Diet, Exercise, Hydration Among Key Tips to a Healthy Heart
I've heard it said that the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, is one of the fittest commanders in chief ever seen; in fact a medical health check confirms him to be in excellent health, both physically and mentally.
No doubt, it's not easy at times to follow a heart healthy lifestyle, whether you're the President or not! But, having a role model to look up to can be a huge help.
President Obama is certainly a role model for all of us, so here are 5 lessons Obama can teach you on leading a healthier lifestyle:
#1 Think positively about exercise
Obama is reported to have said, "The main reason I work out is to clear my head and relieve stress. It's a great way to stay focused."
This is a perfect answer! We're sometimes guilty of viewing exercise as something to be dreaded, however by thinking of it in this way your mental focus changes to the positive aspects, and exercise becomes something to be enjoyed - just as it should be!
#2 Workout habitually
President Obama is said to workout early in the morning six days a week, usually getting around 45 minutes in. This is a great effort! Research shows that having a dedicated, consistent routine gives you a better chance of achieving your fitness goals.
You should aim to exercise at least 30 minutes five times each week, gradually building up the intensity of your routine. Try to include cardio, weight training, and stretching for maximum effect.
#3 Enjoy healthy foods
Obama is also said to avoid fatty foods as a way of helping him stay in shape. Apparently he prefers to eat vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, to snack on nuts, and drinks plenty of water.
As you try to follow a healthy lifestyle, aim for plenty of nutrient packed, whole foods in your diet to help maintain a healthy heart. Go for lightly cooked vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, legumes, or brown rice, and wholegrain pasta. You should also try to eat plenty of fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, and berries, and regularly include lean meats and fresh fish.
The President is reported to enjoy snacking on pistachio nuts, which are a great source of fiber, protein, and heart healthy fats. A recent study showed that participants ate 45 percent less nuts when they had to shell the nuts themselves, so to prevent overeating do go for nuts contained in their shell.
It's a good idea to have a supply of healthy snacks with you at all times, such as dried fruits, natural yoghurt with berries, or wholegrain crackers with cottage cheese and veggies. Snacks around 100-200 calories are a great choice.
#4 Drink plenty of water
While Obama is reported to enjoy drinking Fiji Water, plain tap water is sufficient.
Water is extremely important for all of our bodily functions; staying hydrated also helps fight fatigue, and it can help us avoid excess calorie intake, therefore preventing weight gain. Aim to drink around 8 cups per day.
#5 Have an occasional ‘treat' food
President Obama is also reported to occasionally eat donuts, cookies, and handmade milk chocolates from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle. Having an occasional treat is a very important part of a healthy eating plan, because it helps you stick with your diet long-term.
An exceptionally good treat food would be a couple of squares of premium quality dark chocolate. The richness of the chocolate means you are satisfied by eating less, and the antioxidants you'll receive are also thought to be heart healthy, which is an added bonus!
So, do you think President Obama really is a role model for a healthy lifestyle? I'd love to hear from you!