Being healthy takes more than just going for a short walk once in a while, or eating an occasional salad. Although it requires some effort, the payoff is worth it. We all want to be healthy, but life has its hurdles that often keep our priorities and good intentions jumbled. However, by following some guidelines, we can live healthy lives. Here are four ideas to help you live a healthy, happy life.
1. Eat a healthy diet
This is one of the foundations of healthy living. Remember, once you implement it, it will make your life better and will offer you lots of other benefits as well.
Eat foods that contain minimal amounts of sugar and unhealthy fats. Unhealthy fats include saturated fats and trans fats. These fats elevate your LDL cholesterol levels, a substance that has been linked to increased risks of heart disease.
Foods with high levels of saturated fats include full-fat dairy products, red meat, pizza, and cheese. Although coconut oil has saturated fat, it can also increase good cholesterol. So you should use it in moderation.
Foods with high trans fats levels include fried foods, baked foods, frozen pizza, and foods prepared using partially hydrogenated fats such as margarine and shortening.
Eat whole foods instead of processed foods. Whole foods include:
- Fresh vegetables and fruits—they contain lots of vitamins and minerals.
- Beans, tofu, and lean meat—they have a high protein content.
- Whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and quinoa.
Most people don’t always want to hear about this, but it is true. Moderate exercise is beneficial to your life. Performing cardiovascular and strength training of any kind will not only improve your health, but it will also make you look younger and feel better. If you have not already started an exercise regimen, take it up as soon as you can.
Ask your friend or spouse to accompany you for regular walks, or hire a local gym trainer to help you with your fitness. It can be a challenge to start a new routine, however, once you take the first steps, it gets easier as time goes, and you will start enjoying it.
As you exercise, consider getting yourself some form of health insurance to cover you in case of illness or injuries. You can find health insurance quotes online from reputable insurance providers’ websites.
3. Get sufficient sleep
Most people are too busy to realize how important sleep is for a healthy life. Studies indicate that every person needs to sleep for at least seven to eight hours—at night. Remember, sleeping during times when the body is not designed to sleep is just as bad as sleeping for less than the recommended duration. Interrupting the sleep schedule causes the body not to produce melatonin, the hormone that causes us to feel sleepy, in the right quantities, or stops producing it entirely.
Sleep is also a vital remedy for particular problems such as overeating and stress. Well-rested individuals have greater control of their appetite.
4. Form healthy relationships and practice mindfulness
Spend a good time with yourself by having a quiet time and meditating. Meditate for at least 20 minutes each day. Also, take time to reflect, pray, read something inspirational, or write a journal because these give your body, soul, and spirit time to feel relaxed and nurtured. Ideally, your quiet time puts you more in tune with your intuition and helps you to adjust and cope with stressful situations as they come. Developing a morning quiet time can significantly transform your life.
Also, Build meaningful relationships with friends and family. Studies show that loneliness usually leads to depression, and lonely people are at higher risk of developing heart disease. Building healthy relationships with others helps keep your mind active; it stimulates the brain and reduces the risk of dementia.
A human being has a soul, body, and spirit. All these components need to be functional and healthy for you to achieve good overall health and well-being. Thus, eat a healthy diet; exercise regularly; get sufficient sleep, and have a daily quiet time, and you will realize a dramatic change in your life as you get healthier every day.
Shutterstock / By VICUSCHKA