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As the world is becoming increasingly more hectic, more and more people are trying to make conscious decisions to live a healthier lifestyle. These decisions are not about the here and now, they are about looking into the future and creating habits for yourself that will allow you to stay strong and healthy into your old age. If you think your lifestyle right now could do with some tweaks, here are 5 steps you could take towards leading a healthier life overall.
Watching What You Eat
They say you are what you eat, and it’s time you took this saying seriously. Our body has to make do with what we feed it, so if your diet is less than adequate, you cannot expect to preserve your health for long.
Processed foods are your greatest enemy, so try to cut down on takeout and prepare as many of your meals as you can. Make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables daily, fibers for healthy digestion, nuts and fish for healthy fats and get all the minerals and vitamins your organism needs.
Eat regularly, don’t skip breakfast, drink plenty of water and your body will thank you for it.
It is often said that sitting is becoming a huge health hazard in the modern world. By spending most of our time sitting, we are exposing ourselves to an increased risk of not only weight gain and obesity but also a slew of diseases.
The first step is to try and cut down on sitting as much as it is possible for you: for instance, if you’re working from home, a standing desk is a great investment. But what is even more crucial for your health is exercising regularly. Whether you exercise in the comfort of your own home or have a gym membership, you need to keep active to strengthen your muscles and cardiovascular health, as well as improve your general wellbeing.
Saying Goodbye to Bad Habits
We humans are creatures of habit and often we become slaves to these little rituals we do every day and can’t seem to escape even if we know these habits are only causing us harm.
While it is certainly very difficult to just get up one day and stop smoking altogether or never drink another glass of alcohol, the change does not have to be this drastic at first. Simply cutting down on the amount you drink gradually, for instance, is already a big step for your health, while switching to a healthier alternative such as flavored e-liquids and lowering a nicotine level will allow your body to readjust and finally quit smoking.
Sleep is the time when our body repairs itself, and getting an ample amount of sleep (7-8 hours a day) is paramount for keeping your immune system and hormone balance in check.
Not getting enough sleep on a habitual level increases your risk of diabetes type 2 and even heart attack, not to mention sleep deprivation makes you stressed, irritable, anxious and compromises your performance, which will further aggravate your mental state. Therefore, establishing a regular sleep-wake cycle by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day will benefit you immensely.
Stress is a modern epidemic that we cannot underestimate the negative effects of. In order to lead a both physically and mentally healthy life, dealing with stress the best you can is paramount.
We all have our different methods of relieving stress, but some things that universally help deal with all the negative emotions is exercise (so now you have one more great reason to start working out), socializing and generally spending time with your friends and loved ones, playing with pets and spending time in nature. After a stressful day at work, indulging in some of these activities will make a world of difference.
Starting to lead a more health-conscious lifestyle might seem like a big step, but gradually introducing the aforementioned changes will allow you to build a sound foundation for long and healthy life.