Welcome to Day #18!
*For those who are new here, please note that you can click here and check the previous days. Also, this challenge is not a strict diet plan but a series of mini-challenges to establish healthy Mediterranean diet habits. I do include links and suggestions for recipes, if you want a menu plan you can go here for a 5-day mix and match plan. For a longer comprehensive 14-day plan along with 100 recipes you can consider my new book.
Do you keep active?
Well, as you can guess one of the characteristics of the Mediterranean diet lifestyle is physical activity. Studies have shown that daily exercise of even 15 minutes a day is linked to living longer. Physical activity reduces mortality risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
In addition, exercise can improve mood, help with memory, help you sleep better and assist with weight loss and weight maintenance. But generally, it gives you a sense of wellbeing.
Research has shown that it does not necessarily need to be vigorous exercise. The most important point to remember is that physical activity within a Mediterranean lifestyle is a state of mind. It is not one hour of intense exercise at the gym and then the rest of the time spent in a chair or on a couch. It is a somewhat constant state.
In the Mediterranean, walking to places is very common especially as people age, they tend to drive less and walk more. In smaller towns and villages, the locals complete most of their errands on foot or on a bike. That doesn’t mean that they are super-fit and can run marathons or lift weights, it means that they are in good physical condition and especially for older individuals it keeps them strong and vibrant.
Walking everywhere might not be feasible for everyone, but in your daily routine try not to sit most of the day; do a little housework and yard work, cook and generally get up every hour. Have a minimum goal of walking 5000 steps a day, every day. You may wonder why not 10000 steps? Actually there isn’t any scientific evidence that shows that you need that many steps a day to reap the benefits of exercise. A study published 2 years ago from Harvard showed that 4400 steps a day can provide many benefits. This can be done even in your home; I have walked many times back and forth in my hallway to get those minimum steps in for the day. So find your favorite music or podcast and start walking!
- Continue drinking 2 herbal beverages a day
- Have a seafood or fish meal.
- Have 2 citrus fruit today
*If you like please share your accomplishments, suggestions, tips, experiences on the site in the comments or on social media , I’ll be using the hashtag #21daymeddiet. You can find me at @greekdiet on instagram and at facebook.com/OliveTomato on facebook.
Looking forward to connecting with you. If you have questions or concerns please let me know!
See you tomorrow!