Wouldn’t it be great if pizza, french fries, and Cheetos counted as healthy food? Or, if eating a salad once a week provided enough nutrients for the entire week? Unfortunately, you have to give up the twinkies and commit to a healthy lifestyle on a consistent basis in order to live a long life. Taking a few steps now will ensure a better health in the future.
Let’s Get Physical
Exercise has to be a part of your life in order to maintain a healthy weight and cut your risk for certain diseases. But no one said you need to be able to run a marathon to be in good health. If you aren’t a fan of exercising, find an activity that is fun—whether it be a hike, karate class, or a walk with friends. Set a weekly goal that allows you flexibility from day-to-day. Try to work physical activity into your life in small increments—even a 10-minute walk is better than no physical activity at all.
Don’t Bring Home the Bacon
A poor diet contributes to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. So, aim for five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, choose foods that are low in sugar, and eliminate the ‘bad’ (trans) fats. Stock your refrigerator with healthy food and snacks to make it easy to eat well, even when you are busy. Replace your attitude of ‘having’ to eat healthy foods with ‘choosing’ to eat them and you’ll find that making good decisions about food is a lot easier.
Let it Go, Let it Go
Everyone has a certain level of stress in their lives, either from work, relationships, or just too much to do with too little time. The key is to manage it so it does not take away from your ability to function. Find a positive way to deal with stress through meditation, yoga, or exercise. Manage those stressful flare-up situations with deep breathing and refocusing.
No Smoking….Unless You Are On Fire
Get rid of your vices, like smoking or drinking too much alcohol. Lighting up is associated with several health conditions, including heart disease, liver disease, and many types of cancer. Getting smashed every weekend can leave you prone to liver disease, cancer, heart disease, or depression. If you have trouble getting rid of your bad behaviors and habits, seek professional help.
Another night watching Jimmy Fallon on late night TV is not going to be beneficial for your health. Most adults should get 7-8 hours most days of the week. Those who get good quality sleep for an appropriate number of hours a night are less likely to develop a serious illness like heart disease, high blood pressure, or obesity. And, you are less susceptible to colds and flu. Your body and brain need those hours of sleep to recharge and prepare for the next day.
Often, we associate living a healthy life with not doing things or doing things you find unpleasant. For example, “Don’t eat that” or “You need to run.” To make healthy living easier to incorporate to your daily routine, engage in activities that you enjoy and are good for you too. It will be that much easier to commit to them long-term. While the aging process is an inevitable part of life, we can slow it down with good habits and lifestyle choices.
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