Everyone wants to live a healthy lifestyle and have a long life, but this is easier said than done. Many people often face difficulties because they try to make drastic changes, thinking that is what it takes to live a healthier life. These difficulties cause them to throw in the towel and get demotivated when that shouldn’t be the case. In reality, the secret to healthy living lies in making small changes (as we all know, small changes produce big results!).
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast
If you are trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast is a huge mistake. When you skip breakfast, chances are high that your hunger will be amplified come lunchtime, and you will most likely satisfy it with unhealthy foods (high in sugar and fat but low in nutrients). Furthermore, The American Heart Association (AMA) released a press release saying that on top of increasing your risk of weight gain, skipping breakfast also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Water performs a variety of vital functions in your body, such as flushing out toxins, increasing brain power and energy levels, maintaining regularity and boosting the immune system. You should aim to drink at least 1.5 liters of water every day (more if it is hot outside). To get the most of these benefits, it is recommended to start off each day with a glass of water at room temperature. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can try adding a slice of lemon or lime to improve the taste.
3. Eat Healthy Snacks
Avoid eating snacks that contain a high amount of sugar, salt and fats. They can increase your risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and weight gain. When reaching for a snack, choose fruits (apples, bananas, berries and avocados), popcorn, oatmeal, unflavored yogurt and almonds. These foods provide more nutrients than cookies, candy, cakes, potato chips, salted nuts and flavored yogurt. If you want to consume sugary snacks, eat them as an occasional treat, otherwise, stick to fruits.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Do you start to feel sleepy around 4 or 5 pm? This means you are probably not sleeping enough during the night. Lots of things happen to your body when you don’t get enough sleep, including lack of alertness, impaired memory, low energy levels and irritability. The biggest consequence of lack of sleep is that it negatively affects your overall health and can make you more susceptible to sickness. It is recommended that adults get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per day, according to a report by the National Sleep Foundation, to avoid the negative consequences of not getting enough sleep.
5. Stretch Every Morning
Stretching in the morning is a great way to increase blood circulation to the muscles. The more blood your muscles get, the more energy you will have. Furthermore, blood flow to the brain is also increased when you stretch in the morning, which boosts your concentration levels. These benefits prepare your muscles and brain for the new day ahead.
6. Do Some Resistance Exercises
Resistance exercises, such as squats, sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, pull-ups and press-ups, are a great way to strengthen your muscles and maintain muscle mass. This is because resistance exercise promotes the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which also helps burn fat. If you are wondering what is HGH , it is a substance produced by the pituitary gland and is claimed to provide the body with plenty of anti-aging benefits. To make these exercises more intense, you can include resistance bands and dumbbells into your routine.
7. Take a Walk Every Day
Most of us are unhealthy because we live a sedentary lifestyle, which is a lifestyle marked by little to no physical activity. If you take less than 5,000 steps a day, you are considered to be living a sedentary lifestyle, according to research conducted at Arizona State University. To be considered active, it is recommended that you take at least 10,000 steps a day. So take a walk each day with your friends or dog, use the stairs more often instead of the elevator or walk around the office during your lunch break. Being physically active can strengthen your heart, regulate blood pressure, clear arteries and veins, reduce blood sugar levels and more.
8. Be Mindful When Eating
On top of robbing us of the pleasure of eating, distracted eating can increase the rate at which we eat, causing us to continuously shove more food into our mouths. Examples of distracted eating are eating while watching television or looking at our phones. This can cause us to eat more food than we would if we took the time to be mindful and savor each bite, leading to weight gain and digestive problems (distracted eating means we don’t properly chew our food).
9. Drink Alcohol in Moderation
If you are a drinker, you should minimize your intake of alcohol. Heavy drinking carries a lot of health risks, such as cancer (breast, esophagus, mouth and throat cancer), liver damage, brain damage, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and even sudden death. Quitting alcohol completely is the better alternative, but if that is not an option, it is recommended that men have two drinks a day if under the age of 65 and women stick to one drink a day despite age.
10. Don’t Take Life Seriously
When trying to live a healthy lifestyle, it is also good to keep in mind that mental health is as important as physical health. Try not to take life too seriously to the point you are stressed out. This means not letting trivial matters bother you and learning to relax and take it easy more often. You should also do things that make you smile (watch a movie, write poetry, play video games or go for a hike), be kind to others and strive to be more optimistic.
As you can see, living a healthy life does not require making drastic changes. By following the above-mentioned tips, you will find it much easier to adopt a healthy lifestyle. In the end, this will motivate you to stick to it and not give up, making sure you have a long life.