Five Simple Steps to Better Health

While there are many lifestyle choices a person can make to stay healthy, most experts agree that there are five main behaviors we can initiate in order to increase our chances of staying in optimum physical health. The beneficial tips presented in this article are by far not an all-inclusive list. In research studies all over the world, health experts have shown that our participation in the following five healthy functions is essential towards maintaining a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

Let’s Eat

We hear it all the time, eat healthy! Nourishment of the physical body is very important but the general term “eat healthy” doesn’t really explain how we can get the best food into our bodies and stay healthy. Since this topic alone could take up pages of explanation on what “eating healthy” means, let’s look at some valuable tips you can use in order to make the best choices starting today.

* Don’t stuff yourself. It has long been known that overeating can cause weight gain, take our stores of body energy down to a very low level, as well as create dangerous imbalances and havoc on our metabolism or metabolic rate. The best advice here is to eat in moderation and only till you feel satisfied. Eat smaller meals throughout the day.

* Eat a majority of healthy foods. Fresh raw vegetables and fruits, lean meats, less fat and whole grains. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike should research and find the best foods for their bodies. Whatever your choice of dietary and nutrition lifestyle, make sure you stay away from sugar and processed foods (anything in a box).

* Lastly, make mealtime one you look forward to. If you look at food as something to be enjoyed and savored, you are less likely to make meal time something you are resigned to “have to do”. Stop the trips to fast food restaurants or popping a frozen meal into the microwave. Take time for meal planning. Learn how to cook or find recipes that are healthy. Cook ahead several meals and have them ready to heat.

Overall, eating healthy means making wise choices for your body. Wise choices come from researching the healthy foods. There are many foods considered “superfoods” and they need to be part of your nutritional routine. Almonds, avocados, skim milk, green tea, blueberries, and raw or fresh vegetables and fruits, salmon, oatmeal, and cantaloupe are just some of the superfoods you could be enjoying right now. Along with eating healthy from food sources, we must be sure to include vitamin and supplements into our daily routine.

It’s Time to Take Your Vitamins

Along with the suggestions on finding healthy foods to eat, intake of the proper amounts of vitamins and nutrients are equally as important. Your body is going to require some very important vitamins and nutrients necessary to not only stay healthy but to survive. Here’s some tips to get you on the right track.

* Research and learn about vitamins and supplements.

* As mentioned above, researching “healthy” food and nutrition habits are essential. While you’re looking in that area, start exploring your vitamin requirements.

* Take a multi-vitamin everyday. If nothing else, get started with taking a multi-vitamin every day.

Read the label and be sure that:

* If you are pregnant you are either taking a pre-natal vitamin or one with folic acid.

* As a female you are getting the proper amounts of calcium for your age category and watch the iron intake. Women that are post-menopausal don’t need the extra iron.

* If you’re a male, make sure that you get the proper amounts of lycopene which has been shown to protect and maintain prostate health.

Now that we have discussed eating healthy and the proper vitamin intakes and supplementation, your body needs just a few more things to maintain good health.

Let’s Get Moving

Exercise is as essential to the body’s good health as proper nutrition. Many of us seem to think that we have to run 10 miles a day or work out in the gym for hours to get the right amount of exercise. Experts have stated that we do need exercise in the form of those that increase our heart rate (cardiovascular) and those exercises that tone the body (stretching types). Exercise also needs to be of the FUN type. Here are some ideas for you to consider when adding exercise to your daily routine.

* Any amount of exercise is better than no exercise at all. If you just cant stand the idea of going to a gym and working out several hours a day then try these:

* Put the remote control next to the television and leave it there. Get up to change your channels.

* Park in the furthest parking spot you can whenever you go somewhere.

* Use the stairs and not the elevators.

* If an exercise routine does appeal to you then think about these suggestions:

* Choose something you are passionate about. Did you take dance lessons as a child and just loved it? Find a dance teacher that will instruct adults after work.

* Find a gym that offers a good rate and has a personal trainer included with your membership.

* Start using that pool in your backyard or neighborhood.

Most physical fitness experts agree that a minimum of 30 minutes a day would be better than nothing at all. Finally, two of the most important health tips that can be offered besides proper nutrition, vitamin intake and exercise are a good night’s sleep and drinking lots of water.

Time to Say Goodnight

It is astounding the research that has come out in the early 21st century about sleep. We simply don’t get enough. Our busy hectic lifestyles seem to have placed sleep or even rest periods at an all time low on our priority lists. There is only one major suggestion to offer here. Get some sleep. Studies have found that children today in 2006 are falling asleep in classrooms. They are continually late or tardy to class. They have little energy to make it through the day. Wonder where they could be picking up this habit?

Adults are also tired. Studies of production rates at some major corporations say the culprit of over tired adults is working too much, stress (or the inability to relax and reduce stress levels) or they simply are staying up too late at night.

Our bodies require rest and sleep. Sleep is the time our bodies repair themselves. These repairs can range from healing and thwarting off potential illness, rejuvenating our energy systems, maintaining our emotions and keeping them in balance, to name a few. Find out what you require in sleep hours. Whether you need 6, 7 or 8 hours asleep, go to bed at a time where this can be done.

Hydration! Hydration! Hydration!

Add to your list of “things I need to do to stay healthy”, WATER. Drink as much water as you can tolerate. There is an endless list of the benefits of hydrating your body with water. Some are:

* Hydration means elimination. Naturally, what goes in must come out. Staying hydrated means healthy and less painful waste elimination.

* As a feel good benefit, hydrated skin is less dry, itchy and flaky. It also appears more vibrant and healthy looking.

Do some research into the new healthy drinking waters. Many of these have extra vitamins, no sugar and no artificial colors or flavors. They are a great source for healthy fluid intake. Some are geared especially for women’s needs as well as the special requirements of the more athletic. Take a bottle with you on your new exercise routine.

For many of us, implementing any of these five suggestions for healthy living may be very difficult. Taking the time to research what to eat, the proper vitamin intakes, being sure to drink enough water and finding the exercise routine that will get us moving may seem daunting at first. Adding to that, we must find the time to get enough sleep. In order to live a long and healthy life these behaviors must become a part of our lives. The most important investment we will ever make in our lives will be the commitment to start healthy habits as a daily routine.

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