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Get Back to Health and Fitness Fundamentals for 2013

Your good health is, in very simple terms, dependent on you sticking to good health and fitness fundamentals. Be sure to always check your health and fitness fundamentals first.

Athletic coaches understand that when their team is performing disappointingly it is usually a result of poor fundamentals. A winning team will have good fundamentals with each player executing the basics of their sport without a single mistake. Fundamentals always separate a successful season from one that is forgettable.

Your good health is, in the very same fashion, dependent on you sticking to good health and fitness fundamentals. If you find yourself not feeling well or out of sorts in any way, it is always best to check your health and fitness fundamentals first.

The next time you decide to use some drastic procedure or complicated potion to sooth your aches and pains or lose those last ten pounds, make sure your good health and fitness fundamentals are all properly in place first.

Here are my favorite four good health and fitness fundamentals. Yes, I try to practice them each and every day - and, yes, I can feel a difference when I don't.

No. 1 - Drink Enough Water

I can't stress this good health and fitness fundamental enough.  Nine out of 10 people that I evaluate in my office are showing some signs of dehydration.  Water is especially important in joint lubrication, digestion and circulation. Headaches, joint pains, muscle aches, sleep difficulties, dry mouth and eyes can all be related to your hydration levels.

Too little water makes your various organ and joint systems have to compete for water. I have several clients that have eliminated as much as 90 percent of their over the counter pain medication just by drinking more water. 

No. 2 -  Get a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is the most important time in a 24-hour day. A good sleep helps your mind process the day’s events while allowing your body to begin the healing and repair process. I evaluate too many people that are not getting enough sleep or their sleep quality is very poor.

Having difficulty sleeping is usually indicative of an uncontrolled stressful lifestyle. If you are not sleeping well or getting enough sleep, fixing this fundamental will ensure a healthier and happier you.  

No. 3 - Eat a Balanced Diet

I often  hear people talk about how poorly they feel or how much weight they have to lose. I hear them talk about all the vitamins they are taking and the special shakes or protein bars. Then I watch what they eat and drink and think to myself, "well, no wonder."

The food you eat is vitally important as to how well you will feel. Many people I evaluate do not eat a well balanced diet, they also eat in a hurry or on the run and don't get a good variety of foods. Switching over to good fundamental nutrition habits helps your body feel better in many ways. 

No. 4 - Get Some Physical Activity

Your body wants to move even when it hurts or aches. Every study that I have read says that movement, of some type, is good for your joints, organs, muscles and nerves.

Most people are too ridged with their physical activity fundamental, and instead of finding something that will work, they do nothing instead. I am a big believer in just getting yourself moving. Don't buy into this "you need to exercise three times a week for an hour" message. Just put your shoes on and go for a short walk. If you are more motivated that day, add some push-ups and balance activities.

Baby steps will get you off the couch and help you start to feel better.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Buzz McCafferty January 01, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Re: #3 The problem is, no one knows what a "balanced diet" is, with so much misinformation out there. The prescription for health is simple, but far from the average American's diet. We should strive to eliminate processed foods from our diets. We should eat all the green vegetables we want, eat fruit and starchy vegetables in moderation, eat lean proteins, seeds, and nuts. In a perfect world these foods would be locally raised, organic, and pastured. This prescription would eliminate all added sugars and refined flours. That will be a radical change for the majority. It will require additional time spent planning and preparing meals, and additional trips to the market, since "real" food spoils, unlike processed foods that last for months or more on store shelves. The upside is vitality, and less trips to the doctor. Happy 2013, Reston, eat well! ( and get up and move!)
Woody McMahon January 02, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Hi Buzz: Thank you for your comment and insight. A balanced diet is really a very simple affair. For most people it is just a matter of adding more fruits and vegetables, increasing water intake and reducing portion sizes. Again, it is all in the balance. I see nothing wrong with processed foods as a part of a healthy diet. If you want to go organic, unprocessed, etc you certainly can but I see no real need for it. Your body is capable of handling a wide range of foods and still maintaining good health. Besides, other factors play in just as importantly as food if you want to feel and look your best. We don't have to make good health complicated at all unless we want to. Woody
Buzz McCafferty January 02, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Woody, I understand the desire to keep things simple. If it grows, eat it-how is that for simple? I agree that our bodies are capable of handling a wide range of consumables, but the body reacts to this in a way that lead to inflammation and dis-ease. It is the equivalent of putting low octane gas in your car. Yes it will run, but poorly, and will breakdown. As a population, we have shifted from a community that eats for sustenance, and too often eats for entertainment. The explosion of illness and obesity clearly is tied to the promotion of processed foods. Our bodies have been unable to evolve, as our food supply has de-volved. Economic concerns are the only reasons not to go organic. The latest study claiming no significant nutritional difference was severely flawed. If you can afford organic, do it. Why would anyone knowingly choose to put residual pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormone into their bodies? Eliminating processed foods completely is challenging in our society, but cutting them in half is attainable and should be an idea we press into action.

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