Keys to Healthy Living

Looking Good Being Well

"If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health."

It's that simple. From the wisdom of the ancients, we know that a healthy diet consists of adequate nutrition and exercise. How do we implement that knowledge? Firstly, our weight oftentimes indicates our health. Our goal here is to consume enough calories to maintain a healthy weight and support our exertions. Then we focus on physical fitness. Our predecessors led physically intense lives. As our lives have become more sedentary there are some health consequences as a result. So we must include physical exercise in our overall diet plans.

A healthy diet focuses on nutrient dense foods. We all have individual tastes and preferences but within those we can find nutrient dense foods we enjoy eating. There should be mostly vegetables and some fruit. Fish should be consumed regularly. With poultry and dairy included as one likes. Red meat should be consumed only occasionally. Other sources of protein would be eggs and legumes. Variety is key. If you are in the process of making dietary changes try changing just one thing in your diet at a time. Maybe breakfast, you could replace overly processed grains with whole grains. Or if your weight is a concern you may try eliminating one meal or fasting more frequently. Only eating at mealtimes and with others may also encourage you to eat more moderately. Refrain from sugar and drink plenty of water. Interestingly, many 'low fat' and 'fat free' products have more added sugar and carbohydrates to try to make up for the fat removed in processing.

*Note: There are two types of fat generally used in cooking.

There are healthy fats such

as; olive oil, butter, ghee, and tallow. Then there are these highly processed oils such as; margarine, other butter alternatives, soybean oil, and vegetable oils (canola, cottonseed,

and corn oils). The first group is preferred.

For exercise. It's currently recommended that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of physical exercise a week. This may sound like a lot if you haven't intentionally exercised in a while. But we can break our exercise up throughout the week in portions that are suitable for us and life stage. Additionally we should choose exercises that we enjoy that will encourage us to remain consistent. Walking, hiking, and bike riding are some activities that can be enjoyed as a family. So say an intense activity maybe 2 or 3 days a week. Then stretching or strength training exercises another 2 or 3 days. And a break day. Some common household chores could be included in your exercise quota as well. For example mopping the floor depending on the area can be quite an intense calorie burning activity as well as laundry especially if you wash by hand. Implementing an exercise regime should be done slowly. You may start with just light walking for a few days just to get your body moving. Perhaps take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or park some distance from the grocery store or other location and walk. Something fun may be walking the cat. I don't know if all cats can be trained to take leashed walks outside but my daughter successfully trained our cat to do it. He now enjoys a brisk walk every now and again.

Especially for those of us predisposed to certain health challenges due to heredity, fulfilling the rights of your body by living healthily can help manage those challenges. So whatever it is, find the real foods that you enjoy eating. Try different physical activities to find the ones you like most. Share both your food and your activities with friends and family. This will lead you, in shaa Allaah, to healthy living.

#diet #fitness #healthyliving

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