We all want to get fit and feel that we are enjoying a fulfilling life. However we are not all starting out from the same point. This will mean that it may take longer for some of us to reach that level of health with which we are satisfied.
Where ever your starting point is we all know that we need the right amount of nutrition and exercise for our lifestyle. The distance between your starting point and your goal fitness is measureable. The simplest, and in many cases the most significant, is the ratio between your body mass and your fat mass. Often referred to as your BMI, or Body Mass Index.
Just enter your height and weight into any of the free BMI tables on the internet and you can readily see if you need to lose weight.
Next, check your cholesterol level and you blood pressure. With these three results, exclusive to you, you can see the size (sic) of the problem.
Like most of us you may have noticed that every year, it becomes even more difficult to eat whatever you want and still stay slim.You may also have learnt that your Basal Metabolic Rate decreases as you get older. Depriving yourself of food in the hope of losing weight also decreases your BMR, foiling your best intentions. However, a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise can increase your BMR, improving your health and fitness when your body's ability to burn energy gradually slows down.
Having ascertained the goal that you wish to reach, if you are serious about a long and healthy life, you can now take action.
All three of these areas can be improved by changing your dietary habits and daily exercise regime.
Your diet will now have to exclude convenience foods. Many of these, when combined with an indolent lifestyle, will increase the amount of free radicals in the body. Free radicals can be very harmful and are especially linked to a reduction in longevity.
Decreasing the free radicals in your system is accomplished by the intake of antioxidants. Whilst antioxidants are of great value, those taken as supplements can be counter-productive. In the event that you take too many supplements, particularly those high in vitamins A and E, the surplus is unused and is stored in the liver. This initially causes the liver functions to become impaired and in severe cases can cause harm. Some antioxidant supplements are claimed to become carcinogenic in the body.
Antioxidants are best taken in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables. They will need to be included in your daily diet. Include as wide a variety as possible but not tinned or cooked. Cooking vegetables or fruit not only spoils the taste; it destroys all most all the health giving properties.
Just by simply increasing your raw fruit and vegetable intake whilst reducing your reliance on convenience foods will dramatically reduce your cholesterol level.
You may find that for the first few weeks of changing your exercise and dietary habits that you feel tired. Don't worry about this as you will be sleeping more deeply and in a few days you will awake feeling more invigorated than you have for years.
If we have dealt, at least in part, with diet, nutrition and vitamin supplements, we must turn our attention to exercise.
There is no need to groan at this point, I am not going to force you into life-long gym membership or turn you into a galley slave. The point about exercise in this case is its purpose to help in improving or attaining a good BMI, cholesterol level and blood pressure.
It is most likely that you need more exercise or, in many cases, some exercise.
Whilst it is true that some is better than none, never the less we don't want to embark on an exercise routine that can cause harm.
Start slowly, build gradually.
The most useful piece of equipment that I have come across for general health improvement is the elliptical machine. It does more than the old treadmill in that it also allows you to work your upper body.
The primary reason for my recommending an elliptical machine is that it gives a low impact level. If you are to start physical activity after any period of inactivity we shall need to be gentle. It is a safe assumption that you are overweight and to subject your joints to doing anything more that carrying you from the dining table to the sofa must be done gradually.
In addition to being more up to date than the old treadmills the elliptical trainers now include a LED or LCD display. This gives instant feedback and monitoring of your progress. There are usually recommendations of workout programs that you can follow.
There are many makes and models available and I would suggest that you take your time and try them out at your local store or stores. Do be sure that you select a model that has those heart or pulse rate monitors, always useful when starting out. Your initial enthusiasm may outweigh your early abilities.
Talking of your local stores, there is an important consideration when buying any type of gym equipment. Since safety is of prime importance with these pieces of equipment they will of necessity be robust and substantial. Therefore they will usually be of considerable size and weight.
Once having selected the make and model of your choice you may search the internet for a supplier. Before you dismiss your local store do take into consideration the delivery cost. Your local store will frequently deliver free which may make him a better purchase than what at first appears an internet bargain.
Once you find your general level of health and fitness being restored you may wish to move on to a higher level of health.
Whether this includes weight training or any of the other activities than can be considered extreme I would urge that you only undertake them with some professional guidance.