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Being as healthy as possible has many rewards.It can help you achieve the things you want in life, and it will also allow you to enjoy a full, active lifestyle. Whether your goal is to train for a marathon, or you just want to be able to keep up with your grandchildren, you need to stay in tip top shape.
Regardless of your age, weight, shape or current activity level, you can plan to get healthier, and it may be easier than you think! The 9 simple steps we’ve outlined below are a good starting point and, while some may seem obvious, there are others that you may not have even considered before!
1. Exercise Regularly
This is one of the most important things you need to do if you want to be healthier. Exercise has so many benefits both physically and mentally, you owe it to yourself to get off the couch and get active! If you can fit in at least 30 minutes of continuous exercise four or five days a week you are well on your way to helping yourself achieve a healthy lifestyle. Not sure where to start?
Consider hiring a personal trainer who can create a custom-made routine and show you how to exercise properly without risking injury.
2. Stay Off Your Phone
Looking at your screen all day has been proven to have a negative effect due to the blue light that it emits. It also causes strain on your eyes which, in turn, can lead to chronic headaches. Ensure you spend time away from your phone to give your eyes, and fingers a rest, and focus on something else that can help relax you.
3. Cook At Home
Everyone loves a good takeout, right? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of ordering food in because it is quick and convenient. However, if you start cooking for yourself you will realize that it takes the same (or sometimes less) time to prepare and cook a meal as it does to order and wait!
By cooking your own meals you’re able to control the amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats going into your body which will help you avoid unwanted weight gain. This doesn’t mean you can never order in again – just limit it to once a week and make healthy choices when you do.
4. Make Healthy Food Choices
Along with exercise, choosing to put healthy, nutritious food in your body is one of the best ways to enjoy better health. Our bodies react differently to healthy foods in comparison to those that are unhealthy. They will be processed by our digestive system in a way that the nutrients are extracted and turned into fuel rather than stored as fat.
Following a healthy diet doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t mean overhauling your whole way of eating – it can be as simple as switching out high fat, high sugar foods for unprocessed, natural, whole foods.
If you need some help in establishing healthy eating patterns, a nutritionist will be able to devise the best diet plan for you to follow based on your health goals and lifestyle. They will even help you create a weekly meal planner, ensuring you have everything you need on hand so there’s no excuse!
5. Drink More Water
Our bodies need water to function properly – it keeps us hydrated and healthy. Ensure you drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and more if you are exercising or live in hotter climates. Water is also essential for flushing out toxins and impurities from the body and keeping you regular.
6. Quit Smoking Now
This is a no-brainer. We all know the dangers of smoking so, if it’s something you still do, it’s time to quit ASAP! Smoking enhances your risk of developing diseases including lung cancer and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and can shorten your life expectancy drastically.
By quitting smoking you will be lessening the strain on your body, improving circulation, lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, and improving your oxygen levels. Given the amount of smoking cessation products now available, there’s never been a better time to quit.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Making sure you get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night is essential for living a healthy lifestyle.Getting enough sleep can help boost your immune system so you’re sick less often, help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of developing serious problems such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. In short, proper sleep helps keep your mind and your body functioning optimally.
8. Stay Physically Active
Aside from structured exercise sessions, it’s important to live a generally active lifestyle to keep your body strong and fit.There are many small changes you can make daily to add in more physical activity such as walking to the store instead of driving, getting off the bus one stop earlier and even offering to take your neighbor’s dog for a walk if you don’t have your own! All these actions will have a cumulative effect and boost overall health.
9. Be Social
Being social is vital to all areas of health, physical and emotional. When you socialize, you’re not only building positive relationships but strengthening your support network. Studies have also shown that you can boost your brain power by being actively social – seniors who regularly get together with friends or participate in group activities have fewer instances of age-related cognitive decline.
As you’ve seen, living a healthy life doesn’t have to be complicated. There’s no need to spend hours on end at the gym or restrict your food choices radically – by implementing these simple steps into your daily routine you will soon find that your physical and mental health improves and, over time, it becomes second nature to make healthy choices. Don’t forget – a healthy lifestyle helps to create a long, happy life!