We all want to live healthy, happier lives. It’s just part of our nature to desire such things. But many people think living a healthy life is hard. Maybe they’ve become accustomed to making poor food choices. Or they rarely get their body moving. Or perhaps they’ve tried to live a healthier lifestyle, but gave up after a short time.
Much of the time, it’s simply because they’ve fallen prey to poor habits over time.
Most of us can probably agree that a major key to lasting health is eating a healthy diet consistently and exercising regularly. Maybe this sounds hard to you, but a simple perspective change may help you realize that it’s not as hard as your mind thinks.
A long, healthy life is probably your goal and what a wonderful goal that is! A problem arises though when changes are not made to create momentum toward achieving that goal. Now, I’m not talking about things that we can’t control. There are some diseases or perhaps genetics that contribute to ill health. Simply eating healthier may not be the “cure all”. However, adopting a healthier lifestyle will certainly bring benefits to anyone.
Yes, you want lasting health, but try not to focus on the big picture too much. Focus on today, tomorrow, and this week. What can you do today to contribute to better health? What can you do this week? If you look at the picture in bite size pieces, you’re more likely to take steps toward your goals.
A healthy life is simply a journey and you can begin this journey today with the first step:
Making A Solid Commitment To Change
Change takes time, effort, patience, discipline, and more. To change your eating habits from unhealthy to healthy, the first thing you must do is say, “I can and will do it!” Say this a hundred times a day if you must.
This helps you get yourself motivated for change. The thing that may keep you from making this commitment is your inability to see the major benefits. Think about and visualize how good you will feel as you purchase and eat healthy foods on a continual basis. Try not to think of it as “all or nothing” type of thinking. Even if you simply begin with eating one healthy fruit per day and eliminate one unhealthy food per day, you’re getting some positive momentum going.
That will feel really good and move you toward better health.
Here are some steps you can take this week as you begin your journey on the road to better health.
Remove unhealthy food items. Unhealthy food items are simply foods that you know aren’t that great for your body. Most people know plenty of foods that aren’t serving their body well. Sugar would be the first thing that comes to mind. Foods that have a lot of sugar in them are known for being unhealthy.
Things like cakes, cookies, pies, donuts, Kool-Aid, soda, and so on. It’s alright to have these in moderation, but many people make it a daily lifestyle choice. Research states that a diet high in sugar can ultimately cause health issues and obesity.
You may want to remove highly salty foods too, such as chips.
This might seem like an insurmountable task if you’re used to eating a diet high in sugar and salt. However, take it one day at a time. Remove something that’s full of sugar and replace it with something healthy.
For example, you may want to resist buying cookies this week and instead, buy a watermelon to snack on to get some natural sugar. Next week, you may want to cut the chips and buy something that’s a healthier alternative, such as unsalted walnuts. Keep this up and over time, you’ll make that transition to a healthier diet and better health – and that will feel good!
Remove processed foods. Processed foods are not very healthy for your body because they have been changed from their natural state. Many have added sugar, salt, and fat to help them have a longer shelf life and taste better. They are convenient but not the best choice for a healthy diet. Processed foods are stored in cans, are frozen, or dehydrated.
Examples of such foods to eliminate from your diet are packaged cookies, processed meats, chips, frozen meals, and high sugar cereals. Processed foods are not good for your digestive system because it has to work harder to process these foods and there aren’t very many nutrients in the food for your body to absorb anyway.
It’s a good rule of thumb to note that many processed foods are the boxed items sold in the middle aisles at the grocery store. Here are some more examples of processed foods:
· Microwavable meals
Eat fruit and vegetables. Your cells love the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that you eat on a daily basis. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to get in the habit of eating fruit and vegetables. Once your body starts getting a taste for them, it starts craving them regularly.
Think of that delicious orange or pear. That watermelon, blueberries, or kiwi. How about steamed broccoli or cauliflower? Season them with some healthy spices and you can create delicious meals. These days, you can find many food items made out of cauliflower, such as cauliflower tots, or the better-known sweet potato fries.
Along with adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, eat brown rice, nuts, and lentils. Introduce new foods slowly into your diet. Don’t think you have to become a super healthy eater overnight, but of course you can if you want to!
Exercise regularly. As you introduce healthy foods into your diet, consider beginning an exercise regimen as well. Exercise is another key to lasting, more improved health. There are all sorts of things you can do to exercise. Choose from among the following or do some research to discover what kind of exercise you would enjoy doing regularly:
Brisk walking, yoga, jogging, tennis, swimming, joining a gym, weight lifting, hiking, joining a sport’s team, dancing, and more. Begin with a simple 20-minute workout 3 or 4 times a week. You can exercise in your living room, yard, or head off to a fitness center. You can use nature too. Going for walks or hiking in the woods can be wonderful exercise, and help you feel better mentally and spiritually.
You will feel so much better once you make exercise a part of your life. If you’re not sure you can make that kind of commitment, consider asking a family member or buddy to start exercising with you. Having the support and accountability can help out immensely when you’re working toward better health.
Nourish your mind. Physical health is wonderful, but mental and emotional health are also wonderful. Be sure that you take time regularly to feed your mind positive, encouraging things. Listen to podcasts, watch inspiriting, motivational videos, and spend time investing in your mental health. If you enjoy reading books, find some that will help you work toward improving your life all the way around.
Some people enjoy attending a support group, church, or some other type of organized community group that promotes health in one way or another. This can be extremely helpful if you live a life that borders on isolation. Making a meaningful connection with others can boost your mental and emotional health nicely.
Enjoying better health and a healthier life is not impossible. There are various things you can be doing to boost your physical health, as well as emotional health. Choose to be proactive. Consider employing these tips into your life for optimal health. Not only will you feel better physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Begin today and do one thing that will contribute to a healthy body. Make a list of healthy foods that you will begin consuming and begin educating yourself on what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle. You may not see results right away, but over time, you will. And, you’ll be able to give yourself a pat on the back, knowing that you’re doing what it takes to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
I believe in you and I know that as you make the effort in this area, you will be delighted with the results. One step at a time, one day at a time. You can do it!
August 8, 2022
August 6, 2022