Would you like to increase your energy and mental clarity? It isn’t as hard as you’d think to turn yourself around and get going in a better direction. Start with these 5 steps to healthier living:
1. Make Good Eating Choices
Tried every extreme diet out there? Making healthy choices is easier if you focus on some simple goals. The next time you go grocery shopping or eat a meal, try the following:
• Focus on eating lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and lean meats.
• Eat on a small plate and take small portions.
• Eat slowly and stop eating when you are full.
• Limit sweets, added sugars, and fried foods.
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Studies suggest that 1 in 3 adults don’t get the sleep they need to function at their peak. Good sleep helps us to:
• Control our appetites.
• Eliminate stress.
• Have better health.
• Perform better at work.
• Have better emotional health.
Most people need between 7-9 hours a night. The National Sleep Foundation suggests you can get better sleep by:
• Turning off electronics at least one hour before bed.
• Using techniques like yoga or music to calm you down.
• Reducing caffeine, especially in the evening.
3. Make Exercise a Daily Routine
You really don’t need to hit the gym or lift weights to get into a healthy exercise routine. The best way to exercise is to make it a part of your day or to do something fun with friends. Even 30 minutes a day will make you healthier and also help you sleep better. Try the following:
• Go for a walk after lunch or dinner.
• Park farther away from the entrance.
• Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
• Do your own housework or yard work.
• Meet up with a friend for a game of tennis or for an aerobics class.
4. Keep a Good Personal Hygiene Routine
If you are under stress, you may feel like there isn’t enough time to take a daily shower or really follow the dentist’s instructions. However, neglecting your body not only makes you less attractive to others, it can make you feel uncomfortable or even ill. So be sure you:
• Bathe or shower every day.
• Use deodorant and antiperspirant.
• Brush your teeth and floss.
• Avoid smelly foods or brush afterward.
• Wash your clothes and air your shoes.
• Drink at least 8 glasses of water.
5. Have a Good Laugh
Laughing about the absurd neighbor, the difficult coworker or the crazy teenager won’t just relieve your stress. It can help lift your mood and even boost your immune system. Studies show that if you want to improve your mood, you should just smile and laugh more. Smiling can help reduce anxiety and fear. Smiles also make you more attractive to other people which can improve your relationships. Better social relationships are key to better health.
The Bottom Line
The truth is that if you live healthily, you live better and longer. Think of it this way, your daily habits are one thing you do have control over in your life. Whatever else happens, you can make good choices to eat well, sleep well, be clean, exercise, and most of all, laugh!