There’re numerous ways to stay healthy, but not all of them are effective or realistic. It’s time to discover the ones that actually are!
The requirements of healthy living can vary from person to person. But generally, the key components of a healthy lifestyle are the same for everyone, In this blog post, we will discuss the do’s and don’ts of healthy living so that you can make the best decisions for your own health. Let’s get started.
DOs: Things to do to life a healthy lifestyle
A study done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that persons with a healthier lifestyle live more than a decade longer than those who didn’t. The five lifestyle habits that were shown to greatly impact these health outcomes were:
1. Healthy eating habits (adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, omega 3, nuts, whole grain etc. and limiting red meat, beverages with added sugar, trans fat, processed meat and sodium).
2. Not smoking
3. Adequate exercise: at least 3.5 hours of moderate to vigorous activity weekly.
4. Maintaining a normal weight (a body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9)
5. Not exceeding the daily alcohol limits (two drinks or less per day for men or one drink or less per day for women)
The study results showed that women who did not adopt these habits lived an average of 79 years and men an average of 75.5 years compared to 93.1 and 87.6 years for women and men respectively who did implement they healthy lifestyle habits (NIH, 2018).
Here are some tips to help you implement these healthy lifestyle habits:
1. Do recognize the reasons why you want to stick to a healthy lifestyle
Firstly, get a clear idea of why you want to have a healthy lifestyle. Is it to feel better, look better, have more energy, avoid diseases? Knowing these reasons will help keep you motivated when things get tough.
2. Do find your triggers and avoid them
Your triggers may include stressful situations, commercials of unhealthy food, being around people who eat unhealthy. Identifying your triggers will help you take active steps to minimize or prevent them.
3. Do substitute some of your unhealthy choices with healthy ones
Substitute unhealthy with healthy foods to have a healthier lifestyle. For instance, if you crave fast food, try to make a healthier version at home. If you snack a lot, have healthy snacks prepared beforehand.
4. Do be aware of what you’re eating and why
know the consequences of your choices and make sure they’re aligned with your goals.
5. Do keep a healthy lifestyle fun
Find an activity you enjoy that also gets you moving, like dancing or hiking.
6. Do create a plan that makes it easy for you to stick with your goals
To stick to a healthy lifestyle, break down your goals into small and manageable steps Additionally, make a list of healthy recipes you want to try, find a workout buddy.
7. Do get rid of anything that’s standing in your way
Whenever possible, consider ridding yourself of anything that’s standing between you and a healthy lifestyle.
For instance, get rid of unhealthy food in your house, clear your schedule so you have time for exercise, get rid of any negative thoughts about yourself.
8. Do reward yourself for staying on track
Rewarding yourself for reaching your goals will keep you encouraged – whether it’s something big or small. So, buy yourself a new workout outfit, treat yourself to a massage, make plans with friends for after you reach your goal.
9. Do find someone who will help keep you accountable and on track
Get an accountability partner such as a friend, family member, co-worker or personal trainer.
10. Do set yourself up for success
Take deliberate steps to set yourself up for success. For instance, find a workout routine you enjoy, meal prep so you have healthy food on hand, make a list of healthy recipes you want to try.
11. Do stay motivated
Remember why you’re doing this, set small goals along the way, give yourself grace when you have setbacks, find a healthy lifestyle role model.
Read also: 21 Tips To Stay Motivated To Eating Healthy
12. Do give yourself time
Developing a healthy lifestyle can take weeks of trying before finally seeing results, so be patient and stay positive about the process.
13. Do get knowledgeable about your health
There are so many resources available to help you learn more about the ins and outs of healthy living, including books, websites, podcasts, YouTube channels. Getting knowledgeable will not only provide you with the right tools but will help you stay motivated you to continue along your journey.
"The greatest miracle on Earth is the human body. It is stronger and wiser than you may realize and improving its ability to self-heal is within your control." – Dr Fabrizio Mancini
DON’Ts: Things to avoid to live a healthy lifestyle
While there are many things that you can do to live a healthy lifestyle, it is just as important to know what not to do so that you can avoid those unhealthy habits. Below are some common don’ts of healthy living:
1. Don’t skip meals or snacks
2. Don’t go on fad diets
3. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods
4. Don’t eat processed or junk food
5. Don’t drink sugary beverages
6. Don’t smoke cigarettes
7. Don’t sit for long periods of time without moving
8. Don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle
9. Don’t neglect self-care and relaxation
10. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Here’re some tips to help you avoid these unhealthy lifestyle habits:
1. Don’t wait until tomorrow
Don’t put off doing things because you think you will be able to do them tomorrow. Life doesn’t work like that – if you don’t start today then there is a good chance the task will never get done. Tomorrow is promised to no one – it’s cliché but true.
2. Don’t say yes to everything
Saying ”yes” every time someone asks for help or your time will lead to you being too tired or too busy for the things that matter most.
Plus, you will be setting yourself up for failure. Be realistic about your goals and find a balance between work, family life, and activities that keep you happy.
3. Don’t deny social events
Enjoying each other’s company is a big part of happiness. If possible try to find ways of participating in social events, which still allows you to stick to your goals.
These may make some of your best memories.
4. Don’t assume
If you are not sure what the healthy way of living is for you then it is always best to seek help. Many people think they know how it works but are either too strict or too relaxed when it comes to developing a healthy lifestyle.
There are so many things that you may not be even vaguely aware of. But, what’s even more dangerous is being misinformed and unaware.
5. Don’t aim for perfection
Humans are allowed to make mistakes. The trick is not to let them happen too often and not get too down on yourself if they do.
If you slip up, don’t get masochistic or view it as a failure – just get back on track with your healthy choices.
6. Don’t set goals that are too hard
Healthy living is all about consistency so don’t set goals that are too hard to stick to in the long run.
Notably, this doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself. However, there is no point in taking on a lifestyle that will only cause you stress and set you up for failure.
7. Don’t forget about yourself
It can be easy to get so involved in taking care of everyone else but you have to remember – if you are not happy then nothing around you will be either.
"Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it." – Lou Holtz
Why is it so hard to stick to a healthy lifestyle
There are many different factors that contribute to why it can be so difficult to stick to a healthy lifestyle.
For one thing, our modern lifestyles are so busy and fast-paced that we often struggle to find the time or energy to make healthy choices.
Furthermore, our societal culture places a lot of emphasis on dieting, restrictive eating, and weight loss as the primary markers of health.
This mindset can lead people to focus heavily on their food choices, while overlooking other important aspects of health such as exercise, sleep, and stress management.
Additionally, the abundance of unhealthy processed foods in our diets makes it challenging to replace old habits with healthier ones.
Ultimately, there is no simple answer for why it can be so hard to stick to a healthy lifestyle; however, understanding these various underlying factors can help us develop effective strategies for staying on track.
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There are many different ways to practice self-care, and it’s important to find the activities that work best for you.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss some of the benefits of self-care, as well as some tips for getting started. Read more
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It’s no secret that living a healthy lifestyle is important for your overall wellbeing. But what are the specific dimensions of personal wellness?
And how can you work on each one to create a more balanced and fulfilling life? In this blog post, we’ll explore the 6 essential dimensions of personal wellness – physical, mental, emotional health.
We’ll also discuss some tips for enhancing each one. So read on to learn more about what makes up personal wellness – and how you can achieve it. Read more
National Institutes of Health (2018) Healthy habits can lengthen life.