Eating healthy foods and staying physically active can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and feel better. Moving more and eating better may also help you keep up with the demands of your busy life and be there for the people who rely on you.
Why should you exercise regularly and eat healthier?
Staying active and eating well may help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, as well as reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, depression, and other chronic illnesses.
What you eat and how much you work out can affect how you sleep. In particular, exercise can have a direct effect on how easy it is for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s best not to work out hard or eat right before bed, but if you have good habits in both areas, you won’t have to worry about sleepless nights.
Improving your health isn’t the only reason to get more active and eat healthier.
Another reason why you should keep a regular physical activity would be to have more energy to devote to work, play, and family. With exercise, you could improve your self-esteem. You could have better stress management. You could set a good example for your children, friends, and extended family. You could also tone your body while retaining your curves.
For me, exercising is a wise investment. Consistent physical activity boosts efficiency because it improves brain health and, in turn, the ability to learn, remember, and concentrate. Having this going for you raises both your productivity and your earning potential.
How can you eat better?
Everyone has different dietary needs, but in general, a healthy meal might include vegetables, fruits, protein, and whole grains. These foods are good for you because they have fiber and essential nutrients.
Think about adding these to your plans for meals for you and your family:
- salad or other colorful vegetables like carrots, broccoli, spinach, purple cabbage, and red, green, orange, or yellow peppers
- milk and milk products that are fat-free or low-fat, as well as non-dairy alternatives like almond, macadamia, or rice milk
- oranges, pears, apples, bananas, and grapes or fruits that come in different colors
- lean beef, pork, or other sources of protein like chicken, seafood, eggs, tofu, or beans
- whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and whole-grain cornmeal
If you have treats once in a while, that’s fine. Just avoid eating things like candy, ice cream, and cookies every day. Only have sweet treats on special occasions, and don’t eat too much of them.
Remember that drinks like soda, juice, and alcoholic drinks have a lot of sugar and calories.
Try lactose-free milk or yogurt if you can’t eat milk or milk products because you can’t digest lactose, a sugar found in milk. Besides milk and milk products, you can get calcium from cereals with added calcium, juices, and drinks made from soy or nuts. You can meet your body’s calcium needs by eating dark green leafy vegetables like collard greens and kale, as well as canned fish with soft bones like salmon.
“It costs too much to eat well.”
You can eat well without spending a lot of money. Apply these tips:
- Buy fruits and vegetables when they are in season
- You can try black, butter, kidney, pinto, and other beans that come in a can. They are full of protein, less expensive than meat and fish, and easy to add to your meals
- Buy fresh produce from farmer’s markets or direct sellers instead of supermarkets
Here in Cebu City, I order our fruits from Pickerz Fruits Cebu because they have juicy pears, pomegranates, sweet cherries, and strawberries, navel oranges—they are reasonably priced too!
For vegetables and healthy drinks, I stopped buying from the supermarket and get our greens and veggies from Cebu Farmers Market instead. They sell fruits and vegetables from local farmers who practice organic farming. So yes, all the fresh produce are organic. I get our honey from there too and kefir drinks. I highly recommend Kool-Ah Kefir as natural probiotic drinks.
- Plan recipes ahead to think about your food and budget
- Don’t just buy national brands—there are less popular brands/ generic brands that are equally nutritious—READ LABELS
- Consider buying in bulk or in larger sizes and cut them up as needed
- Finally, if you want to save the most money possible on food, don’t buy more than you need.
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money to eat well. You don’t have to be a chef to make healthy meals, either. When you do your workout, set clear goals and go at your own pace to reach them. Keep trying to live healthier no matter what. You can do it!