It’s a brand new year…and many of us are already working on our New Year's resolutions. Some people have vowed to save more money in 2013 while others promised themselves to spend more time with family. Losing weight and being healthier are also common resolutions, but sadly – two of the least frequently kept ones.
Getting healthier isn’t hard. You don’t have to make a lot of extreme changes to make it happen. A little adjustment here and there is all you need to be well on your way to a healthier you. There are ten simple changes you can make in your lifestyle that will provide you with long lasting benefits and noticeable results.
You don’t have to have a strenuous exercise regimen in order to be healthy. Simply getting up and moving about works wonders. Walking is something you have to do anyway so do more of it. If you garden, do more of it. If you like to ride a bike, do more of it. Increasing your activity level helps every part of your body from your brain to your heart.
Drink more water.
Staying hydrated can ward off a host of maladies. Water helps flush impurities from your system, which has endless benefits in itself.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Again, you don’t have to go on a crazy diet and limit yourself in what you eat in order to be healthy. Simply adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is very beneficial to your body. You eat them anyway – so just eat more of them. Choose a wide variety and change it up often so you don't get bored or end up feeling like sticking with it is a punishment or a chore.
Get more sleep.
Your body functions better when it’s fully rested and sometimes eight hours of sleep just isn’t enough. Some people need more in order to be at their best. Listen to your body and it will tell you when you need to rest.
Eat less sugar.
Sugar is all kinds of bad for you. It rots your teeth, makes you put on weight, and can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. You don’t have to cut out sugar all together. Just make small changes to your diet that you will hardly even notice. Substitute a sugar free soda instead of a regular one or eat sugar free candy instead of regular chocolate. Doing the substitutions little by little won’t make you feel deprived and will make you more likely to keep in the habit.
Eat less fat.
The same way you substitute sugar free products for regular ones, you can substitute fat-free products for regular ones, too. There are lots of fat-free products on the market from dairy products to snacks. Most of them have all the flavor of your favorite foods, but none of the fat. Small, subtle changes over time is the best way to develop this new habit, just like with sugar.
You might be thinking that’s nearly impossible, given the fast paced, stress-filled world we’re living in. But there comes a point where you have to step back and access certain situations and realize how detrimental they can be to your health. Accept that you are human and that you have limitations. Accept that there are some things that you just cannot do. Accept the fact that there are situations and circumstances that you cannot control. Once you realize these simple things, you will automatically feel more at ease each time you’re able to let…things….go.
Quitting smoking is easier said than done, but there’s a wonderful new product on the market that can help you achieve that goal. E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarette, work off a vapor system that uses a battery to create a steam effect you inhale to mimic smoking. E-cigarettes do deliver a certain amount of nicotine, but appear to be exponentially healthier than traditional smokes. They are re-loadable, reusable and much cheaper in the long run than regular tobacco products.
Spending a lot of time alone can really affect your mood. You need interaction with people on a semi-daily basis to keep you spirits up and your mood high. We all want to crawl in a hole sometimes and that’s okay – so long as you don’t stay there too long. Being alone and loneliness over prolonged periods of time can lead to all kinds of mental issues like depression, which can have a long and difficult recovery process.
It’s not just your physical health you should worry about maintaining. Having a sound and healthy mind is important, too. We need to find ways to escape to our “happy place” and learn to block out all the worries of the world and clear our heads. Meditation is a wonderful way to do this. You don’t need any special tools or training to do it. Just a quiet, relaxing place and a supply of pleasant and positive affirmations to dwell on in your mind.
The only way to ‘get healthy’ is to ‘be healthy’ and you can’t be healthy if you don’t make an effort. It doesn’t take any special skills, tools or knowledge. All you have to do is introduce small changes that, over time, will become habits. These healthy habits will eventually take the place of the unhealthy ones and bring about the changes you desire.
Being healthy is a lifestyle. It’s a commitment to yourself that you must renew each and every day – sometimes, several times a day. It takes a degree of dedication on your part to achieve it. The key to a creating a healthy lifestyle is to take baby steps. Going too fast too quickly will cause burn out and leave you feeling frustrated when it all fails. Small, tiny steps in the form of small tiny changes are all you need to embark on your journey to a healthier life