Living Your Best Life: Your Overall Health

 9 Must-Know Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

Metabolic health is your body’s ability to maintain ideal levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference. All of these statistics help measure your overall health. The better these numbers, the better your overall health.

If so few people are healthy, it must not be worthwhile to put in the effort to get there right? Otherwise, everyone would be doing it!

Not so. There are a lot of benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and learning to add healthy habits doesn’t have to be hard.

Here are the top things you can do to live a healthier lifestyle, how they benefit you, and steps you can take today to implement them.

1. Eat Healthy Foods

This is not new information, but it’s still the core of creating a healthy lifestyle. Without proper

nutrition, almost nothing else you do will matter. Fueling your body with clean energy is the key to building a healthy lifestyle.

What You Can Do Today

You can’t change your diet overnight. But you can make healthier choices. Start by getting rid of junk food, or at the very least hiding it out of sight or somewhere hard to get to.

Put healthy foods like fruits and vegetables in easy to reach places so you’re more likely to snack on them instead. Spend some time each week prepping veggies so they’re easy to add to a dish, or easy to munch on.

Each week, try a new healthy recipe and find new foods you love. Changing your diet takes time, but every time you make a healthy choice, you’re setting yourself up for a better life.

Benefits of Eating Well

Eating healthy helps you maintain a proper weight, which is key to preventing most of the most common causes of death. But it also improves your memory, gives you better energy, and can clear up bad skin and even headaches.

2. Move Every Day

This isn’t a surprise either. You know you need to exercise more. So what’s holding you back?

But here’s the cool thing. You don’t need to hit the gym to get the benefits of exercising more. The healthiest people incorporate movement into their daily lifestyle, not just at the gym.

What You Can Do Today

Start just by moving more. Set a reminder on your phone to stand up every hour for three minutes or so. Take a walk during lunch. Park at the back of the parking lot. Always take the stairs.

But you should also find a form of movement you love. While lifting weights and cardio are important, exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. If you enjoy rock climbing, yoga, soccer, dance, or any other thing that gets you moving, pursue that!

Benefits of Moving More

Better sleep, better energy, more muscle tone, more physically capable longer in your life. You’ll also be better looking, you’ll be more active for longer, and you’ll feel better about yourself. Regular exercise can even relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

3. Set a Regular Sleep Schedule

Sleep is a fundamental core to maintaining proper health. In a perfect world, you’d get up and sleep with the sun cycle. Even if that’s not realistic for your lifestyle, you should still set a regular bedtime and wake up time you follow every day.

What You Can Do Today

Highlight problems that keep you from getting good sleep. Upgrade your mattress or linens if you’re not comfortable, or buy blackout curtains if light keeps you awake. Set white noise or pink noise to help you sleep better.

Set up a night routine that can help your mind rest. Include things like journaling or setting up a diffuser with a lavender scent to help your brain fall asleep.

It’s also smart to stop using technology an hour before bed, and stop eating three hours before bed.

Benefits of Proper Sleep

A regular sleep cycle can help you wake up with more energy, and improve your focus throughout the day. It also improves your memory and fights inflammation in your body to keep you healthier. It can even help you lose weight.

4. Drink Plenty of Water

If you’re drinking your calories, you’re doing it wrong. Water should be the main beverage you drink, and all (or at least most) of your calories should come from real food.

What You Can Do Today 

Get a water bottle you like and start carrying it with you everywhere. If you hate the taste of water, get an infuser and add cucumbers, mint, strawberries, or lemon so you can enjoy it more.

Often just having water nearby will help you drink more. You can also set triggers throughout your day to remind you to drink, like immediately after getting up, or before a mealtime.

Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated helps you keep clear skin. It lubricates your joints and airways and supports your brain. You can feel more alert and consume fewer calories throughout the day. But it also helps to flush out waste in your body and maintain your blood pressure.

5. Manage Stress in Your Life

A small amount of stress or stress in short bursts is really good for you. Long-term stress can wreak havoc. It contributes to ulcers, depression, anxiety, headaches, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

So learning to manage stress is important to keep a healthy lifestyle.

What You Can Do Today

Meditating and journaling are often the two best DIY ways to manage stress. But it’s also a good idea to find someone you can confide, whether it’s a close friend or family member or a therapist.

It’s also a good idea to create space in your life to relax and have fun. Consider yoga, painting, or hiking, or anything that helps you relax.

Benefits of Lowering Stress

Lowering stress helps fight inflammation, headaches, depression, and anxiety. It can make it easier to maintain a healthy weight and other healthy lifestyle habits too.

6. Build a Strong Social Circle

Taking care of your body isn’t enough to live a healthy lifestyle. You also need to nourish your soul, and the best way to do that is by building a strong social circle.

What You Can Do Today

Spend time with your friends, family, and community. Reconnect with someone you haven’t spoken with in a long time, or join a new group or club. Try to set up a regular coffee date or brunch time with friends, and get to know your neighbors.

Benefits of Close Friends

Having people you can rely on fights depression and loneliness. These people can support you through dark times and encourage you to live your best life.

7. Don’t Skip Doctors Appointments

Make sure you visit the doctor and dentists as often as recommended. Early detection is the key to treating most terminal diseases, and these diseases can’t be detected early if you never visit the doctor.

What You Can Do Today

Make sure you have a doctor’s appointment scheduled in the future. Visit the dentist, doctor, and eye doctor regularly. If you haven’t in a while, schedule an appointment today.

Benefits of Seeing the Doctor

While the initial trip (and following bill) isn’t fun, regular doctor visits are the key to detecting diseases before they become a problem.

8. Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Your Products

Personal products and cleaning solutions often have a lot of chemicals that we don’t know exactly what they do. What’s scary is as more research comes out, we find that they have negative health impacts we didn’t even know about.

These are things like phthalates, sulfuric acid, ammonia, and much more. In fact, out of the thousands of chemicals that go into cleaning products, we only have a full toxicity report for 7% of them.

What You Can Do Today

Start learning about the most common chemicals in cleaning and personal products, and learn to spot them in your products. Then replace them with safer alternatives. Visit a high-quality hair store or your local health food store for safer options.

Benefits of Eliminating Toxins

The fewer toxins your body has to process, the less stress and inflammation you put your body through. Plus eliminating these toxins can lower your risks for long-term deadly diseases like cancer. Ingredients like triclosan, bisphenol A, phthalates, parabens, and alkylphenols have all been linked to breast cancer.

9. Use Drugs in Moderationmedicine

We’re talking mostly about alcohol, tobacco, and pot since those are the legal ones. Drink alcohol or smoke marijuana in moderation and avoid tobacco.

While a lot of research is still out on marijuana, there have been links to more frequent lung problems, and a lack of motivation.

What You Can Do Today

Take stock fo your relationship to drugs and alcohol. If you think it may be unhealthy, talk to a professional.

Benefits of Limiting Drug Use

Alcohol is the most widely socially accepted form of imbibing, but it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Limiting your alcohol use protects your liver, and stopping smoking prevents lung disease.

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