Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Healthy Foodie Rules to (try to) Live By -- Part 2

(Continued from post below this one....)

Healthy Foodie Rule #3: EXERCISE 45-60 MINUTES A DAY

To stay fit and healthy while also being a dedicated foodie, you simply must exercise (almost) every day of your life.
Obviously, that can be a tall mountain to climb -- so to speak.
That 45-60 minute minimum refers to cardiovascular exercise.
My days start with either an outdoor walk through our hilly neighborhood or some time on the treadmill in our basement. (I will admit that I much prefer going outdoors, but weather sometimes makes that impossible, alas.) Even if I don't walk especially fast, humping up our hills or putting the treadmill on a moderately steep incline definitely elevates my heart rate. If your walking location is on flat terrain, you need to speed up your gait so that you are working your heart -- and burning calories.

Most exercise specialists agree that if you can't do 45-60 minutes of cardio in one time period, it's okay to spread shorter bursts throughout the day. Take a 20-30 minute walk in the morning and another on your lunch break or after work -- whatever fits best in your schedule.

But cardio exercise isn't the whole story. You also need to incorporate strength training, balance work and stretching. Pilates counts as strength training, and yoga gets the stretching in, making both of those practices quite beneficial. I hear that tai chi (is that how you spell it?) is great for improving balance, too.

Are there days when I don't get my minimum 45-60 minutes of cardio; are there weeks when I don't do enough muscle work or stretch for 30 minutes? Yes, but it's rare. Snowstorms wreak havoc, as do travel and illness. But as anyone who knows me well would agree, I find ways to exercise through almost anything -- on the road, snowed in, or fighting a cold.

I find that my health and happiness -- including managing stress -- depends on keeping up this exercise regimen. Exercise is vital.
Not only that, but keeping up with exercise allows me to EAT MORE! :)

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