Choosing a healthy lifestyle can lead to a longer, more fulfilling life. Improving your physical and mental health has a positive effect on everyone around you.
You can teach your family and friends better habits through example. There’s no need to be intimidated by the idea of living healthier. Make a few small changes and see big results.
There are exercise programs out there that promise amazing body transformations in a short amount of time but they’re grueling. If you love that kind of challenge then go for it! To begin an exercise regimen that’s less extreme, start with walking. Walking is a great way to ease into exercise and is less taxing on your joints than jogging or running. Even a 10 minute walk down the street will increase your stamina and boost your metabolism. When the weather doesn’t permit walking outdoors, try the local gym. Elliptical machines are kinder to your knees and with their adjustable resistance you can increase the challenge as muscles strengthen. A treadmill is a great way to get walking too and with the adjustable incline you can experience the unique challenge of traversing hills.
Drinking enough water is vital to your health. Proper hydration aids in digestion, organ function and protects joint health. Consuming the proper amount of water daily keeps your skin healthy and helps flush out any toxins in your system. You need to drink more water when you’re exercising because you sweat it out. Sports drinks are okay after a strenuous workout because they replace electrolytes but be aware that they contain sugar and added calories that you won’t find in water. Fruit juices are good hydration too because they have vitamins and minerals but even the most natural juices contain sugar and sometimes high amounts of sodium.
Fresh Air and Sunshine
Venturing out into the sunlight has many benefits, a major one being that when your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium which is vital for building and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Low levels of Vitamin D can lead to certain cancers, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. Vitamin D’s ability to aid in calcium absorption prevents bone diseases like osteoporosis and rickets. Sunlight isn’t the only source of Vitamin D, it can also be found in fortified dairy products, cod liver oil, eggs and fish like salmon and tuna.
Rest and Relaxation
Never underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep! As hectic as your life is, your body needs time to recharge. Insufficient sleep can lead to fatigue, depression and anxiety. Even just a few nights of not enough sleep affect your mood, judgment and memory. Longer bouts of inadequate sleep can lead to health problems like depression, and heart disease. You might be tempted to try and work through a problem by staying up all night but it’s better to sleep on it. Quite often the right solution presents itself in the morning after a good night’s rest.
A good rule of thumb to use when grocery shopping is if you can’t pronounce the ingredients then you shouldn’t be putting it in your body. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grain foods are best for your body. Many breads that claim to be whole grain and nutritious are also full of preservatives and excess sugar. Take eating healthy a step further by baking as much food as you can from scratch. You’ll gain peace of mind knowing exactly what ingredients went into the food you’re eating. Also, keep an eye on eye on the nutritional labels of the foods you ingest and even the meds or treatments you use on your body (toothpaste, bodywash, etc).