How’s YOUR health? Unfortunately, we completely ignore our health until there is some sort of problem, and then we ignore that problem until it becomes an emergency, the kind requiring doctors and hospitals.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, there are simple changes that you can make to improve your fitness and health and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. You will soon begin to look and feel better, increase your energy level, delay the effects of aging and even reduce your risks for diabetes, and heart disease.
Making these positive healthy changes now can lead to a longer and happier life but does require taking responsibility and a few sacrifices along the way, starting with:
1. Stop smoking! If you smoke or use tobacco, the single most important thing that you can do TODAY is to STOP. Regardless of the delivery system, tobacco kills. Many thousands die from heart and lung diseases or cancers directly tied to smoking every year. Do whatever it takes, but find a way to eliminate any tobacco from your life.
2. Watch your drinking. While you’re giving things up, limit your alcohol consumption. Recent studies suggest that a small amount of alcohol, 1 or 2 drinks daily, may actually benefit your health, but alcohol by the bottle or six-pack will lead to liver damage, digestive problems, increased blood pressure, and a real beer-belly as many types of alcoholic are packed with sugar and calories.
3. Stop eating garbage. Food controls weight, waist size, and your overall health. Good food not only fuels your body but also affects the condition of your skin and hair, the health of your heart, lungs and organs, even the strength of your bones and teeth. Eating healthy food builds and fuels healthy bodies.
4. Eat more natural, organic and unprocessed foods. Most of today’s farm-raised foods are covered with chemical pesticides, contain GMO’s, hormones and antibiotics. Choosing organic foods and free-range, grass fed lean proteins may supply your body with fresher, cleaner and healthier nutrients.
5. Drink more water! Reduce and eventually eliminate the sodas, colas, bottled juices and sweet frappuccinos. Drinking more water will reduce the number of calories you eat, aid digestion, and will cure your constipation and headaches which are caused by dehydration.
6. Now, get off your butt and exercise. Get off the couch and find ways to start moving! Don’t have time to exercise? If you have time for Netflix and Facebook you have more than enough time to exercise. Walk to the store, walk the dog, walk to the local park or Library. Start by moving more and finding ways to walk and climb stairs in your daily routine. Once you are more comfortable and looking for a greater challenge, find exercises and workouts that you enjoy and will continue doing for at least 30 minutes 3-5 times each week. You’ll look and feel better for it.
7. Avoid or manage stress. When we’re stressed, our brains experience a decrease in hormones and neurotransmitters. Your body will then try to compensate for this decrease by craving sugar – eating sugar releases dopamine and endorphins that make your brains “happy”. Reducing and managing stress will help you avoid stress eating.
8. Develop a healthy support system. Find friends, relatives, and co-workers who also want to improve their fitness, health and make similar healthy lifestyle changes. Spend time together shopping, cooking, and exercising. Be available to support each other and discuss challenges and ways to overcome obstacles.
9. Slow down. We are too busy to cook and prepare our own healthy meals, so we settle for fast food, junk food, or pre-packaged garbage foods. Slow down and take time the to shop for and prepare healthy meals. Take time to learn about healthy choices, cleaner and more natural foods and how to use them to replace the unhealthy foods that we eat every day.
Implement these nine simple changes and you will be well on your way to healthy living and a much healthier lifestyle.
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