Living a healthy lifestyle has a lot of moving and complex components, but the consequences can be a matter of life and death. There are little changes we can make that impact our health positively. And who doesn’t want to live a healthier, happier and longer life? Let’s look at five simple ways you can change your life and have a profound impact on your health.
- Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water. Experts recommend you drink at least a half ounce of water for every pound you weigh. In simpler terms, take your weight and divide it by two. That’s how many ounces of water you need to drink to stay hydrated.
If you don’t like drinking plain water, try infusing it with fruit
or other natural flavoring to make it taste better.
In addition, you can eat high-water content foods, such as chopped veggies or fruit. Try cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, celery, tomatoes, watermelon or strawberries.
You should also stay away from foods or beverages that tend to dehydrate you. Avoid coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, and salty snacks.
- Make Better Food Choices & Maintain a Healthy Weight
Diet can have a significant impact on your health and well-being. Eating a balanced diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
There’s a lot of bad information on the internet about nutrition, so be careful about following “diet” trends. Instead, make healthy eating habits a part of your daily routine.
And if you’re trying to lose weight, remember that lasting changes don’t come in pill or happen overnight.
We all have different dietary needs based on several factors including gender, age and activity level. Talk to your doctor about what changes you should make.
Start by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and eat a variety of healthy whole foods.
Eat whole grains and avoid refined starches and sweets such as donuts, rolls and muffins.
Choose a low-fat, lean cut of meat and prepare it with spices by baking, grilling or roasting it. Or, if you don’t eat meat, you can get your daily dose of protein with dry beans, peas or lentils. Limit dairy to skim or non-dairy milk, like soy, rice, or almond milk. And, try low-fat or part-skim cheeses in recipes. You can even substitute skim cheese ricotta for cream cheese or Greek yogurt for sour cream.
Also steer clear of saturated and trans fats. They can make losing weight impossible and negatively impact your health. Instead, complement your diet with healthy fat like avocado or olive oil in moderation.
Get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, like walking, biking or swimming, three times a week.
Exercise reduces your risk for life-threatening diseases, improves your mood and confidence, and helps you sleep. Exercise can also help you lose weight, which means less stress on your joints and improved mobility
If you haven’t exercised before, start by walking 10-15 minutes a day and build from there. Walking is a popular choice because it doesn’t require equipment, it’s low impact and it can be done almost anywhere. Just make sure you have a solid pair of shoes that fit properly!
- Get At Least Eight Hours of Sleep
Your body and mind require at least eight to 10 hours of sleep every night to rest, repair and recover.
Long-term sleep issues raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It can affect how your brain works – how you think, what you remember, and your ability to learn. It also affects your emotional well-being. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, it can have a negative effect on your mood and emotions, as well as how you interact with other people.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, skip the late-night eating or drinking, get plenty of exercise, and create the proper sleeping environment by keeping your bedroom dark and cool. You should also establish a consistent bedtime routine, such as taking a hot bath, drinking warm tea, reading a book or listening to calming music.
- See Your Doctor for A Regular Check Up
Not everyone loves going in for an annual physical, but getting a check up on a regular basis could change your life. Health exams allow your doctors to monitor your health, test for indicators of a problem, and prevent medical issues before they start. And, if they do find a problem, they can diagnose it early when treatments are more effective.
In addition, doctors can guide you through making more drastic changes in your lifestyle, including diet and exercise. After all, doctors want what’s best for you and your health.
- Making Small, Incremental Changes
Changing your daily habits doesn’t have to be hard. Focus on small changes to make a lasting impact.
Start by changing your attitude and turn your negative thinking into a positive.
Pick one goal and break it down into smaller components. Then set yourself up for success by putting systems in place that disrupt old habits and encourage new ones.
Change takes time and effort, but the results of living a healthy lifestyle will be worth it!