Healthy living is often difficult to get right or stick to, and we go through many experiences and different kind of lifestyle before we start to get it right. Whether you want to improve your lifestyle to become a better person, or you're doing it for your family, there is something we can all do to take steps towards living in a better way.
Being healthy isn't just about the food you eat. It's the whole thing. It's a healthy body inside and out, healthy mind and soul. It's being healthy with exercise and making sure you're active every day. Our bodies were designed to be used. For me it also extends to my environment. I make sure I only use chemicals if necessary and use natural cleaning products, as well as make up and toiletries. Being healthy is the whole package to me.
Here are some tips, and areas to think about or improve on, so you can strive to be the best possible you.
Join a fitness club
The most obvious is the first here. Getting back into exercise, or trying it out can be daunting for the first time. Sometimes it can prove to be very difficult to keep exercising too when you're going at it solo.
If you're warm and curled up on the sofa it can be hard to find the motivation to go outside and run in the cold. If, however, you join a club, or exercise with others, this can give you so much more motivation to get moving. If you're chatting or meeting with friends, this often doesn’t seem like too much effort, and hopefully you can run about a bit too!
Exercise doesn't have to be be boring, it can be really fun if you give it a chance. Many parks have free running clubs that meet once a week, and have people of all abilities that attend. Or how about asking some friends to go and play badminton or squash?
This way you can catch up and become healthier together. There are affordable ways to keep fit, and why not do it with others?
Motivating each other is great on the days when you feel you don’t have the motivation yourself.
Exercise and body health programs
There are some programs out there that can help you to improve your body, which can have great knock on effects for your health. All of us wish we could be fitter and healthier than we currently are, so engaging with these kinds of programs could really help you on your way to feeling and being healthier.
As well as various exercise DVDs you can find online (lots are free), there are also specific programs if you have specific problem areas, for example there's one called Unlock Your Hip Flexors. Whereas most programs target the health of your whole body, this targets your hips specifically, and has knock on effects on your health by improving this area specifically. If you have a certain area to work on then you'll be able to find a suitable program for that area. There is so much choice out there today.
These programs are great if you are at home and what to get some exercise in, you don’t even have to leave the house. Saving on money for a gym pass, and travelling costs of actually going to the gym are all added benefits to working out at home. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, and can easily fit around your family, or your busy schedule.
Going vegetarian or vegan
People always say that your diet is far more crucial than exercising, and this is certainly true for a lot of people. No matter how much you work out, if you have a terrible diet, you see or feel any of the results.
Different things work for different people, so it’s about a diet you enjoy and works well for you. There is, however, so much evidence about the added health benefits of being vegan both in your daily life and when it comes to workout recovery.
There is a reason why people make the switch over to this diet and don’t look back. It makes you feel so much better, you really don’t know what you're missing until you try it for yourself. I personally can't ever imagine eating meat again. But luckily I was never a huge fan and I've always loved my veg!
It's also a great idea to watch your portion sizes and make sure you're getting the right amount of each food group. Some people find meal preparation a bore, so why not use some of the best meal prep containers on the market and prepare several nutritious meals in one go? Then you can just grab a meal when you need one. They're also ideal for taking out and about too to stop you grabbing unhealthy snacks on the go.
Watch what you drink
It can be so easy to rely on caffeine to get you through the day, but there are downsides to doing this. While having a strong cup of coffee every now and again is fine for your health, everyday, and multiple times a day can be detrimental.
Caffeine can contribute to feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and difficulty in sleeping. Drinking lots of water, and swapping out strong coffee or black tea for green tea can be beneficial.
Remember to stay hydrated! Especially when you wake up, you want to get you day started the best way possible. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day as it will keep you energised, prevent headaches and make your skin and hair look amazing!
Everyone knows alcohol is bad, but perhaps many don't realise how bad. Most people know a cigarette increases your risk of cancer, but did you know every alcoholic drink you have increases the risk too? It also puts your liver under strain processing the alcohol. It's worth bearing in mind next time you reach for your favourite tipple, especially if it's a regular occurrence.
As well as your body, you mind is needs to be kept healthy, and so often this is ignored by people, and not mentioned when talking about healthy lifestyles. Things like depression and anxiety affect many people, so much more than you realise, because it is never talked about.
There can be biological causes to issues people have with their mental health, or it can be caused by the wear and tear and pressure of everyday life. If you feel you could improve you mental health in any way, take the steps to do so.
This could simply be a wish to think more positively, function better in everyday life, or the want to improve your relationships with others.
Improving your mental health can come in many forms as well. This can be anything from seeing a professional, seeking online therapy on a website like this, keeping a journal of your thoughts (‘self counselling’ is one of the best kinds) or meditating.
Improving your mental health can be so positive for you and those around you. Make sure your mind is healthy as well as your body.
There are so many aspects to a healthy lifestyle, and lots of new things to try and experience. Your journey to a healthier lifestyle will be a lot more enjoyable and beneficial than you think it will be. Go and cook some new plant based recipes, or try a new activity you think you might enjoy today!