Living a healthy lifestyle can essentially be summed up into 3 main principles – nutrition, physical activity, and mental fitness. If you can focus and improve on each of these 3 cornerstones, you will be well on your way towards successfully living a healthy lifestyle.
As the saying goes – you are what you eat. Nutrition affects everything from energy levels, to disease prevention, to body composition, to mental well-being. The following 3 focal points of nutrition will give you 90% of your success.
If water isn’t already the basis of your liquid intake, you could make dramatic changes in your health and body composition. Drinking water was the #1 most common weight loss tip submitted by people who successfully lost over 50 pounds. You don’t have to drink water exclusively though. These healthy drinks besides water are OK too. However, there is nothing that can beat water when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
Water is a component of every function of your body. Proper hydration will ensure your body is running at 100% efficiency. Not drinking enough water has many side effects. Dehydration results in a loss of strength . Even slight dehydration means that your liver has to help out your kidneys, which means it can’t effectively do its many jobs – one of which is to support fatty acid metabolism.
Whole foods provide all you need to live an optimal healthy lifestyle. They have essential fatty acids, protein, glucose for workouts, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and many other nutrients that help maintain an efficient body and mind. Processed foods, on the other hand, are calorie dense and nutrient sparse. Not only do they lack essential nutrients, but they also contain many chemicals that are detrimental to your body.
Eating healthy foods doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavorful goodness either. With a little creativity you can put together great tasting meals. Here are over 100 healthy, unique, amazing tasting recipes to get you started.
No, you don’t have to eat healthy 100% of the time to live a healthy lifestyle. There are many benefits to the occasional cheat meal. Positive physical and psychological changes take place during cheat meals. Be smart with them though. If you’re going to cheat, try to plan it around your social schedule. In addition, limiting your fat intake in these meals has a more positive effect on leptin and ghrelin levels, and their corresponding effects on hunger and satiety  .
The health benefits of exercise and physical activity are numerous. Even just a little activity can go a long way. Physical activity lowers stress, improves body composition, boosts hormones, and makes you look more youthful.
Being physically active doesn’t just mean that you do your workout and then remain sedentary the rest of the day. Being active beyond your workouts is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Chasing the kids, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, or just simply walking are all great ways to stay active.
Intense exercise does a body good. Pushing yourself to your physical and mental limits can do wonders for your body and mind. Exercise has been shown to enhance cognitive abilities as we age . In addition, exercise has been shown to increase lifespan . Focus on quality over quantity. A few intense workouts a week should be all you need to build muscle and reap the benefits of physical exercise.
Too many times we give 110% to our nutrition and exercise, but we completely ignore our mental health. This is one aspect of a healthy lifestyle that nearly everyone could improve upon.
Who hasn’t been stressed before? If one thing is certain in life, it’s that we all are going to be put into stressful situations. It’s how you deal with stress that will make a difference in your health. Avoiding high stress situations, practicing yoga, taking vacations, exercising, and getting optimal sleep are all ways to reduce stress. In addition, physically active leisure can contribute to better health, and provide a valuable resource for coping with stress .
As with your muscles, the sample principles apply for your mind – use it or lose it. Reading, writing, doing puzzles, building things, cooking, or anything that steps outside of your norm is a good way to stimulate and grow your mind. Exercise is also a great way to increase blood flow to the brain – which helps you do everything better.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will get you much further in life than those who continually put your dreams and aspirations down. Having great friends and family that are there for you will help keep you motivated and inspired to live a healthy lifestyle.
Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be difficult. With a little knowledge and effort, you could be living a long and happy life. What steps are you taking towards improving your life?