January 2, 2018
What is Healthy Living?
We hear a lot about healthy living and everyone seems to have a suggestion on how we can live a healthier life and lifestyle. It can be overwhelming if you consider all the recommendations, diets, exercise schemes, etc. So what can we do to live a healthier, longer life?
First, we need to choose to work on one thing at a time. Trying to change everything at once will surely lead to failure. Remember that it takes about six months to make something into a habit, so plan accordingly. And don’t get discouraged if you fall off the wagon…spend a day eating chocolate…or don’t exercise for a week. Just accept the fact that we are all imperfect and begin again.
Here are a few suggestions to start you on the path to a healthier life
1. Eat healthy – meaning eat a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and small amounts of sugar and fat. You can get great advice from websites like www.fitness.gov; or www.heart.org. If you are considering a drastic diet change, be sure to check with your physician first.
2. Exercise – You don’t have to be an extreme exerciser to increase your health. Walking is still considered an excellent form of exercise – even just walking a mile a day can provide benefits. Successful walkers usually include a companion to walk with. Find an exercise buddy and begin today. Again, check with your physician to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise and what forms they would recommend.
3. Challenge your mental capacity – read a new book – take a class at the local college – there are so many ways to improve your mind. There are many studies that show active minds can fight against dementia in older age. So get out the Sudoko puzzles and spend some time improving your mind.
4. Socialize – surprisingly, there is a lot of evidence that people who have friends and socialize regularly have a happier and healthier life. So make time to spend with friends and family. Join a club so you can socialize regularly.
5. Check-ups – There are many preventive tests like mammography and colonoscopies, that can help find disease early and treat it, or you may have inherited a family disease, like diabetes. Being healthy means visiting your physician and making sure you are doing what you need to do to remain healthy and treat any chronic conditions. Start recommended tests at the suggested age. There are great resources out there like www.uspreventiveservicestaksforce.org.
Remember, don’t try to change everything at once. Start with something small, like making sure you add fruit to your diet every day. Small changes can reap great results.