Healthy Lifestyle a Physical Therapist’s take

September 25th, 2013
Healthy Lifestyle a Physical Therapist’s take

A healthy lifestyle means maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet as well as engaging in sports or other fitness related activities. A healthy diet alone however is inadequate to ensure a healthy body as physical activity helps to keep one in shape and free of sickness and disease.
According to the World Health Organization, only one in ten people exercise regularly and a majority do not follow a healthy diet. This leads to obesity and obese people suffer from many health complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer.

The emphasis on healthy lifestyle should start at as soon as possible…come on people lets us choose to fix our lifestyle and teach our kids to do the same and lead by example.

So what is a healthy diet? In my work in physical therapy over the years and through my own experimentation and research I have come up with some working guidlines. There is much debate on this topic, but in my experience here are the guidlines that I see current research is moving toward:

1.) Eat a nutritious diet based on a variety of foods originating mainly from plants and animals (if you can’t catch it, hunt it, or grow it don’t eat it).
2.) Limit or cut out intake of bread, grains, pasta and rice.
3.) Eat a variety of vegetables > fruits, preferably fresh and local, several times per day think at least 6 fist size servings.
4.) Maintain body weight between the recommended limits (a BMI of 18.5–25) by taking moderate levels of physical activity, preferably daily.
5.) Keep an eye on fat intake (I have read differing views on this) but realize fat is not all that bad especially good fats like avacado, coconut oil, olive oil, some animal fat, nut oils… because sugar is converted into fat in our bodies when ingested, moreso than ingested fat (so fat eaten isn’t nessecarily fat converted).
6.) Definetly eat protien rich foods as protiens are the building blocks for all tissues in our bodies. So eat protien rich foods such as lean meat, fish, nuts, eggs, legumes and lentils
7.) Limit milk and dairy products: they have good fats and protien, but also bad sugars especially skim and lowfat milk products.
8.) Select foods that are low in sugar, or if you are strong of will, eliminate sugar all together. Remember no sugary drinks and sweets.
9.) Choose a low-salt diet. Total salt intake should not be more than one teaspoon (6 g) per day, including the salt in bread and processed, cured and preserved foods. (Salt iodization should be universal where iodine deficiency is endemic.)
10.) If alcohol is consumed, limit intake to no more than 2 drinks (each containing 10 g of alcohol) per day.
11.) Prepare food in a safe and hygienic way. Steam, bake, boil or microwave to help reduce the amount of added fat.

In short, leading a healthy lifestyle is a conscious decision. You can ignore that and lead a life that exposes one to many healthy hazards or you can recognize that a healthy living ensures a longer life span as well as a life free of disease and complications.