Do you practice healthy living? Do you have a healthy diet? Do you exercise regularly? Do you drink enough water every day? Do you get enough sleep? If you’re reading this article, you probably don’t live as healthily as you’d wish. We all want to be healthy, but actually living a healthy lifestyle every day of the year can often seem a lofty goal. Planning major healthy lifestyle changes can be a daunting task, but adopting new healthy habits really doesn’t need to be intimidating. It’s simply about making easy to manage healthy choices in your day to day living.
There are lots of small changes you can make to your lifestyle that can make a huge difference during the course of your life. So instead of trying to change your life with one huge makeover, try implementing these 16 healthy living tips one by one.
Healthy Living Tips
1/ Aerobic exercise
You can’t have an article on healthy living tips without including aerobic exercise! Most experts consider aerobic exercise to be the single most important component of fitness. Studies have continuously shown that people who do regular exercise will live longer and healthier lives. The definition of aerobic exercise (also known as cardiovascular activity) is any activity that gets your blood pumping and large muscle groups working.
Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and helps it pump blood more efficiently throughout the body. It can also help lower blood pressure, and keep your arteries clear by raising the “good” cholesterol and lowering the “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. Aerobic exercise helps regulate blood sugar levels, regulates weight, helps promote restful sleep and strengthens the immune system.
Did you know that regular cardiovascular sessions can also boost optimism? In a study on 12 patients suffering from depression, participants exercised on a treadmill for 30 minutes, once a day for 10 days. At the end of the study, all participants reported a significant reduction in their symptoms of depression. The conclusion was that aerobic exercise can produce major improvements in mood. If you are interested in more information on how to be optimistic, click through to my article featuring 10 ways to boost your optimism.
2/ Resistance training
Health benefits of resistance training include (and this is going to be a long list!) improved muscle strength and tone, greater stamina, improved posture, increased bone density, improved sleep, weight management and increased muscle-to-fat ratio, improved balance and mobility and easier performance of everyday tasks.
3/ Drink enough water
Water makes up around 60% of your body weight. Your body needs water daily to function correctly and survive. Keeping hydrated is crucial for your general well-being and health. Dehydration is the enemy!
4/ Practice good oral hygiene
We all know that practicing good oral hygiene benefits your teeth and gums. But you may not know that it also benefits your entire body and the overall state of your health. Your mouth reflects your general health and well-being and dental care should be an integral part of your day. Benefits of good oral hygiene include:
- Reduced risk of gum disease.
- Reduced tooth sensitivity.
- Reduced risk of tooth decay.
- Lowered risk of cancer.
- Reduced risk of diabetes.
- Lowered risk of stroke.
- Reduced risk of heart disease.
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
The basis of good oral hygiene starts with taking care of your teeth and gums at home. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day and regular visits to a dentist.
5/ Eat healthy snacks
Do you get hungry mid-afternoon? Instead of reaching for a cookie or a bar of chocolate, try eating a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
6/ Eat more fruits and vegetables
Studies have shown that those who consume fruit and vegetables as a large part of their diet have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke cancer, high blood pressure, and other serious diseases.
7/ Consume less refined sugar
Excessive sugar consumption is linked to numerous health conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, tooth decay and obesity. Cut down or even better eliminate sugary food and drinks from your diet to help reduce the risks for these conditions.
8/ Get enough sleep
Sleeping services almost every part of our body. It affects our mental health, mood, stress and growth hormones, blood pressure, our immune system, breathing, appetite, and cardiovascular health. Try to achieve 7-8 hours of restful sleep each night for peak health benefits. Have problems falling asleep? Read my article on how to fall asleep fast.
9/ Stop drinking alcohol or reduce your consumption
The more alcohol you drink the higher the overall risk of developing health problems including liver cirrhosis, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, and strokes. Reducing your alcohol consumption or even better, stopping completely can help reduce the risks for these conditions.
10/ Eat less chemically processed food
Processed foods are altered during preparation to make them more convenient, have a longer shelf life, and have more flavour. Unfortunately, processed foods are bad for your health. They are usually loaded with added sugar and contain artificial chemicals such as preservatives, colorants, flavors, and texturants. They are often high in refined carbohydrates and salt, low in nutrients, low in fiber and high in trans fats.
11/ Eat less meat
Switching to a reduced meat, flexitarian or vegetarian diet has many health benefits. High consumption of red and processed meat has been linked to an increased risk of some cancers. Red meat is high in saturated fats which can increase cholesterol and the risk of developing heart disease. Eating too much red meat has also been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Antibiotics are used in meat production and we ingest these when we eat meat. Vegetarians and vegans generally have lower blood pressure, likely due to their lower average weight and higher intakes of vegetables and fruits.
I appreciate that for some people, cutting out meat completely from their diet is not possible. However, limiting the amount of meat consumed is a great option for overall health improvement and helping the environment.
12/ Stop smoking
I’m presuming just about everybody knows the benefits of quitting smoking! Stopping smoking dramatically increases your chances of living a longer and healthier life and you’ll feel the benefits from the first day you quit smoking.
13/ Meditate or practice mindfulness daily
Meditation is a process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts, and the health benefits of meditation are impressive. They include reducing stress, helps to control anxiety, enhances self-esteem and self-awareness. Meditation can also improve resilience against adversity and pain, improve sleep, lower blood pressure, improve emotional intelligence and strengthen your immune system.
14/ Sit less
Studies have shown that adults who sit less throughout the day have a lower risk of early death. Excessive sitting is associated with an increased risk of being overweight, type 2 diabetes, blood clots, cancer, and heart disease. Sitting for long periods is believed to slow the metabolism, which then affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.
15/ Stretch daily
There are many benefits to practicing a regular stretching routine. Increased flexibility of course, but stretching can also improve posture, increase blood flow to muscles, help to prevent back pain, reduce stress and can calm your mind.
16/ Remove negative and toxic people from your life
You deserve more from life than filling it with people who make you miserable and bring you down. By removing negative influences from your life you’ll make room for positive things to enter. Discover 9 reasons to stay away from negative people here.
17/ Breathe deeply
Breathing deeply is good for our physical and mental well-being. Benefits include increased energy, strengthening of the lymphatic system, improvement of the cardiovascular system and calming the mind. Read my article on breathing better here.
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