The second part of a healthy active lifestyle is exercise. A regular exercise routine, such as working out at a gym, going for a daily walk or jog, or doing some regular weight lifting is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. There are other ways to incorporate exercise into everyday life; for instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from the door when driving somewhere, and take a break from work to go for a walk.
Plant-based eating is a trend that won't go away anytime soon. A flexitarian eating style, allowing anyone and everyone to add more produce and other plant nutrients to their day, appears to be a main driver. “Options that allow people to go more plant-based without becoming totally vegan or vegetarian is a trend that is gaining more momentum,” says Patricia Bannan, RDN, who is in private practice in Los Angeles. “For example, the mushroom-and-meat blended burger has really taken off, and continues to grow across the board at the restaurant, retail, and consumer levels. This burger has an improved nutritional profile and even more of the brothy, rich, meaty umami flavor compared with a traditional burger.”
Planks and side planks are an excellent way to strengthen your core, fast. Find one minute today to fit in an extra plank. If you can't hold the position for the full 60 seconds, hold as long as you can and then repeat as many times as necessary to total 60 seconds of work. (See what happened when one woman tried planking for five minutes a day for an entire month.)
Eating a varied, well-balanced diet means eating a variety of foods from each food groups daily, in the recommended amounts. It is also important to choose a variety of foods from within each food group because different foods provide different types and amounts of key nutrients. Choosing a variety of foods will help to make your meals interesting, so that you don’t get bored with your diet.
The plant-based packaged-food category is more expansive than ever. “The plant-based movement ties into a number of trending consumer priorities, including health protection, environmental stewardship, and ethically driven eating,” Sass says. “My clients constantly tell me they feel better physically and feel good about how they are spending their food dollars when they eat more plant-based foods.” When it comes to new finds, think pumpkin seed butter from 88 Acres, algae oil from Thrive, chia seed oil from Lekithos, and even dark-chocolate-covered chickpeas from Biena.
More reason to love your morning cuppa joe: Growing evidence suggests that drinking coffee helps protect the heart, particularly for women. In fact, the more you drink—up to five cups a day—the greater the benefits, some research shows. One study recently published in the journal Circulation reviewed data from the decades-long Framingham Heart Study, which looks at diet and heart health. The researchers found that, compared with non-coffee drinkers, people who drank coffee had a 7 percent lower risk of heart failure and an 8 percent lower risk of stroke. While the study couldn't prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship, it does show a strong link.
When performing your energy system training (cardio training), always try to push the intensity of your work intervals. If using a rate of perceived exertion scale to monitor intensity, your work intervals should fall between 7 and 8.5 (i.e., very hard to very, very hard) during your session. Perform as many of your work intervals at the higher end of the RPE range for fastest and best results. (Also try HIIT training, which comes with tons of benefits.)
Mountains of research studies show that the more fruits and veggies you eat, the lower your risk of heart disease. A 2014 meta-analysis of studies following nearly 470,000 people found that each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables cut the risk of death by heart disease by an average of 4 percent. The superstars that contributed the most benefits? Leafy green vegetables. Low in calories but high in fiber, leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, kale and cabbage deliver vitamins and minerals essential for heart health. They're especially high in vitamin K, important for proper blood clotting. One surprising recent study in teens suggests that a lack of vitamin K may affect the actual heart structure, leading to a higher risk of heart disease later in life.