obvious being the cost of a subscription. While some companies are finding ways of making the expenses negligible, it is still something that will put some people off.


  • At Home


If the idea of doing exercise in a building full of other people starts to make you sweat before you’ve pulled on your gear, then maybe a gym isn’t the place for you. There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep your exercise routine as a personal activity and for that purpose there is the home workout plan. While you might not have the equipment of a gym, you will still be able to meet the requirements to have a healthy body and fitness.

One of the benefits of doing exercise from home is that you are able to get started almost immediately with no travel time required. An exercise style that you might want to try from home is yoga. All you need is a yoga mat and a DVD or YouTube tutorial to get a routine moving. There are many different styles out there that you can research before getting started and they range from intense workouts to basic stretching for beginners.


  • Outside


The last place to consider doing your exercise routine is out in the big wide world. The reason this is such a positive is because our bodies require some of the ingredients that outside life offers up and so not only will you be doing good things for your system through exercise, but there will also be the added bonus of vitamin D from daylight to help your health goals.

Do bear in mind when it comes to starting an exercise plan for the outside that you can work it into the previous two places. For example, you can run or cycle to the gym and then get using their facilities. You can also join up to different groups that are taking part in activities. One outside activity to consider is to play sport as part of a team or in groups to encourage socializing as well.

However you decide to get started with your exercise plan, the most important thing is that you are getting it going. Being active is hugely beneficial to our health ranging from helping mental health issues through the release of endorphins and serotonin to keeping your cardiovascular systems in good condition. Hopefully, some of the idea discussed above will give you the confidence to go and get started, but there are other things to consider when it comes to your healthy lifestyle.


There is more to looking after yourself than just making sure you get in your minimum 150 minutes of exercise every week. You also need to complement that workout with the right type of dietary plan. Now, what we are looking at here is not the idea that you should attempt the latest fad diet. Most of those diets ask you to remove something from your meals that your body requires in order to function to its optimum levels. No, instead the advice here is to ensure that you are getting the six essential nutritional food groups in your diet.

These food groups and their roles are as follows:


  • Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates are the fuel for the body and brain, providing you with much needed energy to succeed in your daily activities from work to fitness regimes. Carbs come in their different own sub-groups of simple, complex and fiber and a balance of all them is important to a good diet.

Examples: Vegetables, Whole Fruits (apples, bananas) & Whole Grains (brown rice, quinoa)


  • Fats


You might see fat and think that over the past few years all you have seen in the press is that fats are bad for you. Well, some are but the body requires fats as part of a balanced diet to provide long-term energy, insulation and protection. That isn’t to say that you should pile your plate high with meat and gravy, but fats are far from the devil they have been made to be.

Examples: Cheese, Dark Chocolate & Olive Oil


  • Protein


There is a misconception in the modern day that protein is the answer to all of your problems, and in part that has been driven by gym culture. While proteins are not the only thing you require, they are a key part of your diet by making up 10-35% of it. Protein works to build new tissues, antibodies, enzymes and hormones.

Examples: Eggs, Beans, & Soy


  • Vitamins


In order for all of the nutrients you are putting in your body to work, they need to be engaged by vitamins. There are many types of vitamin that your body requires to function and these can be gathered in many ways. We have already mentioned getting vitamin D from being outside above. However, food is a great place to get the vitamins you require as well.

Examples: Fruits, Vegetables & Nuts


  • Minerals


Minerals are the things your body needs in order to build up strength in certain areas like teeth, but they also aid muscle function and nervous system activity. Things like iron, calcium and zinc are all part of a healthy diet.

Examples: Brazil nuts, Fish & Garlic


  • Water


It should go without saying that your body requires water to survive, but you might not be aware of the role it plays in your system aside from keeping you hydrated. Water helps to regulate the body’s temperature, remove waste and assists by dissolving and carrying nutrients.

So, you see, so long as you are making your diet up of these six essential nutritional food groups then you are on the right path to a healthier lifestyle.

Staff Writer; Gary Parker

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