Having a Healthy Exercise Plan

Having a Healthy Exercise Plan

Having a Healthy Exercise Plan - Many people with serious illnesses would give anything for a single day of perfect health. After all, it's only when you lose your health that you realize what you once had. To be healthy and make the most of what you've got, follow these recommendations.
  1. Get in shape. In addition to helping you lose weight and gain confidence, exercising has a host of other benefits for your body and mind. Having good cardiovascular health has been linked to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s, just to name one. So hit the pool, the pavement, or the park as often as you can.[7]
    • Exercising boosts your immune system too; even a change as minor as walking briskly for twenty to thirty minutes a day five days a week can improve your immune system by increasing both your antibody and T-killer cell response.[8]
    • Exercising is also one of the absolute best ways to sleep better at night[9] — which can help you lose weight by keeping you from overeating. Read How to Get Fit for more details.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight. Our physical frames vary in size and weight. An individual with a large frame can carry a little more weight while a person with a light frame will be able to carry less.
    • Being underweight isn't a good thing, either! Do not use any form of crash diets. There is no magic bullet for weight loss — and even if there were, starving your body of vital nutrients wouldn’t be it. A slow change in your eating habits is much safer and the long-term benefits for your physical health are greater.
    • If you don't want to go on a diet, read How to Lose Weight Just by Exercising. Just remember that only serious athletes are able to burn off enough calories to be able to enjoy massive indulgences — and even so, they tend not to because it’s hard on the body. Even if you do consume more calories than are recommended for you, be sure that they are nutritious; your heart, brain, muscles, bones, organs, and blood can’t run forever on empty calories.
  3. Cross train. Just because you can run 5 miles without stopping doesn't mean you're healthy — same goes for lifting weights the size of a small Toyota. If you only do one activity, you're only using one set of muscles.[10] You'll be shocked when you go swimming or do core workouts that you can't keep up!
    • What's the answer? Cross training. Not only does doing several different activities work all your muscles (which can help prevent injury), it also keeps you from getting bored. That's the ultimate exercise killer! So include aerobic and strength training workouts to your routine. Your muscles will be glad you did.
  4. Exercise wisely. It should go without saying that there are bad ways to work out. Every time you get moving you put yourself at risk for injury, so make sure you're doing it right!
    • First things first, stay hydrated. You should always be sipping water during your workouts. Getting dehydrated can lead to dizziness or headaches during your sweat session (or lack thereof).[11]
    • Take breaks! It isn't being lazy, it's being healthy. You can't go-go-go forever. After thirty minutes or so of exercise, grab your water bottle and lighten up. Your body needs a second to catch up. You'll be able to go further in the long run.
  5. Take the little opportunities. Being physically active isn't about pounding the pavement or joining a gym — it's a lifestyle that can be had 24/7. [12] If you can an extra ten steps to your day here and there, they add up.
    • Don't have any ideas? Park a bit farther away from work, the mall entrance, or the grocery store. Take the stairs. Walk the dog every day. Take lunch to the park. Bike to work or the local coffee shop. Little opportunities are everywhere.

  Being Emotionally Healthy

  1. Think positively. It's amazing how much power our minds have over everything in our lives. A simple positive twist on a situation can turn an obstacle into an opportunity. Not only will you have more gusto for life, your immune system can fight off colds and heart disease better![13] Harvard wouldn't lie.
    • To start this difficult step, focus on gratitude. When you start thinking about the bad thing swirling around you, stop. Cut it out. Think of two things you're grateful for. Eventually, your mind will notice the pattern and stop the negativity before you have to consciously do it.
  2. Be satisfied. This doesn't mean "be content with your life" (well, it does, but give it a sec) — it sort of means "satisfy yourself". If you're on a diet, allow yourself a (small) bit of what you're craving. If watching the Golden Girls for three hours on a Friday night sounds like heaven, do it. Whatever the small things are that make you happy, do them.
    • Your happiness is invaluable. If you're not happy, you're not fully healthy. It's when we've got our heads on straight that we can attack everything else. If work, family, friends, a relationship, and money are wearing you down, the choice between that hot pocket and that whole wheat bagel doesn't really matter!
  3. Think small. When we concentrate on unattainable goals, we get daunted, frustrated, and lazy. After all, why try to achieve something that will never happen? A healthy mindset has to be in the here and now. It should have concern for the future, sure, but it shouldn't be preoccupied with what hasn't happened yet or won't.
    • Being emotionally healthy (and happy) is easier to attain when you focus on the steps of your journey as opposed to the destination. If you want to make it on Broadway, focus on getting your next audition. Then focus on becoming equity, then focus on moving, etc. Now will always come before the future — focus on them in order!
  4. Manage stress. This one is huge. When stress takes over our lives, everything else falls apart. Our homes get cluttered, our minds get cluttered, and our relationships get strained. Take yourself aside for five minutes and think about your stress levels — how are you managing it? What could you do to be more calm and relaxed?
    • A very healthy way of managing stress is doing yoga. If that doesn't sound appealing, how about meditating? No? Then simply make sure to take ten minutes out of your day to just power down. Sit with yourself and just breathe. Make a point to get centered every day.
  5. Choose your friends wisely. We all know those people that seem to drain us, but yet we're friends with them anyway because they have a nice TV or because, well, we get bored. Unfortunately, for our emotional health, they've got to go. They do us no good and we know it — we just ignore it to maintain consistency and avoid awkward situations. Do your mental health a favor and tear off that band-aid. In the long-run, you'll be happier.
    • Not sure how to recognize a toxic friend? How to end a toxic friendship? We've got you covered.
  6. Be productive. One of the best feelings to easily come by is that feeling of "I got so much done today!" For that moment, you feel virtually unstoppable. Your mom saying "If you put your mind to it, you can do it" is no longer a lie! Now imagine riding that high constantly.
    • Start by creating a to-do list. A calendar or planner is a good idea, too. And remember: think small. Attack a few small things to get you going. You'll get on a roll before you even realize it.
  7. Take a break. This is similar to the "Be Satisfied" step; you need to do what's right for you sometimes, regardless of what the world seems to be demanding. Without feeling guilty, take that proverbial Kit Kat Bar. Spend a night in. Take a morning off. You'll be twice as energized when you get back to it.
    • This goes for exercise too. If you do the same thing over and over, your muscles get used to it, you get bored, and you end up plateauing. So instead of pounding the pavement on Wednesday, go hit the pool. You're not being lazy — you're being logical.
  8. Find emotional balance. Even if you master every other aspect of health, it won’t feel complete if you’re suffering from inner turmoil. Everyone needs a pick-me-up sometimes, and there are many small things that you can do to feel better about yourself. If the problem extends deeper, you may need to learn to cope with emotional pain or even depression.
    • Once you have worked on yourself, you should work on your approach to interpersonal relationships. Learn how to recognize a manipulative or controlling relationship and, if necessary, deal with emotional abuse so that you can have a healthy relationship.

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