Today, we’re breaking through the noise and confusion to look into how to live a healthy lifestyle. What you should and shouldn’t do to focus on small changes you can make today, for a healthier you.
In today’s fast-paced world of constant social media updates, live streaming and questionable news, you wouldn’t have to look too far to find articles discussing stats about physical and mental health, the ‘optimum’ weight for your height and the ‘right’ amount of fruit and veg to be working into your diet each day.
If you’re tired of reading conflicting news stories that backtrack faster than you can stock your shopping trolley, then keep reading….
Here, we’ll be looking at some simple tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle and for making changes that matter – including easy ways to incorporate regular exercise into your day-to-day life, savvy snack switches to keep you fuelled and how curbing bad habits can help you improve your overall health.
When it comes to learning how to live a healthy lifestyle, it’s about more than just your weight or BMI – mental health matters, too. With new research being carried out every day, mindfulness is quickly becoming a key focus for mental health professionals and is starting to seep into the consciousness of many of us.
From the transport or route you take into the office to your bedtime routine, without even realising, your day-to-day activity is probably very much centred around rituals you weren’t aware you adhered to – which is a scary thought in itself.
Regular exercise is great for both the mind and the body, so if you’re keen to practise mindfulness, start by looking for ways to incorporate a little more movement into your day – and try and do this in a way that will allow you to switch up your standard, robotic routine.
From taking the stairs instead of the lift to changing direction on your morning commute or jumping on your road bike when the weather permits, a little creative thinking will allow you to get moving and stay mindful – so you can squeeze in a little extra activity without having to find time in your schedule or overexerting yourself.
For those who find themselves needing to fuel up on the go, it’s not unlikely that you’re looking for a quick fix that will provide you with that instant, much-needed sugar rush to power you through those morning meetings or gruelling gym sessions.
While a sugary energy drink or calorific chocolate bar might seem like a good idea at the time, neither of these options are likely to benefit you much beyond a few minutes – meaning they’re neither good for your body or actually serving much of a purpose.
Whether it’s something to see you through until the next mealtime or you just fancy a snack, in your quest to fight a sugar binge, try switching out high calorie, carb filled options for healthy snacks like fruit, veg or nuts.
Packed with natural fats, nuts are a great on-the-go snack, making them perfect for storing on your desk, in the car or in your bag for a pre-gym pick me up. Reassessing snack time is also a great chance to think about how the food choices you’re making could be impacting the environment.
Consider buying more organic and locally sourced produce so that you can rest safe in the knowledge that you’re making the best choices for yourself and the planet.
All too often, the need or want for a healthier lifestyle seems to go hand-in-hand with extreme weight loss or intense exercise routines – which usually means unsustainable food routines and going to bed hungry.
The truth is, there’s simply no need for elaborate fat burning programmes or diets that promise to help you drop a dress size in a matter of days – in fact, while they might contribute to short-term happiness, they’re actually more likely to be damaging and counterproductive in the longer term.
If weight loss is one of your reasons to live a healthier lifestyle, then this can be incorporated into your day-to-day life in a much more natural and manageable way. From cutting down on portion sizes to simply eating fewer carbs, it doesn’t require an entire lifestyle overhaul to see some big results.
Once you stop looking for quick fix diets and instant results that can be undone just as quickly as they’re achieved, you’ll begin to see ways to make your diet work for you.
With this taken care of, you can rid yourself of the negative thoughts and feelings associated with fad diets and put yourself back in control of your mindset.
We’re all guilty of bad habits, and it’s not unlikely these will look different to different people – only you will know the full extent of those secret behaviours that are damaging your health.
From comfort eating in the winter months to excessive snacking during office hours, a quick look at your lifestyle is likely to flag a number of factors that are contributing to a less than healthy lifestyle – and you’re probably unaware that you’re even doing most of them, so mindfulness plays its part here, too!
Some of us are quick to reach for the painkillers at the slightest hint of a headache or stock up on sugary snacks when we’re experiencing a mid-week slump, but the truth is, there are plenty of natural and herbal remedies that can do these jobs more effectively.
Instead of looking for an instant solution to a recurring problem, think about changing your habits to alleviate these issues before they set in. This can be anything from upping your water intake to avoid migraines to ensuring you get a healthy dose of vitamins each day.
This way, you can hopefully stop those niggling aches, pains and ongoing signs of sickness before they become longer term problems.
Want to know how each Vitamin helps your health, make sure you check out our guides on Vitamins in our Diet and Nutrition section.
Last but by no means least on our list of top tips for small lifestyle changes is the need to stop putting pressure on yourself when your day doesn’t exactly go to plan. Figuring out how to live a healthy lifestyle whilst continuing with the jobs every day life throws at you, is not easy!
Whether this is missing a work deadline, skipping that gym session or overindulging at the buffet, we all have ‘off’ days, but this is no reason to punish yourself.
By constantly worrying about what went wrong and why, you’re more likely to find this one slip up snowballs into several ‘bad’ days.
If you’re serious about adapting to and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, you’ll need to accept that some days you’ll give into that chocolate craving or you’ll be faced with a more appealing evening event than an hour in the gym – and this is fine.
Like with anything, it’s all about balance and moderation – and once you embrace this, you’ll find it that much easier to get back on track.
With this in mind, make sure you allow yourself those treats and days off, rather than depriving yourself and making the temptation that much greater.
So, as you can see from the points above, taking steps towards and learning how to live a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean trying to find a strict diet that you know you’ll never stick to.
It doesn’t even mean excessive changes or vowing to never indulge in your favourite snack ever again. It’s all about making small and sensible choices that can contribute in a bigger way to a healthier you.
Whether you start by drinking a few extra glasses of water each day, changing the way you commute to the office or staying away from snacks that cause you to crash after 20 minutes, each little change counts.
We hope we’ve showed and shared some great tips and ideas on how to live a healthy lifestyle but if you know of any other ideas we’re sure our other readers would love to hear them. Just pop them into the comments below…
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