There are many ways to live a healthy lifestyle but I found a pretty simple formula to keep it all easy. After years of working with many different diets and supplement programs, there are some simple rules to follow. I found that following these rules leads to better health and vitality. Conversely, not following them tends to lead me into feeling bad and weak.
Living and Thriving with Whole Foods
I went through the raw food and vegan diets along with the macrobiotic approach thrown in at some point and they all had their benefits. I learned something very important: eat whole, original foods and avoid the packages as much as possible. Just by following this rule alone, you are ensuring plenty of nutrients, fiber, and life in your diet.
Doing this is simple. Instead of eating broccoli casserole, you eat broccoli. Instead of eating a fruit bar, you eat fruit, and so on. Like this, I was always eating fresh food. Granted, at certain times, I needed something out of a package to keep going, but sticking to simplicity made me lose that extra tire around my waist and I wasn’t even trying.
Regular, Moderate Exercise
For a long time, I thought that the only way to get fit was if I were to work out like crazy. I actually did that for a while too, most of my life. It was when I had last gotten out of shape at the age of 44 that I realized I would not be able to work out again like I did when I was younger. I came from a background of high-intensity martial arts, aerobic exercise, and bodybuilding.
My knees were shot, so none of that exercise was on the list for me anymore. I consulted a physician’s assistant who specialized in bringing people back to health naturally. He told me what to do. Much to my surprise, brisk walking is actually one of the best exercises for fitness and health. The advice was to walk 4-6 miles a week at a fast pace.
When I was out of shape and needed to get healthy again, I was discouraged along the way. I had to lose twenty pounds in all. Part of that was water weight, but the majority was fat. I tended to get lost in looking in the mirror with disgust. No matter how much I put into it, I was not losing much weight.
The same PA informed me that a positive attitude means more pleasure neurotransmitters are released in the brain, calming appetite and anxiety and promoting a healthy metabolism. In addition, maintaining a positive attitude and insight reduces the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. As it turns out, cortisol is responsible for depositing body fat.
Of all that I learned during this process, patience is the most important. I needed to learn how to be patient with myself, as impatience was affecting my health. Interestingly, as I learned better patience through meditation, I noticed my efforts toward a healthy lifestyle producing increasing results.