Fitness: Get a Healthier Body and Mind
Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer
Fitness, Nutrition and Exercise
There's nothing like a new year to pack gyms across the country. Working out more and eating healthier are typical
Resolving to be healthier in both mind and body is an admirable goal, and it's within anyone's reach.
The first step toward a healthier mind and body is eating more whole foods.
When we put bad foods into our bodies, the body becomes devitalized and inflamed, says
The solution, Jerominski says, is simple: Stop eating junk foods, caffeine, soda, and other heavily processed foods. "If I can get people off that, it's like medicine," she says. "Eating junk food is like putting sugar water in your car's gas tank. With that in their tank, they just aren't going to feel good, nor is their outlook going to be very sunny."
In a study published in the
Those who consumed the most whole foods had lower odds of depression, while those who ate mostly processed foods had increased odds of depression. The researchers concluded that a processed foods diet is a risk factor for depression in middle age, while whole foods are protective.
For a better body and a better state of mind, load up on fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meats, eggs, dairy, and whole grains.
Just as premium fuel helps your body and mind, so does exercise.
Numerous studies have shown exercise has a positive impact on mood and energy through the release of endorphins, the so-called feel-good hormones. But endorphins are released during hard exercise, and that's not the level at which the average person should be starting, Jerominski says.
Whether your fitness level is low or you have pain related to aging or an injury, starting slowly and building up your fitness level is always recommended. "You need to go out and walk gently," Jerominski advises. Increase the pace as your body becomes stronger and your eating habits become healthier.
After walking, Jerominski recommends advancing your exercise routine with yoga taught by "a really good instructor" - someone who can support your abilities and won't push you beyond them.
When you move on to a more challenging "hardcore" exercise regimen, Jerominski cautions against focusing solely on cardiovascular exercise, which can actually cause the body to store more fat. "I like to get people doing circuit training so they can get cardio and strength training in one hit," she says.
If you're looking for good outdoor interval training that can grow more challenging as you become more fit, Jerominski recommends walking up and down a hill for about 30 or 40 minutes. Walk up as quickly as your fitness level can manage, then slowly walk down, and then head back up and down until your time is up.
Simply eating healthier by cutting out processed foods and slowly improving your fitness level over time will make your body and mind stronger and healthier. And you'll be far more likely to achieve that
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(c) 2010 Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer, Naturally Savvy