Do You Live A Healthy Lifestyle?
Would you say you live a healthy lifestyle? According to the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, only 2.7% of Americans have all four characteristics of a healthy lifestyle. These characteristics include being sufficiently active, eating a healthy diet, being a non-smoker, and having the recommended body fat percentage.
That’s a disturbing statistic. After learning this, would you still confidently say you live a healthy lifestyle? Take a moment and ask yourself these questions to see if there is something you could improve for a healthier lifestyle.
What Are You Drinking?
Drinking enough water seems easy, yet so many people fall short. In fact, one survey found that 80% of working Americans don’t drink enough water.
“Enough” varies depending on factors such as your bodily characteristics and physical activity level, but here are some general guidelines.
So, if people aren’t drinking enough water, what are they drinking instead? Typically, it’s some kind of liquid with tons of sugar in it. This could be soft drinks, juice, and even coffee or tea if you pour in copious amounts of sugar.
Sugar is a huge drain on your system. Plus, sugary foods have lots of empty calories, causing you to continue to feel hungry even though you’ve eaten. Obviously, this leads to weight gain. When you can, choose water as your drink of choice.
What Are You Eating?
Your mama was right when she told you that eating your vegetables is vital to a healthy life. Unfortunately, many of us figure that a couple of servings of veggies a week is enough.
Our bodies are suffering because of it. Vegetables are a rich source of many of the vitamins and nutrients we need for a healthy life.
Instead of veggies, most of us are eating copious amounts of processed foods. These have tons of empty calories and are usually full of sugar and salt — all of which is horrible for good health. Avoid processed foods and go for fresh, raw foods as much as possible.
What about homemade bread and cookies? Those don’t have preservatives and you can make them with less sugar. That’s healthy right? Well, remember that refined grains are a type of processed food — even if they come in the form of a bag of flour.
Whole grain means that the entire grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm, is intact. Just as the peel of an apple holds more and different nutrients than the flesh, the different parts of the grains have a richer nutrient profile.
Try steel-cut oats instead of quick oats, brown rice instead of white, or quinoa instead of white pasta to get started.
Are You Sleeping Enough?
Sleep is crucial for many body functions and particularly a healthy brain. However, about a third of American adults regularly don’t get enough sleep.
Unfortunately, the body often compensates for short sleep by craving foods — usually the unhealthy kind that pack on pounds. Try setting and sticking to going to bed even an hour earlier each night and your body will thank you.
Are You Getting Enough Exercise?
Heart disease is the number one killer in the US. The CDC recommends getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise per week along with 2 or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities to stave off heart disease and other health issues. Most people are not even getting this bare minimum. You may want to consider carving out time for more exercise if you’re one of them, even if it’s just going for a 20-minute walk each day.
Healthy Living Doesn’t Have to be Hard
How are you doing so far? It’s likely you could be doing better in at least one of these categories. Don’t let living a healthy lifestyle feel overwhelming. If you need to make a lot of changes, start with just one or two a month to make it more accessible.
Imagine, in a year you will have made 24 positive lifestyle changes!
At the very least, get out there and live the fullest, healthiest life you can. You and your loved ones deserve it!
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