A healthy lifestyle can be a difficult thing to create and maintain. For many people, it seems like a major commitment of time and money to make sure that you’re fully taking care of yourself. But with just three simple steps you can be on your way to a healthier lifestyle and once you get started, it’s highly likely you’ll never look back.
It might sound confusing to be telling you to snack so that you become more healthy, but it’s part of a larger meal strategy. When we get hungry, our body’s blood pressure dips and we tend to get cranky. This change in mood and increased negative attitude leads most of us to binge on the next meal we have, to make up for a dip in blood sugar levels.
By snacking on good foods a lot or switching to a five-meal-per-day plan, you can keep your blood pressure levels relatively stable throughout all your activities during the day.
Snack often but, of course, stick to healthy snacks. Opt for fresh fruits, unsalted nuts, and whole grain bread. Any type of processed food like white bread or frozen foods like pizza or waffles should be a big no-no.
What you’re drinking is just as important as what you’re eating. So be sure to drink more water and cut down on sugary sodas and juices. Instead, try out a new smoothie recipe or get a protein shake.
Starting to exercise after a few months (or years) off can be difficult. First figure out how much physical activity you do in a week. Next, find out where there are opportunities to improve it. Make a schedule for yourself and include a post-workout recovery period to help yourself get the rest needed.
You may not have been an All-Star athlete in high school. Or maybe you were. Either way, as we transition into adulthood and the working world, there is a tendency among people to give in to the stress and demands of their job and to not keep up with the physical activity, which is an amazing way to lower blood pressure, improve mental and emotional health and control your weight.
If your office doesn’t have a gym, there are simple tricks you can do to be more physically active. For instance, deliberately parking far away so you need to walk extra far to the office. You could also just take the stairs instead of the elevator every time to help you stay active during long days in the office.
Sleep is the missing piece to the puzzle for many people’s health and well-being. Many people eat right and exercise but fail to recognize how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. While people’s internal sleep clocks vary, the general rule is people need seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Good sleep can truly be a lifesaver, particularly if your job involves driving or operating heavy machinery. But too many people don’t bother to invest the time it takes to get a good night’s rest.
What’s worse, 50-70 million adults in the United States have a sleep disorder.
If you think your body is having trouble sleeping or that you might have a sleep disorder, you may be right. Checking in with a doctor or visiting a sleep clinic can be the first step in a healthier direction. The National Sleep Foundation is also a great resource to help you learn more.