Staying active and eating right is important for long-term health and wellness. When you eat healthy and exercise at the proper intensity, you are informing your body that you want to burn a considerable amount of energy. This translates to burning fat more efficiently for energy. In other words, proper eating habits in addition to exercise equals fast metabolism, which, in turn gives you more energy throughout the day and allows you to do more physical work with less effort.
Engaging in habitual cardiovascular exercise four times per week for 20 to 30 minutes per session, and resistance training four times per week for 20 to 25 minutes per session is the ideal to work toward.
When starting an exercise program, it is essential to have practical expectations. Depending on your initial fitness level, you should expect the following changes early on.
* From one to eight weeks — Feel better and have more energy.
* From two to six months — Lose inches while becoming leaner. Clothes begin to fit more freely. You are gaining muscle and losing fat.
* After six months — Start losing weight rather rapidly.
Once you make the dedication to exercise numerous times a week, don’t end there. You must also alter your diet and/or eating behavior.
* Eat many tiny meals (optimally four) and a couple of small snacks during the day
* Make sure every meal is balanced — include palm-sized portions of proteins like lean meats, fish, egg whites and dairy products, fist-sized portions of complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread and pasta, wild rice, multigrain cereal and potatoes, and fist-sized portions of vegetables and fruits
* Limit your fat ingestion to no more than what’s essential for sufficient flavor
* Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water during the day
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