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Kick Start A Healthier Lifestyle

Written by Nate
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Summer is a great time to get fit and eat healthy.  The short, cold, snowy days have passed and the sun is finally shining!  There are a lot of affordable fresh fruits and veggies available and the Michigan weather is finally allowing us to get outside! In terms of exercise, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 30 minutes of mild to moderate exercise 5 days per week.  This can be broken down into 10 or 15 minute increments.  I recommend simply starting with walking.  It's fun, free, low impact and most everyone can tolerate it.  In terms of intensity, you should be working out at your target heart rate which is about 50-85% of your maximum heart rate.  Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.  There is a great chart you can find on the AHA website, www.heart.org.  In addition, this website has a lot of great information about diet and exercise.  It’s definitely a great source of reliable information.

Healthy eating is very important as well.  As far as total number of calories needed per day, it really depends on a number of factors including age, gender, physical activity, medication use, the list goes on.  Protein is very important.  It fills us up faster and keeps us fuller, longer.  Of course, vegetables and fruits are important as well.  Of course, limiting sweet treats and fatty foods is key to avoid putting on those extra pounds.  A great website that can help explain portion sizes, food groups and everything else you may be wondering about the foods we eat, is www.myfoodpyramid.gov

Finally, being aware of the foods we put in our mouth and the effect exercise has on our overall weight is very important.  Food and exercise journaling can help us become more aware of the calories we consume.   There are a few really good websites out there that make food and exercise journaling quite fun! My favorite is www.myfitnesspal.com  It even has an app for your smart phone.  Using something like myfitnesspal can really make keeping track of your health and fitness fun and easy!!!  Hopefully these few tips will help you achieve the healthy YOU you’ve been striving towards. 

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