For many people, the idea of adopting a healthier lifestyle is scary because they focus too much on what they will be giving up. However, you can make important lifestyle changes gradually and without giving up many of the things you enjoy. In fact, you may find that some healthy options are enjoyable and welcome additions to your daily routine. This short guide offers you a few ways you can begin benefiting from a healthier way of life.
1. Adopt a Healthier Diet
Ideally, three-quarters of every meal should be comprised of plant-based foods, which include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This doesn’t mean you have to give up meat entirely. You can still eat a modest portion of lean red meat, poultry, or fish. You can make changes slowly, such as substituting whole-grain bread for white bread or making side dishes with rice instead of pasta. If you’re not sure you can make healthier homemade meals, or you don’t have the time to cook every night, you can order a healthy meal delivery for your family a few nights a week. Meals will be delivered right to your door, and all you’ll have to do is heat them up.
2. Get More Exercise
If you’re not a physically active person, you’re doing more harm to your body than you realize in that you’re raising the risks of organ damage and degenerative diseases as you age. Doctors recommend getting a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise each day, although you should try to get more physical activity on a daily basis. People who live busy lifestyles find that it’s helpful to schedule an hour of exercise in their daily planners just as they would schedule a business meeting. This ensures you have the time set aside for exercise. You can also look for ways to add physical activity to your day by parking in the spot furthest from your office building or riding a bicycle to run errands. Look for physical activities you can do together with your family to create more bonding experiences.
3. Drink More Water
Even if you think you’re drinking enough water, you’re probably not hydrating as much as you should. The traditional standby recommendation was that everyone should drink 64 ounces of water each day, but that suggestion has changed. As a rule, you should drink one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. For an individual who weighs 150 pounds, they should drink up to 150 ounces of water each day or just over 18 cups. You should drink a serving of water as soon as you wake up each morning to jumpstart the functioning of your organs. Keeping hydrated will help promote muscle and bone strength, efficient blood flow, and help flush toxins from your system.
4. Take Time to Relax
It’s common to mistakenly associate relaxation with laziness, but taking the time to relax is beneficial in maintaining overall good health. Engaging in relaxing and enjoyable activities will help you to alleviate stress, promoting better mental health. High levels of stress also compromise the immune system, which means taking the time to relax will help you reduce the risks to your physical health as well. Relaxation can involve anything that you find enjoyable, although common activities include yoga, meditation, reading, or taking a bath. You can combine activities, such as listening to soft music as you meditate, to maximize the effect.
5. Good Sleep is Vital
Sleep disorders affect millions of Americans, but many people shrug off their lack of sleep because they can still function without it. They don’t realize that they’re not functioning as well as they would with proper rest. A lack of good, uninterrupted sleep also raises the risks of type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and breast cancer among other illnesses. If you engage in relaxation techniques before bed and still can’t get enough quality sleep, consider upgrading your bedding. You may need softer blankets and sheets, firmer pillows and mattress, or a cooler environment. Additionally, use earplugs to block out external noises or try wearing a sleep mask for a darker atmosphere. If you still have trouble sleeping through the night, consult your doctor.
You can find other ways to live healthier by looking at your daily habits and activities and determining how you can enjoy them in healthier ways. In making gradual changes, you’ll find that your quality of life will improve. You’ll also be helping yourself to live a longer life with a lower risk for many of the degenerative diseases that affect unhealthy individuals.