Easy ways to healthy living
It goes without saying that we’d all like to be and stay healthy. But most of us know that our current lifestyle could do with a few tweaks and improvements if we want to achieve our ideal health goal. The fact is that there will always be room for improvement, and you don’t need to be perfect to stay on track. Just making a few small changes could result in a healthier, happier you.
Being healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. The reasons we give for not improving our lifestyle are generally somewhere along the lines of not having enough time and/or money. It’s true that juggling family, a job and all the other aspects of modern life can leave little time for exercise classes, preparing complicated meals or full-time mindfulness. Sometimes the best we can do is to grab a snack bar and jump in the car.
There are small changes we can all make though that will lead to us looking and feeling healthier. When the benefits of these changes make themselves noticed you should have more energy to make further changes and so on. Here are a few tips to get you started, that shouldn’t eat too heavily into your weekly budget or busy lifestyle.
Eat a balanced diet
What you eat is the foundation of your health, and your calorie intake should be appropriate to your daily level of activity. Eating too little can be as harmful to your health as eating too much, but it’s what you eat that really counts. Aim for five portions a day of fruit and vegetables. Avoid processed food in tins or packages in favour of natural food like fresh lean meat or whole eggs.
Easy ways to healthy living
Each meal should contain a good mix of different food groups, including non-starchy vegetables like greens, broccoli, carrots or cauliflower. About 50% of your intake should be wholegrain carbohydrates like cereals, rice, pasta, bread and potatoes. Try to eat oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring) 2-3 times a week. Boil, steam or bake rather than fry, and swap saturated for unsaturated fat (but don’t try to cut out fat altogether).
Reduce your intake of sugar, particularly in the form of sugary drinks like cola or alcohol. If you want to lose a lot of weight, speak to a weight loss consultant about the diet that’s best for you. It’s generally easier to lose weight with other people, either working with a mentor one-to-one or in a group. Aim for a healthy body weight that feels good rather than weight loss for its own sake.
Getting enough exercise needn’t involve daily gym sessions or five-mile runs before breakfast, although if these suit your timetable and inclinations then go for it! Experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. You can reach that target with just a brisk 20 minute walk each day, plus 10 minutes of lifts, stretches, squats or similar exercise every week. You’ll find there are plenty of activities that you can make part of your daily schedule that count as moderate exercise, from walking upstairs to carrying bags of heavy shopping.
Drink plenty of fluids
An easy life hack is just to make sure you drink plenty of water during the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s bottled or straight from the tap, but aim for about 1.5 litres per day. You can carry a flask around with you to stay hydrated, or make mugs of boiling water as a substitute for tea and coffee (just let it cool a bit before drinking). A glass of water before or during each meal is a good way to make sure you’re getting enough fluid.
Tea, coffee and pure fruit juices are okay in moderation. The latter counts as one of your five-a-day, but make sure it doesn’t contain any additives and stick to “not from concentrate” juices as they retain more vitamins. Green tea is extremely good for you as it’s high in nutrients and antioxidants that fight off dangerous free radicals, so reducing the signs of aging. Drinking plenty of green tea can also lower the risk of heart disease and Type-2 diabetes.
Balance and moderation are the keys to a healthier lifestyle. If you eat well and exercise more then you’ll find that you’ll have more energy and will enjoy life more. It doesn’t require major changes or disruption to achieve these goals, so start living a little bit healthier today.
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