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5 Important Things Most People Miss About Health and Nutrition

5 Important Things Most People Miss About Health and Nutrition

I credit health and nutrition to saving me from a very unhealthy lifestyle at a young age, and I credit health and nutrition to saving my life in many ways. After going to school for nearly 6 years to obtain a degree in the field of nutrition and dietetics, I’ve seen and read a lot as research continues to grow in a field more and more people are interested in. Diets and lifestyle choices are more popular today than ever before, and we are exposed to more versions of living a healthy lifestyle than we ever have been throughout history. And yet, more people are also confused about what types of diets they should eat at the same time. Something is wrong with this picture, don’t you agree?

The thing about health and nutrition is that it’s not linear. There are important things that most people miss about health and nutrition that prevent them from benefitting from a healthy lifestyle to its full potential. Here are five of the most important things not to miss if you’re looking to get the most out of health and nutrition in your own life:

1. Not One Approach is Right for All

The same diet won’t work for everyone just like the same job won’t suit everyone’s personality. While we are genetically the same to a large degree, the small percentage of the ways we differ in terms of digestion, hormone stages, and various lifestyles we lead will determine how our dietary needs differ too.

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This is exactly why you see one person thriving on a diet that’s completely the opposite of a diet someone else thrives off of. It’s also the reason that a person’s health can suffer when they attempt to eat a diet that’s not suitable for them. It’s important to remember that not one approach is right for all, and it’s vital that we respect each other’s needs for different diets and food and focus on the bigger picture which is if we are healthy as a whole.

2. Diet Isn’t Everything

You can’t exercise away a bad diet, but you also can’t eat your way to perfect health. Yes, you can get closer than you would by eating junk food, but your diet isn’t the only part that makes you healthy as a person. Emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of health also matter too. This belief is known as holistic health and the reason that a person can eat the “perfect” diet or exercise and eat “clean” foods but they may still suffer emotionally and physically for various reasons.

Overall happiness and fulfillment also matter when it comes to our health, not to mention socialization and the ability to be understood and accepted by the world. We also need to take into account that our passions and talents also keep us healthy, and if all of these aspects of ourselves aren’t nourished, we won’t be as healthy as we have the potential to be despite eating all the kale and chia seeds in the world.

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3. Exercise Doesn’t Correct an Unhealthy Diet

Running five miles a day doesn’t undo a diet full of junk foods and fast foods, nor does it mean you have the right to eat foods that don’t serve your overall health. We should also eat for the nourishment of our brains, not just our body. Antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, serotonin-boosting complex carbs, and amino acids from lean protein all help nourish our brain cells and take care of our hearts, muscles, and bones.

Think about your body and brain as a whole when you exercise and eat, not just what you can fit into your daily calorie allotment or what someone else tells you that you should be eating.

4. Balance is Healthier Than the Extreme

Overall, no matter what type of diet you eat, achieving a balance within that diet is the most important thing you can do. Extreme diets and extreme levels of one type of diet are not healthy in the bigger picture. This doesn’t mean you have to eat foods that are full of junk or not something you feel good about eating, but you should remember to give yourself a break and maintain a balance.

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Just because you don’t eat x amount of a certain food you think you “should” per day doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve the right to enjoy a healthy treat or eat something that might not be within your dietary guidelines.

5. Perfection Isn’t Possible

Last but not least, always remember that no one eats the perfect diet and nothing you can do will ever help you achieve a perfect diet status. Why? Because perfection isn’t possible. Diets aren’t created to make us perfect, and depending on who you ask, the perfect diet is different for everyone. Many people consider a diet full of ice cream and soda the perfect or ideal diet, and others consider it to be all raw or all Paleo.

Nothing you eat is ever going to make you perfect, and eating the perfect diet isn’t the road to happiness anyway. It’s more important that we focus on eating foods that give us energy, digest well, and keep us healthy and happy as a whole. Everything else after that is just icing on the cake—figuratively speaking, of course!

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For more advice about healthy eating, you may also enjoy learning about 5 good reasons why a healthy lifestyle can help enhance your life .

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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