8 Lifestyle Changes to Improve Your Health
Health is on the mind of so many people these days. Healthy foods, healthy habits, healthy choices; we’re all about making changes to improve our bodies and our lives. It’s no wonder the health and wellness industry is valued at over $4 billion!
Because so much money and attention are spent on health, there’s an overwhelming amount of information out there. Between fad diets, out-there mindfulness classes, and crazy workout trends, it can be hard to know what to trust.
The truth is, improving your health isn’t about trying a new diet or trying a new workout style. True improvement to your health comes from making small, consistent changes to your lifestyle, and sticking to them.
Read on for our top 8 lifestyle changes to make lasting improvements to your health.
Eating for a Healthier Lifestyle
When it comes to healthy living, diet is on top of mind for most. Diet trends date back decades and have demonized nearly every food group we have. It’s been believed that sugar, fat, carbs, and even protein are unhealthy and should be permanently banished from your diet.
Weight loss companies have convinced people to spend millions on chocolate shakes instead of entire meals, magic appetite-suppressant pills, and pre-packaged, microwave-friendly, perfectly portioned meals.
Ask any good nutritionist, however, and they’ll tell you the truth: a truly healthy diet is about balance. It’s not about avoiding food groups and shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to achieve. Most of all, a truly healthy diet is about developing a healthy lifestyle that’s sustainable.
Here are our best tips for incorporating healthy eating into your lifestyle:
1. Reconsider the real estate on your plate. Divide your plate in half and fill one half with fruits and vegetables. These will supply you with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
2. Opt for healthy fats, like olive oil and avocado, instead of saturated fats like butter and animal fats. Healthy fats are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and “good” cholesterol, known as HDL cholesterol, that protect your heart.
3. Similarly, opt for whole grains, like whole wheat bread and brown rice, instead of processed grains like white breads and rice. These contain much more dietary fiber which prevents your blood sugar from spiking as you digest it. Consider growing your own food to ensure what you’re eating is free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
4. Wait 20 minutes after eating before getting a second helping or dessert. That’s how long it takes for your body to let your brain know that you’re full. You’ll probably find that, after a 20-minute wait, you’re much more satiated than you think.
5. Consider incorporating natural supplements into your routine to boost your nutrition. This includes things like vitamins, protein powders, or CBD vape juice.
Exercising for a Healthier Lifestyle
Official recommendations in regard to exercise are at least 30 minutes of physical activity every single day. Regular exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and more. It helps keep our bodies strong as we age and prevents us from falls, spinal issues, and more. Exercise is also proven to make us happier, as it releases epinephrine and endorphins in our brains—two chemicals that contribute to our happiness.
The thing about exercise, however, is that most of us don’t do it enough. In our digital age, we live increasingly sedentary lifestyles. We sit at desks, in cars, behind computers, and in front of TVs. Unless we actively make the choice to exercise, we can go weeks on end without any physical activity, and we won’t really feel the ramifications.
If you’d like to improve your health, you’ve got to make the choice to make exercise part of your lifestyle. While that may conjure images of hours each day at the gym or in CrossFit style boot camps, there are many other, more enjoyable ways to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle.
Here are some of our favorites:
6. Try to walk somewhere every single day. That could be to the grocery store, a restaurant or coffee shop, or to visit a friend. Getting into the habit of walking places instead of driving is an easy way to make exercise a part of your day with little effort, and an activity tracker can help motivate you to get your daily exercise.
7. Try out a new physical activity each month until you find one that you love to do. You can explore swimming, hiking, biking, and more, and even create your own home gym in your basement or spare room.
8. Join a local rec sports team. That way, you can get your exercise in while getting a little social time in, too!
With these 8 changes, you’ll be on your way to living a happier, healthier lifestyle.