Guest Post: Tips for Achieving Optimal Health

To anyone that knows me, it’s no surprise that I am in to healthy living.  I try my best to eat healthy, attend CrossFit regularly, and I truly believe in that whole concept that our body is our temple.  That’s why when Healthline contacted me about hosting a guest post for them, I jumped at the opportunity!  Please welcome Leslie Vandever, from Healthline, as she gives us her tips for achieving optimal health!

health465

**

Optimal health. What a concept! What would it take to be totally healthy in every way?

Well, we’d never be able to splurge on a super-sweet snack or stay up too late and deprive ourselves of a full eight healthy hours of sound sleep. We’d enjoy push-ups and jogging and never get depressed. Our posture would be perfect and we’d never carry a pound more or less than the optimum weight for our age, gender, height and build. We’d never, ever be plagued by a cold or the flu.

Actually, maybe “optimal health” wouldn’t be very much fun. Not very realistic, either. But there’s nothing to say that we can’t try. And so in the spirit of the late, great John Harvey Kellogg, who once said “Keep your feet on the earth and your head up, but not too high in the sky. Be humble,” let’s find out what we can do to be healthier.

Eat mindful

Developing healthy eating habits doesn’t take a diet book, just some common sense. Choose what you eat for each meal from the different food groups—vegetables and fruits, whole grains, protein from fish, lean meats, beans, or eggs, and finally, low-fat dairy products. Sugary foods should be reserved as a once-in-while treat, no more.

Drink six to eight coffee-cups full of water per day. Choose water instead of soda-pop when you’re out. Your body will function better if it’s well-hydrated.

Say no to highly processed and fast foods. They’re loaded with calories, salt, sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, and saturated fat. Instead, cook your meals fresh. Read the nutritional labels and know what you’re eating.

Get a yearly health exam

Your doctor will run tests and examine you to check several common health indicators, such as blood pressure, blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels. The idea is to catch problems before they start or catch them early, when they can be treated with the greatest success. By paying attention to your physical health, you’ll know what needs to be done to get closer to your “optimum health” goal.

Get some sleep

Sleep is vital. The average adult needs about seven hours of sleep every night for optimum health. How can you make sure you catch your Z’s?

  • Go to bed each night and get up each morning at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room with no distractions. That means no computer or TV.
  • If you’re having trouble “shutting your brain down,” try counting your breaths. When your mind tries to chase off on another tangent, gently bring it back to your breath and resume counting. Often, that’s all you’ll need to drift off.
  • If you still have trouble after trying the tips above, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to help.

Move that body

Humans were made to move. But today’s culture keeps many of us stuck behind a desk and, when we get home, too whipped to do more than watch TV or surf the Internet. What to do?

  • For five minutes, three times a day, stand up, stretch and do some gentle weight-bearing exercises with small hand-weights or resistance bands. Run in place or walk around the block, fast.
  • Next, add a brisk, 15-minute walk each day during your lunch hour.

If you do these exercises, you’ll be meeting the Mayo Clinic’s exercise guidelines for adults. It adds up to two-and-a-half hours a week of moderate exercise. Yay you! You’re well on your way to optimum health.

For more health information, click here.

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer. She also writes a blog about living well with rheumatoid arthritis called RheumaBlog, under the pen-name “Wren.” In her spare time, Vandever enjoys cooking, reading and working on the Great American Novel.

References:

Guest Post: Thoughtful Gifts For the Extremely Active Man

Hi y’all!  I’m so excited to have Quinn from Healthy Living by Quinn over on the blog today!  Quinn contacted me about hosting a post on ideas for gifts to buy an active boyfriend / husband / close friend / family member.  I’m notorious for buying my holiday presents at the last minute so while I bought both my mom and sister’s Christmas gifts already, my mind blanked when thinking what to get my dad and brother.  Thank goodness Quinn visited today to help give me some ideas!  Let’s give her a big welcome!

Facebook-20131210-093228

(this picture is missing guys ;))

**

Buying a gift for a man can be challenging, and even more so when he’s extremely active. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, I start to think about what my husband would really appreciate and that supports his healthy lifestyle. I’ve come up with a few good ideas, and they would be suitable for any man who loves sports or who is a fitness fanatic. The following are five gift ideas that any active man will love.

Gym Membership

A simple but thoughtful gift that’s perfect for the cold weather is a gym membership. This idea is for guys who may enjoy outdoor activities, but spend more time indoors in the winter. Of course, going to the gym is beneficial in the warm weather as well. Choose a gym that’s convenient for him and pony up for an annual membership. This will give him a place to go to stay active and in shape all year round.

Pull-Up Bar

I was just reading an article that was saying that a couple of the best exercises for building strength are pull-ups and chin-ups. These are exercises many of us did in gym class years ago, but haven’t done as adults. Why not buy your man a pull up bar so he can do these very effective exercises at home? These are easy to install in a doorway or on a wall, depending on the type of unit you buy.

Golf Shoe Bag

If your husband is anything like mine, he loves golf. One very practical golf accessory that every player should have is a golf shoe bag (I actually found a high quality golf shoe bag on this site a few months ago). Think of all the mud that accumulates during a typical game. It’s much neater to have a bag with vents and a divider than to simply throw golf shoes in the trunk. The shoes will also dry out much faster in a golf shoe bag.

Filtered Water Bottle

Everyone knows that it’s important to drink plenty of water when you’re active. It’s also important that the water one drinks is clean and pure. One gift that helps with both of these concerns is a water bottle filter. This is both convenient and eco-friendly, as it means he won’t have to keep buying new bottles of water. It’s a way for him to save money and be sure of drinking pure water. This is also useful to have outdoors in case of emergency, when you might not know the purity of the water.

Free Weights

Free weights are a simple yet very effective way to work out. With weights, it’s possible to work out every muscle group and there’s no need for complicated machines. A good quality free weight set can last for many years, and it’s suitable for people of all levels of fitness.

The above are just a few good holiday shopping ideas for an active man. No matter what you end up buying him, try to choose something that he’ll be able to use regularly and that will help him pursue his physically active lifestyle.

Happy Hunting!