Diet & exercise | You are what you eat

 

Diet & exercise

Lubricate often
Exercise is like WD-40 for the body. If you don't exercise the body, the muscles, tendons, joints, heart and lungs will seize up from lack of lubrication. They need lubrication to work optimally for a long life.

Some of the best exercises are those that both get the heart pumping, and the arms and legs moving, but without a lot of jarring to the joints.

Competitive individual sports
For guys who get bored with the monotony of exercising for exercising's sake, playing competitive aerobic sports can be stimulating and fun.

Golf is a good sport for fitness, but only if you walk instead of taking a cart. And don't use the excuse that playing with a cart allows you to play faster. Fact: Before golf carts, it was unheard of to play 18 holes in anything over four hours. Since the age of the golf cart, the pace of the average round of golf has lengthened to five hours. In truth, golf carts have been pushed on golfers because they are a source of profit to the golf course. A round of golf is the equivalent to a four-mile walk. Walk it and live longer. With the health craze, every golf store has dozens of ultra light carry bags for the growing number of walkers, or you can buy a pull cart.

Tennis and racquetball are superb aerobic sports and work the entire body. Racquetball, however, is perhaps the worst non-impact sport for the back, because it forces you to twist and torque in a bent-over position. Tennis, meanwhile, can be tough on the knees because of the impact from a hard court. Playing on a clay court can soften the impact.

Non-competitive individual sports
Running puts heavy demands on the heart and lungs, which makes for a great aerobic workout. It can cause some jarring to the knees or kidneys, so run on soft surfaces—avoid concrete for grass.

Riding a bike is great for legs, heart and lungs, and it creates less pounding on the knees than running. Make sure your bike fits properly to avoid discomfort after a ride—and know the rules of the road (or trail).

Swimming is considered one of the best total body workouts, and since it's non-weight-bearing, the risk of injury is minimal. With team sports such as baseball, soccer, volleyball and touch football, you can get enough players together to play on a regular schedule of evenings, and they are a great way to stay in shape, as well as provide camaraderie.

Use the right fuel
Your internal systems—such as the heart, lungs and digestive tract—can be maintained by using the right fuel, that is, eating the right nutritious foods and avoiding putting bad stuff in the tank. Just as your car performs better with premium gas, your body performs best with certain foods. Your body needs fiber, carbohydrates, and protein—but in the right balance.
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You are what you eat

Fueling your body with carbohydrates
Our immediate source of fuel is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates that aren't immediately used by our body are stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen. Once the body has filled its tanks with glycogen, the excess carbohydrates are stored as fat. Between 60 to 65 percent of your diet should consist of carbohydrates, mostly complex (whole grains, legumes, potatoes, etc.) as opposed to simple (sugar, honey, corn syrup, etc.)

Protein pumps you up
Protein is what muscles are made of. It contains nutrients (amino acids) that are absolutely necessary to form muscle, and it helps repair damage to your body from illness or surgery. Your minimum need for protein is related to your body size and your activity level. Protein levels can vary from 1/3 of a gram to one gram per pound of body weight. Experiment with what works for you, or consult a nutritionist who can help you get it right.

Eating fat makes you fat
Fat packs more than twice as many calories as the other two main food forms (nine versus four per gram of protein or carbohydrate). Since your body uses less energy processing fat than the other food types, more of its energy can be stored as fat. Some fat is absolutely essential to good nutrition—but most people eat almost four times as much as they really need. You actually only need about 10 percent of your calories from fat to be healthy, but the typical American man's diet is 35 to 40 percent fat.

Tips for better nutrition

  • Eat less red meat.
  • Avoid prepared foods.
  • Beware of sauces.
  • Opt for broiled, baked, or steamed foods.
  • Don't eat traditional snack foods.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water each day.

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