We know taking steps to a healthy lifestyle is the right thing to do, yet it seems like they come with SO many restrictions. We don’t want to have to remove all the best things from life. So here we are going to show you some different things you can do to promote healthy living. Some of these may be different ways from what you’ve heard before. But they can help you to make a good start by taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
We’re not aiming for a perfect score here. We want to be able to introduce small changes as part of your daily routine. That’s the best way to make new habits that are SUSTAINABLE. No use implementing a load of healthy habits into your new routine, feeling great for a week living a healthy lifestyle, and then giving up because it’s too hard. That’s never a good idea.
However, the good news is that there are healthier habits you can make without having to make drastic changes. Some of the steps below may seem obvious, but some will also surprise you. Not just focusing on our physical health, but our mental health too. Taking care of both is a great way to have a positive impact on our overall health. No use being super fit and miserable, or happy but with a high risk of heart disease.
The first step is awareness. Be honest with yourself about where you’re currently at. Are you in good health? Once you know where you are at, you can use some of the tips below to move towards better health. Let’s begin.
5 STEPS TO A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE YOU ALREADY KNOW & 5 YOU DON’T:
Let’s get the 3 most obvious out of the way. It’s common knowledge that healthy living involves a good diet, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. But common sense does not mean common actions. If all we needed was knowledge, then everyone would have a healthy weight and avoid the most serious health problems.
1. Eat Well
A quick summary of each one. A healthy diet is a balanced diet. This means giving the human body what it requires through a variety of foods, not just what’s tasty. So try to avoid too much fast food, high-sugar items, and other unhealthy food. These raise blood sugar, which converts to blood glucose, and the excess will be stored as fat. The easy way to avoid this is to keep healthy foods in mind when at the grocery store. We also have old habits such as eating to be full, rather than just satisfied with small portions.
Take care of your body. It’s the only one you’ll ever get. Spending time moving helps to keep the body functioning well. As little as 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough. Moderate exercise to be specific. This doesn’t have to be strength training at the gym or your typical physical exercise class. It can be a brisk walk or just dancing in your living room. As long as you spend enough minutes of moderate intensity, then it counts. Physical activity can be fun, as well as a great way to get your heart rate up. Even household chores count if you really go for it!
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We love it, we want it, and it’s one of the most important things when it comes to avoiding health issues. Our bodies need rest and that comes through quality sleep, not just spending enough time in bed. A recent study showed that sleep deprivation over an extended period of time can double your risk of heart attacks and high blood pressure. Make it a priority to get in those hours and break bad habits like staying up late watching ‘just one more episode’. An easy way to avoid a lack of sleep is to have a routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This way, your body learns when to wake up, and you’ll fall asleep faster. Also, stay away from bright lights in the evenings before bed. Dim it and chill.
Maybe not as obvious as the first 3 but still pretty well known. You’ve got to drink enough water. The recommendation varies depending on whom you ask, but 2 liters (half a gallon) is an easy one to keep in mind. Not only does staying hydrated keep you more alert when awake, but it is also one of the steps to a healthy gut. Your first goal when you wake up is to chug a glass, as your body has been fasting for the last 8 hours. Make sure you drink actual water. Not sugary drinks. We’re trying to have a positive impact here. It’s a simple action to take and one of the baby steps when looking at how to start living a healthy lifestyle.
The last of our well-known ways how to maintain a healthy lifestyle is getting that all-important vitamin D. It’s essential for the body, but unfortunately we cannot produce it ourselves. So getting outside every now and then can make big difference. It can affect your health, and your mood too. Enjoying a healthy breakfast of fresh fruit in the morning sun is a real winner that I highly recommend. Just make sure you’ve topped up your sun cream!
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We all have indulgences. Things we know are not great for our health, yet we still have them. Then to top it off, we’re left with the guilt of overindulging. Life is about balance. Become aware of the things that may be doing you harm in the long term. Smoking and alcohol are a pair of silent killers that degrade our immune system and drastically increase our risk of major health concerns such as lung disease and cancer. Too much sugar is another one. If you can’t cut these out, then at least learn to moderate them. Moderation is one of the steps to a healthy relationship with what you consume, and not becoming DEPENDENT on them.
A surprising find in our 10 ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even though deep down we know it’s good for us. So intentionally go out of your way to do it. Spend time with people you find hilarious. Go see a stand-up comic. Watch your favorite comedies. Laughter increases our heart rate, gets the blood flowing, releases positive hormones, and – best of all – it feels great! One of the fun healthy ways of promoting good health we enjoy most.
8. Cut the Dairy
As much as they can be promoted as part of a healthy diet, Dairy can actually have some adverse effects on the body. This is especially true when it comes to inflammation. As odd as it may seem to some, dairy products are not actually meant for humans, and so our bodies struggle with some of the not-so-friendly things found in them (like hormones, bacteria, and antibiotics). So it’s a good idea to cut down on them, if not remove them. It’s still easy to make healthy meals without them, and removing them means fewer calories, which can help with weight loss.
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9. Take a moment to pause, reflect and reset
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day. It can feel like you’re operating on autopilot most of the time. This is definitely not healthy, especially for our minds. Taking a moment to pause, reflect, or reset is one of the small adjustments you can do that can make a huge difference. Some use meditation, others stop to breathe. You can just go out for a walk without your phone for a while. Be present in the moment whilst getting in your minutes of activity. It’s a healthy change you can make without having to add anything or take anything away. Just incorporate it into your daily going-on. Set a reminder/alarm to take 1-5 minutes out. You’ll be surprised how well it works for stress and overwhelm.
Something you do every day, right? So you can tick this one-off. WRONG! This step isn’t referring to your chit-chat on messenger, or gossiping with your work bestie on your break. This is about REAL talk. Talking about what’s really going on in life. Face-to-face with someone you can confide in. The good stuff and the bad. Let it out. As connected as the world is now, we’ve forgotten to interact about what’s important. Instead, we bottle it in to keep up a facade of ‘we’re great’. It’s exhausting and definitely not healthy. So let it out (constructively). It can be a friend, family member, or if not, there are plenty of professionals in human services that will listen too. You just have to reach out.
There you have it. Some obvious (and not so obvious) steps you can take to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat those healthy foods and get in that moderate exercise along with everything else on this list. I hope you found this article helpful. Feel free to reach out on socials (@savinaoffcial) and let me know which ones are your favorite.
This post was all about steps to a healthy lifestyle.
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