The importance of fitness and exercise.

Essay by lizziegirlCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 2003

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Good Health is More Than Just Looking Good

Good fitness and nutrition are key aspects not only in appearance but in living long, healthy lives. One may look fabulous, both fit and healthy, while being just as unhealthy as an obese person. The exact opposite is true, also. A person may be a little overweight but have a healthy heart and diet. My case and point: You cannot judge a person's health just by looking at them. The only way to find out if one is eating healthy and getting the proper amounts and types of exercise is by looking at their diet and activity level.

It is important to first start with a good eating plan. Age, health issues, and level of physical activity are just a few factors that should be taken into consideration when writing a meal plan for a person. For example, a young, healthy, and active person can eat more freely than an older person with high cholesterol who does not get much physical activity.

On average, a person should try to eat 6-11 servings of grains, 3-5 servings of fruits, 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-3 servings of dairy, 2-3 servings of meat, and consume fats and sugars sparingly each day. One should shoot for this range until he/she can have an eating plan written for them.

The number of servings a person should consume daily is useless, however, unless he/she knows what amount of food is considered to be one serving, and what types of food are included in each food group. The following are examples of what can be considered to be one serving of different foods found in each food group:

Bread/Starches (includes starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, and green peas):

½ cup cereal, grain, pasta, or starchy vegetables

1 slice...