“Healthy” is a subjective and frankly overused term and what is deemed as healthy one month might be out the next (hello and goodbye red wine or is drinking one glass good again?). What I think is healthy may not be the same for you, but we can all agree that doing things that help us live a healthy lifestyle like staying active, eating fruits and veggies, getting enough sleep, unplugging, and taking time for yourself are good for you no matter how you define it.
Step 1: Stay Active
Study after study shows that getting off of your butt and moving around every day will help you live longer and is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. And you don’t have to get up at 5 am and run 10 miles to benefit from physical activity. Even walking, gardening, or doing push-ups and sit-ups for as little as 15 min a day can add years to your life.
Not sure where to start? Need a little push? Working with a personal trainer can help. Personal trainers, even virtual personal trainers, can help support your goals, create plans to help get you started, get you through a plateau, and much more. We recommend looking into services that offer prescreened, certified, and insured instructors like those at FYT (Find Your Trainer). FYT makes it super easy to find a trainer that can help you reach your goals. Just answer a few simple questions and book a session. It’s that easy. From there your trainer will help build an individualized training plan and you can work out with your trainer online or in-person, all in the comfort of your home.
Step 2: Eat Fruits and Veggies
“Eating right” is another subjective term right up there with “healthy” and while fad diets will come and go eating more whole foods like fruit and veggies will always stay in style. Simply put eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and seafood, vegetable oils, beans, nuts, and seeds and less dairy foods, red meat, processed meats, highly refined and processed grains and sugars like chips and candy, fast food, and sugary drinks.
We all know how hard it can be to take a little “me” time. Between work, school, kids, partners, pets, activities, and more the days just fly by. It’s important, though, to take a little time for yourself each and every day to do something that makes you happy. This could be taking a bubble bath, working on a project at home, taking a walk, journaling, meditating or drinking your morning coffee or tea outside. Anything that makes you happy can help you live longer as studies have shown that happier people live longer than people who are stressed, anxious, or sad.
Step 4: Unplug
It seems like from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep we are in front of a screen these days. From checking email before hopping in the shower in the morning to binge-watching your favorite new show before bed, screens have become our lives for better or worse. It’s important, though, for your health to turn those screens off. When you turn your screens off you can turn your attention toward real live conversations and interactions with family and friends. Healthy social interactions actually lead to living a longer life, so turn those screens off and invite your friends over for a game night or bbq. Another benefit of unplugging is that you are more likely to get outside which gives you a valuable dose of Vitamin D.
Step 5: Get Some Zzzz’s
Isn’t it amazing how great you feel when you get a good, solid night’s sleep? You wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. And how bad do you feel when you toss and turn, or your partners’ snoring keeps you up all night, and you can’t get your full 8 hours? Study after study has shown that consistently getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night can help improve your overall health by giving your body a chance to recover and years on to your life. Tip: turning off those screens an hour before bed can help you get to sleep faster.
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to become a vegan ultra-marathon runner. Following the 5 steps above and making small changes to your daily routine can lead to major health benefits and a longer life.
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