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So what does a healthy lifestyle look like?
It does not include smoking but does include regular exercise, healthy food choices and what is deemed a healthy weight for your height. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
But even the most simplistic choices seem so dramatic to the point where it is difficult for someone to make that choice. Alas, have no fear. There are a few ways to make these choices easy for you to choose. Healthy living can be done
without drastic changes.
There is an epidemic in America...aside from obesity. It is lack of activity. Today’s society is plagued by long work hours, more pressure from work and children, and the ever-growing presence of technology. We all know exercise is good for us, but
we can all conjure up an excuse that seems to permit laziness. However, no matter the excuse, the simple truth is any movement is movement, and that makes us just a little bit healthier. So no matter if that movement comes in the form of household chores or gardening, the fact that you are moving can make a difference.
Movement can improve your quality of life through:
Reduced risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and/or diabetes
Improved joint movement
Increased range of motion
Increased and improved flexibility
Reduced stress/reduced cortisol
Improved mood and self esteem
Studies have proven these and more positives that occur due to exercise. All it takes is a little motivation and a positive attitude.
Where to Start
Now that we know the benefits, where do we begin? Not everyone is ready for a
structured, exercise routine, but there small ways to start incorporating a little bit of movement to your daily routine.
· Turn off the television
Whether it is once or week or daily, turn off the television and do something physical with your family;
an hour bike ride, playing games like tag, building a snow man. These small activities are enough to get your blood moving and your family together.
· Walk more
The easiest way to get moving is to start walking. The human body’s most primal form
of movement is nothing short of helpful. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Park your car further from the door of your work place or the mall. Use the treadmill 5
minutes in the morning before work for a burst of energy.
· Do more chores
House cleaning is no one’s favourite idea of a Saturday afternoon activity. However, they can still burn calories. Shoveling snow, gardening, mowing the lawn, vacuuming the
pool, raking leaves can all burn an extra hundred calories. The best part about it
is that you weren’t really trying!
· Pace about
What better way to burn a few calories than when talking on the phone. By pacing back and forth while talking on the phone, you will surely get your blood moving and burn a few
calories in the process.
· Make a list
In order to visualize your improvements, make a list of the physical activity you
accomplished in a day. In a week or two, look over what you accomplished and up the ante. Decide to increase your walk on day one an extra 5 minutes on day 15. By
making slight increases in your exercise, you keep your body guessing, increasing its effectiveness.
Eating well is the most difficult change to make. You are not the only one who may struggle to make diet changes, but you are also not the only one who can do it. Some
simplistic changes to make in your diet will do wonders for your health. Just remember, it
starts with small changes.
· Eat more fruit
Fruit such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries make great additions to salads, cereals and dinners.
· Eat more veggies
Adding avocado as a spread on top of a burger, adding a tomato to your sandwich or adding more peppers on top of your pizza can all satisfy your daily serving of vegetables. Pre-cut and pre-portioned are also great for grab-on-the-go snacks.
· Switch out your salad dressings.
Those creamy salad dressings are high in fat and calories. Try switching to vinaigrettes or calorie-wise options.
· Switch to low-fat or fat-free
Switching to skim milk from 1 or 2% milk or switching to fat-free yogurt can all make a
difference in your diet, and your waist line.
· Make substitutes
Next time you are making a grocery list, write down nutrition label information, such as serving size, calories, fat and sodium content. Search for like items with healthier properties.