The ABCs of a Healthy Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle is both a moment-to-moment choice and a long-term commitment. And its benefits, unsurprisingly, can also be felt both in the here-and-now and over the course of your entire life. If you are looking to be the healthiest you possible, but aren’t sure where to start, then this quick guide to the basics of healthy living can set you off on the right track.  

 

Access Your Current Health

This can be rather intimidating, especially if you know deep down that you haven’t been taking as good care of yourself as you would like. However, it will help you find the best path toward good health in the future. There is no better time to start than now!  

 

  • Weigh yourself. Over two-thirds of all American adults are overweight — and many of them do not even realize it!  
  • Start a food diary. This will help you identify negative patterns — but it will also help you take stock of which healthy foods you sincerely enjoy.  
  • Self-reflect. What are your bad health habits? How much exercise do you do on a weekly basis? What risk factors (either personal or hereditary) do you have?  
  • Pay attention to your mood. Your emotional health and your overall energy levels play a big role in determining your overall well-being. So take stock of these factors as well.  

 

Prioritize Solutions

No one lives an entirely healthy lifestyle. Whether you are a professional athlete or an elite-level couch potato, there are literally thousands of lifestyle improvements you could make. This can be overwhelming — which is why focusing your energy on two or three of the most important changes is a good strategy.  

 

  • Begin treating chronic conditions. If you have hypertension, prediabetes, or another chronic health condition that you have been ignoring, then the time to take action is now.  
  • Set up urgent appointments. If you have such a condition, or if you have any well-founded fears about other medical problems, then you should see a doctor in a relevant field as soon as possible.  
  • Manage addictions and bad habits. Whether it’s cigarettes, alcohol, or even peach cobbler, we all have our weaknesses. Make an effort to curb your worst health habit — and be sure to seek help if you fear you can’t go it alone.  

 

Build Momentum

That is to say, get moving and start exercising! 

  • Make workouts fun by choosing activities you like and finding social groups to encourage commitment.  
  • Set goals and track your progress. If you are aiming to run faster, shoot hoops more accurately, or beat your highest bench press, you are more likely to stay motivated.  
  • Incorporate fitness into your daily life. Walk to work, take the stairs, go on a bike ride, etc. The options are virtually limitless.  

 

Make Meaningful Diet Changes 

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. The following adaptations could lead to a major improvement in your health and well-being.  

  • Cook at home. This will help cultivate awareness of the nutritional choices you make every day.  
  • Slow down. Eating at a slower pace will help you feel satisfied sooner. (And improve your overall enjoyment of the meal!  
  • Change your mindset. An all-or-nothing approach to dieting is one of the quickest ways to get frustrated. Try thinking in terms of small, positive choice after small, positive choice instead!