While diet and exercise are two important components of a healthy lifestyle, true health and wellness is the result of a collection of good habits that address a wide variety of mental, physical and emotional health concerns.
Though it may seem daunting, living more healthfully is hardly complicated. The decision to lead a healthy lifestyle simply involves a shift in focus to better, healthier habits that you practice on a daily basis. Read on for several tips to help you make lifestyle improvements that will result in a healthier body and mind.
1. Determine What Needs to Change
Before you get started with meal plans or new exercise regimens, it’s a good idea to take a look at your existing habits and make note of any areas that need improvement. Consider the advice of health experts such as D Gary Young and compare your daily practices to what is considered ideal for a healthy way of life. This not only helps to clarify your intentions moving forward, but it can also provide valuable insight into what you’re already doing well to take proper care of yourself.
2. Concentrate on Nutrients
A healthy diet is essential for a healthy body, as only free from excess processed foods, added sugars and unhealthy fats can help your body to function optimally. However, a healthy diet is as much about what you’re eating as it is about what you’re not.
The next time you head to the grocery store, stock your cart with fruits and vegetables that span many colors of the rainbow. Consider fresh fruits and vegetables as crucial fuel for your body that provides necessary vitamins and minerals for your system. Plan your meals in such a way that allows you to get at least five services of fruits and vegetables a day, and make sure to incorporate whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, too.
3. Stay Hydrated
When your body is adequately hydrated, it does a much better job of removing waste and transporting nutrients throughout your system. Your body is always using and expending water stores through respiration, waste processes and perspiration, so you need to make sure to restore your body’s fluids by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. The average adult needs up to three liters of water a day, which amounts to about 12 to 13 cups.
4. Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep not only helps you to feel energized and clear throughout the day, but it’s also the time where your body performs vital functions to repair cells, process important information and get rid of toxic waste. Adults should aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night, but some people need up to nine hours to be fully rested.
5. Exercise Regularly
Studies have shown that those who move their bodies for at least 20-30 minutes per day get sick less often, report greater levels of happiness, sleep better and have a lowered risk for the development of several diseases. Adults should try to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week, but even a few quick walks during the day can keep your body healthy and strong.
6. Practice Stress Management Techniques
Stress is incredibly hard on your system. Research around the effects of stress on your body has shown that those who remain in a state of chronic stress may shave years off of their lives and are more likely to develop risk factors for chronic health conditions. Stress is taxing on both your body and mind, so it’s important for you to find healthy ways to cope.
Rather than reach for unhealthy vices or coping mechanisms, try to discover helpful practices such as deep breathing, meditation, regular exercise, journaling or talking it out with a friend. The more you can lessen your experience with stress, the less strain you place on your system, and the better, happier and healthier you will feel.