The term “healthy” has grown to be pretty subjective. When you are constantly comparing your lifestyle to another person to decide if you are living healthily or not, then the parameters of what healthy means will constantly be on the move. For some, being healthy means eating at home a few times a week. For others, eating healthy means making sure that every meal includes a vegetable. And still there are some for whom being healthy means downing protein shakes on their way to the gym.
Perhaps the best way to describe being healthy is by defining what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Your lifestyle refers to much more than the foods you sometimes eat. Your lifestyle is the way that you live your life on a day to day basis. It includes your dietary choices, yes, but it also includes the activity you engage in and the amount of sleep you get every night.
When it comes to finding ways to improve your health, the foods you eat and the level of activity you engage in are key. It takes 13 days to create a new habit. Once you get into the swing of it, keeping up with healthy eating and exercise habits wont become so much of a battle. The trick is getting started; and by taking baby steps, getting started is easier than ever.
Click next for tips and tricks for improving your fitness levels and overall health.
The first thing to do when it comes to improving your health is to make changes in your diet. This doesn’t mean that you have to convert your entire diet over to kale and pine nuts–but it might mean cutting out some of the more popular processed, sugary and fat-filled items that you are eating on a regular basis.
Eating more leafy greens will help improve your health by adding more nutrients to your diet without adding a lot of calories. You don’t have to convert your diet over to salads to get more leafy greens. Add greens to your morning smoothie, saute them in olive oil to have with dinner or load your burger with greens to sneak more of them into the foods you already eat.
If you are going to eat sugar, make sure you are going for all natural sources of sugar. It is true that your body needs sugar to survive, but most of the foods we get sugar from are not healthy. Instead of going for processed sweets, opt for fruits and vegetables to satisfy your sweet tooth. If a piece of raw fruit isn’t doing it for you, then consider baking an apple or a pear to carmelize those sugars.
You may not realize it, but every person is supposed to have at least 64 ounces of water every day: that equals about eight glasses for the average person per day. While it is okay to get some of this from other beverages, at least half of your fluid intake should come from water. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and can even cut down on hunger.
Just like your body needs sugar, your body needs fat. There are healthy fats and there are not-so healthy fats, and the trick is to switch your fat intake to to the healthier sources. This includes unsaturated fats, which are found naturally in nuts, lean meats and fruits like avocado. Eating healthy fats will help you build muscle and protect your joints while helping to promote heart and brain health. Unhealthy fats are what promote weight gain, so avoid foods with saturated and trans fats–like processed sweets.