Firstly, cut back on bad habits ie smoking, drugs, unsafe sex and other unhealthy addictions. There’s just no way to do any of these in a “healthy” way. It might take some time, but it’s worth it if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. There are some habits that are not so bad, but can easily become a problem if taken too far. These include alcohol, sugar and junk food. These things in moderation or on a “once-in-a-while” basis are doable, as long as the majority of your choices are mindful and healthful.
2) Eat Breakfast Each Day
A healthy breakfast starts your day off right. It sets you up so that you have energy and fuel for optimal mental and physical performance. Eating breakfast helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels and a healthy weight because you are less likely to overindulge later in the day.
3) Eat Healthily
Get as many fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet as possible and make them the main part of your overall diet. Include lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, tofu and beans. Eat balanced meals and do not overeat. Stop eating before you become completely full and give yourself a chance to digest your food. Snack on whole foods such as fruit, vegetables and nuts. Avoid highly processed foods that contain artificial sweeteners or colours, hidden sugars or excessive fat.
4) Commute to work by walking or biking, instead of driving in a car.
If this is an option, your commute will not only take out the need to go to a gym, it can also release work-related stress and allow you to get more Vitamin D from sunlight.
If this is not an option, try to commute in more than 1 way. Take the bus half of the way and walk the rest of the way to work. You can also park 1/2 or 1 mile away from the office, and walk to and from your car.
5) Avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time.
People who sit in a desk for hours are at risk for chronic back pain. You burn 33 percent more calories when standing, and frequent walking around will help to stretch your muscles and improve your posture.
Even if you just get out for a walk a few times a week, exercise is important for being fit and healthy. Cardiovascular exercise helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, strength training helps to strengthen the muscles and stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury by increasing flexibility. Exercise also improves circulation and body awareness, and regular exercise can help combat depression.
Sleep affects our physical and mental health tremendously, and many of us do not get enough. Lack of sleep adversely affects metabolism, mood, concentration, memory, motor skills, stress hormones and even the immune system and cardiovascular health. Sleep allows the body to heal, repair and rejuvenate itself in a way it simply cannot when a person is awake.
8) Drink Water
Our bodies are made mostly of water. Most fluids and foods contain water that will help to keep our bodies hydrated, but fresh, clean, plain water is still the best and healthiest beverage for maintaining a healthy body. It is the most natural cleanser for our organs and digestive system. Being hydrated is crucial for the brain as well as for helping to flush toxins out through the skin (perspiration) and urine.
9) Reduce Stress
Stress can cause a myriad of problems, from heart trouble to digestive problems. This should not come as a surprise. What many people do not know is what to do about it, how to manage their stress. Exercise, meditation, doing what you love, appropriate boundaries, spirituality, being in nature, and enjoyable hobbies all help alleviate the harmful effects of stress on the body. Don’t overwork. Take breaks (vacations, mini-vacations, days off) and surround yourself with people who support you.
10) Consistency and Moderation
In order to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle, it’s important to have some sort of consistency when looking at the big picture result. Make changes one at a time, and don’t make too many changes at once or you will risk relapsing into old habits. Making these choices a part of your daily life will help you to reach your health goals. Avoid extremes in any capacity. Exercise moderation when it comes to fitness, food and fun.