You don’t need to be told that eating right, exercising regularly, and minimizing stress are the keys to establishing a healthy lifestyle. But, doing all three consistently is easier said than done. If you aren’t doing what you know you should be doing, it’s not because of a lack of desire. Let’s face it: living a healthy lifestyle is something that many people strive to do.
But, until something becomes a true habit, it is all too convenient to maintain the status quo. This is because changing one’s habits temporarily may not always be difficult, but maintaining them is extremely hard. According to the Harvard Medical School, “Even when we’re strongly motivated, adopting a new, healthy habit — or breaking an old, bad one — can be terribly difficult.”
People always tell themselves they’re going to start being healthy, but when it comes time to actually change their lifestyles they face supposed challenges. Like, they are too busy, or too stressed, or they forget to to work out. So, what can you do to establish healthy habits?
What healthy habits should I develop and how can I get started?
1. Cultivate relationships — Social connections are an extremely important part of your daily life. Maintaining healthy relationships with your close friends and family can be extremely beneficial to your health. Additionally, you could stay connected in a myriad of other ways. Try joining community activities, taking classes, or volunteering at a local charity. If you can find ways to keep yourself socially involved, you’ll likely begin to feel better about yourself.
2. Eat right — There are so many different diet types out there. We’ve heard them all: Atkins, low-carb, Paleo, Ketogenic; the list goes on. There’s a reason people have difficulty finding a diet that is the right fit for them. As a result, they get frustrated trying to figure it out. But, eating right doesn’t have to complicated. As long as you make the right daily eating choices, you should be fine. There are a few things you should keep in mind. Instead of white bread and pasta — try whole wheat. Trust us, every little bit helps. When eating meats, go for lean options like skinless chicken or turkey. Try buying organic produce. Lastly, make sure that you’re eating a variety of foods. It’s important to get your fruits and vegetables in!
3. Exercise more — Obviously, you should be exercising regularly. Exercise impacts so many aspects of your life. From strength, cardiovascular health, mental health, improving blood sugar control, and beyond — exercise is going to help you feel your best. Experts say that people should get an hour of physical activity a day. However, regular exercise does not have to feel like a chore or burden. Own it and make it fun! Try finding an exercise program that is engaging and easy to commit to. Join a sports league or simply jog around the neighborhood. Push yourself from time to time. But, there’s no need to go overboard. It can be easy to set yourself up for failure by committing to too much too soon. If you’re having trouble getting started, try contacting a local gym or trainer and setting up a plan that will work for you.
4. Manage stress — They say the perfect amount of stress can actually be beneficial and can lead to increased productivity. However, when stress gets out of hand, it could really hurt a person’s mental health. Putting too much pressure on oneself can be a serious burden. The first step is to identify your stressors. Knowing what is causing you to feel stressed is the first step to feeling better and finding solutions. Although, there are many other ways for you to relieve stress. Exercise is actually one of the best options! Others include listening to music, walking, taking deep breaths, art, meditation, yoga, and talking with a friend. Don’t let stress take over your life. Find out what’s stressing you and work on making it better.
5. Sleep well — Getting the right amount of sleep is vital to a person’s daily happiness and productivity. Unfortunately, because of our modern & fast-paced lives, it isn’t always easy to get a good night’s sleep. Think about it, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends seven to eight hours of sleep a night. That’s a third of your day, everyday, already accounted for. It’s up to you to manage the other 16–17 hours of the day. You want to ensure that you feel positive when you tuck yourself in at night that you deserve a proper rest. Furthermore, to help get a good amount of sleep, try being exposed to sunlight during the day and getting in some sort of exercise. In addition, avoid caffeine anytime after 2pm and avoid any type of digital device with a bright screen at least an hour before bed.
Do you still want to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Establishing and preserving a healthy lifestyle is almost entirely in your hands. If you don’t commit yourself to eating healthy, staying active, taking time to relax, and keeping yourself around positive people — you’re not going to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With improving technology, there are so many new ways to keep track of your health and to make sure you are doing a good job. One industry that’s actually starting to thrive is telemedicine. At EpicMD, we are championing the mobile health revolution by providing 24/7 access to U.S. Board Certified doctors. Check us out at http://www.epic.md/ and register today!