Wednesday, 16 July 2014

How To Be Fit And Healthy For Life: The Four Pillars Of Health

As this is my very first post on my new blog I thought I'd make it a brief overview of what is required to get fit and healthy and stay that way for life. There are several factors involved in this of course, but four of them are particularly important. So I've called these the four pillars of health. And they are as follows...

1. Eat A Healthy Balanced Diet

What you eat is of first importance in regard to how healthy you will be and how long you can expect to live. If you eat a lot of refined, processed and sugary foods your health will suffer as a result of this.

Instead eat mostly natural whole foods, specifically meat, fish and eggs (your protein sources), whole grains, potatoes and sweet potatoes (carbohydrates), healthy fats (such as olive oil and coconut oil, but you'll also get these from oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocados etc.) plenty of vegetables, and some fruit, beans and dairy.

This will ensure you get the nutrients you need for your body to function properly, as well as to heal itself from a multitude of ailments.

2. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is crucial not just for fitness but for health too. Exercise will help your body to function better and it will stave off any number of diseases that you may otherwise succumb to. Also as you get older you need to maintain your muscle mass, as people who are frail die younger.

So do some cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, cycling, swimming, even dancing) and some strength training (weight training or just some basic calisthenics at home) and ideally some flexibility work (stretching) too.

3. Maintain A Normal Weight - Or Lose Weight If You Need To

This goes hand in hand with the above two pillars, as if you eat a good well balanced diet and exercise regularly you will obviously lose weight. But if you are very overweight, or simply having difficulty losing those last few pounds, you may need to reduce your carbohydrate intake or watch your portion sizes of certain foods in order to get down to the weight you want to be.

4. Use Supplements If Required

You may have heard that you can get all the nutrients you need from your diet and this in theory is correct. But our food is not what it used to be and even if you try to eat healthily it's likely that you'll be deficient in certain nutrients. So good proven supplements can make a big difference to your health - both immediate and long term. Also if you suffer from a particular complaint you may find that certain supplements can be very beneficial in helping to alleviate the condition.

I'll be going into all of these in much more detail as I post more information on this blog of course. And there are other factors that can make a difference too. But these are the basics - the four pillars of health that will enable you to get (and stay) fit and healthy for life.

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