Good health depends on a complex number of factors. And these factors don’t exist in isolation. They work together to support — or undermine — your overall well-being. To achieve and maintain good health, you have to do more than eat right and exercise. The small, seemingly insignificant choices you make every day really do add up. So here are eight simple ways you can alter your lifestyle and improve your chances of enjoying a long, healthy and happy life.
Drink more water. Every one of your body’s organs and functions requires proper hydration. Moreover, water flushes toxins out of your body, helping boost both your immune system and jumpstart your efforts to lose weight. Ideally, your daily intake of water should be approximately half your body weight, but in ounces rather than pounds. If you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water a day. Building good hydration habits is essential. You can start with this tip: every time you reach for a glass of water, take at least 10 gulps.
Go for a walk. Your heart is a muscle. It needs regular exercise. The American Heart Association recommends adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week. A brisk walk — one quick enough to get your heart rate up and keep it up — can help you achieve this fitness goal. Getting outside and exposing yourself to natural beauty can incentivize your walk, too. And fresh air might be better for you than you think. Breathing in the rich, oxygenated air produced by trees and plants can help kill off the bacteria and viruses that make you ill.
Eat more fruits and veggies. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals. Whether raw, steamed or stir-fried, get colorful. The hues actually show you which vital nutrients are packed into your produce. A diet high in fruits and veggies can help lower your risk of certain cancers, among other health conditions. Ideally, adults should consume five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Meditate. Be still. Relax. Breathe. Take time to unplug and clear your thoughts. Setting aside a few minutes a day for meditation and focused breathing can reduce stress, a significant factor in many cases of heart disease. Mindfulness and deep breathing can also reduce anxiety, improve sleep and help prevent weight gain.
Sleep. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, trying turning off all technology and starting your unwinding routine at least an hour before going to bed. Keep your phone in another room and turn your alarm clock to face away from your bed. Journaling can also help you to get your mind settled before bed. Record the day’s experiences or try making a to-do list for tomorrow. Get any lingering or nagging thoughts out of your head so you can relax and get a good night’s rest.
Be grateful. Take a few minutes every day to count your blessings. Write a “thank you” note to someone you appreciate. Do something nice for someone else. Research shows a positive attitude can even strengthen your immune system.
Track what you eat. Mobile apps now make it easy to keep track of your meals, count calories, and monitor your nutrition. Tracking what you eat can also help you perfect your portion control and stick to a healthy diet. Not only do most apps feature tools to encourage discipline and self-accountability, but many also provide rewards systems for making better food choices.
Savor your food. In this day and age, everyone knows what it means to feel pressed for time. But don’t let how busy you are upset your priorities. Resist the temptation to hurry through your meals. Slow down and savor every bite. Chew your food well and allow yourself to appreciate what you’re eating. Listen to your body and, about an hour after eating, pay attention to how the food makes you feel. Do you feel energized or sluggish? Is your stomach in knots? Do you have a headache? Are you bloated? Adjust your eating habits until you find foods that don’t just taste good, but make you feel good as well.
Are you ready to make a change for the better? Contact McCarty Weight Loss Center today and find out how we can help you begin the journey to healthier and happier lifestyle.