This topic is near and dear to me. I have tried to be healthy much of my life and the older I get the more important it becomes….and the more challenging it is.
What’s your definition of healthy?
Let’s stick to just the physical definition of healthy and leave the mental part to other folks. It’ll be difficult enough to define what being healthy is in terms of your physical being.
GET LOTS OF SLEEP
That means 7-9 hours per night for adults, sometimes a little less depending on your constitution.
Sleep has lots and lots of benefits. It keeps you awake and alert and you’ll do a better job at work.
Sleep is also the time when most of the body and mind’s healing and detoxifying takes place. It is also when your muscles grow. If you’ve worked out or exercised, you need sleep or you won’t get the full effects of your hard work.
Don’t overdo it, though. Sleeping too much can be as bad as not sleeping enough. If you miss some sleep one night, you can sleep longer another night to make up for that. But in general, try to stay within the 7-9 hours sleep range.
WALK EVERYWHERE YOU CAN /TAKE THE STAIRS
Being physically active isn’t about pounding the pavement or joining a gym—it’s a lifestyle that can be just a part of your everyday life. If you can add extra steps to your day here and there, they add up. Here are a few ideas of how to easily you can incorporate more activity into your day without going to the gym:
- Park farther away from your office, the mall entrance, or the grocery store.
- Ride a bike to work or the local coffee shop.
- Take the stairs.
- Walk the dog every day.
- Take your lunch to the park.
- Never take an elevator. (I do this and it’s sometimes challenging)
Little opportunities are everywhere.
TEAM UP WITH A FITNESS BUDDY
This is a system used successfully in many weight loss programs. Having someone to be accountable to will build a sense of community. You and your fitness buddy can motivate each other while staying on track to a healthier lifestyle. Sharing your goals with others makes you want to achieve them.
This one tip will help you as much. if not more, than any of the other tips. From my personal experience having a buddy will make a big difference. This will help to motivate yourself and keep you to stay healthy and keep from being boring. Making getting fit and eating healthy a social event hopefully will keep you and your buddy on the path to fitness and health.
HAVE A BIG STEAK
You should not stress out so much about cutting calories: Whether you’re packing on the pounds or simply want to maintain your current weight, adding more protein could be your slim-down secret weapon.
Have a steak or a tuna steak or breakfast with eggs and bacon. Have some hard-boiled eggs in your refrigerator as a quick snack.
Research has found that protein keeps you feeling full longer than either carbs or fat, so you can eat less and still be satsified.
A new study supports this idea: Researchers from the University of Sydney estimated that the extra calories eaten by participants in their study eating the lowest protein diets could add up to an extra 2.2 pounds of weight gain a month.
Protein is the building block of muscle, and more calories are required to maintain muscle than to preserve fat, which means muscle helps boost your metabolism.
TRY DRIED FRUIT FOR SNACKS
Have healthy things to munch on at home, at work, and for the road. Fresh fruits, chopped veggies, raw nuts, dried fruits are some of my favorites.
Some of the things I keep around are:
- fresh fruits like strawberries or blackberries
- baby carrots with Greek yogurt dip
- Cut up raw veggies like broccoli and cauliflower with healthy Dill dip,
- raw almonds
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- roasted edamame
- figs – (one of my favorites)
- dried fruits like pineapple, apple, raisins, mango, etc.
All of these are so delicious, you won’t miss any bad snacks you have previously been eating. If you stick to eating only these for a month or so, you’ll never go back to chips and candy. You’ll get to the point that bad snacks won’t be appealing to you.
STAND AT WORK
- Workers who used sit-stand desks were 78% more likely to report a pain-free day than those who used regular workstations, according to a Stanford University back pain study
- This doesn’t mean standing all day long, the research shows that you should stand for 15 minutes every hour. So that’s 15 minutes standing and then 45 minutes sitting.
- At their 2013 annual meeting, the American Medical Association adopted a policy recognizing potential risks of prolonged sitting and encouraging employers, employees and others to make available alternatives to sitting, such as sit-stand desks.
- A 2011 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that when workers are equipped with sit-stand workstations, prolonged sitting is reduced and mood states improve.
WORKOUT JUST A LITLLE
If you go to the gym 6 times a week, you’re OVERTRAINING! (you just shouldn’t go that often)
Now I’ve always believed that the more you went to the gym, the better shape you would get in. NOT TRUE. In fact, you can do more harm than good if you go too often and don’t know what you’re doing or how to work out properly.
On the other hand, if you don’t work out at all, after the age of 50, you’re going to lose muscle every year and pretty soon, it’s going to affect your ability to have an active, vibrant life.
You must do some OLD SCHOOL resistance training to keep from getting old and decrepit. It’s just the way it is…..like it or not.
First, you have to purge yourself of images you have of what a weight workout is. We’re not trying to be bodybuilders.
The truth is resistance training can make you start to feel so good that you’ll get addicted to it. No Lie.
DON’T EAT SUGAR
New studies show its impact on the brain — and it’s not good.
As it turns out, sugar is not good for you at all! Besides causing obesity and, eating a diet with a lot of sugar is linked to a number of abnormal brain functions, including poor memory and cognitive activities. Here’s what you need to know to prevent a sugar overload.
Not all sugars are bad. Our bodies turn most of the food we eat into sugar. Good sugar, or glucose, comes from carbohydrates like bread and pasta. It fuels the cells throughout our bodies, including our brains.
Sugar is addictive. It takes only one bite of sugar to stimulate the brain to release dopamine, a natural chemical in the brain that drives our cravings and motivations.
It’s the same chemical that also causes alcoholics and drug addicts to constantly seek a “high.”
Sugar ages skin. We can’t blame it all on the sun. Too much sugar breaks down the collagen and elastin in our skin, which keeps the cells from repairing themselves.
Sugar numbs our overeating “sensor.” It’s a common knowledge that a high-sugar diet makes us fat. But only recently have researchers figured out thatnumbs the brain’s system that preventsts overeating.
There’s not much good that eating sugar can do for you. Try to eliminate it from your diet.
START A HEALTHY HOBBY
Do something you love.
If you had a bad day at work, get on your bike and take out your anger. Or go for a long walk by yourself or with a friend or spouse.
Not only is this fun, but it lets you be yourself for awhile.
PURGE YOUR FRIG OF ALL BAD FOODS
The solution is to purge your refrigerator and your pantry of any bad foods. You can do this slowly. You don’t have to throw everything out and go buy only healthy food, but it’s not a bad idea. (This one tip has saved me thousands of calories over the years)
Instead of keeping the fresh fruits and veggies in the crisper, put them in clear containers at eye-level — those will grab your attention when you open the door. It’s also helpful to do a weekly inventory check. Throw out anything that has crept back into your frig that will sabotage your healthy eating habits.
Make it easier to choose something healthy by having nothing but healthy food in your house. You’ll be amazed how this will keep you eating healthy more often than in the past. It also may be a less expensive alternative.
BONUS TIP – DRINK LOTS OF WATER
It’s essential to your health because you’re mostly water to start with. Water is essential to every function in your body and most Americans are not hydrated to the level they should be.
Drinking 64 oz of water a day (yes that’s a lot) can slow aging, help with your diet by suppressing your appetite, give you more energy and give you vibrant skin.
AND MAKE YOU LOOK YOUNGER
Even drinking as little as 24 oz a day can improve your health and, get this, can increase your metabolic rate so you burn more fat naturally. (soda doesn’t count, and you shouldn’t be drinking soda anyway)
Not to mention, that being hydrated can help you fight disease and even cancer.
Water is so important for so many processes in our body and can make us smarter.
Start by drinking 16 oz. the first day for a week. Then up it to 32 oz. every day for the next week. AT 64 oz. per day you will start to notice some good changes in your body, mind and spirit…..not to mention starting to scope out where every restroom is in your daily life.
Now a video with 40 tips of how to be healthy and happy. These are more than just the physical ways to make your life healthier and happier. Watch and adopt 3 that appeal to you.
One of the keys to getting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to not take on all of these tips all at once.
Start small — don’t overdo it. Big changes tend to be harder to sustain. Be the tortoise, not the hare.
Make one small change by choosing one of these 11 tips, and then try another, then another.
Each step along the way, you’ll get used to it and soon, your new habit will become your new normal. No step needs to be very difficult.
See how many of these you can adopt, and you’ll be amazed how your life will change.