Is there really a need to change your lifestyle when you already eat healthy foods and exercise regularly? Truth be told, living a healthy life goes beyond diet and exercise. You'll likely be surprised at how little tweaks in your lifestyle can improve your overall health.
In general, staying healthy requires more than just eating nutritious food and working on your physical fitness; you need to be both determined and committed. It may seem more complicated than you realized, but it's definitely possible.
Why Do I Need to Stay Healthy?
Staying healthy absolutely makes you feel happier and more energetic. An investment in your health is always a worthy investment. You stay healthy to not only live long, but to feel your best doing it. Recent research has shown that people who remain healthy add more positive years to their life expectancy.
There's always been a focus on "life span," but the concept of a "health span" has been gaining ground, and for good reason. Whereas a life span refers to the number of years one lives, a health span accounts for the number of years a person maintains a reasonably healthy life. Living a long life doesn't mean as much to someone who is suffering, stressed and losing their independence. Staying healthy ensures that you not only live longer, but also remain in good health, so you can keep doing the things that feel fulfilling and bring you joy.
Staying healthy will reduce your risk of being faced with an illness, especially those that are preventable. A healthy lifestyle can lower your chance of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic and autoimmune diseases, and infections.
Finally, there's no better way to maintain a youthful looking appearance, The benefits of a healthy lifestyle often translate to glowing skin, whiter teeth, and a more fit looking physical form. It's perhaps the best approach to "anti-aging" that's ever existed, and certainly the most natural!
Lifestyle Changes for Staying Healthy
Knowing the choices to make to keep your body healthy and maintain a nice physique aren't enough if you don't put them into practice. The part that is often the biggest hurdle comes down to procrastination. Now is the time to make the change, and give your body the treatment it deserves.
- Avoid processed foods: this may be the most challenging because they are literally everywhere. If you're running late for an appointment with only a few minutes to eat because you don't want to go through the hassle of preparing something healthy, it's easy to opt for a processed snack. This routine has to stop if you are focused on staying healthy. Part of changing your lifestyle means being prepared to do so. You can nourish yourself more with a balanced diet of fresh, plant-based carbohydrates, clean proteins and healthy fats. And guess what? There are plenty of healthy snack options that can be just as, if not more, convenient!
You can start by giving your refrigerator and pantry a healthy makeover. Here's one simple rule that will take you far: do not bring junk into your home! If it's there, you're going to eat it. Even if you don't want to focus too much on your diet, simply cutting out refined foods will make a big difference. If you're unsure of where to begin, working with a nutritionist will provide you with personalized guidance, and delicious options that don't leave you feeling deprived.
- Take cold showers: this may come as a shock because it's more common for many to return home after a long day and run a warm bath to relax their nerves. However, there are many health benefits associated with cold showers.
Did you know that pouring cold water on your body helps to activate brown fat, which in turn generates heat to move around the body, directly increasing your metabolic rate? According to different research, cold water activates brown fat 15 times faster than water at average temperatures. A cold shower also stimulates blood flow, meaning improved cardiovascular health. A cold shower will also help to alleviate stress, by boosting glutathione in the body, while lowering uric acid. A cold shower also helps maintain the natural oils on the skin and the hair, leading to healthier skin and shinier hair. Other notable benefits may include improved immune function and better sleep, among others.
- Don’t sit in one place for too long: this isn't just about your regular exercises. It doesn't matter how much you exercise if you spend the vast majority of your day sitting in front of your computer screen. Take little walks occasionally, and be physically active whenever the opportunity strikes. This little move can drastically improve your whole day and your overall well-being. You really don't have to do anything too out of the ordinary. For example, if you are at work, you can take a little walk before going for your lunch break, or you can make a few laps around the office while your tea or coffee is brewing. Another creative way to incorporate small steps into your daily life is to ditch the elevator or escalator for the stairs. It all comes down to finding little ways to move, and keep your body agile and active.
- Control your exposure to stress: no matter the work you do, you need to take small breaks at intervals. One of the worst consequences of stress is an increase in the body's cortisol levels, which can lead to a very negative impact on your health if overlooked. Almost everyone has one thing or another stressing them out, so it really comes down to which tools you use to alleviate stress, or keep it at bay. There are various ways to do this:
- Get enough sleep (7-8 hours for most adults). It doesn't get more simple, and there is no substitute.
- If you are at work, take small breaks to relax a little. When you feel you are reaching your breaking point, pause for a few minutes, take deep breaths and continue. These moments would also be a great opportunities to move around a bit.
- Limit the time spent on your phone. No one is saying you should get rid of your cell phone, but your phone should not be treated as a part of your self. It's ok, and actually best, to take a break here and there.
- Talk to your loved ones and physician about how you feel. Your physician may recommend some form of professional help, or complimentary care such as Craniosacral Therapy or Neurofeedback Therapy to assist in relieving stress and better connect your body and mind.
- Keep your alcohol intake at bay: moderate drinking is definitely a change for many to adapt to. There are so many health-related problems related to drinking that do not surface immediately, but with time will rear their ugly heads. Set a drinking limit for yourself, and always make sure to eat something healthy before consuming any alcoholic drink.. Keep in mind that alcohol is high in calories, so cutting back on it can be of particular benefit for anyone managing their weight.
At the end of the day, remember that your lifestyle comes down to you, your motivation and your desire to makes positive changes. Understanding your body can be one of the best driving forces, which is why we at Pravan Clinic focus on a personalized patient experience, with prevention at the heart of everything we do.