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Running Is Not All for a Healthy Lifestyle: Drink Enough Water, Eat Healthy!

While running regularly can help improve both your fitness and health levels, you need to maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water in order to live a healthy lifestyle. When you first start running, you may notice that you lose weight quickly. As with any workout and diet, eventually you will hit a plateau. If you haven't started eating healthily and increasing your water intake, you may find that you stop losing weight, gain weight, or have trouble improving your overall fitness level beyond a certain point. It's just as important to live a healthy lifestyle by having a nutritious diet as it is to increase your physical activity. Here are some tips for creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle so you can reap the optimal benefits of running.

Learn About Portion Control

Sometimes we eat all the right foods in too large portions. While whole grains are great for our body, having 4 cups of whole wheat pasta is still too many carbohydrates to take in at one meal. The general rule is that a serving size should be no bigger than your fist for most foods. You can double this portion when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. You should also have a portion from each of the general food groups in order to have a nutritionally dense meal. Look at your next plate of food and make sure you have at least one protein in the form of meat or beans, whole grains in the form of bread or a grain, and a serving of fruits and vegetables.

Fill Your Plate with Colors

Nutritionists advise that everyone eat foods comprised of many different colors. This is because the color of your foods actually determines which types of vitamins and minerals you receive from your diet. Red foods, like strawberries and cherries, have lycopene and antioxidants that benefit your heart and skin. Orange foods, like sweet potatoes and carrots, are full of carotenoids which convert to vitamins when digested that help the eyes, heart, and overall immune system. Purple or blue foods, like eggplant and blueberries, can help fight against cancer and high blood pressure, while white foods, like mushrooms and cauliflower, have a variety of nutrients essential for proper cell function.

Choose Healthy Desserts

You don't have to give up desserts when living a healthy lifestyle, just make good choices. Grilled fruits, sorbet, dark chocolate, and baked goods made with whole wheat flour all help add nutrients for fewer calories than rich desserts.

Drink Lots of Water

Water has no calories and helps keep your body hydrated all day long. It's recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but you may need more if you're running frequently. If you don't like straight water, you can add a splash of lemon or lime to help add flavor. By eating right and staying hydrated, you will see great results from your running regimen.

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