Ways To Im­prove Your Health

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - RELATIONSHIP - By Edirin Moses

TO be in op­ti­mum health, bal­anced nutri­tion, reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and life­style changes are of ut­most im­por­tance.

Good nutri­tion is one of the keys to a healthy life. You can im­prove your health by keep­ing a bal­anced diet so eat foods that con­tain vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. This in­cludes fruits, veg­eta­bles, whole grains, dairy, and a source of pro­tein.

It can be hard to change your eat­ing habits but it helps if you fo­cus on small changes.

Mak­ing changes to your diet may also be ben­e­fi­cial if you have dis­eases that can be made worse by things you are eat­ing or drink­ing. Symp­toms from con­di­tions such as kid­ney dis­ease, lac­tose in­tol­er­ance and celiac dis­ease can all ben­e­fit from changes in diet.

Find the strong and weak points in your cur­rent diet. Do you eat four to five cups of fruits and veg­eta­bles every­day?

Do you get enough cal­cium? Do you eat whole grain, high-fiber foods? If so, you’re on the right track! Keep it up. If not, add more of these foods to your daily diet.

Keep track of your food in­take by writ­ing down what you eat and drink ev­ery day. This record will help you as­sess your diet. You will see if you need to eat more or less from cer­tain food groups. Think about ask­ing for help from a di­eti­tian. They can help you fol­low a spe­cial diet, es­pe­cially if you have a health is­sue.

Al­most ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit from cut­ting back on un­healthy fat. If you cur­rently eat a lot of fat, com­mit to cut­ting back and chang­ing your habits.

Un­healthy fats in­clude things such as: dark chicken meat, poul­try skin, fatty cuts of pork, beef, and lamb and high-fat dairy foods (whole milk, but­ter, cheeses). Ways to cut back on un­healthy fats in­clude rather than fry­ing meat, bake, grill, or broil it.

Take off the skin be­fore cook­ing chicken or turkey. Try eat­ing fish at least once a week and re­duce any ex­tra fat. This in­cludes but­ter on bread, sour cream on baked pota­toes, and salad dress­ings. Use low-fat or non­fat ver­sions of these foods.

Eat plenty of fruits and veg­eta­bles with your meals and as snacks. Read the nutri­tion la­bels on foods be­fore you buy them. If you need help with the la­bels, ask your doc­tor or di­eti­tian.

When you eat out, be aware of hid­den fats and larger por­tion sizes.

Stay­ing hy­drated is im­por­tant for good health. Drink zero- or low-calo­rie bev­er­ages, such as wa­ter or tea. Sweet­ened drinks add lots of sugar and calo­ries to your diet. This in­cludes fruit juice, soda, sports and en­ergy drinks, sweet­ened or flavoured milk, and sweet­ened iced tea. Ex­er­cise

Ex­er­cise is also im­por­tant for over­all health and well­be­ing. There are many ben­e­fits of reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and main­tain­ing fit­ness.

Ex­er­cise im­proves both the strength and the ef­fi­ciency of your car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem to get the oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents to your mus­cles. When your car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem works bet­ter, ev­ery­thing seems eas­ier and you have more en­ergy for the fun stuff in life. Ex­er­cise im­proves mus­cle strength

Stay­ing ac­tive keeps mus­cles strong and joints, ten­dons and lig­a­ments flex­i­ble, al­low­ing you to move more eas­ily and avoid in­jury. Strong mus­cles and lig­a­ments re­duce your risk of joint and lower back pain by keep­ing joints in proper align­ment. They also im­prove co­or­di­na­tion and bal­ance. Ex­er­cise can help you to main­tain a healthy weight. Easy ex­er­cises to do in­clude stretch­ing, jog­ging, walk­ing, run­ning, swim­ming, ten­nis, bas­ket­ball and so on.

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