How to start a healthy lifestyle

Do you want to change your habits and start a healthy lifestyle? Learn how to get on the right track and make your life more healthy and happy!

Author: Dmitry Shevchenko

The New Year is near and for many of us it is a great time to start changing something in our life. Of course, the changes can begin at any time, but it is to the chiming clock that we mentally glance over the past year and give ourselves the most daring promises for the coming year. Someone plans to give up bad habits, start eating right, go in for sports, lose weight, or spend more time with loved ones, and someone just wants to get more pleasure from life and avoid stress by side.

Overflowing with enthusiasm, we head out into the pool and begin to make dramatic changes in life. But after a while the fuse passes, and we gradually return to the old way of life, from which we just recently wanted to leave. Why is this happening and how can we make changes become a part of our lives?

For our body, accustomed to the everyday way of life, cardinal changes are always painful, which is why they often end in complete failure. Try to make changes in your usual way of life gradually, in small portions, so that your body can adapt to them.

Those who at least once in their lives tried to diet, know that a sudden change in diet requires inhuman efforts. First, in order to change something in your eating habits, set a minimum goal – to eat regularly. Optimum is the diet regime 5-6 once a day with a mandatory breakfast, lunch, no late dinner and a small snack after breakfast and lunch.

Then go on to a healthy diet, and it will be easier for you if this process is gradual. For example, first give up fried food and limit the amount of fatty foods, then reduce the portion size, then add more fruits to your diet and so on. This scheme will help you to adapt more easily to a healthy diet, and the diet will not become a shock to the body. The process of transition to a healthy diet can take many months, but after going through this path you will certainly not return to your old habits.

The same goes for exercise. If you have not done physical exercises before and decided to give your training one hour a day, then you are likely to be overtrained and lose motivation. Wishing to get everything and immediately we set ourselves an impossible task. Start with two light trainings a week and gradually, with a frequency of once every few months, increase the duration and complexity of the classes. So you will have more chances to achieve a good physical shape and real changes in lifestyle.

Another important point about small gradual changes. Making small steps, we see the result and feel the movement forward. This allows you to keep motivation and adhere to the chosen course.

Incidentally, the Japanese have a whole philosophy dedicated to small changes, it is called kaizen. Thanks to this philosophy, success has been achieved not only by individuals, but also by entire corporations, such as Toyota.

Another common mistake on the road to change is the change in only one component of our life. A healthy lifestyle is not limited to proper nutrition and exercise, it includes many aspects. Judge for yourself, if we adhere to proper nutrition, but at the same time continue to experience constant stress at work or at home, can we call our way of life healthy? Probably not.

A healthy lifestyle depends on many factors, such as physical activity, emotional stability, proper rest, stress resistance, rejection of bad habits, and so on. If we do not take into account all these factors, then we will create an imbalance in life. Only an integrated approach to health, both physical and emotional, will help us get rid of problems and improve our condition.

To succeed, you must maintain a positive attitude and a realistic view of your capabilities. Do not despair at the slightest failure, if the first time something does not work out – it's quite normal. Do not blame yourself for this, it is not always easy to follow the chosen path through life. You always have the opportunity to go back a step and try again. Be persistent in achieving your goals and remember that a healthy lifestyle is your conscious choice.

Change must become part of your life, become a habit. Perceive them not as one-off measures, but as a new way to live. With each new day you will feel more healthy, happy and energetic.

So, we have learned that the changes must be gradual and complex, affecting many aspects of life. Now it's time to decide on concrete steps that will consistently lead us to a healthy and happy life. This can help book Brett Blumenthal "Year lived right: 52 steps to a healthy lifestyle." In this book, Brett invites us to execute a program of 52 small changes, one change per week for the whole year. It is quite easy to follow this program. At the beginning of each week, you should choose one change and focus your efforts on it. Below are examples of such changes.

1. Start with an extra glass of water

A healthy diet presupposes a sufficient intake of clean water. Water, although not the main source of vitamins and minerals, is an important part of our diet and the replenishment of its supplies is vital. Water is involved in virtually all processes occurring in the body. It flushes toxins from the body, carries nutrients into cells and is necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system. In this case, as scientists say, people who drink enough water, less often feel hunger and, consequently, less likely to overeat.

During the day, watch for a thirst and drink a glass of water as soon as it comes. To do this, it is convenient to keep a bottle of clean water next to you. Sometimes pure water can be replaced with mineral water or herbal tea, but not with carbonated drinks or juice, as they contain a large amount of sugar.

This simple and effective step will be a great start to changing your eating habits.

Many underestimate the role of stretching in our lives. Good stretching can protect muscles and ligaments from trauma, keep joint mobility, relieve stress, improve blood circulation, improve well-being, maintain flexibility and posture.

Stretching does not require additional equipment or much time. It can be practiced anywhere and anytime, but the most useful is stretching before training, after waking up or after a long sitting in one place. Take the rule to allocate a stretch for 20 minutes three times a week – this will help you maintain flexibility and youth.

Vegetables are a first-class source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and many other nutrients called phytonutrients. Vegetables – the basis of a healthy diet, in no other group of foods does not contain so many useful nutrients, even fruits can not boast such a rich arsenal of vitamins and minerals.

Fibrous vegetables (peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, etc.) will be especially useful for those who want to lose weight, since they contain a minimum amount of calories, cause a sense of satiety and contribute to weight loss. In addition, they are rich in fiber, which improves digestion and lowers cholesterol in the blood.

For a week, keep track of how many vegetables you consume. Try to have them present at every meal. The easiest way to include vegetables in your diet is to start each meal with a plate of lettuce. In addition, you can use them as a garnish, prepare a vegetable stew or casserole, make a sandwich with vegetables or simply cut them and eat raw. The list of dishes is not limited, and on the Internet you will find many recipes for healthy dishes from vegetables.

Our body is designed in such a way that it needs constant movement, but modern technology carefully protects us from any physical activity. As a result, we experience a wide variety of health problems and begin to grow older. Studies have shown that physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. It also strengthens bones and muscles, improves the emotional state and increases life expectancy.

To increase your level of physical activity, you do not need to start going to the gym five times a week. Instead, look for the opportunity to move more – it's much easier than it seems. Always find the reason to walk. Take yourself for the rule of walking to the supermarket, so, going home with packages, you will give your body a very good load. If you use public transport, then go for a couple of stops to your destination, the rest of the way you go on foot. Do not use the elevator, if you need to climb only a few floors, use a staircase instead. Gradually, you can increase the number of floors for both lifting and descending. Try to take walks after dinner – they are especially useful, because they will unload your stomach before going to bed.

Remember that even moderate physical activity in your daily life will benefit you.

It would seem that we are talking about a healthy lifestyle, so where is the optimism. However, as scientists have found out, people who perceive a glass half full, often remain healthy and live longer. The explanation is simple: optimists better cope with stress and, therefore, are less susceptible to their negative impact on health. A positive attitude towards life is a great way to avoid depression and reduce anxiety and irritability.

How can you develop an optimistic attitude? To do this, within a week carefully monitor your internal dialogue and as soon as you notice negative thinking, redirect it to a positive side. For example, "I do not know how" can be replaced with "I'll learn it"; "It will not work" to "find a way to make it work"; "Everything was lost" to "all is not lost"; "I can not cope" with "I have to try" and so on. This simple technique will help you avoid unnecessary self-criticism and develop a positive attitude towards yourself and others.

Of course, ideally we should receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals from the food. But, even if you watch your diet and your diet contains fresh vegetables, fruits and dairy products, it can be difficult to get 100% of the recommended rate. This does not mean that you should start taking all the known supplements, vitamins should become insurance in case your body does not get everything you need from food.

To make this change is much easier than others. Just buy a package of quality multivitamins and take them, following the instructions.

When buying products carefully read the labels and markings and learn from them to determine how useful or harmful the products are. The composition and nutritional value of the product can open your eyes to its quality and value from the dietary point of view.

Here are a few rules that should be followed when selecting products:

  • Pay attention to calorie content. A product containing less than 100 kcal per serving is considered a low-calorie; more 350 kcal – a product high-calorie, it is better to postpone it.

Carefully study the labels of all products that you buy, and make a measured purchase decision.

As you can see, the path to change can not be called simple. You will have to take many steps towards a healthy lifestyle, spend a lot of time on it and change your ingrained habits. But the main thing is to clearly see the goal and move in the right direction, it's worth it!

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