Being healthy is the best goal that anyone can have.  Opinions may vary about how to do that.  But, most agree that people can and should learn how to prevent chronic and life threatening diseases, because the treatments are not that effective. 

According to the latest research, we can reduce our risk of heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, degenerative eye diseases, Alzheimer’s, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, colds, influenza and even wrinkles, with the right diet, lifestyle and appropriate nutritional support. 

When it comes to influenza, the common cold and other viruses, you might think that antibacterial soap or hand lotion that you are using is protecting you.  All you need to do is look at the words. 

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An antibacterial soap might kill bacteria, but it will not kill a virus.  Research has proven that we remove viruses by the simple act of washing our hands with plain soap and water.  Basically, we rub them off. 

There is no additional benefit from an antibacterial agent and the rampant use of them has contributed to the formation of more antibiotic resistant bacteria.  They enter the water supply and damage the environment, too.

Being healthy, during cold and flu season, means washing our hands and taking our vitamins.  We don’t need environmentally unfriendly antibacterial agents to do that.

Except for viral infections and wrinkles, being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of developing all of the other diseases and health problems mentioned in the second paragraph.  Yes, all of them. 

People can talk about being big and beautiful, about how unfair it is to discriminate against people with weight problems, about how skinny people can be unhealthy, too, but there is no doubt that being overweight or obese is not good for your health.  It is hard on your heart and your joints.  If being healthy is important to you and you are overweight, you need to make some changes in what you eat and possibly in your level of activity.

Years ago, someone said “you are what you eat”.  It is a truism that has never been more obvious. 

People that eat fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables, oatmeal and wild rice, avocados and walnuts, as well as other health foods, live longer, healthier lives.  People that eat a lot of junk food and simple carbohydrates, smoke cigarettes, stay out late and don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have wrinkles and go bald.  They are also more likely to be obese.

Being healthy means avoiding junk food and simple carbohydrates.  They are high in calories, but low in nutritional value.  It means eating a variety of multi-colored fruits and vegetables, because of all of the antioxidants that they contain.  It means drinking green tea and using herbs for seasoning, instead of drinking coffee and sodas, while adding salt to everything on your plate.

It means eating more real foods and fewer processed ones.  Being healthy is all about eating right and getting plenty of exercise.  You just might need to learn more about how to do those things.   

A healthy weight loss program is one that includes good foods and regular physical activity.  There are lots of good eating plans and lots of good exercises.  There are also plenty of bad ones. 
When it comes to exercise, you want to choose things that you enjoy doing.  Walking is the most commonly recommended “beginner’s” exercise program.  But, for people that have problems with their feet, an exercise bike may be a better idea.  Recumbent bikes, in particular, are easy on the back, butt and joints, but riding one burns a lot of calories.
Strength training exercises, which are those designed to help people build muscle, are good choices for everyone.  Because you start with low weights and work your way up, you are less likely to injure yourself.  If you don’t belong to a gym, you might want to consider elastic bands.  They are inexpensive lightweight and they “grow” with you.

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Strength training exercises accomplish two things.  First, they burn calories.  Second, they build muscle, which helps you burn more calories when your body is at rest. 
So, a healthy weight loss program should include some strength training, but you need to be sure that you are getting enough protein.  Without adequate protein, your body cannot build new muscle cells. 
The cells of the body need calories for energy.  The cells of the brain can only burn glucose, which is why diabetics and those that are hypoglycemic can pass out and die if their blood glucose levels get too low.
Other cells of the body can burn either fat or glucose.  Muscle cells prefer to burn fat, when they are at rest and during the first few minutes of exercise.  After the first few minutes, they switch to burning glucose.
So, a healthy weight loss program would include an eating plan that provides enough protein for the body to build new muscle fibers.  That’s about a half gram per pound of bodyweight.  It should be a diet that is low in fat, because if you reduce the amount of fat in your diet, your body will turn to your fat stores and burn those. 
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is a key to maintaining your weight.  Whole grains like oatmeal are good choices, as well.  Processed and packaged foods are not ideal.  They are usually high in calories, but low in nutritional value.  Ideally, a healthy weight loss program will include “real” food, which is high in nutrients and fiber, lower in calories and fat.
By cutting out some of the bad foods that you are probably eating and including some of the good foods that you should be eating, you can lose the pounds that you want, painlessly.  The pills really don’t work.  Eating fewer calories than you burn is the only way to lose pounds.  Just don’t cut back too far on the calories.
A healthy weight loss program will allow you to feel satisfied, without overeating.  One of the reasons that we overeat is because we choose foods that are low in nutrients.  They just aren’t as satisfying.