A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 8: Exercise Programming 184 Top 10 Takeaway Points In this textbook we have covered a lot of information on a wide variety of topics to include basic nutrition, weight management, stress management and sleep, training for endurance, strength, and mobility and exercise programming. With all of the information covered, it can be overwhelming and/or difficult to know where to begin. With that in mind, provided below are the top 10 recommendations for how to live healthy lives and be good stewards of the bodies God has given us. 1. Identify and correct for nutritional deficiencies. Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, high-fiber carbohydrates, lean meats and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day can help to ensure daily macronutrient and micronutrient requirements are met. Some individuals may benefit from periodically tracking their daily food intake (e.g., MyFitnessPal) to determine if their current diet is either too high or low in a particular nutrient(s). 2. Eat 3 or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Multiple servings of fruits and vegetables should be consumed daily as they are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are a good food option for those striving to lose weight, as they are low in fat and calories. 3. Drink more water. Since up to 60% of the human body is comprised of water, even a slight decrease in hydration can result in decreased physical and mental performance. Regardless of your fitness or weight management goal, drinking plenty of water is a good option. 4. Keep track of your weight. The average adult’s weight can fluctuate up to 5-6 pounds per day. As a result, weighing yourself daily can provide misleading information. Instead, it is better to weigh yourself at the same time, and under similar circumstances, once per week. For those wanting to lose or gain weight, strive for no more than 0.5-2 lbs. per week. This information can then be used to adjust daily caloric consumption (diet) and/or expenditure (exercise) as required. [NOTE: Although this can be an effective strategy for some, weekly weigh-ins may not be appropriate for individuals who have anxiety about their weight and/or appearance.] 5. Identify and deal with life stressors. Similar to dehydration, stress can have a major impact on both physical and mental performance. As a result, it is important to address major life stressors early before they turn into an even bigger problem (e.g., sleep deprivation, depression). 6. Strive for at least 8 hours of sleep every night. In addition to decreased physical and mental performance, research has shown a link between sleep deprivation and certain chronic diseases to include