1. Food Variety Benefits
Our bodies need an abundance of vitamins and minerals to function optimally. While certain foods have vitamins and minerals in them, no one food or food group will provide you with all the nutrients you need. In order to obtain these vital substances and other nutrients, you must consume a variety of healthy foods. A good place to start is by selecting foods from the five major food groups. If you start consuming fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy during each meal, you are setting yourself up to receive a healthy variety of nutrients to help you live healthy.
2. Achieve a Healthy Weight
It is widely known that reaching an unhealthy weight levels will increase your risk of developing several health damaging conditions. Diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, stroke, kidney disease, and osteoarthritis are just a few of the health problems linked to unhealthy weight gain. If you are concerned that your weight is reaching an unhealthy point, there are a couple tools you can use to find out. The first tool is a Body Mass Index calculator. This calculator measures your weight related to your height. Because BMI does not consider the composition of the weight on your body, those with higher amounts of muscle mass may be measured incorrectly. For this reason, a body fat calculation could be done. Once you know where you fall on the BMI and Body Fat scale, you can start to determine if weight change should be your primary goal.
3. Regular Physical Activity
There is irrefutable evidence that those that participate in regular physical activity can reduce their risk for many different chronic medical conditions. Between twenty and fifty percent reductions in risk have been observed in those who are physically active. To ensure that you are getting enough physical activity, it is recommended that 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity be completed. If this amount of time is difficult to schedule throughout the week, you can be confident to know that even half the amount of time will still provide you with improved health benefits to help you on your journey to healthy living.
4. Quit Smoking
Research evidence concludes that smoking causes cancers in the lungs and other parts of the body. Since it is difficult to quit smoking, some may choose to participate in exercise programs, while working to reduce or eliminate the habit. It is important know that if you chose to continue to smoke, your physical performance will be affected as well. When you smoke, your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your lungs in impaired. Because of this, reduced availability of oxygen during exercise, your endurance will be less, your performance will be reduced, and you can see increased risk for injury and other complications.
5. Reduce or Eliminate Alcohol
Potential health benefits of alcohol are small and may not be the same across all populations. Because of this, it is better to avoid alcohol if a healthy lifestyle is your focus. If you are healthy, it is possible to drink in moderation and still maintain or improve your health. Excessive drinking has been shown to cause many different health problems. Heart muscle damage, cancer, high blood pressure, liver disease, and stroke are some of the complications excessive drinkers could develop.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Being deprived of sleep could be one of the largest influences on healthy living. Sleep deprivation can cause loss of concentration, changes in mood, and decreased mental and physical performance. In general, adults should be getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep per day. Check out our strategies for improving sleep and easy strategies for quality sleep articles for more info on how to boost your sleep quality.
7. Drink Enough Water
Water is essential to live healthy. Not having enough water (dehydration) can be serious problem. Some side effects of dehydration include, headache, muscle cramps, fainting, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness. Your physical performance will suffer greatly if adequate water is not consumed. Check out 9 to 5 Fitness Podcast episode twenty five to get more details on how much water you should be drinking.
8. Limit Sugar Consumption
Eating too much sugar can easily lead to excess calorie consumption which can lead to weight gain. Besides weight gain, sugar has also been linked to other serious health problem like obesity, increased blood pressure, and increase risk of heart disease. Too much sugar is also considered the main risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes.
9. Work on Your Mental Health
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to give your metal health a boost. When you participate in physical activity, your body releases endorphins that can give your mood a lift. This can also help reduce anxiety and depression. The great part is that you don’t have to participate in a specific kind of activity to obtain these effects. A simple activity like walking outside can have significant benefits. If you prefer to perform more indoor exercise activity, consider an in home exercise bike, rower, treadmill, stepper, or elliptical.
10. Create a Strong Social Network
You don’t have to be a socialite to have a strong social network, and it doesn’t take much effort to engage with your community. Social media has made it easy for anyone to connect with others anywhere anytime. Its important to remember that there is still no substitute for face-to-face interaction. People with more social support have been shown to live longer, have stronger immune systems, have decreased feelings of depression, and have low risk for dementia.
A good way to use these tips, is to look at the ones you’re already doing well and try to work on one that you can incorporate into your current weekly routine. You don’t have to work on all of them at once. If drinking more water sounds like a good place to start, work on that first. After it becomes a healthier habit, move on to the next one. Over time it will become easy to involve all these strategies so can you live healthy!