The Foundations of a Healthy Lifestyle

Today I’m going to give you a guide to healthy lifestyle principles. In a post titled ‘What is a Healthy Lifestyle’ I said:

“In general, most would agree that a healthy person doesn’t smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats a balanced healthy diet, thinks positively, feels relaxed, exercises regularly, has good relationships, and benefits from a good life balance”.

Today, I want to give you a simple guide so to enable you to easily implement steps that will go a long way towards providing you with a healthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle changes begin with setting solid intentions, only then will you have the commitment to stick with your new course of action. Intention is the strong, motivating “why” for doing something. In a blog yesterday ‘Your Health Matters’ I have given you the most important reason for implementing a healthy lifestyle, and that is to maintain good health. Can there be anything more important to you than feeling well, with vitality for life to live a healthy life. That should be all the reason you need to put these principles into practice in your life.

Living a healthy lifestyle means living a way of life where you make healthy choices that contribute to your health and wellness. It means taking care of yourself. Treating your whole self as being of importance to you.

You will be able to make lifestyle changes over time, slowly but surely adopting each of the following into daily habits. This is crucial to remember that you are going to be cultivating new habits learning what are the best things for you to do to live a healthy life. You can’t expect to change everything overnight. Set yourself that goal and you are setting yourself up for failure. But do things gradually, make improvements, one small step at a time, and you will successfully adopt a healthy lifestyle and the resultant benefits of this.

Establishing a healthy lifestyle is a worthy goal for anyone. All it takes is a decision to start living more consciously, and a rejection to involve yourself in those activities that are known to be detrimental. You know those things I’m referring to, drinking alcohol to excess, fatty unhealthy take away meals, smoking, never using your body to exercise, allowing stress to take over your mind, body and soul, excessive consumption of chocolate cakes, pies, you get my meaning. Chances are you already know which activities you would be better off without, but sometimes people need to be reminded.

Being healthy and having good health for as long as possible should be a priority in any ones life. It’s a no brainer, surely?

I have spent many years both as a fitness instructor and as a personal development coach helping others achieve wellness. Wellness in terms of a balance between your mind, body and soul. This is what a healthy lifestyle brings you, the key components to take care of those three essential parts of the ‘YOU’. Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things you can do for yourself and as a personal development coach it is one of my highest priorities.

Healthy Lifestyles have to be relevant to your daily life. Most people’s lives involve four aspects: sleeping, travelling, working and caring, and leisure (Buckworth and Dishman 2002). It is impossible to describe a typical 24 hours for anyone. If you consider an average night’s sleep to be about 8 hours, the average working day to be 8 hours and an average journey to and from work to be an hour, then there are about 7 hours left a day for leisure and/ or caring and household responsibilities. Clearly, these are not times that will equate for everybody but they give an indication of what physically your hours are spent doing.

No matter what your daily responsibilities, you can make the right lifestyle choices. Choices about eating, drinking, physical activity and stress management.

So let me give you a guide to healthy lifestyle principles which include:

Principle 1: Give your body the energy it needs.

Eating right is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Your body needs some foods to stay strong and healthy. Here are some guidelines:

• Eat 6-11 servings a day of breads or grains, like rice, pasta, tortillas, or cereal.

• Eat 3-5 servings a day of vegetables, like carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, or peas.

• Eat 2-4 servings a day of fruits, like apples, peaches, mangos, bananas, or pears.

• Eat 2-3 servings a day of meat, fish, beans, eggs or nuts, for protein.

• Eat 2-3 servings a day of dairy products like yogurt, cheese, or milk (skimmed is my preferred choice).

• Cut down on alcohol, fatty foods and “junk food”.

• Drink 2 litres of water to keep your body hydrated

• Eat something every 3 hours

• Eat Breakfast Every Morning

Principle 2: Stay physically active.

It is best to get at least one half hour of exercise three times a week. You shouldn’t be surprised that this one is on the list. It is inescapable. Physical activity is vital to healthy living. The body was meant to move, and when it does not, it can become uncomfortable and ill. Physical activity stimulates the body’s natural maintenance and repair systems that keep it going. It improves circulation to our heart and lungs. It gives us strength to stave off injuries, and it increases the mobility in our muscles and joints. Physical activity also releases endorphins; the feel good hormones that create a sense of general well being. Physical activity is good for the body and the mind, it’s a no brainer that you need to add it to your lifestyle.

Principle 3: A healthy mind is part of a healthy body.

Feed your mind with positivity. 90% of all brain activity is subconscious, and it is our subconscious thoughts that greatly impact our thoughts and actions. However, the most important thing in affecting what goes on in our subconscious mind is to simply focus on what we feed into our minds. Whenever we focus on something long enough and intently enough it will soon become a part of our active mind and will eventually seep into our subconscious mind as well. So what we feed our mind matters! So putting into your mind positive thoughts is crucial. You need to create habits of feeding your mind in a positive way. So reading a blog like this is crucial and you should make a habit of reading empowering, informative books and blogs to feed your mind with more and more information. Positivity is crucial for you to make the most of your life.

Principle 4: Practice stress relief exercises.

We have got to get rid of all of this stress. Stress happens when your life becomes out of balance physically, mentally or emotionally. Being stressed out has the potential to affect your health in a variety of ways. You need to take charge of your thoughts and emotions.

I believe Meditation is vital for your good health. Just spending time sitting quietly, breathing, concentrating on yourself has incredible health benefits. I also strongly suggest you try deep breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, centering technique, all fantastic methods to get to grips with stress.

Principle 5: Get enough Sleep.

You’ve got to take sleep seriously. Work at getting at least 8 hours of sleep a day! This leads to better mental and physical health (and with quick results).

A lot of people end up giving up if they don’t see immediate results. Things aren’t going to change overnight. You need to realize that it takes time. The above principles are crucial to good health!

Improvements do not have to be large steps; take one small step for your health today, keep that one going, and add another one every month.

Good luck.

 

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