We live in a society that has recently become obsessed with weight loss and fitness, but a long, healthy life is not solely determined by the size of your jeans. Even if you lose the excess poundage and manage to keep it off, you can still be at risk for various diseases that are not exclusively fueled by weight.

That means that healthful living needs to not only be focused on calories and vitamins; instead, you need to take a balanced approach to a brand new lifestyle. Let me help you get started.

We all know that simple sugars are the enemy, at least when they are consumed in high quantities. They provide only short-term energy and can fuel the fat when their caloric content isn’t burned off. A “crash” is almost inevitable if sugary snacks and drinks aren’t offset with sources of complex carbs, protein, and/or fat.

Start making substitutions now. Sugar substitutes come in granulated forms, just like sugar, so they’re handy for adding into baked goods and popular beverages like tea and coffee. There are now many zero calorie sweeteners on the market, so don’t be afraid to try out a few until you find one you really like.

Most Americans consume far more sodium chloride than our bodies actually need. Why is this a problem? Too much sodium drives up blood pressure, which is a leading factor in determining your risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, etc.

So don’t let that happen to you! Reduce your sodium intake starting today. Pay attention to the nutrition facts of the foods you consume–not just the calories and fat content, but the amount of sodium as well. The percentage of daily values should be useful to you.

Try switching to sea salt and turn to other flavorful seasonings to get the pizzazz you want in every bite without needing to overload on sodium.
It is vital to maintain an exercise regimen if you want to fend off the effects of high cholesterol, diabetes, and many other health troubles. But it can be tough to hit the gym regularly, especially when you don’t feel the need to drop extra weight. So that’s why it is important to implement it in your regular routine.

A Chicago bicycle shop helped me select a bike that serves my urban needs. I’ve used my new bike to run simple errands all over my neighborhood, keeping me healthier AND saving me money on fuel! Walk, hike, job, rollerblade–do what you need to do to make exercise a part of your daily life.

The Bike Lane (http://bikelanechicago.com/) is a full-service retail Chicago bicycle shop located within the city of Chicago. The Bike Lane offers a variety of unique services with a friendly and open attitude towards our customers.

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