Healthy Living & Healthy Eating

Fitness Workouts, Fitness Equipment, Men's & Women's Fitness Routines

Inactive? Try cardio fitness equipment like treadmills or ellipticals at Gold’s fitness clubs near you to start your fitness journey, and check out these healthy living tips suggested by Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. For healthy living, start by making small changes like walking on the treadmill or drinking more water , and soon your changes will become habits. In terms of fitness workouts, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services recommends that you start slowly if you are a beginner, and work your way up to at least two hours and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise weekly and strength training two days per week. Healthy eating is the final piece of the puzzle to address when making the decision to get healthy, and the tips below provide you with a starting place.

8 Easy Ways to Get Healthy Today

If you’re wondering ‘How do I get healthy,’ then it’s time to make some lifestyle changes! Try these easy expert tips from

Easy Lifestyle Alterations

Think it’s time to make some healthy lifestyle adjustments? Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, is right behind you. Buettner is crossing Iowa in a bus, attempting to change American towns into healthier places. “More than 40% of Americans smoked in the ’60s, and only 20% do now,” he points out. “We can turn around our diet and lifestyle, too.”

One thing we Americans have going for us: We are always up for a challenge. So try these healthful ideas inspired by healthy women around the world.

Take 20% Off

Blue zones-like areas in Italy, Japan, Greece, California and Costa Rica where the people have traditionally stayed active to age 100 or older-are some of the healthiest in the world. “In every Blue Zone, they eat less than we do, by at least 20%,” Buettner says.

One trick for slashing portions: “Instead of putting big platters of food at the center of the table, fill each plate at the counter,” Buettner says.

Pile On The Plants

Not only are plant-based diets rich in antioxidants and other good-for-you nutrients, they’re also better for your waistline. “A plate of food in Okinawa has one-fifth the calorie density of a typical American meal,” Buettner says. “You can chow down for a fraction of the calories.”

Buettner suggests thinking of meat as a condiment rather than the main event, and subbing in more beans, legumes and nuts.

Love The Foods That Love You Back

A diet of berries and elk or tofu and sea vegetables might seem utterly foreign-but taste buds can be retrained. “Americans love fat, salt and sugar because that’s what we’re used to,” says David L. Katz, M.D., founding director of the Yale Prevention Research Center. “But studies show that if you eat more wholesome foods, you can learn to prefer them.”

An easy way to start: Search for stealth sugar, which Dr. Katz says is found in many packaged foods. “Once you get rid of that hidden sugar, you’ll start to prefer less-sweet foods,” he notes.

Sit Down-And Slow Down

It might be too much to cook every meal. But we can sit at a table to eat our takeout instead of scarfing it down in the car. Savor each bite as the French do; stretch your meals out for 20 whole minutes. You’ll end up eating less and enjoying more.

Get Up

“The longest-living people don’t think of exercise as a chore,” Buettner says. Instead, little bits of movement are a constant part of their everyday lives. Make like a French woman and take a short walk after dinner. Shovel your own snow instead of paying the kid next door; make extra trips carrying laundry up and down the stairs.

Get Out

Every Blue Zone is known for its strong social and family bonds. Besides spending quality time at home with family, surround yourself with healthy-living friends-good health habits are contagious, research shows.

Be sure to get involved in your community, too, whether it’s at church, a gardening group or a volunteer organization. These connections can add years to your life, Buettner says.

Take It Easy

Even the world’s healthiest people get stressed out sometimes. What they all have, Buettner says, are daily strategies to shed stress. Meditate, go for a run, make a dinner date with your best friend-and don’t worry about your inability to be a French woman or a Greek farmer.

It’s OK to enjoy the occasional cheeseburger. What matters is a cumulative lifestyle pattern of enjoying healthful food, staying connected to others, and keeping yourself moving.

Eat More Fish

Scandinavians, Japanese and people from the Mediterranean all regularly put fish on their tables. The omega-3 fatty acids found in many varieties are great for heart health and may even reduce the risk of depression and cognitive problems.

Three delicious fish to try: wild-caught Alaskan salmon, farmed rainbow trout and wild-caught Pacific sardines. All are high in omega-3s and low in contaminants like mercury.

Preprogrammed workouts using fitness equipment at your local Gold’s gym is one easy way to start your fitness program without worrying too much about the details. And these healthy living tips from Dan Buettner provide you with simple strategies to make health and fitness a bigger priority in your life. As mentioned, fitness workouts can be as easy as taking a walk after dinner or trying a new class at the gym, and any physical activity can help you live longer and reduce your risk of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And when combined with healthy eating, your chances increase further for preventing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Once you’re comfortable with fitness equipment workouts, consult Gold’s Gym’s fitness class schedule to find classes that pique your interest. And commit to healthy living by supplementing your gym workouts with brisk walks that can help you maintain your weight, according to a study by Harvard University . For a change, try fitness workouts with a personal fitness trainer who can design a fitness program that pushes you past your current fitness level. Then ask for healthy eating tips and eating out tricks because our fitness trainers love to share their health and fitness knowledge with you.