The Seven Steps For Getting Healthy and Staying Fit
Life is ever expanding, as are we humans with our constant quest for greater health and fitness. There are countless new training methods out there today that claim to be either the best for maximum weight loss or the fastest way to get a six pack abs. It’s endless when you surf the internet, there are countless websites divulging numerous workout routines, diet recipes and a wealth of information, making it even more difficult to understand what works best for you. In order for you to choose what works best for you, you need to review your current fitness program. First, ask yourself the question, “Is your fitness regimen working, rejuvenating your body, revitalizing your life, keeping you fit and fit, here and now and in old age!” Below are seven practical steps you can take to ensure that your everyday lifestyle brings you closer to better health and a brighter future.
Step 1 – Understand your body
Your body is made up of 206 bones, more than 600 muscles, lungs, brain, nerves, various parts and systems working in perfect harmony and cooperation. The wondrous and amazing human body is the temple of your soul and you are the steward of that precious body.
Step 2 – You are a product of evolution
Your body has evolved from a microscopic cell into what you are now. As nature takes its course, you grow old and die. In your current state, plan to stay fit and healthy as you approach your old age. There are many benefits to be gained from having a lean, agile body, a bright, active mind, and an energetic, happy life. This is your birthright!
Step 3 – Maintain correct posture
Always pay attention to your body, its movements and posture. This may seem insignificant to you, but over a long period of time, good posture can bring you innumerable benefits. It’s all about forming habits, and often habits are formed through repetition. Keep your head up, your body erect, and your back straight. Avoid bending and leaning forward. Remember to keep your earlobes in line with your shoulders, shoulders in line with your knees, back straight and tummy tucked in.
Step 4 – Breathe
Deep breathing is a simple and effective habit to improve your well-being. Take deep breaths every now and then. Exhale and squeeze your abdominal muscles until your lungs are empty. Then inhale and push your stomach forward until your lungs are full. Deep breathing provides the body with much-needed oxygen that nourishes every cell in the body, and slow exhalation helps the body get rid of toxins accumulated in the lungs. Conscious breathing calms the mind, increases vital capacity and energizes the whole body.
Step 5 – Cultivate good eating habits
It shouldn’t surprise you that good eating habits are an important part of not only losing weight but also maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet and avoid processed foods such as fast food, microwaveable foods and foods wrapped in plastic. Processed foods have gone through numerous processes before being offered for sale. These foods have lost their natural content and have very little if any nutritional value to replenish the body. Make sure you chew your food properly. Eat slowly as 80% of digestion takes place in the mouth and only the remaining 20% in the stomach. Eating slowly is one method that can help with weight loss. This is because it takes the brain 20 minutes to signal the body that it is already full from the meal you had.
Step 6 – A good fitness program
A good fitness program should be a combination of gymnastics, isometrics, biotonics, pranayama, yoga postures and meditation. A complete and effective program offers you:
(a) Cardiovascular fitness through aerobic exercise to keep the heart healthy and build endurance and stamina.
(b) Abdominal fitness through toning exercises to keep abdominal fat away, aid in digestion, elimination, circulation and weight control.
(c) Muscle strength through isometric exercises. All muscle groups should be “tensed” to strengthen them. Body aches, back pain and poor posture are the result of poor muscle conditioning.
(d) Flexibility through yoga gives you a supple body with full range of motion in all joints. Yoga postures massage the internal organs, strengthen the endocrine system, slow down the aging process and ensure mobility in old age.
(e) Relaxation by allowing your body and brain to rest in a state of stillness. We suffer from the stresses and strains of modern life. Stress-related illnesses can be prevented by deep and systematic relaxation. Regular “sessions” in meditation will relax your body and mind and bring joy into your life
Step 7 – Acquire knowledge
Read books, listen to lectures, watch TV shows about yoga, health and exercise. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is not power, but the application of knowledge is power”. Consult a yoga expert and devise a program that suits your needs and age using the application of informed choice.
Thanks to Suleiha Suguna