The Star newspaper reported today that 44 out of 100 Malaysians are inactive and unhealthy: are you part of the 44%?
Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy and staying fit does not require you to drastically alter your lifestyle! You don’t have to cut out social activities in favour of working out 3 hours day; you don’t have to forgo all your favourite food and chow down on green leaves instead; you don’t even have to fork out the big bucks to get a gym membership! All you really have to do is make more conscious choices in life.
CHOOSE to skip the mayo and thousand-island dressing on your Subway sandwich, and maybe choose the oatmeal cookie over the potato chips. Grab a bottle of water instead of heading to the soft-drink dispenser and cut down on at least 5 teaspoons of sugar in one swoop. At a restaurant? Choose the grilled chicken chop, sauce on the side, and not the Chicken Maryland. Go for fruit juices (no sugar added) instead of the bottomless ice lemon tea; or just get plain water or unsweetened tea.
CHOOSE to park a little further than usual and walk to your destination. Making 10 rounds in the parking lot, just to look for a space that’s close to the door, that’s burning precious fuel right there. And come on, you could use some exercise right?
CHOOSE to resist the temptation to snack. Late night suppers, mid-afternoon sugary snacks, they’re all bad for your health as well as your waistline. If they are carb-loaded, they will quickly turn into excess sugar in your system (absolutely no part of that sentence contained anything positive, health-wise). Also, do you REALLY want to fall victim to the dreaded Post-Lunch-Snoozefest(TM) that hits right after you get off the carb-induced hyperactive high?
CHOOSE slow-burning carbs like unpolished brown rice to sustain your energy levels for a longer time. White rice and white bread give you instantaneously high levels of energy, but turn to sugar before long, leaving you feeling sluggish and, if you didn’t burn the energy, in possession of high levels of sugar that will definitely leave you a little bitter.
CHOOSE to take up some sort of activity and do it regularly. Sex counts as a workout, but not if your idea of sex involves you lying immobile. Take regular walks, go for jogs (but get proper shoes and only jog on a jogging track because jogging on hard surfaces like roads has been linked to knee problems in later years), play some sports.
It’s the little things that make a difference in your health – honestly, going to the gym once a week and using that as an excuse to stuff your face with burgers and fried chicken over the next 6 days is even more detrimental to your health. Make your efforts consistent, and remember: 10 small steps to better health will take you further than 1 large hop and 9 backward shuffles.