It seems like a distant dream for most to stay healthy. In spite of knowing the importance and benefits of staying fit at all ages, people tend to be reluctant to work towards it. People refuse to come out of their comfort zones and make efforts to lead a healthy life. You need not take drastic and big leaps to maintain a healthy life. Small changes in your current lifestyle can give you awesome results in future to lead a healthy and happy life. Very soon you will realize that living a long healthy life is actually not that tough. All you need is to set up small goals and make sure that you stick to them. Here we list down 11 such necessary lifestyle changes for a healthy living.
Everybody is aware of the statutory warning which says smoking is injurious to health. So if you have a habit to smoke, quit. If someone around you smokes, encourage and motivate them to quit. It could be a very difficult task. But it is better than recovering from chronic heart diseases and heart attacks later. Maintain aloofness from smokers once you have committed to quit smoking. This is a very important decision that will affect your state of health.
Pay attention to your diet
In order to lead a healthy life, you need to pay attention to your dietary habits. A good diet not only helps you maintain the required weight but also helps you fight diseases. Having a healthy diet helps you keep blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes under control. Learn what foods are to be eaten in what quantities that fit your taste, and plan for meals that include those foods. Try to have nutritious foods that are rich in minerals, fiber, vitamins and are low on calories. The key to attain a good diet is to have loads of fruits, veggies, high fiber food, whole grains, lean protein, fish and fat free foods.
You can also use these small tips:
Have more fruits. Add fruits to your salads, cereal and even your dinners.
Increase the quantity of vegetable intake. Have pre packed or frozen vegetable handy to add them to your dishes. Be it an extra dash of vegetable topping on your pizza or extra tomatoes in your sandwich. Whereever you can just add the vegetables.
Change the dressing of your salad if you are used to having a full fat dressing. This way you are reducing your calorie intake.
Replace your regular milk with fat free or skim milk. Eat fat free or low fat dairy. Without much change in diet, you would be consuming less amounts of calories.
Make a conscious list of your most favorite food items and find low calorie substitutes for the same. You will be amazed with the cut of calorie intake you would have made.
Have a tab on your blood cholesterol
You should not have accumulated fat in your arteries. This may lead to a heart stroke or heart attack. Reduced intake of trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol minimizes the risk of accumulation of fat in arteries. If physical activities and diet do not help you balance the fat, then medication is necessary to maintain a healthy number. Here is the information that you need to keep a check on the numbers pertain to the amount of fat your body can afford to take in.
Overall cholesterol: Should be less than 200mg/dL.
Bad LDL cholesterol should be less than 160 mg/dL if your risk for heart diseases is low.
Bad LDL cholesterol should be less than 130mg/dL if your risk for heart diseases is intermediate.
Bad LDL cholesterol should be less than 100mg/dL if your risk for heart diseases is high.
Good HDL cholesterol for men is 40mg/dL and for women it should be 50mg/dL or higher.
Control your high blood pressure
Having high blood pressure implies that you are at a great risk of getting a stroke. Studies show that stroke is one of the top four reasons that takes lives of people or causes disability in the United States. Recovering from stroke is very tedious and difficult. So, if you have high blood pressure, control your salt intake and take proper medication in consultation with your family doctor. The blood pressure numbers should definitely be down. You should be able to maintain a little less than 120/80mm Hg to have a controlled blood pressure levels.
Dedicate time for your body and be fit
Being fit is very crucial to have a healthy life. Studies show that physical activity of minimum 30 minutes is must at least for 5 times a week to have a problem free life in future. This ensures that the blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol are well under control. So if you are not in a habit of having a regular regime, start now. Take 10 minute out of your busy life as an investment for your healthy future. Get your body moving even while at home. For instance, take stairs instead of lift. Each time you want to change the channel on the TV, go and press the buttons rather than using the remote. Walk to the food joint than to get it delivered. Research shows that people with moderate fitness levels have a longer life span than those whose fitness levels are low.
Be weight conscious
Not only in adults but obesity is becoming quiet common in children as well. To deal with obesity, supplements and fad diets are not an answer. Key factors to maintain a healthy weight is to be physically fit, have good nutritious food and control calorie intake. If you are obese, you are prone to be at greater risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Check your BMI (Body Mass Index) level to keep an eye on your weight based on your height.
Diabetes is one of the reasons that lead to cardiovascular diseases. Studies show that people with diabetes are 2 to 4 times most likely at the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. This may be due to many risk factors associated with diabetes such as high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, obesity and limited physical activities. Keep your sugar levels in control by having good amount of physical activity and if needed some medication.
Do not take unnecessary stress
Stress is one such factor that affects the mind even after one has finished experiencing it. Stress shows on our body and is held in our minds. Managing stress is not easy unless you have a very good will power and are optimistic in your approaches. Taking breaks from stress every once in a while is necessary to have an easy physical, mental and emotional state of mind. Try some stress relieving exercises to remove stressful thoughts and release tension from your mind. As and how you learn to deal with stress in your day to day life, you will be happy that your life has fallen into a path that leads to a much happier and stress free life tomorrow.
Limit alcohol intake
With age, the body’s water to fat ratio declines. Hence, having excess alcohol has adverse effects on one’s health later in life. Alcohol consumption increases blood pressure, produces irregular heartbeats and worse can cause cancer. Alcohol consumption contributes high triglycerides that lead to obesity, suicide, alcoholism and accidents. Non-drinkers are at less risk of heart diseases than people consuming moderate amounts of alcohol. This does not in any way imply that drinkers should increase the alcohol intake and non drinkers should start drinking!
Keep connected with your social circle
It is important that you have a social circle of your own to have a healthy life. Studies have shown that people who are socially active have longer life span. Talking and sharing relieve lot of stress and can make a person emotionally happy. Having a supportive social circle is very helpful especially in times of crisis. You can lead a healthier and stress free life if you are lucky to have found a good social circle. However, join groups where you know that you have like minded people. Little minutes that you sneak out of your busy life should bring in laughter and joy to your life.
Not many people realize the importance of having proper amount of sleep. It is recommended that a person needs about 7 to 9 hours of sleep in a day. Owing to the stressful and busy life, men and women including children are falling short of this goal. Only a conscious effort from self can ensure that the proper sleep requirements are met. As much as possible, plan your tasks and learn time management techniques to ensure that your sleep time is not compromised upon. Eventually, you will develop a clock on your own and this clock will be a key for your healthy life in future.