When looking at my fitness and nutritional habits I have found I, do have some good practices. Regarding my fitness habits, I try to stay fit by attending Karate classes, twice a week, and either running or hiking at one of the local parks. My nutritional habits include eating nutritional meals and making sure my family eats nutritional meals. I include fruit or vegetables and dairy with every meal. I try to avoid eating sweets. I am happy with my body and weight but I know obesity poses some major health risks. "Recent studies indicate that obesity is one of the top underlying preventable causes of death in the United States.
Obesity and inactivity increase the risks from three of our leading killers: heart disease, cancer, and cerebrovascular ailments such as strokes. Other associated health risks of obesity include diabetes, gallstones, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and several cancers" (Donatelle, 2010, p. 282). Even though I do have some good nutritional habits, there are always ways to improve those habits. Three new habits I have chosen to incorporate into my lifestyle are eating breakfast every morning, reducing my sodium (salt) intake, and adding fish to my diet one to two times a week. I often skip breakfast even though I fix breakfast for my son every morning.
I do not know why I do this as it takes only a few more minutes to fix myself something. Many experts state that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast has many benefits. Some of those benefits include being more "focused and productive, helping deal with any morning moodiness and stress, jump starting my metabolism, helping plan and portion out meals for the rest of the day, and helping lower "Bad" Cholesterol.
One of the greatest benefits of eating breakfast every morning is you can lose weight by doing so. Numerous studies have also shown that an increase in weight is commonly associated with skipping breakfast. Eating breakfast every morning is one of the easiest ways to lose weight and eat healthier" (Cenzon, 2011). I know my salt intake is high, as I prefer salty foods to sweet. "A study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Stanford University and Columbia University shows that even a modest decrease in daily salt intake can lead to dramatic health benefits.
The authors documented an annual drop of as many as 120,000 cases of heart disease, 66,000 instances of stroke and 99,000 heart attacks caused by high blood pressure after a 3-g-per-day reduction in sodium" (Park, 2010, para. 2). "In addition to directly reducing blood pressure, a lower sodium intake may also enhance the effectiveness of high blood pressure medications and other non-drug treatments, such as weight loss" (Kaplan, 2010, Why Should I Reduce Sodium In My Diet? ). Much of our sodium intake is found in processed foods.
To reduce my salt intake I will read food labels and choose foods that have lower sodium. Instead of adding salt to meals while cooking, I can choose other spices and herbs to flavor my food. By adding fish into my diet even once a week has many benefits. "It is now well established that eating fish regularly helps protect against developing heart disease and dying suddenly from a heart attack. This is because the oils in fish are unique-they have omega-3s, fatty acids not found in any other foods.
The omega-3s in fish improve the way the heart works and make other conditions that contribute to heart disease less dangerous" (Nettleton, 2006). Along with incorporating three new nutritional habits into my life, I have also incorporated three new fitness habits. Those habits include that during commercial breaks to perform exercises such as crunches, pushups, jumping jacks, or jogging in place, second, when going to a store I will park far as way as possible from the entrance, and last using the Wii Fit two to three times a week.
Increasing physically activity has found to have many benefits. " Physical activity helps to maintain weight, reduce high blood pressure, reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and several forms of cancer, reduce arthritis pain and associated disability, reduce risk for osteoporosis and falls, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety" ("Healthy Weight - It's Not A Diet, It's A Lifestyle.! , 2011).
In conclusion, to live a healthy lifestyle one must make it a priority to practice good habits both physically and nutritionally. In doing so one will maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk for certain diseases, reduce symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety, lower "Bad" Cholesterol and even aid in weight loss.