Todays consumer driven world tries to convince us that to look after our bodies and be truly health-conscious requires buying every expensive new ‘Superfood’ that hits the shelves, or spending a huge amount of money on a gym membership and supplements. From every angle we are overloaded with advertisements of the latest health products, overwhelming the average consumer with all sorts of information to improve health. The result? The cost and effort to be healthy just seems too much. Ultimately most people give up before they even begin. Can we live a healthy life in an affordable way?
Yes! While many of the above mentioned products are great for your health, they are not necessarily essential for good health. Take for instance ‘Superfoods’, a marketing term sometimes used to describe a food with a high nutrition content and usually with a name you can’t pronounce. What many people don’t realise is the average kitchen contains many everyday ‘Superfoods’. For example, take the humble onion, it has many disease fighting benefits. The outmost layer is full of flavonoids which are great for your health and quercetin for your heart. Classic black pepper not only adds flavour to your meal but increases your bodies ability to absorb nutrients. A small red capsicum contains 46% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A and 158% of Vitamin C. These are just a few of many foods that are attainable and affordable, yet nutritious. Despite the marketing there is no actual one group of ‘Superfood’, but instead every food is “super” or plus size, in its unique nutritional makeup. When part of a balanced every food plays a part in ensuring that you are performing at your optimal peak.
Keep in mind though, eating for your health does not mean just adding in a few good foods here and there. Overall the best results come from changing what you eat. One of the simplest ways of improving your overall health is by avoiding processed foods. You do not need to turn entirely organic, but just base your diet on wholesome foods. A good rule of thumb is to avoid making anything that comes in a packet one your staple foods. Although you may not need expensive ‘Superfoods’, a healthy diet would consist a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The way to keep costs down would be to buy seasonal produce, eat less meat, buy in bulk where you can, and cook fabulous nutritious meals in the comfort of your own home.
Do you need to go to a gym to exercise properly? No! Equipment is not even needed. The key element to improving your fitness is movement. Our bodies are designed for movement when we involve in any form of exercise our bodies adapt to perform at a higher level. Our own body weight is all we need to tone, shape and strengthen our muscles. Go outdoors for a brisk walk or run. Pilates and yoga moves can be done in a small space anywhere. And are great low impact exercise if you are plus size. Even a 15 minute workout has been shown to affect your metabolic rate and improve bone density. High intensity exercises like push ups, burpees and jumping jacks can be highly effective, and you don’t need a gym. When regular exercise is added to your routine, your fitness and overall health will be improved. In order to optimise your time working out, spend time researching the different forms of exercise and see what works best for you. The most precious resource that you can acquire to improve your health is motivation.
Expensive compression garments have been touted as the latest way to improve your workouts, reduce fatigue, and increase your overall physical performance. The careful marketing of these products makes consumers believe that if they are working out and they are not wearing these garments, then they are wasting their efforts, but this is far from the truth. Simple workout clothes are all that you need to feel comfortable and get the most out of your workout. There are a lot of manufacturers that now provide consumers with all sorts of shapes and sizes, from petite to plus size active wear. When you are wearing active wear that fits well and keeps you cool, you will be able to concentrate on your work out, and get more out of it.
To live in a healthy way is an investment for you and your families future, but it does’t have to come at a cost. It is a way of life.
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