Steps for a Healthy Lifestyle: 5 Simple Things You Can Start Doing Now

eating healthy

What does it mean to live a healthy lifestyle? It’s not just about having good health but also having a healthy mental and emotional state.

But how exactly do we take care of our mind and body for us to say that we’re living a healthy lifestyle? Below are five simple and achievable steps to take.

Eat Right

Eating right doesn’t just mean measuring and portioning your food intake; it also means eating a variety of food to keep your body nourished and healthy. Planning a balanced meal may sound like a lot of work but it really isn’t that complicated.

When planning meals, put emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Those with health concerns, like celiac disease, can still plan healthy meals by having gluten-free meals and snacks. Those with food allergies can plan meals with the help of a nutritionist who can ensure they get the right amount of nutrition from the food options they have.

Likewise, vegetarians and vegans can still get enough nutrition by consuming high-quality protein, healthy fats, and natural sugars from fruits and vegetables.

Start with the food items that you love and are readily available at your local store or food market. If you need more guidance on how to create a well-balanced meal for your age, body type, and health concerns you can consult a nutritionist who can give you expert advice for your diet.

Stay Hydrated

We all know the importance of keeping our bodies hydrated, yet we often overlook this simple step. Drinking water helps our bodies regulate their temperature and keep our joints lubricated, so we don’t squeak and crack when we move.

Aside from that, a well-hydrated body has a higher capacity to fight off infections and the ability to keep the organs in the body functioning properly. Proper hydration is key to healthy skin and the proper delivery of nutrients to the cells in our body.

The simple act of drinking water to keep yourself hydrated goes a long way. When you’re hydrated, you feel healthier and more comfortable, too. Proper hydration benefits you more than you expect, so make sure that you meet the recommended daily water intake.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

sleeping

While there is something alluring about staying late at night — especially for those who can manage to wake up early despite turning in late — anyone can benefit more from sleeping early and rising early. The time-honored adage, “early to bed, early to rise…” holds true even to this day.

We often ignore body cues when it comes to bedtime and chooses to stay up late more often than not. However, this practice is detrimental to one’s health and can trigger other health issues, later in life. If you want to start living a healthy lifestyle, getting sufficient rest is incredibly crucial for your health and should be a priority.

To adjust your sleep pattern, try sleeping an hour earlier than usual at night and waking up an hour earlier than usual in the morning. Sleeping early will afford you more active time in the morning and let you do more, too.

Starting your day early improves concentration, which then allows you to work faster and more efficiently. Aside from that, you can take the early hours of the morning to work on your tasks and make time for yourself before the day gets busy.

Create Positive Environment

Here’s something we often overlook and take for granted: a positive environment.

This may be more challenging for those who share a home with people who have the tendency to cause conflict or engage in less positive conversations. Fortunately, there are ways to keep the negative energy at bay and preserve a positive space around you.

Being aware of the other person’s negative behavior is the first step. Before labeling them as toxic, high conflict, or abusive, take a look at how they act and how they make you feel when you’re with them. By doing so, you can identify the behavior and how it affects you. It will help you deal with the situation using specific techniques rather than simply avoiding the person or agreeing with them to prevent any conflict or outburst.

Sometimes, people go through a bad day and may not be in the best mood, so we say things that may hurt or make others feel wrongfully accused — this isn’t necessarily toxic behavior. But if a person says hurtful things every day, no matter the circumstances, it is a form of verbal abuse — a bad day isn’t an excuse for anyone to do this and you shouldn’t accept this behavior towards you, either.

To prevent yourself from getting involved in their perceived reality, you can keep a safe distance by trying respectful disagreement and recognizing their feelings instead of defending yourself against their complaints or accusations.

Disagreeing politely can be done by acknowledging the other person’s statement and expressing disagreement by presenting facts that oppose their perceived truth or reality. You can also acknowledge their feelings by saying “I’m sorry you feel that way”, and leave it the conversation. This prevents them from going further when they start looking for other people to blame or shifting the blame on you.

Remember: always stick to the facts, avoid giving your opinion, and resist the urge to defend yourself no matter how tempting it is to do so. The goal is to sound logical than emotional when dealing with these types of people.

Do Something You Love

Lastly, do something that you love. Whether it’s playing sports, taking dance classes, learning a new language, or spending time doing charity work — do it if it makes you happy.

Setting aside an hour to four hours on the weekend for your hobbies and interests isn’t a lot of time. But it’s enough to keep you going for the rest of the week and gives you something to look forward to at the end of each week.

Never underestimate the emotional reward from doing things that you love and make you happy. Doing these things for yourself will fuel you and give you an overall feeling that you’re living a balanced life.

What they say: when you feel good, you can do more for others and yourself.

These five steps are simple, realistic, and attainable ways to help you start living a healthy lifestyle right now. Instead of setting a calendar date to start, set your goals instead. You don’t have to wait for the new year to start living a healthy lifestyle: change starts now and you have the power to change your life for the better.

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