Whether you've decided to lose weight or are just looking to be healthier, a proper eating plan and exercise are imperative. Spot training is a myth, so in order to get a flatter tummy or shapely legs, you must have a combination of both diet and exercise. While a healthy diet is the most important aspect to a healthier lifestyle, exercise does have significant benefits as well.
A healthy diet and exercise are bound to fail if you don't have any goals or expectations set. Getting healthier or losing your excess belly fat may be your main goal, but setting smaller goals to achieve on the way there will help to keep you motivated. For example, if you want to lose excess belly fat to be able to wear a bikini on your summer vacation, then make smaller goals that can be achieved each week such as eating a salad everyday or adding an extra mile to your usual run.
Talk to Your Doctor
As with any new fitness program or diet, it's best to check with your doctor before beginning. Your doctor will be able to tell you where you need to be, and can provide you with tips and pointers on how to get there. After a few tests, your doctor will be able to tell you your body-weight mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These numbers will give you a starting point and allow you to set some goals moving forward.
A healthy diet makes all the difference when it comes to getting healthy. Choose a diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats such as nuts, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid highly processed food such as packed foods or fast-food restaurants. Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day to keep your hunger at bay.
Exercise is an important factor in improving your overall health. Cardiovascular exercise helps strengthen and protect the heart from heart attacks and heart disease, while strength training builds bone strength, which helps to prevent bone breaks. Exercise improves health by also helping you lose weight and excess body fat, improve balance and coordination, and improve self-esteem.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.