You may know a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but do you know what does that mean?
Well,In general, a healthy person doesn’t smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
The trick to healthy living is making small changes…taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water…these are just a few ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes.
We know it’s good for us but avoid it like the plague either because we’re used to being sedentary or afraid that exercise has to be vigorous to be worth our time. The truth is, movement is movement and the more you do, the healthier you’ll be. Even moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking can make a difference.
Just adding a little movement to your life can:
- Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
- Improve joint stability
- Increase and improve range of movement
- Help maintain flexibility as you age
- Maintain bone mass
- Prevent osteoporosis and fractures
- Improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Enhance self esteem
- Improve memory in elderly people
- Reduce stress
So, even if you opt for small changes and a more modest weight loss, you can see the benefits are still pretty good. One study has found that just a 10% weight reduction helped obese patients reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and increase longevity.
Eating a healthy diet is another part of the healthy lifestyle. Not only can a clean diet help with weight management,
it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older. You can use the new MyPlate to determine how
many calories you need and what food groups you should focus on or, if you’re looking for smaller changes, you can
use these tips for simple ways to change how you eat:
- Eat more fruit. Add it to your cereal, your salads or even your dinners.
- Sneak in more veggies. Add them wherever you can–a tomato on your sandwich, peppers on your pizza,or extra veggies in your pasta sauce. Keep pre-cut or canned/frozen veggies ready for quick snacks.
- Switch your salad dressing. If you eat full-fat dressing, switch to something lighter and you’ll automatically eat less calories.
- Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy. Switching to skim milk or fat free yogurt is another simple way to eat less calories without having to change too much in your diet.
- Make some substitutes. Look through your cabinets or fridge and pick 3 foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you’re at the store, find lower-calorie substitutes for just those 3 items.
Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean drastic changes. In fact, drastic changes almost always lead to failure. Making small changes in how you live each day can lead to big rewards, so figure out what you can to be healthy today.
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal—the brighter the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day.
Some great choices include:
- Greens. Branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options—all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
- Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets.
- Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.
The importance of getting vitamins from food—not pills
The antioxidants and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases. And while advertisements abound for supplements promising to deliver the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables in pill or powder form, research suggests that it’s just not the same.
A daily regimen of nutritional supplements is not going to have the same impact of eating right. That’s because the benefits of fruits and vegetables don’t come from a single vitamin or an isolated antioxidant.
The health benefits of fruits and vegetables come from numerous vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals working together synergistically. They can’t be broken down into the sum of their parts or replicated in pill form.
When the mid-morning or mid-afternoon stomach grumblings start, bypass the vending machine chips, candy bars and packages of cookies.
Instead, opt for healthy snacks like fruits or nuts. Fresh items, as opposed to processed foods, are always a good choice because you can avoid consuming the added chemicals and preservatives of processed foods.
Nancy Tan, a 22-year-old advertising account executive, is always on her toes with busy deadlines and trying to please clients. She enjoys snacking on fruit or cherry tomatoes throughout the day.
She also makes sure to drink plenty of water to keep herself hydrated. “[Healthy snacks and water] really give me the extra lift I need…and constantly going to the restroom keeps me on my toes, too,” Tan says.
Campbell suggests also snacking on things like apples, raisins or baby carrots while you are on the go.
Snacking on healthy foods in between meals can keep your blood sugar level, prevents fatigue and, more importantly, prevents binge eating.
Try to eat dinner at a regularly scheduled time early in the evening – as opposed to late night dinners.
Most dinners are more relaxed than other meals during the day, and you often have more time to spend eating or preparing dinner than other meals.
Take the time to include foods from the food groups that you may have missed in earlier meals.
Be warned, however, dinnertime can sabotage your diet or healthy-eating intentions because you do have more time to eat – you may end up eating too much. Watch your portion and serving sizes.
Marshella Dickey, a 22-year-old Coach Sales Associate, does not always have time to eat healthy dinners, but makes the most of foods available to her and knows how to avoid the unhealthy food traps of the mall food-court while she is at work.
“I try to eat lots of fruits and salads with spinach leaves. If I must eat on the go, I try to find wraps with vegetables and chicken. I also try to have wheat bread and pasta when I can,” Dickey says.
Eating out can be a challenge for the health-conscious eater. Aim to have sit-down family meals at home but when you do eat out, try these key strategies to dining out.