Nutrition and physical fitness are the cornerstones of healthy living, and throughout the world there’s a growing awareness of the importance of nutrition and physical fitness. Just like our moms used to tell us, eating right and exercising regularly are the keys to wholeness in body and mind.
Importance of Nutrition:Why is nutrition so important? The importance of nutrition is summed up with one sentence: food is the building block for all of your body’s energy. Your body is very similar to your car – without the proper fuel, neither your body nor your car is going to run well or run for long.
Food also provides very important minerals and vitamins that help keep all your systems running efficiently. Whether it’s calcium for your bones and teeth or foods high in antioxidants to protect you from illness, you truly are what you eat!
Understanding Nutrition and Physical Fitness: Nutrition labels on food are wonderful, but only if you read them and understand them. Understanding nutrition can seem complicated, but just a few tips and hints can help you become a much better shopper.
For example, you may pay attention to the calories listed on a product, but not pay attention to the serving size. It’s important to know that the calorie count is per serving, not for the whole package – and that there are 2 servings in the package! Knowing what kind of calories you’re getting and other daily nutritional values is a vital step in making healthy nutritional choices.
Nutrition Guidelines: So what are the nutrition guidelines for an average American? Truthfully, the guidelines can vary from person to person and are based on a variety of factors including your current diet, overall health, and activity levels.
However the general rule of thumb is to eat nutrient rich foods from the four main food groups and to strictly limit your intake of processed foods, making sure you moderate how much sugar, salt, fat, cholesterol and alcohol go into your body.
Cardiovascular Disease and Nutrition: Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, period. In the United States in 2005, cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of 454,613 women – not quite double the number of women killed by all forms of cancer combined.
In response to those startling numbers, physicians recommend that you watch your diet for cholesterol (a huge contributor to heart disease), eat nutritionally balanced food, and begin living a more active lifestyle. By making those two changes, you dramatic reduce your risk of heart disease.
Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats: In any discussion of diet and nutrition you’ll hear a lot of talk about protein, carbohydrates, and fats. These three components are the building blocks of your body. Protein is necessary to build bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Carbohydrates break down into simple sugars and are the major source of energy for your body. Fats give flavor to food, help make you feel full, and are important for proper growth and development. If you want to stay healthy and active it’s important to learn what the best sources of proteins, carbs and fats are and how much of them your body needs.
Water: Water is so important, not only for weight loss but for health in general. Drinking water and weight loss are closely related, and anyone who is trying to lose weight should definitely focus on getting enough water to make their weight loss a success. If you’re not a water drinker, there are plenty of tips and tricks to help you increase your daily water intake.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid: Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in protecting both heart health and mental health. Omega 3s can also be helpful in your weight loss endeavor.
Health Nutrition Supplements: With a society that seems forever on the go, it’s easy for people to miss having well-balanced meals on a regular basis. That’s when health nutrition supplements become very important. By using a well-rounded heath nutrition supplement daily, you can feed your inner engine, supply it with any missing vitamins, and support your overall well-being.
Vegetarian Diet Nutrition: Vegetarians have different needs when it comes to nutrition. Vegetarian diet nutrition has to balance out food intake in such a way as to get Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D as well as plant protein.
Additionally, iron is very important since vegetarians aren’t getting it from red meat. Before embarking on a vegetarian diet, it’s good to consult with a dietician to make sure that you’re eating enough of all the food groups and in the right balance.
Benefits of Juicing: Juicing is one of the simplest – and tastiest! – ways of getting important building blocks for good health. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices contain minerals, vitamins and amino acids that tune and regenerate your body. There are hundreds of ways to combine fruits and vegetables into healthy juices – just make sure you’ve got the right juicer!
Fitness Nutrition Books: When you’re first starting out on a fitness plan, looking for information on the internet or in a fitness nutrition book can be very helpful. Along with lots of excellent recipes for healthy meals and snacks, these resources can help you gain a better understanding of nutrition.
Nutrition Information for Athletes: Being an athlete requires not only on-going practice and conditioning but also a healthy diet. Nutritional information for athletes is focused on gaining energy, building muscles, and improving overall performance.
Post Workout Nutrition: A good workout is an excellent addition to a healthy lifestyle. But what about pre-workout and post-workout nutrition? Eating a small snack of protein and carbs 30 minutes before your workout will help keep you going. Fueling up with a protein shake, a glass of chocolate milk, or a protein-heavy dinner will help to rebuild muscle after your workout.
Health Nutrition Tip: Nearly everyone who has made a healthy lifestyle change has a great health nutrition tip. For example, when you know you have a busy day ahead, pack some fresh cut vegetables for snacking. This keeps your energy up, helps offset the cravings for sweets, and keeps you from running on empty. And check out these fitness nutrition tips too!
Nutrition and Dieting: Nutrition and dieting go hand in hand. When you decrease your daily calories, you may also decrease the amount of important vitamins and minerals that your body needs. A healthy diet is one that focuses not simply on eating less, but on eating healthier foods to ensure a proper intake of those essential vitamins and minerals.
Nutrition and Physical Fitness for Kids: Given the growing number of obese children in the country, it’s obvious why proper nutrition for kids is so important. Kids that lack proper nutrition are at a much greater risk for long term health problems as they get older.
Not only does proper nutrition build a lifelong foundation for good health, but research shows that the proper balance of nutritious foods makes kids healthier and more emotionally stable, and also improves their school performance.
So if you are serious about nutrition and physical fitness, you need to take a realistic look at the foods you’re putting into your body. Are they energizing you, or are they just empty calories?
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