Living healthy is a choice. It is also a continuing process as straying off the path can easily negate all the progress that you have made. Many people think that you would need to go to the gym every day, eat bland food, and be a total bore to be healthy, but that is far from the truth.
There are numerous lifestyle choices that you can make, and many of these are not that difficult, especially if you take them one step at a time.
We have listed down 10 of the easiest lifestyle choices that you can make. By following these tips, you can surely see some very positive benefits not only to your body but to your mind and soul as well.
What are the Benefits of Healthy Lifestyle Choices?
When you are young, it is okay to sleep late, eat junk food, and pretty much live a sedentary lifestyle. You have a very strong metabolism and you are pretty much invincible at least during your late teens.
As you go into adulthood, however, you will pay for all of these bad choices in earnest. What’s worse is that these symptoms would slowly creep in until they become chronic and difficult or impossible to reverse.
Conditions like cardiovascular disease, COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer are lifestyle-related diseases. These are often caused by a combination of poor health choices that you should have had total control over.
What’s scary about it is that these diseases are now becoming more and more common in young adults, whereas previously those in danger of these conditions were middle-aged to older people.
This is only proof that, because of our exposure to unhealthy choices and habits, we are all in danger of being unhealthy regardless of our age, status, or any other socioeconomic factor.
Even if you are not chronically ill, having an unhealthy body will make you feel slow and sluggish. It can affect your performance in different areas, it can disrupt your mood, and it can affect your relationship with others.
By choosing a healthy lifestyle, you can help prevent the onset of many diseases that can cost tens of thousands of dollars worth of treatments and care further down the line.
It can also help boost your mood, give you more energy, make you look and feel better, and provide a variety of positive effects.
Of course, the best benefit of a healthy lifestyle is that it will help you have a long, happy, and more productive life. This means more time to spend with family and loved ones as you age gracefully and healthily.
For that reason alone, who wouldn’t want to have a healthy lifestyle?
When Should You Live Healthily?
There’s no better time than now. Even while you are still young, it would be good to have at least a couple of these lifestyle choices ingrained into your life.
The advantages of healthy habits, as well as the disadvantages of unhealthy ones, are cumulative. The earlier that you have a good grasp of good lifestyle habits, the earlier you will have a solid foundation of health.
Many of these habits – drink your milk, take your vitamins, sleep early – have already been taught to us by our parents while we were young. It is not too late to follow these pieces of parental advice even as you’re a bit older now.
Our Ten Healthy Lifestyle Choices
By turning these healthy habits into part of your daily lifestyle, you can transform your body into a well-oiled machine and enjoy some amazing health benefits that will change how you look and feel.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is the body’s way of recovering from the stresses when awake. It repairs cells, releases hormones that promote growth and healing and relaxes both the body and the mind.
Not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on the body. Those who are chronically sleep-deprived may suffer from brain fog. They also have low energy levels and are often irritable.
Different people will have different needs when it comes to sleep. Some may require eight to nine hours of sleep to be fully energized the next day, while some may only need six hours daily.
Check how many hours of sleep you will need in order to feel refreshed. Also make it a point to sleep and wake up at around the same time daily, even during weekends.
Some people can also benefit from taking power naps, especially during noon or in the late afternoon.
There are several strategies and techniques that can help you sleep better and on time. Try and look into this so you can have a healthy sleep cycle and wake up refreshed every day.
Avoid Excessive Drinking
It would not hurt to have a drink or two from time to time. However, drinking in excess can be very detrimental to your health.
Excessive drinking has been linked to liver damage. It can also prevent nutrients from being absorbed properly by the body. Alcohol in itself is considered a toxin so it should be taken in moderation, if at all.
Drinking alcohol, especially late at night, also disrupts your sleep cycle. Even if you conk out after binge drinking, you will not have a restful sleep and you will not feel as refreshed compared to if you went to bed without drinking.
When drinking alcohol, it is recommended to not do so on an empty stomach. You can also take sips of water in between servings to keep yourself hydrated.
Try to stay away from hard liquors and, if possible, try and measure the amount of actual alcohol that goes into your body. Red wine has relatively low alcohol content, but drinking the entire bottle is a no-no.
Walking is one of the best types of exercise that you can do. You can do it anywhere, it is a low-impact physical activity, and on top of all that, it’s free!
Mild to brisk walking is best for overweight people or for those with some slight mobility problems. From light walking, try to increase the pace or climb up a hill to increase the challenge.
It is also important to have the right pair of shoes and to maintain proper posture when walking. Try to make it a point to carry a bottle of water as well especially when doing long walks.
Walking can help tone the legs, burn calories, and increase metabolism. Walking has also been shown to improve blood pressure and stabilize sugar levels.
Many people recommend walking 10,000 steps a day, but usually around 5,000 to 7,000 steps would do to attain the benefits of walking.
Integrate walking into your life by walking instead of driving short distances, using the escalator or elevator, or just lounging on your couch and watching TV after a meal.
Drink Plenty of Water
Experts recommend drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water for optimal health. However, this amount may change depending on your body weight and level of activity, among other factors.
Water is absolutely essential if you want to have a healthy lifestyle. Our bodies are made up of 75% water, and it serves the purpose of clearing out wastes, stabilizing your body temperature, protecting your joints and bones, and many more.
Make it a point to have a bottle of water handy. Take sips regularly throughout the day until you get your required amount. This is especially true during hot days or when you are exercising.
Take heed, though, and make sure that you are only drinking water. Tea may also be acceptable, but there may be negative effects if you drink too much of it.
Coffee, sports drinks, colas, and other sugary drinks or similar substances should likewise be avoided. Drink pure drinking water without any additives or additional ingredients to enjoy the best benefits that water can provide.
Eat a Proper Diet
There are many types of diets available, and there is really no right one. Perhaps a dietician can help you design the best type of meals that you can take.
What’s universally known, though, is that you should definitely not take in excessive amounts of sugars, processed foods, and fats. These additives are prevalent in junk food, fast food, and canned goods.
A good rule of thumb is to eat food as close to the source as possible. If you cannot recognize a certain food as either an animal or a plant, then it’s probably not good for you.
It would also be a good idea to include a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Proteins must also be included to assist with muscle growth, with minimal amounts of carbohydrates and fats thrown in.
It is not only the quality of foods that you should consider when having a healthy diet, though. You should never binge eat as all those excess calories would eventually be stored as fat.
Eat only what is required by your body based on nutrient and caloric needs. This does not mean that you can’t indulge in a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, or an all-you-can-eat buffet or two.
Moderation, however, is always the key, and a proper diet can provide a lot of benefits and help prevent a lot of metabolic or obesity-related diseases from occurring.
Do Meditation Exercises
Meditation exercises are not only healthy for the mind, but they also provide tremendous benefits for health as well.
It has been scientifically proven that meditative exercises and other practices like yoga, Pilates, or deep breathing exercises can lower blood pressure and reduce stress in the body.
Stress is caused by the hormone cortisol, and it is one of the prime reasons for inflammation and other complications within the body.
By reducing stress, your body will benefit greatly. You will also feel less anxious as meditation has been proven to help reduce and manage panic attacks, depression, and several mental conditions and disorders.
It is very easy to perform meditative exercises at home, and they require minimal to no equipment at all. You can also easily integrate this into your daily routine, such as early in the morning or before you go to bed.
Physical activity will help you build muscle, strengthen your bones and joints, improve your posture, tone up your body, boost your metabolism, and can also be a good way to let off some steam.
There are a lot of other benefits that having an active lifestyle can provide. In fact, doctors recommend at least 30 minutes to an hour of moderate to intense exercise three to four times a week for improving health and maintaining it.
For those just beginning to work out, it is okay to start slow. You can also do some basic exercises at home with just a set of dumbbells or a treadmill. You don’t even have to hire a trainer if you are a beginner.
Make sure to integrate both resistance training and aerobic activity during your training sessions. Do not overstrain yourself and always maintain proper posture when training to maximize the benefits and to avoid injury.
It is okay to take breaks in between sessions and to stop if you feel some pain or discomfort. For intense or prolonged pain, it would be better to visit a doctor.
Various online tutorials can teach you basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises depending on your previous level of activity and purpose.
If you don’t feel like exercising in the gym, then simply doing chores around the house can provide some benefits. Just make sure to stay active and avoid being a couch potato – that is already a huge progress and a step in the right direction.
It is a no-brainer that quitting smoking, if you do, is a part of this list. Smoking is a cause of numerous diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer, but it can also speed up the progression of other conditions such as strokes, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
Quitting smoking can be extremely difficult. If you cannot do it through sheer willpower alone, there are a lot of smoking alternatives and nicotine-replacement products readily available that can help you.
If you smoke, then the time to quit is now. Your lungs, as well as everyone around you, will definitely thank you for it.
Spend More Time with Loved Ones
Spending and enjoying time with family or friends can help boost serotonin in our bodies. Also known as the happy hormone, serotonin helps reduce cortisone levels in the body, drastically reducing stress and other negative feelings.
Doing activities together with loved ones can have a tremendous impact on your mental health, and this also translates into physical benefits.
Even taking walks or playing with your dog can provide a good boost of serotonin which can in turn lead to a healthier and happier life. It’s no wonder why several researches have shown that pet owners typically live longer than non-owners.
While you are at it, make it a point to stay away from toxic and negative people. Cutting these people off from your life is doing yourself a favor and it can lead to a better quality of life.
Surround yourself with an environment filled with love and peace. Your heart will be grateful for it, both metaphorically and literally.
Visit a Doctor Regularly
Even while you are young and especially when you are reaching middle age, it is important to get regular checkups. This may include regular bloodwork, breast or prostate exams, or even ECGs or other similar exams.
Getting checked regularly will increase the chances of diseases getting caught at their early stages. This will help increase the chances of success for treatment.
This can also help detect if you have elevated levels of certain substances in your blood, like sugar, or if you have slightly elevated blood pressure. Regular checkups can help find any problems that can worsen down the line.
Most of these can be treated with medication or some lifestyle changes and can easily be returned to normal if detected early.
It is recommended that you get checked up by a doctor at least once a year, or even twice a year if you are already a bit older or if you already have certain comorbidities or chronic conditions.
As we have stated earlier, healthy living is a choice. It is a combination of small steps that can railroad your progress toward good health.
Each one of the tips mentioned above has immense benefits to your health on its own. By combining two, three, or all of these examples, you can definitely see the positive changes in your body.
Not only that, but you will also feel improvements in the way that you feel and think.
You only have one body, and now is the time to take care of it. Your future will thank you for taking the first of many steps towards a healthy lifestyle.