How do start I start living a healthier lifestyle?

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Answered by: Priscilla, An Expert in the Healthy Living 101 Category
There are people everywhere who wish they felt better. This includes physically, mentally, and emotionally. Just look around you. There are those who are constantly exhausted, those who are anxious and stressed out, and those who have a decent bill of positive energy flowing through them on most days. Many individuals fall somewhere in between. How does one begin living a healthier lifestyle after years of ignoring best practices? The good news is, one can always make a change. You are here, reading this article at this very moment, which means you took a step towards making change.



There are many small steps you can take to start implementing healthier choices. The following tips will help you jumpstart your journey towards living a healthier lifestyle.

1. Remember this mantra: Food is fuel. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how different your food choices would be if you considered what your food was providing for your body. If you knew your body was low on iron, or you were constantly feeling low on energy, you could focus your meal planning to help with those issues. A simple example would be, drinking hot lemon water to help digestion. Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning can help flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body. This is a great way to start your day because it allows you to prepare your stomach and intestinal organs for every other food item you will be consuming for the day. You will perform like a well-oiled machine if you commit to putting good fuel into your body.

2. Read labels. It will take a bit of time to really get to know all of the bizarre ingredients out there, but the key thing to keep in mind is that if you can’t read the word, or have no idea what it is, it is most likely not an item you want to ingest. Unfortunately, there are literally thousands of food additives that are present in US foods. Some of the worst ones include high-fructose corn syrup, synthetic trans fats, artificial flavors, monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. There are several food additives you will find in US foods that are banned in other countries due to their negative effects on health. Although your ultimate goal may be to simply lose weight, by avoiding these ingredients, you are working to also prevent cancer, diabetes, reproductive issues, heart disease, and many other illnesses. It might seem like a pain to read labels at first, but once you get in the habit it becomes second nature. Grocery visits will go much quicker when you stick to those whole natural foods, which are great fuel for your body!



3. Practice mindful eating. Pay attention to how you are feeling when you find yourself craving those really sugary snacks. Is it boredom that leads you to those salty potato chips and cans of diet soda? Is there a specific time of day in which your cravings usually come on? These questions are great to keep in mind as you begin to monitor why and when you snack. Sometimes it might be stress, and other times it might be hormones. When you do snack, pay attention to how you feel afterwards. Consider how you feel after eating a veggie-filled salad in contrast with a burger and fries. You will quickly notice the lethargic state that comes after a greasy, carb-heavy meal. If you must snack, reach for fresh fruits, vegetables, cottage cheese, or nuts.

4. Make time to move and stretch. Starting an intense workout routine is not necessary. Sometimes the thought of being tied down by a demanding gym regiment sounds too time consuming. The truth is, you can do so much for your body by simply getting up and walking for 30 minutes once a day. Go for an easy bike ride, or take a stroll around your office every hour or so, just to get your heart rate going. When possible, also take time to stretch. Again, it does not have to be extreme yoga. You can do light stretching when you wake up, throughout the day, or before bed. The benefits include increased energy, improved balance, less stress, and better organ performance. You can find many beginner to advanced stretching videos online for ideas.

These healthy lifestyle tips can be implemented as a family, or as an individual. The goal overall is to be kind to yourself! Putting your health and mental wellness first improves not only your life, but the effect you have on those around you as your energy output becomes more positive.

Happy Healing!

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