We’ve all thought it before at one point or another. I really wish I was in better shape. As of April 27th, 2012, approximately one third of U.S Adults (35.7%) and seventeen percent of adolescent youth ages 2-19 are obese (Center of Disease Control, 27 Apr 2012, Web, 4 Apr 2013). And in a society riddled with greasy and convenient fast food drive-thrus, escalators, elevators and other devices designed to do the walking for us, who can be surprised? So what can you do to stay healthy? The answer is not as simple as one might think…
Sure, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. I’ll get on that treadmill three times a week and that will counter all the crap I’ve been cramming into my system for years and years. Ask yourself this, what makes your car go? what makes it “healthy”? It’s not the way you drive it, how often you do or don’t drive it. It’s what you put into it. The oil, the gas, everything has to be right for the car and on a regular basis. The same thing goes for you. Being healthy isn’t just about hitting that treadmill, it’s about making smart decisions when it comes to eating. Portions, frequency, and diversity in your meals are all just as important as how much you exercise.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean no carbs, no sugar, no fun. Remember your body uses everything you put in it, and carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for your body. Eating healthy can be summed up in one simple word: Moderation. Have a coke during the day, but have one not five. Be aware of how much you’re taking in of what, sure you might get the small coke from that fast food restaurant near work…but how many ounces are in that “small”. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to eat a little smarter.
- Plan and cook the bulk of your meals on Sunday and store them in Tupperware to take to work during the week
- Make something easy, such as homemade spaghetti sauce and re-use it during the week to make healthy pizza (pizza isn’t unhealthy it’s the stuff that goes on it!) spaghetti, calzones, and other fun Italian dishes
- Make a big dinner so you have left overs to take to work the next day. Homemade is ALWAYS better than fast food.
- When cooking think of meat as the garnish, and the vegetables and sides as the main course
- Get a cook book, you don’t always have to use it but it’s a great source of nutritional information and motivation.
- Find a quick, easy breakfast such as Oatmeal, or a breakfast shake that is a healthy alternative to that McGriddle we all love. Yes it means you have to wake up 10 minutes earlier but you’ll have so much more energy during the day.
Where do I start?
Everything starts with you. Sure if your office is on the tenth floor no one expects you to walk it. But walk some of it, walk down the street to the store, move, get your body accustomed to being active. Find a gym, join it and go. Don’t have time for a gym? Push-ups, sit-ups and jumping jacks in the morning followed by ten minutes of light stretching will do just fine. Make the effort, don’t allow yourself to become sedentary. It’s much harder to get moving than it is to stay moving. Remember, being healthy and staying fit and active doesn’t mean long hours in the gym, no carbs before bed, and no more soda. It just means making good decisions, and good decisions are the first step to staying strong, staying healthy, and staying happy.