Simple steps to starting a healthier lifestyle
You already know the importance of a healthy lifestyle, but starting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t come easy to many of us. The good news is you don’t have to make major changes in a single day to start living more healthy. Even the smallest changes can have a major impact on your health and wellness.
Many studies confirm that simple strategies can help reduce the risk of disease and illness. For example, people who don’t smoke and eat a healthy diet are less likely to get chronic infections. The right lifestyle choices can improve your health for the better, but it’s all about knowing where to start. Here are simple steps for starting a healthier lifestyle.
Get the Right Accessories
To live a healthy lifestyle, you’ll need to purchase some accessories that can help you get there. For example, if you want to drink more water, you can purchase a water bottle you can take with you on the go. You can also purchase fitness accessories that make working out easier.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your chances of different types of cancer and disease. However, losing a small amount of weight if you’re a little overweight has its benefits. For example, if you have high blood pressure, losing a few pounds can help drastically reduce it.
Dropping just five percent of your body weight can improve your health and make you feel healthier.
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Make Smarter Dietary Choices
Eating healthy sometimes feels like an uphill battle, but it is possible to start eating healthily without restricting yourself to a diet. Instead, you can simply swap unhealthy foods out for healthy foods. For example, instead of reaching for the bag of chips in the afternoon, you can try veggie chips and then eventually move to a bowl of carrots. Or, if that is too much at first, you can always start by taking your vitamins.
However, plant foods should be at the center of your snacks and meals to help you get and stay healthy. Swapping out red meat for a plant-based source of protein can reduce your risk of serious illness or death. Attempt to substitute animal meat for a plant-based option, such as soy or tofu. You should also cut processed meats, such as bologna, out of your diet and replace them with lean meat, such as fish.
Additionally, your diet should also include healthy drinking habits. Instead of drinking a sugary soda at lunch, consider drinking tea or water. Coffee can also be a healthy option if you don’t have caffeine sensitivity. That being said, if you want to drink coffee, try not to add too much sugar or cream. Instead, choose fat-free or sugar-free options to help you maintain a healthy weight.
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Physical activity of any kind is good for you, and you don’t need to start an extensive exercise routine to start getting healthy. Physical activity, including walking and running, helps your lungs and heart work efficiently while reducing the risk of illness. It can also ease pain and reduce anxiety and depression.
Staying active can also help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. The good news is if you’re sedentary, even a little bit of physical activity can improve your health. That means you don’t have to sweat in a gym; instead, you can go for a short walk during your lunch break and begin seeing the pounds drop on the scale.
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We all sit too often. If you sit at work, the odds are you also come home from work and park yourself on the couch until bedtime. If you find yourself sitting at work and home, it’s time to stand more. You can stand while watching television and even motivate yourself to walk around your home to get more physical activity.
At work, you can stand and pace around your office while talking on the phone or thinking about how to solve complex issues. Standing up can also improve your posture, reducing pain related to sitting at your desk.
Get More Sleep
If you’re getting fewer than seven hours of sleep a night, you might need to get a little bit more to make yourself feel more energized in the morning. However, you mustn’t get too much sleep. Getting too little or too much sleep can make you feel fatigued throughout the day.
Getting enough sleep also reduces your likelihood of getting illnesses from the common cold to type 2 diabetes.
Sleep is so powerful it can even help you lose weight and keep it off. When you’re deprived of sleep, your body secretes cortisol, the stress hormone, which can lead to weight gain and even stress eating, which means consuming more calories.
Unfortunately, sleeping more than the suggested eight hours a night can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, so it’s important to make sure you’re not sleeping too much.
Cut Out Bad Habits
You should try to cut out any habits that might be stopping you from living your healthiest life. For example, if you smoke, you should try to quit to improve lung function and reduce your chances of getting cancer. Bad habits come in many forms, including stress eating. Instead of eating during times of stress, you can find healthier stress management techniques to help you cope.
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Avoid Negative Energy
Being around negative energy and people who make you feel down can impact your mental and physical health. If the people you’re constantly around put you in a bad mood, then you can’t focus on being your healthiest self. Instead, spend more time alone or find people who make you happy and relaxed.
Starting a Healthy Lifestyle
Being a healthier person means taking care of your physical and mental health at the same time. If you don't feel well in one aspect, you won’t feel well in another. For example, if you’re feeling down, you may not feel physically healthy either. Stress can cause headaches and fatigue that impact every aspect of your life, so it’s important to find ways to simultaneously make yourself physically and mentally healthy.
About the Author
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.