Depending upon who you ask, there are several definitions of what defines a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle. For some, it might mean being a non-smoking teetotaler and fitness fanatic, while for others, it could be eating healthy, drinking in moderation, and going for the occasional walk.
Nearly all of us wish we had more time to exercise or even go out and get some fresh air, but modern-day life often prevents this. Even those of us who know we could live healthier need to find the time to do so, which is why we suggest how you can turn it around and take advantage of the benefits that living a healthy lifestyle will bring.
What living an unhealthy lifestyle means
You have all heard the phrase “stress is a killer,” and while there is no medical evidence to point to stress shortening a person’s life, stress does cause unhealthy living. Stress affects people differently in the home or at work; some may smoke more while others look to alcohol to help them chill out. Some people even use food as a way to relax and de-stress.
Signs of an unhealthy lifestyle are:
- Not getting enough sleep.
- Not exercising
- Drinking too much (beer, wine,spirits)
- Eating junk food & sweets (candy)
- Spending too much time on the computer/phone
- Watching too much television
Gradually change the way you live
The good news is that you do not have to overhaul the way you live overnight but can do it gradually. Just making a couple of changes will reap benefits and steer you in the direction. Once you have made one change to the way you live and see how it was for the better, it will motivate you to go further along the path of seeking a healthier lifestyle. Some great ways you can begin to lead a healthy lifestyle are:
- Eating healthier food: Eat fresh, unprocessed food and add more fruit, vegetables, and legumes to your diet. Instead of eating potato chips or candy as a snack, have an apple or banana.
- Less salt and sugar: Cut down on the amount of sugar and salt in your diet as it is bad for blood pressure and diabetes
- Drink more water: Drink two litres or eight glasses of water a day. Drinking plenty of water is good for your body and helps your kidneys flush out toxins.
- Avoid bad fats: Avoid saturated fats found in butter, palm, and coconut oil, cream, cheese, and trans-fats found in fried foods, frozen pizza, cookies, biscuits, and cooking oils and margarine.
- Stop smoking: Stop smoking as it is killing you! Because your body has become addicted to nicotine, stopping smoking will be one of the hardest things you have ever done. Some people can quit cold turkey, while others use a patch or chewing gum. Once you quit smoking, you will feel the health benefits immediately.
- Cut down on alcohol: Having the occasional beer or two or a glass of wine is an excellent social activity, but drinking every day can lead to many medical problems and should be avoided.
- More exercise: Get more exercise by leaving your car at home and walking down to the shops. Even if you are not in great shape, the benefits of running at least a mile a day are enormous. If running seems like hard work, go for a long walk
- Get regular check-ups: Visit your doctor at least once a year and have him send you for bloodwork. Catching some medical conditions early can help save your life.
As the saying goes, if you would like to have a healthy, happy life, you may need to change the way you live. If you follow some or all of the steps mentioned above and cut out unhealthy lifestyle choices, it will add years to your life.