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10 practical tips to help you live a long and healthy life

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Health is wealth.  Feeling energetic, youthful and healthy can help you feel happy and enjoy life much more, so it's important to be mindful of how we can achieve this.

10 practical tips to help you live a long and healthy life

While it's true that people generally live longer today than they did just five decades ago, one fact that everyone must be mindful of is that obesity and poor lifestyle choices are still a concern in the UK.

Today's modern world places a focus on convenience, and that, coupled with the growing stresses of everyday life, means many people aren't looking after themselves very well.

You're probably reading this because you'd like to devote some time and energy to improving your health and wellbeing. But, you're likely not sure of the best ways to achieve those goals.

While it's important to take the advice of healthcare professionals, there are some tips you can also keep in mind and even discuss with them as part of your personal health kick. They are as follows:

1. Keep yourself hydrated

Water is essential for all living things on the planet - including human beings. Your body needs water to stay hydrated, ensure your skin feels soft and retains its elasticity, and flush away toxins secreted by your internal organs like your kidneys and liver.

There is no specific amount of water you should drink each day as it depends on variables like a person's height, weight, and age.

Generally speaking, you should always drink plenty of water when you feel thirsty, and have a glass of water before you go out anywhere on a hot, sunny day.

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2. Give up smoking

Smoking harms human health. It causes all kinds of long-term medical problems and may even result in lung cancer for some smokers.

Whether you smoke due to peer pressure or because of stress, it's worth quitting the habit and finding another way to manage your stress.

Thankfully, there is plenty of support out there for individuals that want to give up smoking. It can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you've been smoking for years, but it IS possible to give it up once and for all.

3. Give up drinking alcohol

Another vice that many people in Britain have is drinking alcohol. Whether it's the occasional drink at social events or a daily habit you have, it's important to remember that alcohol is poisonous to the human body.

The liver does a good job of removing the toxic chemicals from alcohol, but like any organ in your body it can become inefficient or even stop working completely if it works too hard.

Consider swapping your favourite beverages for alcohol-free versions. It's possible to enjoy alcohol-free beer, wine, and cider, for instance.

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4. Create a personalised fitness plan

Part of your health drive will undoubtedly include improving your fitness levels. If you lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle, now is the time to get more active. The trouble is, what are the best ways to do that?

Andy Griffiths' online personal training, for instance, can be a good start, as is watching some video resources of leading fitness experts on YouTube, TikTok, and Vimeo.

You can also take small steps into the world of fitness, such as going for a walk each day or perhaps riding a bicycle to work and back (more on that a little later on this page).

5. Join your local gym

Another way to boost your personal fitness levels is by joining your local gym. You might think that such places are stereotypically male-oriented, but the truth is most gyms in the UK are family-friendly places.

They welcome and encourage everyone from all walks of life to join, irrespective of their gender, age or current fitness levels. You'll likely have a few gyms in your local area, so research the best ones and choose the one that best meets your needs.

6. Cut down on salt and sugar

Did you know that many of the things you consume regularly contact medium to high levels of salt and sugar?

For example, ready meals are notorious for containing too much salt - even if the brand or supermarket promotes them as "healthy" and "low fat" meals you can pop in your microwave!

Always read the label on all pre-packaged foods and beverages you purchase. Of course, you don't need to give up your favourite things; simply swap to low-salt and low-sugar alternatives.

7. Consider a plant-based diet

There is much debate online and in the media about plant-based diets. However, one thing that even the harshest of critics will agree with is that many people aren't eating enough fruit and vegetables in their diets.

A plant-based diet is an excellent way to boost those levels while cutting out meat and poultry.

You may find a vegan diet where you cut out dairy and egg-based foods and beverages will help even further - the former especially if you suspect you are lactose-intolerant.

8. Make small changes to be more active

Following on from the earlier point about creating a personalised fitness plan, the last thing you want to do is shock your body into a rigorous daily workout routine.

That's why it makes sense to start with small steps and changes, gradually increasing what you do as time goes on.

For example, you could start by going for a daily walk around your area, and as time goes on, increasing the distance you go.

9. Give yourself an annual health MOT

You want to make sure that your body is working as efficiently as possible. That's why it makes sense to book yourself in with your GP for an annual health MOT.

Your GP can use the appointment to check things like your blood pressure, breathing, blood sugar levels, and so forth.

10 practical tips to help you live a long and healthy life

10. Improve your personal hygiene habits

Last but not least, make sure you take steps to improve your personal hygiene. Doing so will help you limit your contact with surfaces that have bacteria and germs that could cause you unwanted health problems.

It's something everyone thought about as the COVID-19 pandemic swept in across the UK, and it's what you should continue to think about today.