Steps to a healthy lifestyle

Steps to a healthy lifestyle

There are infinite benefits of getting in shape, especially when it comes to maintaining optimum health and aging gracefully.

Below are some steps to help you with your health and fitness resolution:

1 Eat right - Health conscious people have come to terms by saying `you are what you eat'. The health of our bodies, inside and out, is closely related to what we put into our mouths daily. Eating right means eating at the right time, with the right choice of food.

* Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and whole grains instead of processed ones.

* Learn to cook, so your diet won't be at the mercy of restaurants and food processors.

* Eat foods that are high in fibre, like potatoes, beans, corn, asparagus, etc.

* Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed, and eat nothing after that. When you eat dinner that is too close to your bed time, it does not give your body enough time to digest so the excess food may turn into fat.

* Never skip breakfast. If you do not have the time to get something to eat in the morning, set it out the night before.

2 Drink plenty of water - Drinking adequate amount of water is essential for health, and many people simply don't get enough. Drink one glass of water before your meal; as it will help improve digestion and give you the sensation of fullness to keep you from overeating.

3 Exercise regularly - Exercise is the key to staying fit and healthy. It is not just about keeping weight off, but making your body more flexible, thus preventing many types of injuries, builds better bones, and strengthens your immune system.

Exercise not only invigorates your body but keeps the mind healthy, as when we exercise, our body releases endorphins which improves our mood and concentration. The benefits of exercise are numerous, from reducing the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stress, depression, increasing endurance, metabolism, weight control to increasing blood flow to the tissues. One should always exercise to be physically fit and healthy.

4 Do something you enjoy - If you like it, it is more likely you will keep at it. Not all workouts are at a gym: try biking, inline skating, rowing, skateboarding, swimming, hockey, or join a futsal team.

Enjoyment is the key to sticking with it. Without choosing what you enjoy doing, you can have a hard time getting motivated. Taking that first step is often the toughest. Make yourself accountable by signing up for a personal training session or partnering with a friend.

5 Maintain a healthy weight - For most people who need to make a weight adjustment, this means losing weight, but some could gain some weight.

There is no secret to losing weight: counting calories and exercise. Do not go on crash diets. These will actually make you gain weight when you go back to your former habits.

6 Incorporate supplements into your regimen - Vitamins boost you in areas where you might have a deficiency that adversely affects your health. Fish oil capsules are important additions to your cache of vitamins, as both promote good heart health. You can also take Vitamin C, B, and E, which have added health benefits overall.

7 Find ways to relax and unwind - Reduce your stress levels. Stress, anxiety, worry, and depression can deteriorate your health. Seek help for stress management, including finding positive techniques to handle stress such as yoga, relaxation, cognitive behavioural therapy, self-hypnosis, assertiveness training, meditation, exercise, visualisation, etc.

8 Get enough sleep - Most adults need 7-8 hours a night, but certain people thrive on as few as five hours, and certain adults thrive on as many as 10 hours of sleep every night. Too little sleep can make you have a difficulty with memory, depression, and a weakening of your immune system.

9 Keep an optimistic outlook (think positive) - It makes everything you do easier, including getting healthy. Think about what you can do to make you happier. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn't just happen - you have to work at it. The converse is also true: Mental health is greatly aided by physical health. It is hard to feel good about anything if you don't feel good physically.

10 Get a check-up. To stay fit and healthy in the long run, you must maintain your health regularly. Visit the doctor and dentist to make sure everything is running smoothly to prevent any potential problems from arising.

The key to true health and fitness is to love yourself in every aspect, from mind, body and soul. Only then, will you know how it feels like to be happy and to live your life to the fullest. Take care of your body, and it will take care of you.


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