Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Simple Plan to Better Health



[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by shainelee via Flickr"]Better Results[/caption]


The simplest plans can be the most difficult to follow. They are so simple that it is easy to go off track because you could not simply get lost. Thus, it is likely you'll go off track often. I have a simple plan; which may be too simple.

In its purest form, my plan is:

  1. Diet

  2. Exercise

These are a bit broad. Let's look at each one.

Diet


I have two goals when it comes to eating. The first goal is to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index. The second goal is to reduce the overall number of calories consumed.

With low glycemic index foods, the diet is simple. This cuts out most carbohydrates. I still eat wheat and multigrain products. However, for the most part, my diet will consist of fruits and vegetables with a serving of protein. Lean meats are in order.

In terms of calories, I don't exactly count calories; but, I have a rough idea of what I'm consuming. I still eat all the time throughout the day; but, I try to eat fewer calories overall. Working at a computer does not really demand much energy; thus, I do not need to stock up. A fruit or vegetable every couple of hours helps avoid big meals for lunch and dinner.

If I do fail at eating healthy for any reason, the calorie objective kicks in. At that point, my other meals and snacks are more restrictive. This doesn't mean starving. Not eating is unhealthy.

Nutrition is another aspect of diet. I do take daily vitamins. Try as we might, eating the right daily balance of foods to get all the proper nutrition is tough.  The nutritional products are my insurance. Besides vitamins and minerals, I also get antioxidants and other benefits.

Finally, drinking plenty of water has health benefits.

Exercise


My exercise plan is simple; and am starting to do more consistently. The plan is to walk 30 minutes every day and accumulate 10,000 steps throughout the entire day. I'll put on the pedometer in the morning to count my daily steps. I'll walk 30 minutes straight sometime in the evening. If I can achieve both, it's great. However, achieving one or the other in a day is acceptable.

I recognize that strength training would probably benefit me in both weight loss and cholesterol control. I think, that is probably the next goal. I don't have a plan, yet.

Keeping it simple


I wish I could say that following my plan is simple. In reality, it requires unlearning a lifetime of bad habits, or lack of habits. It requires learning about what is in food that can help or hurt. It requires pushing myself to do things I may not want to do. It requires discipline. But, most of all, it really does depend on the plan. Without a guideline to help make decisions, it is very easy to make poor choices about diet and exercise.

Future Development


Just as it is important to have an editorial calendar for creating content, it is probably a good idea to develop an activity calendar or even a menu to help stay on course with a wellness plan. After all, if you know what you are going to eat, you know what to buy at the grocery store. If you have a variety of exercises in your repertoire, you can keep your workouts interesting and fresh. This is what I'll develop in the coming weeks.


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