Virtually everyone on the planet would like to be healthier. I know I want a healthy life, and I know you would too!
But that’s easier said than done, especially today when we have easy access to junk convenience food, are more stressed out than ever, and aren’t as physically active.
Living a healthier life all comes down to our daily lifestyle choices. The habits that we build and the decisions that we make throughout the day determine how healthy we are overall.
It’s time to start taking steps toward a healthier life by kicking any unhealthy habits that are holding you back.
5 Easy Ways to Help You Lead a Healthy Life
Eliminate Alcohol and Drugs
Unless you have a health condition that requires treatment with prescription drugs, the first thing to eliminate from your lifestyle is alcohol and substance abuse. Alcohol and drugs can wreak havoc on a person’s health even if they do everything else right. There are direct health risks, including an increased risk of cancer and heart disease, and there are also indirect health risks. They dull your senses and are responsible for most car accidents and tripping and falling.
Before you can truly get healthy and stay healthy, you need to detox. Some people can accomplish this on their own, while some get help from family and others seek professional assistance at a drug and alcohol detox center. The most important thing is that you resolve to rid yourself of the toxins so you can start fresh. It is never too late.
Eat to Improve Your Metabolic Health
How are you fueling your body? Are you eating foods that hinder metabolism?
Metabolic health refers to your body’s ability to convert food into energy. It’s a complex process that involves organs, enzymes, and hormones that must all be in balance. People with a low metabolic rate are at a higher risk for developing non-communicable diseases.
What you eat significantly affects your metabolic rate. In particular, the fats you consume can either help or hurt metabolic health. Focus on eating monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which improve heart health and reduce type 2 diabetes. Olive oil is one of the best MUFA you can eat to improve metabolic health.
Stop Sitting for Hours
Sitting is the new smoking. At least that’s what health experts are saying. Due to changes in the way we work and entertain ourselves, we are sitting more now than ever before. Harvard researchers note that the dangers of sitting too much include an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and premature death.
The good news is, to lead a healthy life, you don’t have to be the athletic type or have a gym membership to counteract the effects of sitting. As someone who works from home, I get up every 30 minutes to stretch and walk around so that the muscles are engaged and the blood flows freely. Simply walking at a moderate pace for 20-30 minutes a day can also help reverse the effects of sitting for hours. Use it as a reason to take a few short breaks throughout the workday to get exercise and unwind.
That stress levels run high today is not news. The 2017 Stress in America survey from the American Psychological Association found that 75% of people experienced at least one stress symptom in the month before being surveyed. People are stressed out over the state of the country, economic uncertainty, and a host of other concerns. Add social media, and that’s a full recipe for disaster.
Five quiet minutes a day can transform your health and well-being. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, but it’s just now becoming common. Part of the reason more people are now open to the practice is because research has shown meditation can positively impact health.
Meditation is a powerful tool for managing stress, depression, anxiety, and addiction. The positive effects are also physical. There’s evidence meditation improves brain density, reduces blood pressure, and improves the immune system. Who knew a few minutes of “me time” could be so beneficial to your health?
The start of the day is the best time to meditate. You can use the time to collect your thoughts and put yourself in a positive mindset right from the start.
All of your efforts to get healthy can be completely undone if you’re chronically sleep-deprived. Not getting enough sleep leads to weaker willpower, and increased irritability—making crutches seem more appealing and altering judgment. All of this could make you forget about your health goals.
As adults, we need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to be well rested. Just a week of sleeping less than five hours is enough to increase stress, feelings of exhaustion, and mood changes. All of these things have a ripple effect that can cause other health problems while also making it more difficult to sleep.
Break the sleep deprivation/stress cycle by adopting good sleep habits. Start by creating a realistic sleep schedule you can stick to. Going to bed and waking at the same time every day helps prime your brain and body for sleep and thus, a healthy life.
So there! You have it. Five things guaranteed to get you back on track to a healthy life.
What can you add to this?