Wake up, go to work, eat, watch TV, sleep, repeat…
It's easy to get caught up in the humdrum of everyday life.
You drag yourself out of bed, get ready for work, punch the clock for 8 hours, come home to a slap-up meal in front of the TV, and then you go back to sleep. And then the cycle repeats itself. So it isn't surprising then that many of us forget about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
This week then we looks at the 3 main areas you can improve in day to day life, and how to go about it.
Why Live a Healthy Lifestyle
But first we should answer the question, why bother?
We always hear that we should be healthier, that our lives will be improved if we could just eat a pear instead of a donut, but why exactly do we need to be healthier?
For many it is about living longer. To take an extreme example, a smoker will live up to 10 years less than an average non-smoker. Someone living a healthy lifestyle then will have on average 12.5% more life to live then a smoker!
For others though it is about having more energy. When we eat badly and don’t exercise our bodies don’t have to exert themselves so not only do we store all that extra food around our waistline but we slow down as well.
There are hundreds more reasons to be healthier though. For example: exercise is a great antidepressant and reduces stress, eating better food means better skin and hair, and it can even save you money in the long run!
Whatever your reason though the importance of living a healthy lifestyle cannot be overstated.
When it comes to improving your lifestyle, there are three major points to make sure you focus on:
1) Eating Right
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away," the idiom goes, and for good reason.
Studies indicate that roughly 30% of cancer cases and 50% of cancer deaths could likely have been prevented with a lifestyle improvement. That means living healthy, and part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is maintaining a healthy weight. Of course keeping a healthy weight is all about eating right.
Fizzy drinks, crisps, take-aways - they all contain copious amounts of fat and sugar. You will no doubt of seen on the news how bad they are for you, but the fat from fast food especially is terrible for you. They contain something called “trans” fat, which unlike healthy fat found in nuts and berries, can stick around much longer then you would like.
Food like this is also awash with salt and sugar as well, which can affect your heart, your liver, and your teeth. Basically when you have too much, your whole body suffers.
This isn’t even mentioning the fact that a lot of these foods contain chemicals instead of organic ingredients. This all means that they can lack vital nutrients that keep us healthy.
Fruits, vegetables, and lean meats are the way to go here. And it isn't just because they contain less fat and calories. They're packed full of nutrients that we need to keep going, and to keep going vigorously. Plus, they don't contain any chemicals.
And never fear if you get bored eating "the same stuff" all the time. You can check out recipes and find new ways to fix your fruits and veggies to make tasty meals. Veggie wraps, bean tacos, fruit salad--there are all kinds of pro-nutrition dishes out there that let you experience the healthy stuff in new ways!
When discussing the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, getting the right amount of exercise can't be emphasised enough. After all we are designed to be running, jumping, climbing, and not sitting around (even though it is tempting).
Doctors recommend that you engage in 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise or 75 minutes of highly intense exercise per week. A hundred fifty minutes sounds like a lot, but it's actually only 30 minutes per day five days a week.
Many feel they can't exercise properly due to time constraints and gym costs, so they don't bother. Although an ideal place to work out, gyms can cost you up to £40/month. Plus, there's the commute to and from to consider.
But never fear! There are so many alternatives to going to the gym. Push-ups, sit-ups, stretching - these are all exercises you can do in your own home. You can find millions of yoga videos on Youtube, or you can just get outside and go for a walk or jog. The NHS even has a support group online for people to help them find the motivation to run a 5K, and the internet is full of places where you can get tips and support to help you along.
Whatever you choose to do, getting 30 minutes of exercise a day is not as hard as it sounds and the benefits can be fantastic.
This can feel intimidating to many people, and that is the trap of our bad habits. It’s easy to stay on the sofa, hard to start something new. The trick then is to take it one step at a time, after all even if you are only doing a little that is better than nothing! Once you start you can start to build on it, until one day you get to where you want to be.
3) Quit Smoking
When considering the importance of a healthy lifestyle, this is one of the biggest. Smoking is an extremely unhealthy habit. It's also inconvenient, considering smoking in the workplace and most public areas is usually forbidden.
Plus, there are all of the non-fatal but still disconcerting side effects from smoking. Smoking discolours your teeth, turning them yellow. They also cause premature wrinkles, which makes you look older than you actually are. Loss of taste, loss of energy, loss of breath--smoking causes all of these things as well.
And that doesn't even touch on the cost of it. An average person smoking 1 pack a day could be spending over £3,500 every year!
To any smoker though this is all old information. We all know smoking is for us, probably even before we started. The problem isn’t that we don’t know how bad it is for us, and even if we do it is difficult to stop for good.
That is why e-cigarettes have been such a revolution for smokers, as it gives you the same feeling of smoking (including the nicotine) without the downsides.
According to Public Health England “electronic cigarettes are roughly 95% healthier than regular cigarettes”.
They also don't leave an odour, and they don't contain any tobacco whatsoever. In fact, since e-cigs don't contain tobacco and don't bother others, many businesses allow them inside. Not to mention, they cost a lot less than traditional cigarettes.
If you are thinking then of trying to get healthy why not try one of our starter kits? It gives you everything you need to start and for a limited time you can get it for only the price of the postage and packaging!
The End Result
Living a healthy lifestyle isn't just about saving money or a trip to the doctor, It's about helping you feel better about yourself. When you live a healthy lifestyle, you don't just live longer. You become more confident in yourself, look younger and feel happier.
Tackle these three points, and you'll be on your way to achieving the healthy lifestyle you've always dreamed of.
If you are smoker and want to tackle at least one of these today, why not try one of our starter kits? You can get one for FREE, you only have to pay the P&P (which is £5.95)
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