Healthy living is not a New Year’s resolution, it’s a lifestyle choice. A truly healthy lifestyle is about balance and practicing healthy habits. This includes balancing all areas of your life in nutrition, fitness, and rest. A good start is taking an inventory of those sneaky bad habits that over time lead to long-term health issues. Not getting enough sleep, an abundance of processed foods, or a lack of fruits and veggies can wear down the body. Normalizing your critical health numbers, including weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol is key. Initially your body will rebel against the changes, but stick it out as experts say it takes about 21-days to create a new habit.
Here are a few healthy living tips to make real, permanent changes toward a fruitful lifestyle that keeps you going.
Dietary & Nutrition – Shake off salt and sugar. Replace that sweet tooth for chocolates or tasty baked good with a piece of fruit. Good foods to replace include: pizza, ice cream, burgers, fries, and soda..
How to start: Begin by replacing one snack a day with a piece of fruit or by incorporating an additional veggie dish with each meal.
Fitness & Activity – Get moving. Alright, so you’ve started to transform your diet and now you’re ready to begin crafting an exercise routine. In order to stay the course, it’s important that you make it fun. If you like dance try a salsa or zumba class. If you’re feeling adventurous why not give rock climbing a try? Another key is to make it a social activity. Routine workouts can be a great way to spend time with your spouse or catch up with a friend while practicing healthy living.
How to start: Plan your favorite physical activity. Whether it’s bike riding, hiking, dancing or walking in your neighborhood, commit thirty minutes a day to this activity at some point this week.
Work & Rest – Now you’re really moving but just as your body needs activity, it also needs rest. Adequate rest is essential to empowering your body with the recharging it needs to sustain your new active lifestyle habits. Sleep allows the body to repair and gives you more vitality to learn, grow, and act in life.
How to start: Set a cut-off time for your day’s work. This might mean coming up with a schedule for your day so that there’s a clear full stop and time allocated to unwind, relax, and settle your body for a full night’s sleep.
Mental & Emotional – Physical and mental well-being are closely related. So keep a positive attitude by being sure to make meaningful connections with those you love, practicing generosity and kindness, and challenging your fears. Equally important is maintaining a positive relationship with your self. Regularly carving out alone time and inviting some meditation and internal awareness in your day helps to reduce stress and maintain holistic health.
How to start: Start your morning with a quiet moment that’s dedicated to mental balance and internal stability.
Get Organized – Plan your week. Utilize to-do lists to keep your day on track and to take care of pivotal things throughout your week. This helps to eliminate stress and allows you to react more readily to life’s uncertainties.
How to start: Make a short list of things you’d like to accomplish this week and break it out into daily to-dos each night.
Regular Check-Ups – Be sure to make your regular appointments with your family doctor as often as directed. Take advantage of preventative services that your insurance carrier provides each year including: health tests and screenings, regular weight and blood pressure checks, immunizations, and special test for life milestones.
How to start: Get all of your family’s annual medical and dental check-ups scheduled and on the calendar for the year.
Don’t Drink Your Calories – Drink lots of water and avoid taking in empty calories from carbonated or energy drinks. If you’re a heavy soda drinker, this will be an adjustment at first but soon the craving for sugary drinks will be replaced with a desire for more H2O.
How to start: Get a refillable water bottle that you carry with you on a daily basis. Use the water dispenser at work or fill before leaving the house. Keep it filled so you’re not tempted when you get thirsty.
Conclusion: The path to healthy living is sometimes the road less traveled. Getting started may be the most difficult part of transforming bad habits into healthy ones. Let these tips help get you moving in the right direction of permanent, real lifestyle change.
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