The phrase 'healthy lifestyle' is thrown around everywhere these days. But what does it actually mean, and how do you live one? It is such a general and unexplained term. Fear not, we have your backs and some info on what exactly a healthy lifestyle entails and some simple ways you can life one.
So what does it actually mean? Well, the obvious is someone who is healthy and takes care of themselves, or takes action to look after their body. A healthy person doesn't smoke, tries to maintain a healthy weight, eats healthy foods with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fibre and, of course, exercises on a regular basis. These seem pretty simple, are you following these in your life?
A healthy lifestyle does go deeper than this. It is not just your physical health. But mental health to. A healthy person also knows how to manage stress, gets good quality sleep each night, doesn't drink too much, doesn't sit too much—basically, does everything in moderation all the time. Everything in moderation is the best way to ensure you are successful at being healthy. Restricting too much can cause bouts of being extremely unhealthy.
If you are not implementing all of these and would like to the good news is, you don't have to change everything at the same time. In fact, the trick to healthy living is making small changes. Taking it step at a time, so you are not embarking upon a diet, but changing your lifestyle. This means changing habits, and habits take a while to solidify. So, take a look at the things you would like to implement and start the stepping stones to a healthier life!
Here are some small changes you can make:
You know you need to exercise, but there are many excuses not to do it. You're too busy, don't know where to start, you're not motivated or you're afraid you'll injure yourself, you don't have the right clothes, it's too hard, you're not fit enough (this is a common one - anyone can exercise!)
All exercise is, is movement. Move your body, raise your heart rate slightly, and get the blood pumping around your body. You don't have to run a marathon to say you exercise.
Just some of the benefits of exercise include:
- Reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
- Improves joint stability
- Increases and improves range of motion
- Helps maintain flexibility as you age
- Maintains bone mass
- Prevents osteoporosis and fractures
- Improves mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Enhances self-esteem
- Improves memory in elderly people
- Reduces stress
There are so many simple ways to move more. Choose to walk instead of car, or use a bike. Swap out TV and Computer time for gardening, playing with your kids, walk the dog, go to a dance meet up. Anything that gets you off your bottom and moving.
The other major one is food. This is where many fall of the wagon and go back to old ways. But, it doesn't have to be difficult. Ditch the processed packaged foods and go fresh. Support local farmers and be healthier for doing so.
Choose fruit instead of chocolate, load up on veggies, find a yummy healthy salad dressing with low calories and sodium (this makes green leaves so much more interesting). Swap ice cream for homemade fro yo, cut our fizzy drinks and liquid calories, add lemon and other fruits to your water for a taste kick.
Finding alternatives doesn't have to be difficult. Start with small changes. Look through your cupboards or fridge and pick three foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you're food shopping, find lower-calorie, healthier alternative for just those three items. That is the start to a healthier you!