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Maintain a healthy lifestyle with the basics

  • Published
  • By Kayce Beatty Health and Wellness Center
  • Health and Wellness Center and 375th Medical Support Squadron
We live in a busy world where people are always on the go. This means that many people eat on the go or skip meals all together. But this frenetic pace many of us lead is often coupled with a sedentary work life where people are stationed at computers and desks all day. It is not hard to imagine then why many people find it challenging to strike the proper balance between family, military career, household responsibility, and exercise. Of these considerations, staying healthy and taking care of ourselves, can all too often become the last priority.

As men and women of the Air Force, it is our job to remain fit to fight at all times. Early on, and throughout our careers, we are given tools that are designed to enable us to successfully achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In basic training, we were taught simple things such as controlling portions and staying hydrated. Over the years, it becomes hard for many of us to stick to these simple tasks. Why? It is important to remind ourselves daily that our health and wellbeing are important. We only get one body in our lifetime, so we need to take care of it each and every single day.

As far as nutrition goes, the "simple is good" method is still an easy way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We constantly hear about the new fad-diet plans people are trying. Let's take the "Atkins" diet, for example--this diet encourages individuals to consume minimal or no carbohydrates. But carbohydrates give us energy, for the body and for the brain. Without these delicious carbs, our body would have a hard time functioning.

So back to the "simple is good" method approach--a balanced diet is a simple and easy way to achieve a healthy lifestyle. In achieving a balanced diet, carbohydrates should comprise approximately 50 percent of your daily average caloric intake. Protein should comprise 20 percent of your average daily calories. Fat should be 30 percent. is a great and easy tool to ensure you are consuming adequate nutrients and calories in your daily balanced diet.

Physical activity is another vital part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Just like nutrition, the "simple is good" method also works with physical activity. Experts recommend we strive for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Moderate physical activity can be as simple as walking or riding a bicycle.

But, to achieve weight loss and subsequent weight loss maintenance, experts recommend 300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. These recommendations can be cut in half if you are participating in vigorous activity such as running or rowing. The health benefits that accompany exercise include reducing the risk of heart disease, type-two diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Physical activity also reduces stress, depression, and anxiety while boosting your overall mood, energy level, and sleep pattern.

An important ingredient to a successful exercise program is being open to a variety of activities and finding activities you enjoy. To reduce the monotony, switch up exercise routines on a weekly basis. Try something outside your comfort zone such as Zumba, a spin class, strength training, or a high intensity interval work out. There are free classes available at both gyms on base. Another alternative is to hire a personal trainer to get you started and gain ideas for your future solo workouts.

Remember, simple is good. This applies to both nutrition and physical activity. But simplicity does not mean monotony. Find the proper balance for you and you will achieve a healthy or healthier lifestyle.