Who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy life? For some, leading a healthy lifestyle seems overwhelming, but if you break it down, there are really four main areas of your life that need some extra attention. First, you need to eat a balanced diet full of fresh produce, lean meats and healthy fats so that your body has all it needs to function at maximum capacity. Next, you have to focus on making sleep a priority. Your body won’t be able to perform if it’s absolutely exhausted, so getting adequate sleep is critical to living a healthy lifestyle. Then, with your rested body, you need to get it moving. You don’t have to work out for hours each day, but you do need to move your body each and every day. When your body is healthy, you have the energy you need to excel in every area of your life.
Food is your body’s fuel and without the proper vitamins, minerals and nutrients, your body doesn’t run as it should. Every individual has a unique set of dietary needs, but generally speaking, a healthy diet includes plenty of fresh produce, sources of protein, healthy fats and variety. To amp up your health and get creative in the kitchen, designate one day each week to preparing a meal without meat. Social media popularized Meatless Monday, and challenges people to come up with new, exciting dishes that use other sources of protein like quinoa, tempeh and tofu. Antioxidants, found in abundance in produce, are one key to living a longer life because they provide so many health benefits and so much protection for your body. Experiment with new fruits, vegetables and various ways to cook your food for endless flavor and health.
Far too many people treat sleep like a luxury, and it’s completely understandable given the endless tasks and responsibilities that make up each day. You may skip sleep thinking you can stay up a few hours to get more things out of the way and be more productive, but the truth is that not getting enough sleep significantly decreases your productivity levels. Not only is inadequate sleep related to your work habits, it’s also linked to obesity, unhealthy lifestyle choices, stress levels and your mood. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.
It is certainly no secret that exercise is an essential part of a healthy life, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is participating. The Department of Health and Human Services recommend that healthy adults get about 150 minutes each week of moderate exercise. If you engage in vigorous exercise, that number drops to 75 minutes each week. Some people have trouble continuing workouts because they get bored. Experts recommend changing your workout routine every two weeks to avoid getting bored and to continue to challenge yourself. Easy ways to increase your activity level include parking farther away from buildings, taking the stairs and taking stretching breaks during your workday where you physically get up from your desk to stretch your muscles and move around a bit.
When you are eating properly, getting enough exercise and making sure you get an appropriate number of hours of sleep each night, you will definitely see significant improvements in your natural energy levels. But, there are sure to be times when you still need a boost. Some healthy ways to energize yourself include:
- Using stimulating essential oils
- Drinking green tea
- Taking a brief walk
- Snacking on some nuts
- Drinking a green juice
The fundamentals to a healthy lifestyle include eating, sleeping, exercising and maintaining energy. Pay attention to the signals that your body gives you and listen to what it needs. Following the tips above, you can take your life from good to great in no time.