Healthy nutrition and fitness are critical to superior wellbeing and are vital for the strong growth of children and adults alike. A large number of deaths in the United States each year are related to unhealthy nutrition and an inactive standard of living. This paper will discuss my current fitness and nutritional habits and ways that I can improve them by implementing new activities into my daily lifestyle.
a.Explain your current fitness and nutritional habits. Also, briefly explain some of the health risks associated with obesity.
For starters, my current fitness and nutritional habits are in a roller-coaster effect. During the last four months my fitness habits have consisted of exercising for two or three weeks then not exercising for two or three weeks again. However, what I was doing for five weeks straight up until last week was a 90 day fitness program called P90x. P90x is an at-home workout that uses the term “muscle confusion” to increase results. Whether “muscle confusion” truly exists or not can be argued, but the fitness term “muscle tension” has been confirmed through numerous fitness experts.
Here is an example of one week’s workout: Monday-60 minutes of push-up/pull-up alternating exercises, followed by a 15 minute abdominal workout; Tuesday-60 minutes of plyometrics cardio (fancy term for “jump training”); Wednesday-60 minutes of back and bicep workout alternating exercises, followed by a 15 minute abdominal workout; Thursday-90 minutes of Yoga; Friday-60 minutes of legs and back workout, followed by a 15 minute abdominal workout; Saturday-Kenpo X (another form of Tae-Bo); Sunday-rest.
For the first time in a very long time, I believe that my fitness habits have been much better than previous times. However, my nutritional habits have been devastating to my workouts and achieving the results that I am looking for. My breakfast and lunch eating habits have not been unhealthy. My breakfast typically consists of two Kellog’s Nutrigrain Bars with a glass of 2% milk. I am not a big breakfast person and my appetite is always minimal when I wake up. If I do not have a Nutrigrain bars for breakfast I will have either a protein shake or a bowl of Raisin Bran. For lunch I either have some type of carbohydrate (spaghetti/pasta) or a cold sandwich, such as tuna or turkey accompanied with a small side of potato chips. For dinner I eat whatever my wife or I cook (all nutritional rules are out the window for dinner). On top of all the previous mentioned, I consume approximately one gallon (128 fl. Oz.) of water a day beginning in the morning up until the time I go to bed.
Some of the health risks associated with obesity are cholesterol and triglyceride levels, impaired heart function, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, impaired immune function, gallbladder and kidney diseases, skin problems, impotence, sleep and breathing disorders, back pain, arthritis, other bone and joint disorders, complications of pregnancy, menstrual irregularities, urine leakage, increased surgical risk, and psychological disorders and problems such as depression, low self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction (Insel & Roth, 2008).
b.Identify and describe three new fitness habits that you could reasonably incorporate into your lifestyle. How could these new habits improve your health?Three new fitness habits that I could incorporate into my lifestyle are getting more sleep at night, attempting to run in the morning for 20-30 minutes prior to going to work, and on my rest day (Sunday) doing a stretching routine for approximately 30 minutes. Sleeping more at night will result in more energy throughout the day, running in the morning will give me a more alert approach to starting my day, and stretching will improve my overall ability for muscle growth by increasing flexibility in my body.
c.Identify and describe three new nutritional habits that you could reasonably incorporate into your lifestyle. How could these new habits improve your health?Three new nutritional habits that I could incorporate into my lifestyle would be eating a healthier and more plentiful breakfast, as breakfast has been said to be the most important meal of the day, eating more fruits and vegetables, and to not eat after 6:00 PM. Eating a healthier and more fulfilling breakfast will increase energy and alertness throughout the day. Eating more fruits and vegetables is important because they are important sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals which is crucial for a healthy diet (Insel & Roth, 2008), and not eating after 6:00 PM will improve the way I feel prior to going to bed, as in not feeling overstuffed with food.
d.Discuss how each new habit would promote healthy weight.
Sleeping at least seven hours at night would increase the likelihood of higher weight loss (Bouchez, 2007). Running is a form of cardiovascular fitness and since metabolism in the body is strongest when a person first wakes up, with the exception of sleeping, this exercise in the morning will most likely increase my metabolism throughout the day compared to not running in the morning. In short, the higher the metabolism is in the body will result in the higher probability of weight loss (Woodward, 2009). Stretching on what would typically be my rest day would allow my body to be better at physical fitness activities such as weight training and cardiovascular fitness. In addition to less likelihood of pulling or straining a muscle, stretching would increase my ability to burn more calories, therefore, simplifying my ability to sustain a healthy weight.
Additionally, Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, nutrition manager for the Duke Diet and Fitness Center at Duke University Medical School (2005) states, “When you don’t eat breakfast, you’re actually fasting for 15 to 20 hours, so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight.” Eating more fruits and vegetables throughout the day would help balance my intake of foods according to the food pyramid. Last, not eating after 6:00 PM is crucial to weight loss (Levinson, 2008). People tend to eat more at night without realizing it. One major cause for this is evenings are when most people lounge around the house or watch a movie or their favorite television program, and eat mass amounts of calories without noticing. Making an extra effort to not eat after 6:00 PM would help reduce these types of unhealthy eating habits.
e.Discuss how each new habit would benefit your health in general.
Sleeping at least seven hours at night, running in the morning before work, stretching on my rest days, eating breakfast everyday, ensuring I eat fruits and vegetables, and not eating after 6:00 PM will collectively have an overall benefit on my health. To endure a healthy life one must eat right according to the food pyramid suggestions, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, eat the proper foods at the proper times of the day, avoid unhealthy foods and detrimental health choices such as smoking, and develop constructive ways to deal with stress. By performing all the previously mentioned activities in this paper, I, along with other who follow these or other healthy habits, will improve overall health in general.
This paper discussed my current lifestyle and how I can incorporate new ways of improving my overall health. Although I will not make any promises that I will change my current fitness habits, as I do not wish to exercise twice a day everyday, I do acknowledge my lack of nutrition and the need for improvement. Therefore, I will do my best starting today, to improve my overall health by following my own suggestions for a healthier lifestyle.
Bouchez, Colette. (2005). The Dream Diet: Losing Weight While You Sleep. WebMD. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/lose-weight-while-sleepingInsel, Paul M., & Roth, Walton T. (2008). Core Concepts of Health. Retrieved from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary2/content/ereader.aspx?assetmetaid=0888a650-2b5a-4424-b9ae-57b032e4b83a&assetdataid=b2ae1aa0-300e-4fe0-8c52-3d1500fd0d59.
Levinson, Mike. (2008, October 13). Eating After 6 pm: Why It’s Bad For You [blog]. Message posted to http://www.diet.com/dietblogs/read_blog.php?title=Eating+After+6+pm%3A+ Why+It%5C’s+Bad+For+You&blid=12884Politi, Elisabetta. (2005). Lose Weight: Eat Breakfast. WebMD. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-eat-breakfastWoodward, Susan. (2009). Boosting Metabolism. MSN Health & Fitness. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://health.msn.com/fitness/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100096731