How to Live a Healthier Life
Healthy Eating, Exercise, Avoid Bad Habits
Tips for Living a Healthy Life
When most people think about living a healthier life, their minds tend to gravitate towards images of restrictive diets and unrealistic amounts of daily exercise. This could not be any further from the truth. While diet and exercise are very important to health and longevity, they are not the only components to healthier living. Healthier living consists of a total lifestyle change that involves taking an honest assessment of what is causing harm to the body and then choosing healthier alternatives to improve overall well-being. This includes proactively eliminating choices that are detrimental to the body, leading to a healthier, happier existence. Healthy living involves recognizing and accepting that changes need to be made and then choosing to make a commitment to living a lifestyle conducive to good health. Here are a few top health tips for a healthier life now.
Living a Healthy Life
Eat a Well Balanced Diet
In many instances, it is not necessary for a good diet to be restrictive. However, a good diet does need to be well-balanced and nutritious. A well-balanced diet consists of a variety of fruits, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, lean proteins (such as fish, chicken and turkey), nuts and beans. Good nutrition will provide a sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients which are all needed for proper body functionality. A well-balanced diet will also improve energy and promote weight loss. A healthy diet includes reducing the intake of artificial sugars, salts, processed foods, saturated fats and cholesterol. Living a healthy lifestyle and eating correctly is about making wise decisions regarding the types of foods being regularly consumed. Remember, food is fuel for the body, so what is put into the body will reflect what the body looks like outwardly as well as how the systems function inwardly. For example, studies have shown that a well-balanced diet can decrease the chances of developing diseases such as obesity, cancer and heart disease which have all been linked to poor nutrition and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Ways to optimize a proper diet include preparing meals at home, eating organically grown produce, juicing, making smoothies and consuming the recommended 2000-2500 daily calorie intake for the best results. Alternatively, a vegan lifestyle may also be adopted. A vegan diet removes meat and dairy-based products entirely. While a vegan lifestyle may not be for everyone, a diet that is primarily plant-based will still increase fiber, antioxidants and other minerals necessary for a healthy, well-rounded body.
Get a Variety of Exercises
Physical fitness is an important aspect of living a healthier lifestyle. The body was designed for daily movement and activity, not a sedentary existence. Without proper exercise the body’s muscle mass decreases and the body weakens over time. This results in an increase of fat accumulation and the potential for obesity. It also results in a decrease of energy, poor immunity, decreased brain functionality, representing a decline in overall well-being. It is important to give the body what it deserves by choosing a variety of exercise routines that train the entire body, not just one specific area. This includes strengthening the core muscles, joints and ligaments through a variety of cardio exercises including running, bicycling or swimming. A healthy body mass can also be maintained through a wide-range of weight training exercises to include upper and lower body routines that tone the body while building strength, increasing stamina and improving endurance. A variety of exercises will also help to keep the heart and lungs healthy and strong. Stretching exercises such as yoga and Pilates are also excellent ways to reap the benefits of a toned and lean physique while keeping weight in check. Furthermore, a wide-range of exercises will burn calories, prevent weight gain in the future, and will boost confidence and self-esteem as the body is conditioned into a healthier state. An important point to make is that regular exercise should not be viewed as a difficult task or a bothersome chore. As a lifestyle change, exercise should be fun and incorporated into daily routines. For example, taking daily walks is a form of exercise that is impactful but is not as strenuous as a heavy workout. Exercise can be fun if attending a gym with like-minded individuals, taking a class with a group of buddies or using a workout DVD at home with family. Remember, incorporating exercise into a daily routine is a lifestyle change. Just follow these simple daily health tips to look and feel better for long-term results.
Avoid Bad Habits
There are many unhealthy habits that attribute to poor wellness. Many of these are due to the temptations that come along with life in general and also decisions based on social pressures. These include consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, soda and other caffeinated beverages. For example, alcohol consumption often occurs at social gatherings and events while spending time with peers. Despite its appeal, alcohol consumption has many negative health outcomes. It increases blood pressure, disrupts mood, and clouds coordination. Over time, excessive amounts of alcohol in the blood stream will cause problems such as stroke, liver damage and decreases in immunity which make the drinker more susceptible to complications, even from common infections like the cold and flu. This is also true of cigarettes. Ramifications of cigarettes go beyond increased odds of developing cancer. Not only can cigarettes damage the lungs and airways but they can impact other organs as well. For example, cigarettes have a direct impact on the bones and can lead to osteoporosis later in life. As another example, in women, smoking cigarettes decreases the production of estrogen which can lead to early menopause. In men, smoking cigarettes can lead to impotence and infertility. Smoking also damages the skin and can cause wrinkles, resulting in an older appearance. Second-hand smoke puts others at risk of developing these health problems as well. This is especially true for young children and the elderly who are more susceptible to it. These health implications are also seen with increased consumption of soda and other caffeinated drinks which result in increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, headaches and anxiety-related withdrawal. Increased amounts of caffeine also lead to increased urination, putting added pressure on the kidneys. While caffeine is a naturally occurring substance, it is a stimulant that speeds up the body’s normal functions. Caffeinated drinks typically have high levels of calories and sugar as well, so avoiding them where possible will benefit one’s health. Sage advice states that too much of anything is never a good thing so it is best to curb the use of these products and eliminate these poor practices altogether for healthier results.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water is important for the body’s health. A poorly hydrated body will display symptoms such as dry, peeling skin, constipation, dark urine and thirst. The body is comprised of two-thirds of water and every cell in the body benefits from proper hydration. Water naturally replenishes the body by hydrating cells and removing harmful toxins consumed from food and the environment. Water has many benefits including improving the appearance of the skin, easing the digestive tract to improve bowel function, aiding in weight loss, and regulating body temperatures, which is especially important during normal exercise. Water is also a natural energy booster that fights fatigue by improving energy levels. Proper water intake also improves concentration and memory as the brain cells are also replenished. Remember, water benefits all cells within the body. Some easy ways to ensure the proper daily intake of water include drinking water before and during every meal, carrying a water bottle and eating more fruits and vegetables which have a higher concentration of water than other foods. Remembering to drink plenty of water is a change in habit. One way to improve water intake is to set a daily goal. For instance, setting a goal of drinking eight 8oz glasses of water a day is a good place to start. Reaching this daily water goal will increase the motivation needed to move forward with living the healthiest life possible.
Get More Sleep
It can be difficult for adults to get the recommended 7-9 hours of nightly sleep due to hectic work schedules and other demands that interfere with proper sleep patterns. It has become easy to postpone a good night’s rest when there are so many other things to do. However, catching up on work or other items on the to-do list is not a good excuse for skimping out on a good night’s rest. Adults spend about one third of their lives sleeping. Therefore, sleep is an essential component of a healthy living. When the body does not get enough rest, a lack of sleep can take an enormous toll on the body. Sleep deprivation can manifest in many forms including lethargy, compromised concentration, a decline in memory, poor reflexes, and even irritability. Lack of sleep can also lead to reduced problem-solving skills, weight gain and other health problems including an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. Lack of sleep is also a major safety concern as studies have likened poor sleep to intoxication. In many instances lack of sleep has resulted in on-the-job and vehicle related accidents, many resulting in major bodily harm or even death. Sleep is important for a healthy life because it increases productivity levels. Maximized productivity is achieved by allowing the body to obtain the much needed time it needs to restore itself. This is time needed to function effectively for the next day’s events. Moreover, sleep is the body’s natural way of rejuvenating itself. Allowing the body to get its proper rest and relaxation is a good way to live a healthy life.
Wellness is a State of Mind
The decision to live a healthy lifestyle involves making improvements that go well beyond changing just the physical. Healthy living also involves changing perceptions about life from a mental point of view as well. Physical and mental health have very close ties and overlap in many areas. Indeed, the glue that binds all of the aforementioned tips for healthy living together is personal choice or a conscious decision to live better. This also involves emotional well-being and taking a deeper look at the reasons behind unhealthy lifestyle decisions. For example, many people have eaten terribly all their lives or may have emotional ties to food. Recognizing the childhood influences of poor diet and breaking any emotional connections related to food can be groundbreaking when adopting a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy life is a resolution that comes with a changing attitude and new perceptions about what healthy living is all about. Developing a healthy mindset is about being motivated to achieve goals despite temptations to do otherwise. A healthy mind is clear and focused on achieving an equally healthy body. Accomplishing these goals involves reducing stress and increasing activities that result in happiness. Adopting such a mindset takes dedication. It can be achieved by making small changes that are still steps in the right direction and which will improve the overall quality of life being experienced.
A healthier lifestyle can drastically improve physical health and mental well-being through a variety of activities including eating well, exercise and eliminating poor habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Living a truly healthy life is a commitment to change but the benefits of these changes are undeniable. A foundation of good health and well-being begins with a decision to live differently. It is a choice. It includes making smart changes that take advantage of healthier alternatives for long-term health success. For example, packing a healthy snack for work instead of grabbing fast food is a healthier dieting alternative. Also, taking a walk to a destination instead of driving a car is a healthy exercise alternative. Again, these are small changes, but these changes can have huge impacts on general health, body function and even longevity. While these top health tips are not an exhaustive list, making these small changes is progress towards a healthier, more rewarding life.