We all want to be healthy, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hard work. It is not always easy to make healthy lifestyle choices. The idea of forgoing fried chicken and mashed potatoes and opting for boiled fish and vegetables, or choosing to skip happy hour with your co workers for a Zumba class at the gym can seem less than ideal. However, once you realize how good healthy feels, you will wonder why you did not put more time and effort into maintaining your health in the first place.
To help you stay as on track to being as healthy as possible, we are going to go over the 3 basic components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which are: diet, lifestyle, and mental balance.
Step 1: Have a Healthy Diet
Our health has a lot to do with what we eat, and having a healthy diet is essential in keeping our bodies healthy.
- Fill up on fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables packed full of vitamins and nutrients that are going to help keep you feel balanced and healthy. Because of this, the best way to know that you are getting the nutrition that you need is to pack these two food groups into your diet. Not only are they good for you, but they are not going to hurt you calorie-wise, either. If you are picky, make sure that you choose the ones with the most power, such as: spinach, kale, cranberries, blueberries, pineapple, and carrots. Get a little bit of every color.
- Lean proteins, low-fat dairy and whole grains: In addition to fruits and vegetables, you are also going to want to hit the other food groups on the pyramid to keep your diet balanced. We all need protein for our muscles and to grow, but make sure that you reach for lean proteins and meats. Diary is essential for our bones, so go for some low-fat dairy such as non-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt. Carbohydrates can sometimes get a bad rep, but we all need some grains in our diet. Aim for brown pastas and breads, oats, and quinoa. Remember that if your grains are white, that usually means that it has been processed.
- Eliminate process junk: The rule of thumb is that if something is in a package, then it is probably processed. Food and snacks that are processed contain additives that your body will not know what to do with, and end up just storing them away. Try not to buy things that are pre-packed, as they also contain large amounts of salt which you leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable either way.
- Water: We are all supposed to be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep ourselves hydrated and healthy. If you want to maintain or develop glowing skin and keep other parts of your body healthy, then make sure that you increase or sustain your water intake to at least 8 glasses a day. Water can help stimulate hair, nail, organ, and mind growth as well as helping you maintain or lose weight. Water can aid in weight loss because it will keep you full and rev up your metabolism. When you wake up in the morning, try to make drinking a glass of water the first thing that you do.
- Cook: A great way to ensure that you are getting the nutrients that you need is to simply cook your own food, and cook it correctly. You can help maintain your health, budget, and waistline by stirring up some delightful recipes. When you get in the kitchen, here are a few things to keep in mind: go raw, use the healthiest type of oil that you can (olive, sunflower), try not to fry your food or soak them in batter, and do not over-salt your food (keep it under 1,500 mg per day).
- Fats: With all the stigma that sounds the word “fat”, it seems like we should eliminate fat from our diet. However, our bodies need fat to keep our hair shiny, our nails healthy, and our digestive system on track. Some sources of good fats are: olive oil, avocado, and nuts.
Step 2: Have a Healthy Lifestyle
In addition to diet, our lifestyle choices impact our health and can either help us maintain it or wreck it with bad choices.
- Exercise: There is not much else to bad said about exercise other than: you need it, for at least 20 to 30 minutes each day. It is essential to stay active if you want to stay healthy. It is recommended that you get around 150 minutes of physical activity each week, which includes both cardiovascular and strength-building activities. If you need to lose weight, you can do so through diet, but you are going to have to incorporate some physical activity into your lifestyle as well. You will be surprised how good and healthy you feel after just a little bit of exercise each day.
- Smoking: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not involve smoking. Not only does it damage your health, lungs, and organs, but smoking is also expensive and harmful for those around you. If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and live as long as possible, then you are going to want to consider quitting if you are a regular smoker.
- Regular doctor visits: Even if you do not enjoy the doctor, having regular visits to the dentist and doctor are going to help you make sure that you are on track to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You will notice that as you get older, little things start happening to your body that have not before. Thus, it is important to keep up to date with shots, checkups, and screenings.
- Moderate alcohol: If you enjoy a drink every now and then, make sure that you are enjoying only one of two drinks a day, depending on if you are a man (2 per day), or woman (1 a day). One serving of alcohol translates into 1 12-ounce can of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or one ounce of hard liquor.
- Enjoy yourself: A healthy lifestyle also means that you should just enjoy life. Do things that make life fun, and do not let your age take out the gun in things. Do not let yourself get too serious. If you work a lot, set aside some time to enjoy yourself, laugh, and connect with people. Also make sure that you take time each day for yourself. This could be anything from: taking a walk, talking a bubble bath, treating yourself to a movie, or meditating.
Step 3: Have a Healthy Mind
A healthy mind is the final equation into living a healthy lifestyle that is equipped with exercise and a healthy diet.
- Stay mentally stimulated: Even after you graduate from school, you should never stop learning. There are plenty of ways that you can continue to learn that are convenient and affordable. Check out all of the online courses Udemy has to offer to keep learning! It is important to always challenge yourself and set goals.
- Find ways to distress: Busy lifestyles and daily life can lead to stress. It is important to find little ways that help you distress. If you are stressed, it is likely that you are not sleeping, eating, and exercising well, and stress will also affect your hormone levels. To help keep your mind and body balanced and on track, try: yoga, meditation, or organization to help clear your mind.
- Sleep: So many of us try to function on as little sleep as possible. The problem is that, by doing this, we are affecting our entire lives. Inadequate sleep can lead to problems with focus, concentration, and mood fluctuations.
Benefits of Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
- Prevent disease such as heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
- Prevent injury by strengthening our muscles and bones.
- Increase energy by making healthy lifestyle and food choices.
- Maintain a healthy weight and BMI that will help reduce the risk of stroke and improve our overall view of ourselves.
- Have good mental health to strengthen our minds and fight against depression and anxiety.
Keep your Mind Happy and Healthy
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not mean sticking to a rigid diet and exercise schedule. A healthy lifestyle simply means making the right choices so that you look and feel good about yourself. It also means doing things that make you happy, such as following your passions and living out your goals and dreams. Spend each day doing something that will make you content, because a healthy lifestyle means keeping both your heart and mind happy and healthy.
If you lead a busy lifestyle and feel like you lack time for healthy living, check out this course for healthy living for a busy life to keep you on track with weight and health while still sticking to your daily schedule.