The journey to attain ultimate health and wellness begins with building a lifestyle which supports you. A health and wellness oriented lifestyle is built by making healthy habits and choices part of your daily routines.You do not need to completely overhaul your entire life all at once. These changes can be made gradually.

Physical Fitness

The United States Department of Health and Human Services published the first Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008. It recommends 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity daily or a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes per week for adults ages 18 to 64 years. Strength training for all of the major body parts,legs, hips, arms, shoulders, abdomen, back and chest is recommended at least twice a week.

If you are not already physically active, incorporating fitness activities into your life does not need to pose a major challenge. A wide range of physical activities meet the guidelines. Examples of moderate physical activity include dancing, brisk walking, bicycle riding and more.

Keep in mind, 30 minutes of moderate activity provides the minimum required to gain health benefits. More vigorous activities, jumping rope, rock climbing and swimming provide even greater health benefits. Extending the amount of time spent doing any physical activity also increases health benefits.

To successfully integrate physical fitness activities into your life, make them part of your daily schedule. Set aside time in your daily planner and add a reminder to the event on your phone or watch. The most important things you can do are show up for the activity and perform some level of physical activity. Even if it does not equal the full 30 minutes, you’re still building the habit of physical activity.

Keys to Success:

• Start with an activity you’ll enjoy.

• If you are a social person, join an exercise group or workout with friends.

• Remember every little bit counts. If you exercise for 20 minutes twice a day or in 10 minute increments throughout the day, you can meet the requirement of 2 hours and 30 minutes per week around your schedule.

• Block out your exercise time on your calendar.

Diet

Along with physical fitness, ultimate health and wellness hinges on a healthy and balanced diet. People who eat well experience a variety of health benefits, better weight maintenance, lower chances of developing diabetes or heart disease and lower instances of illness. As recommended by the 2010 issue of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy diet includes significant amounts of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean proteins and unrefined grains. The recommendations also suggest lowering sodium, added sugar, trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet.

Before you look to cut things from your diet, work on adding healthy choices to your meals and snacks. Take a proactive positive approach as you make changes to what you eat. Drink a non-carbonated beverage instead of a pop or soda; you can choose unsweetened herbal tea which still provides flavor, lemon water or plain water. Select brown rice instead of white rice with your meals. Just as with exercise, small changes add up to a complete transition to a more healthful lifestyle.

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