Getting healthy and in shape is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
Not only will you look good, but your whole body will be healthier and happier as well.
Although there's conflicting advice about how to get into shape, here are five recommendations from doctors, scientists and medical professionals that can get you on track to being in the best shape of your life.
Find an exercise program you like and can commit to
Exercise is great for you, and once you find an activity you like, your overall health and fitness will benefit.
“Exercise strengthens the entire human machine — the heart, the brain, the blood vessels, the bones, the muscles. The most important thing you can do for your long-term health is lead an active life,” according to Dr. Timothy Church, director of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
You may not believe it, but exercising shouldn’t feel like a chore. If you like the exercise you do, you’ll end up getting into better shape.
With all of the choices and options out there, you can find one that fits your schedule, budget and ability to commit, as long as you stay open-minded.
If you want to tone your muscles, yoga has been popular for thousands of years because of its physical and mental benefits.
Cycling, hiking, swimming and sports can all be done outside, and that is great if you love sunshine and the fresh air motivates you to move.
In general, pay attention to what exercise makes you feel great and then commit to increasing the amount of time and the intensity level you do it.
Don’t rely solely on exercise
You may have heard the quote that weight loss is 80 percent about diet and 20 percent exercise.
This statement, while a generalization, is based on scientific findings. Medical professionals and researchers have used systematic analysis of subjects in weight-loss programs to determine that exercise alone is not enough to achieve significant weight loss.
“A long-standing consistent observation is that regular exercise by itself is prescribed in small to moderate amounts resulting in modest weight loss or in some cases weight gain,” according to a 2013 study.
Scientists have observed that people’s bodies become more efficient at doing specific exercises over time and require less calories for the same activities.
At the same time, exercising stimulates your body’s appetite, so many people who exercise often may burn calories, but they eat more calories and counteract the overall fat burning.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t exercise; it means that you should focus a lot of your energy making sure you are fueling your body with healthy meals at specific times.
Eating wholesome food matters
The foods you eat are the building blocks of your body, so it's no wonder that the wholesomeness of your food and eating schedule are critical for getting into shape and looking great.
Of course, it’s not always easy to identify healthy foods or know exactly what you should be eating, but some simple rules can help you.
Many nutritionist support the general rule to get as much of your nutrition as possible from totally unprocessed foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs and low-fat protein like chicken. Eating processed foods, like doughnuts, packaged chips or frozen dinners, should be done very seldom.
Time meals and snacks for a healthy eating schedule
In addition to the types of foods you choose, learning to be mindful of your hunger level and controlling it with strategic eating can prevent your self-control from failing because you're famished.
When you’re looking to get into shape, monitor your hunger level and eat frequent healthy snacks. This will keep you on the right track and stop cupcakes or cookies from being irresistible.
Acknowledge your tricky spots
Everyone has those spots that never seem to shrink, no matter how great our diets and exercise regimens are.
In fact, as people age, scientists have proven that hormones encourage weight gain in specific parts of individuals' bodies. It's difficult to reverse the process, even with a healthy lifestyle.
After you've remodeled your diet and exercise routine, for help with those last trouble spots, consult the professionals at Alpine Plastic Surgery.
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