Many people don’t realize they have the power to make healthy choices that can add years to their lives. Most of us have at least one or two bad habits that keep us from a healthy lifestyle.
Making minor adjustments in your lifestyle can dramatically improve your health and increase your chances of living a long, healthy life. What follows are ten things you can put in place to live a healthy lifestyle.
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It’s easier than you might think. Read on, and you’ll see what we mean.
A Longer and Healthier Life
The keys to a healthier, longer life include:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight.
- Eating a balanced diet.
- Exercising regularly.
- Getting enough sleep.
- Managing stress.
These habits might sound simple, but they can be challenging to stick to in our fast-paced, modern world. It’s essential to find what works for you and make healthy living a part of your everyday routine.
If you’re unsure where to start, try incorporating one healthy habit into your life at a time. Then, in a little while, you’ll be on your way to being healthier and happier!
9 Keys to a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Eat Healthy Foods
It may seem a no-brainer to eat nutritious foods and keep a healthy diet, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t follow any of these guidelines.
Eating healthy foods doesn’t have to be boring either. There are tons of delicious recipes out there that are good for you AND your taste buds.
To maintain a balanced diet, include a variety of food groups in your meals. Avoid processed foods. They are not part of a balanced diet.
So ditch the chips and cookies and stock up on some healthy eats!
2. Get Regular Exercise
We all know that we should exercise more and some of us need to lose weight., But what are the real benefits? And how do we make sure we stick to a plan?
Here are some of the basics.
BMI, or Body Mass Index, measures how much fat is in your body based on height and weight. For example, a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight, and 30 or above is considered obese. You can calculate your BMI here.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in three people in the United States are obese.
Being obese puts us at a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Obesity is estimated to cause 112,000 cancer deaths each year in the U.S. alone.
By losing weight and exercising more! Even a small amount of weight loss — just 5-10% of your body weight — can have significant health benefits.
The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (like jogging or running) per week.
3. Get Enough Sleep
It’s easy to overlook the value of sleep as a key to a healthier and longer life. Still, it is essential to get optimum hours of sleep every night.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that the average adult should sleep for 7-9 hours every night. Lack of sleep can lead to different sleep disorders negatively affecting overall health.
Getting enough sleep helps the body recover from the day’s activities and repair any damage that may have occurred. It also helps in the betterment of attention and focus and is beneficial to one’s mood and stress levels.
You can do a few things to guarantee that you get enough sleep every night.
- Establish a regular sleep routine and keep to it as much as possible.
- Create a relaxed environment in your bedroom that promotes restfulness.
- Avoid using electronic screens before bedtime. The blue light emitted can interfere with the body’s natural sleep cycle.
You can rest easy if you use these simple methods to get the sleep you need to live a happier life.
4. Manage Stress
Many individuals are aware that stress is harmful to their health, but they don’t know how to manage it effectively.
Too much stress can depreciate our life expectancy significantly. So it’s essential to learn how to reduce stress in our lives to live happier and healthier lives.
Some of the most effective methods to reduce stress include:
- Exercise releases endorphins, which boost mood and reduce stress.
- Relaxation activities such as yoga or meditation can also help to calm the mind and body.
- Positive thinking can help reframe stressful situations in a more positive light.
Learning how to reduce stress is an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle. By managing stress effectively, we can improve our overall health and well-being.
5. Don’t Smoke
Tobacco smoking is the most significant avoidable cause of premature death and illness worldwide.
In developed countries, smoking causes about one in every five male deaths and one in eight female deaths.
Smokers face a greater risk of developing more than 20 different types of cancer and other smoking-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and chronic lung disease.
Giving up smoking is not easy, but it’s worth it. You can find help and support to quit at Smokefree versions in your language.
6. Limit Alcohol Consumption
We all know that drinking alcohol can have some pretty unfortunate consequences.
Have you ever woken up with a pounding headache after one too many drinks the night before? Or maybe you’ve neglected your responsibilities because you were hungover.
Maybe you’ve even looked back on a night of drinking and regretted some things you said or did. It’s safe to say that excess alcohol consumption can lead to some problems.
But what about moderate alcohol consumption? Is there such a thing as drinking alcohol in moderation? And if so, what are the benefits?
It turns out that moderate alcohol consumption (defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men) has several health benefits.
- Lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
- Moderate drinkers also tend to live longer than non-drinkers.
So if you’re looking to improve your health and lengthen your life, limiting your alcohol intake is a great place to start.
7. Protect Your Skin From the Sun
We’re all aware of the risks of too much sun exposure. But did you know that just one severe sunburn can increase your risk of skin cancer? Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun. One of the most important is to use sunscreen, even on cloudy days.
But sunscreen alone won’t give you complete protection. You also need to wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a hat outdoors. Take special care to stay away from the sun during peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Taking these simple actions will help you enjoy the outdoors while keeping your skin healthy and reducing your risk of skin cancer.
8. Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
We all desire to live a healthy and happy existence. Yet, it might be challenging to determine precisely what that entails.
There are varied opinions about what we should and shouldn’t do. It can be hard to sort through all the noise. But if you’re looking for some solid advice about living a healthier, longer life, here are two simple tips.
Traveling outside your location is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. It opens you to new cultures, new food, and new experiences. It helps get you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to think in new ways.
And it’s also a great way to stay active and fit. These things can lead to a longer, healthier life.
Start planning your next adventure today!
Staying hydrated is crucial for good health. Dehydration can cause problems, including fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. It can also make you more susceptible to sickness.
So make sure you’re drinking plenty of water every day!
By following these two simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to living a healthier, happier life.
9. Live Life to the Fullest! Live With Purpose
According to studies, key factors can lead to a longer and healthier life. For one, it’s crucial to have a sense of purpose.
A recent study discovered that individuals with a strong sense of purpose were more likely to live longer than those who didn’t. So what exactly is a “sense of purpose”? It’s having a direction in life and working towards goals.
It could be something as fundamental as taking care of your family or making a difference in your community.
Having a sense of purpose in your life gives it meaning and helps you stay focused on the most important things.
You can enhance your health and increase your life span.
While some of these keys are easier to adopt than others, all of them will help you live a longer, healthier life.
Give them a try and see how much better you feel – both mentally and physically!
This post originally appeared on Savoteur.