The pursuit of a healthy lifestyle is a fairly new concept. For most of the years that humans have existed on this planet, they spent the majority of their time just trying to survive. But since things have gotten much easier, and there are less struggles for finding basic necessities, such as food and shelter, there has been a whole new host of problems to deal with. Obesity and health disorders are rampant. And many p eople are struggling with depression and anxiety.
But luckily, there are seven easy ways to keep yourself healthy that can help change all of that.
When a doctor suggests a person begin an exercise program, they often imagine being forced to run on a treadmill and lift weights at the gym for hours every day. But this isn’t necessary. A simple walking and stretching program is enough to strengthen the heart and muscles. And it can be done anywhere. Simply walk for 30 minutes a day wherever you are able to. This might be the local park or around the block where you live. But be sure to do stretches for five to ten minutes before and after walking. That way, there will be a decreased risk of injury occurring. The stretches will also keep your muscles limber.
2. Avoid Sugar
This powdery, white substance has been compared to illicit drugs because of its addictiveness. Those who try to go without it for a day or more often experience mood swings, irritability, and tension. But the cravings will go away after someone finally gives up this harmful stuff for good. Although sugar is a quick way to get energy levels up fast, it increases inflammation in the body. And this causes all kinds of health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.
3. Stay Positive
Poor mental health has an impact on physical health because it perpetuates a cycle of malaise. The worse someone feels emotionally, the less likely they are to take better care of themselves. This stress also increases the amount of cortisol that is in the body, which is damaging to the heart and blood vessels. That is because cortisol is usually only released when someone is in a fight or flight mode for survival. If the body thinks that someone is in danger, it floods stress hormones through the bloodstream to help a person survive. So it is very important to get stress under control through meditation or yoga exercises done on a daily basis. Having a positive attitude is also helpful.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet
Many diseases can be prevented just by eating a balanced diet of whole grains, lean meats, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Junk food should only be eaten occasionally because it does not have any nutritional value to offer. So avoid sodas, fried snacks, and take-out.
5. Stay Away From Cigarettes
Cigarettes have thousands of chemicals in them that are carcinogens, which increase the likeliness of someone getting cancer. In fact, there has been research done that has proven that about 80% of all people who smoke end up with lung cancer or other lung diseases from it. Those who spend time with smokers are also at risk because of the secondhand smoke that they inhale. So by staying away from cigarettes altogether, a person can significantly decrease their chances of lung-related problems.
6. Keep Your Weight in Check
Studies have shown that being as much as five pounds overweight increases the risk of type two diabetes. This might not sound like much, but the extra pounds stress the body, so it can’t fight off diseases as well. The best way to keep your weight healthy is to check it on a weekly basis. That way, you can make changes to your diet and exercise plan before it increases too much.
7. Get Enough Rest
Believe it or not, just making sure that you get at least eight hours of sleep at night will help keep you healthy. Exhaustion from pushing yourself without getting enough rest increases inflammation and stress hormones in the body. And this can raise a person’s heart rate and blood pressure, which adds to their risk of heart disease.
In conclusion, by following these seven tips, you can prevent many health disorders. But they are not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician.
About the author:
Lucy Miller is a nutrition student, marathon runner, and a passionate writer for Mind Your Zen. She contributes on a number of blog sharing useful health tips from her research as a nutrition student. She can be reached at [email protected]