So you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Whether it is to improve your immune system, prevent illnesses, get stronger, or boost your mental health, getting and remaining healthy comes with many benefits. There are small, simple changes you can make to begin your goal of leading a healthy lifestyle. This can include sleeping more, drinking more water, or attempting to reduce stress. However, you can also enact lifestyle changes such as improving your hygiene, starting a better diet, and beginning to exercise gradually.
All of This Matters
Your main priority should always be your health. Living an unsanitary, unhealthy lifestyle can result in serious negative consequences to your health and your quality of life. These consequences can include depression, anger issues, cardiovascular problems, tooth decay, or obesity. It is important to begin living a healthier lifestyle in order to avoid these consequences and improve your immune system to defend against future illnesses and infections. Below are a few ways you can begin your new lifestyle today.
The Importance of Hygiene
Sanitation and proper body care is a vital step if you are looking to improve your lifestyle. Improvements can include using deodorant, showering regularly, exfoliating, developing a skincare routine, and more. Hygiene is not limited to your body, however, and you should practice cleaning areas around you such as your home and work area.
Wash Your Hands Often
Bacteria have the ability to stick onto surfaces for hours after one interaction. Your hands touch various surfaces throughout the day and then touch your face, mouth, food, and other people that you can transmit bacteria to. Washing your hands with soap and water often, after using the bathroom, before eating, and after coming home if you want to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Wash Your Body Daily
One of the most important tips to boost your hygiene is washing your body and face daily. Taking showers to wash and exfoliate your skin will get rid of dead skin, any dirt on the surface of your skin, and disinfect your body from any accumulated bacteria. However, washing your face with separate products is ideal since the skin on your face is more sensitive than your body.
Keep Your Surroundings Clean
It is important to not only keep your body clean, but also the spaces you live and work in. Make sure you wipe down any surfaces, sweep the floors, and declutter any spaces. Ensuring that your surroundings are clean and neat can brighten your mood, avoid the build-up of dust, and provide protection from pathogens.
Eating healthier is one of the most intimidating changes people face when changing their lifestyle, although it does not have to be so difficult. Cutting out certain food groups immediately will not be a lasting solution to transforming your lifestyle. You must ease into changing your diet to obtain healthy habits that will last for years to come.
Drinking More Water
An easy step to changing your diet is replacing your juices and sodas with water. Water consumption comes with many benefits such as increasing brain function, increasing energy levels, preventing headaches, clearing your skin, relieving constipation, aiding weight loss, and more. The recommended amount of water to drink per day is 64 ounces, or eight eight-ounce glasses, however, this depends on your body type and lifestyle.
Increasing Your Vegetable Intake
Vegetables are filled with vitamins and minerals that keep your body functioning properly and healthy. Filling your plate half-way up with vegetables can lead you to getting the recommended amount of vegetables per day. Common vegetables that are liked by many include broccoli, spinach, potatoes, and zucchini. You can prepare them in different forms such as roasting them, boiling them, or steaming them. Not only do vegetables benefit your health directly, but they also are very filling foods.
Reducing Meal Portions
If you struggle with overeating, you may want to gradually reduce your meal sizes or practice eating until you are full but not indulging once you are full. Eating all the food groups you love is important since avoiding or cutting out your favorite foods will just lead you to binging on these foods later on in your journey. Instead, eat everything in moderation and be conscious of overeating throughout your meals.
One of the most common techniques people use to begin their journey towards a healthier lifestyle is exercise. There are many different forms of exercising and you do not need equipment, a gym membership, strength, or endurance to begin. The most important thing is to just get started and get active. You can start with short walks around your neighborhood or get right into the gym, whatever you are most comfortable with.
Cardio workouts are beneficial to improve your heart health, bone strength, and lose weight. There are varying degrees of cardio workouts: Low-Intensity Steady-State (LISS) and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. If you are just starting out, it is recommended to practice LISS cardio which involves longer, less intense workouts, such as taking a long walk, swimming, or going on a steady cycle.
Weight Lifting Workouts
Weighted workouts are done with gym equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, and weighted plates. These workouts are great for increasing your strength, losing weight, and building muscle. If you want to do weighted workouts, it may be beneficial for you to obtain a gym membership, otherwise, you need to purchase weights to have in your home. Workouts done with weights can include bicep curls, squats, lunges, and many more.
If you are worried about straining your muscles with weights, cannot afford weights or do not want to go to a gym, bodyweight workouts are a great option for you and are equally challenging. Bodyweight workouts use your own body’s resistance to gravity to develop strength and endurance. A few examples of bodyweight workouts can include squats, push-ups, jumping jacks, planks, and many more. There are also many variations of each exercise for beginners to build their strength, such as doing push-ups against the wall or kneeling before doing standard push-ups on the floor.
Changing your lifestyle can include all of the habits mentioned above, but small steps can also make a huge difference in your physical and mental health. These changes can include practices such as meditation, sleeping enough hours, stress reduction, and more. When you’re making a conscious effort to live a healthier life, it’s just as important to prioritize your mental health as it is your physical health. Below are a few steps you can get started today to begin your lifestyle change.
The typical adult should aim to get eight hours of sleep per night. Sleep has benefits that are essential to leading a healthy life. Benefits include gaining energy, losing weight, reducing stress, and making you more alert throughout the next day. Helpful habits to create a comfortable sleeping schedule include picking a time you have to wake up the next day and setting an alarm for nine hours prior to remind you it’s time to go to bed soon. Many of us lose track of time at night and end up sleeping too late to achieve those eight hours. Make sure to not eat any sugar-filled foods before bed, avoid lights from your computer or phone screen, and turn off your lights ahead of time!
Stress can be extremely harmful not only to our mental health but also to the health of your body. Stress can cause weight gain, headaches, depression, and lead to poor decision making. To help reduce stress, try organizing your day to set realistic expectations of tasks you can complete. Setting realistic goals throughout the day will help you feel accomplished and will not put a burden on your shoulders.
Increasing Social Interaction
Social interaction is a great way to stay motivated to get active and to boost your mental health. Finding a partner who also wants to lead a healthy lifestyle will hold you both accountable for your actions and motivate you to stay on a healthy diet or daily routine. Another alternative for motivation and accountability is joining an online community that encourages you in your fitness journey. This can include a paid program or a local fitness group Facebook page. Getting social interaction throughout your day can also help your mental health if you surround yourself with individuals who are trying to accomplish similar goals and lead similar lifestyles.