Ask as many people as you’d like, and you’ll have a hard time finding a single one who doesn’t aspire to live in a healthy way. We’d all prefer to live healthily: we want to eat right, exercise, and live long, comfortable, and healthy lives. Yet few of us actually do. Why?
Because it’s hard, of course — or, at least, we think it is! Healthy living can seem bewildering, complicated, and demanding to many of us, and that’s understandable. But if we familiarize ourselves with healthy lifestyle basics and learn some basic strategies, we might be surprised by just how manageable a healthy life becomes. Talking to your doctor or primary care services provider can help you create a comprehensive plan for managing your health.
What You Eat
So you want to eat right: what does that mean?
For starters, it means not eating too much. Calories aren’t the end-all and be-all of dieting, of course, but you should be conscious of how many you consume. Calories are one important measure of the energy food provides, and if you give your body more energy than it needs, you’re going to end up gaining weight.
Macronutrients are another key measure of nutrition. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are umbrella groups of key nutrients our bodies need, and even simple diets should be conscious of their importance and keep them in the right proportions.
Does this already seem complicated? Don’t worry: there’s a straightforward way to make sure that you’re eating right. If you eat unprocessed whole foods, and if you rely heavily on vegetables, then you’ll find that you’ll end up keeping your calories under control and your macronutrients balanced without much trouble at all.
What You Do
If you eat poorly, there’s not much that you can do to save yourself — the amount of exercise it takes to slim down when you’re eating poorly is remarkable! But just because exercise can’t give you a free pass to eat all the Doritos you want doesn’t mean it’s useless. In fact, exercise is a key part of your overall health.
Experts recommend getting at least a half-hour of exercise a day (on at least five days out of the week). If that sounds difficult, consider how you could make exercise into a habit. Can you develop an active hobby? Remember that exercise will get easier as it becomes a habit, too: the first time you wake up early to go running will be tough, but by the hundredth time it will be second-nature.
Health Beyond Diet and Exercise: Supplements, Medicine, and More
What you eat and how your exercise has a huge impact on your overall health, but there are other things to consider. Supplements can help you with nutrition: while a multivitamin is no substitute for a healthy diet, it can be a helpful part of a larger nutritional plan. Natural medicines and supplements like Curamin can be healthy things to have in your medicine cabinet, and you can (and should) trust your doctor to prescribe prescription medicines and advise you on your overall health.
Remember what not to do, too: smoking is incredibly bad for your health, of course, and drinking should be limited (avoid binge drinking as much as possible — it’s particularly bad for you). As your healthy lifestyle takes shape, you may find that it becomes easier to fine-tune your smaller bad habits. Can you stand at work instead of sitting? Should you walk to the store instead of driving?
Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle can only work if it is just that — a lifestyle. Temporary changes won’t help you in the same way that habits and true “lifestyle changes” will, so commit to real change and set realistic goals. Your body will thank you for it!