You don’t need to make being healthier one of your New Year’s resolutions. Rather than putting it off until next year, there are many things you can do to lead a healthier lifestyle now. If you’re not sure where to start, here are seven tips for living a healthier life.
Identify Unhealthy Habits
The first thing you should do when embarking on a healthier lifestyle is to identify any unhealthy habits. The most common unhealthy habits are drinking, smoking, taking drugs, snacking on junk food, overeating, and consuming too much caffeine. Once you’ve identified your unhealthy habits, it’s time to get them under control. Try phasing them out slowly and practicing self-control. If you’re struggling to manage your bad habits, ask someone to help motivate you and hold you accountable.
Never Shop When You’re Hungry
If you shop when you’re hungry, you’re likely to buy things that you don’t really need. It’s tempting to buy things you can snack on in-between meals, and while snacks aren’t necessarily a bad thing, you should stick to something healthier. Shop only after you’ve eaten and write a shopping list, so you don’t feel tempted to walk down the snack isle and pick up a packet of chocolate biscuits.
Drink More Water
We could all make a better effort to drink more water. To keep yourself hydrated, you should drink around eight glasses of water a day. Dehydration can cause fatigue, mood changes, and constipation, and can affect your concentration and skin health. Drinking more water can improve your physical and mental health and can aid weight loss. Swap out tea, coffee and sugary drinks for water, and bring a refillable bottle of water with you wherever you go. You should also try to drink a glass of water during each meal.
There’s a big difference between healthy eating and dieting. Diets aren’t sustainable, whereas healthy eating is a part of a permanent lifestyle change. Diets are more about weight loss and extreme restrictions and deprivation. Diets, such as the ketogenic diet, paleo diet, juice cleanse diet, and meal replacement shakes, should be avoided. Diets like these can cause health issues, eating disorders, and can cause your weight to yo-yo. Instead, focus on eating a balanced diet. You need to realise that you can eat the foods you want, but in moderation. You should research the suggested portion sizes and nutrition facts for certain foods, for example, to find out how much rice you should be eating, look up “cup of rice calories” online. Healthy eating requires a change in mindset. Worry less about weight loss and think more about what will be good for you.
Do More Exercise
Exercising is just as important as healthy eating. Most people’s lifestyles are too sedentary, so it’s important to fit in more exercise. Doing more exercise doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym every day. You can exercise by doing things that you enjoy, such as taking your dog for a walk, spending the day walking around town with your friends, or going cycling. You could even try something that feels less like work, such as rock climbing, dance classes, boxing, or team sports. Exercising can reduce your risk of health conditions, increase your energy levels, reduce joint stiffness, and boost your mood.
Get More Sleep
It’s important to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. A lack of sleep will not only make you grouchy the next day, but it will also impair your cognitive function, meaning it will affect your concentration, memory, and your ability to make decisions. Getting a couple of extra hours of sleep per night can strengthen your immune system, lower your risk of heart disease, and reduce your blood pressure.
Change Your Attitude
If you have a negative attitude towards making lifestyle changes, you’ll have a harder time with implementing those changes. You should have a positive mentality about any progress you make, even if it’s only small, and avoid comparing your progress to others. Doubting your ability to make healthy changes in your life can cause you to feel stress and frustration, which can cause you to fall back on unhealthy habits. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will improve the quality of your life and make you happier in the long run.
Image Credits: Madison Inouye