Achieving the fabled healthy lifestyle may sound arduous but it doesn’t need to be that way. In fact to attain a healthy lifestyle all most people require need to do is make a few small changes across the range of activities in your life. Once you’ve begun, you’ll see the benefits and you’ll step up the pace in ways that suit you best.
About Those Changes
Notice we said small changes in the first instance. This isn’t necessarily the same as saying everything will come easily, although some stuff will. At its most basic you need sufficient motivation to understand and accept that you’ll need to forego some things and increase others. It really depends how far down the unhealthy track your starting point is as to the amount of motivation you’ll need to change. For example, those habits like laziness, drug or alcohol use and unhealthy foods will need to give way to the alternatives. It helps if you can acquire ways to thinking positively, get more active, and treat yourself with some respect. So here’s the list:
Alright, you already move about, but step one in the simple steps program is to increase what you already do. This of course assumes you do very little and you’re the best judge of that. If you’ve got a smartphone you may already have an app on it that tells you how many steps a day you’re achieving. Some free apps can be downloaded and you can set them to monitor various aspects of activity. Let’s just stick with steps. Use the first few days simply to record the number of steps you take in an average day. Then decide to increase your daily steps by maybe 500 more a day – which is actually really easy to achieve over an entire day. When you’re comfortable with that, nudge up the target. Exercise is great for mood improvements.
Sticking with the walking theme, your ultimate goal should be around 10,000 steps a day. If you get to this point you’ll be burning up to 3500 calories per week, which is equivalent to around 1/2 pound weight loss. A 30 minute daily walk might get you to that point or quite near to it, depending of course how quickly you walk.
Now come on, you know any article about healthy lifestyles is going to mention food! A healthy diet and healthy living go hand in hand. Having a balanced diet is very crucial for living healthy. Cynics will say you simply need to steer clear from everything you enjoy eating. It’s more often the case that people acquire eating habits that they find hard to break. So start small. Choose one meal in your day, say breakfast, and change it. If you normally eat a fried breakfast then shift towards something less greasy and fattening. There are plenty of tips online so look up healthy breakfasts and try a few out until you settle on a few that you quite enjoy. When you’re used to the change, move to another meal and focus on that. You get the idea.
Sleep is crucial for revitalising the body, but slumping in front of the TV isn’t going to cut it. The average adult needs between 6-8 hours of sleep per night. For this to be most beneficial you need to leave the TV and laptop in another room. Power down by reading a book or taking a bath before you slip between the sheets. Don’t eat a big meal or drink coffee before going to bed. Drinking alcohol can certainly knock you out but it has the habit of resulting in a disturbed nights sleep. And anyway, you already know that too much alcohol isn’t healthy.
Work Rest Balance
Healthy living requires a reduction in stress. It’s impossible to lead an entirely stress free life but it is possible to create a balance between work and rest times. Monotonous lifestyles can be as stressful as those where we’re always on the go, so work activity needs to be offset by rest time activities. Indulging yourself in hobbies or new or activities is good. Your own time needs to be a mixture of interesting activities and physical rest.
The company of others isn’t necessarily crucial but being a hermit isn’t good for wellbeing. Good company is uplifting, reassuring and fun. The loyalty of good friends is something to hold on to and savour.
All the above mentioned points help us build and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t exactly hard, but your mindset may make it appear so. If you start small and gradually introduce changes, you’ll see and feel the benefits quite quickly.