Like most women, you probably started out the New Year with a long list of resolutions, one of which probably was to live healthier. The reason that most of us don’t attain the goals we set out to achieve is that we don’t make a clear plan of action. It’s all good and well to plan to live healthier, but without clear steps you will soon fall back into your old habits.
You already know that you need to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep in order to remain healthy, so it is now time to take a good look at your lifestyle and determine what needs to change. Healthy living is a way of life that needs to be adopted, and in order to do so, you will need to form entirely new habits.
Most of us already know the basics of a healthy diet, like getting the right amount of protein, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, but here we will briefly discuss a few specifics that you should be aware of if you want to start living healthier.
1. Never skip breakfast
For those of us who lead busy lives, taking time out of the day to eat breakfast may seem unrealistic. However, breakfast is the fuel that you need to make it through till lunch time. You have already gone the whole night without food, so if you don’t eat anything you will literally be running on empty, which will make you less productive. You are also more likely to snack on unhealthy things at work if you have not eaten a proper meal.
2. Replace red meat with fish
There is nothing wrong with a nice piece of red meat a couple of times a week, but too much red meat can increase your risk of cancer, heart disease and ulcers. Fish is an excellent substitute protein, low in fat and rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to lower your cholesterol, promote weight loss and improve your skin.
Most people don’t drink enough water, which can cause all kinds of problems from digestive complications to excess body fat. By the time you feel thirsty, your body is likely already dehydrated, so keep a water bottle near you and drink throughout the day. It is recommended that you drink eight to ten glasses of water a day, but if you are exercising or live in a hot climate, you should drink more than ten. Don’t drink sodas or even too many fruit juices, as they are high in sugar content.
1. Plan a diverse exercise routine
One of the main reasons that people give up on their exercise routines is that they don’t have a plan, or their plan is not diverse enough. Plan to exercise at least five days a week, and incorporate everything from cardio and strength training to stretching and balance workouts into your routines. For example, you could go to the gym and take an aerobics class one day, while the next you could go for a jog or take a yoga class. Mixing it up not only keeps you challenged, it is also a more effective way of losing weight, building muscles and increasing overall energy levels.
2. Get enough sleep
This may seem obvious, but without sufficient sleep, you cannot be healthy. The amount of sleep that is necessary varies greatly from person to person. Some people can function well on just six or seven hours a night, while others may need nine or even ten. Learn to listen to your body and give it what it needs. Sleep is like the glue that holds everything together, so find out how much you need and plan to get it each night.
3. Get some sun and fresh air each day
If you exercise indoors, you should make time to get outside for at least half an hour each day. Fresh air helps your body get the oxygen it needs and the sun provides you with vitamin D, which is necessary for your body to absorb calcium. Of course, it goes without saying that too much sun is bad for you, so don’t overdo it. Simple outdoor activities like walking the dog or having lunch in the park can help you meet the requirement for fresh out and sunshine.
When preparing your new healthy lifestyle plan, remember that you can’t change everything all at once. Keep track of your progress and reward yourself at the end of every successful week. This could be anything from a trip to the movies to relaxing spa weekend. Changing your lifestyle takes a lot of determination and hard work, so go easy on yourself and don’t give up just because you made one mistake.
Guest post by Liz Goldman from Wink Bingo – home of online bingo games.