Build A Bowhunting Lifestyle

Your performance outside depends largely on what you do inside your body.

Your performance outside depends largely on what you do inside your body.

Your performance outside depends largely on what you do inside your body

Bowhunting requires time and energy, and to enjoy it thoroughly, you must stay healthy.

For some people, that means maintaining and fine-tuning good health habits. For others, it means change — adopting a new and healthier lifestyle.

What does it mean to be healthy? Wellness always begins with sound understanding of exercise and nutrition.

Celebrate your choices, discover something new, and enjoy life — starting with these top five bowhunting lifestyle changes!

1. Priority You!
"I don't have time," or "I'm too busy!" You've heard the excuses. Maybe you've made them. Sadly, an arsenal of excuses will not promote a healthier lifestyle. To schedule time for exercise, write your schedule in a daily planner. Once you put it in writing, you'll be more likely to hammer it out. Commitment to exercise means making yourself a priority.

2. Hydration.
In order for every system in your body to function properly, your body must remain well hydrated. Once you feel thirsty, you are already moderately dehydrated, and dehydration can lead to fatigue and other dangerous consequences.

Daily fluid requirements vary with age, gender, physical activity, and temperature and humidity. Men require about 3 liters of fluids per day, women 2.2 liters. These levels increase dramatically when you embark on warm-weather outdoors activities in spring and summer.

The color of urine is one of the best indicators of adequate hydration. Urine should remain light yellow or clear. Dark yellow or orange urine indicates dehydration. Step up the fluid intake.

Proper hydration not only supports good health but also enhances performance. To bowhunt at your best, you must remain well hydrated.

Important point: Soda and juice are NOT substitutes for water! Soda accounts for at least one quarter of all drinks consumed in the U.S., and research links soda consumption to obesity and diabetes. For best results, drink water.

3. Fiber Up, Waistline Down.
Most Americans need to eat more whole grains and legumes, foods that are high in nutrients and fiber, which help control appetite, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber, which is found in beans, oats, flax seed, and oat bran, may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoproteins, or "bad" cholesterol.

Soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar, which, for people with diabetes, can help improve blood sugar levels. A high-fiber diet may also reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and aid in weight loss.

4. Go Pro!
The recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight per day. According to nutrition experts from the 2007 Protein Summit, that might not be enough. Eating as much as 35 percent of your calories as protein might prevent Type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, bone and muscle loss, and physical degeneration related to aging.

Emphasize high-quality protein from fish, venison, chicken, and turkey. These foods contain the ideal balance of essential amino acids necessary for optimal metabolism. Fill your freezer with wild game, and your body will enjoy the boost in vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin, and niacin!

5. Go Green!
Research continues to pile up on the health benefits of green tea. What makes green tea special? It is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is more than a long, fancy word. EGCG couples as a powerful antioxidant that helps inhibit the growth of cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.

EGCG has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added significance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. Go green, go strong!

Most of us want to share our outdoor passions with coming generations. Whether you are taking your grandchildren fishing, your son hunting, or the family camping, you will do it better and longer if you maintain good health.

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