How to Live a Healthier Lifestyle
So you’ve made a decision to live a healthier lifestyle. The good news is that making this change isn’t nearly as hard as it seems.
The key is not to do it all at once. Use a more incremental approach — baby steps! Here are four areas in which you can create lasting change one small, healthy choice at a time.
Choose to eat right
Food is fuel. Your car sputters on low quality gas. Why would your body run well on low quality food, like junk snacks and processed foods?
A fresh food diet with lots of fruits and veggies is a great fuel for your body. For instance, choose:
- An apple instead of potato chips,
- A turkey/avocado sandwich instead of a cheeseburger
Deciding to favor the healthy choice every time you reach for food will transform your diet one bite at a time.
Choose to get enough sleep
The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep a night. How much are you getting?
If the answer is “less than that,” a lack of sleep could be causing health problems. At the very least, you’re not feeling as energetic as you could be.
To get more sleep, try moving your bedtime up by ten minutes every week. Within six weeks, you’ll be going to bed an hour earlier. You might be surprised at what a difference that can make.
Choose to exercise more
Our bodies need exercise to stay healthy. Period.
If working out daily or joining a gym isn’t possible, try making moment-to-moment choices that increase your physical activity, such as:
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Parking your car several blocks away from your destination
This will increase your energy. As it does, work more vigorous activities into your schedule. Don’t watch the kids play in the park — get up on that jungle gym with them. Or dance while doing housework. Any physical activity that gets your muscles working and your heart pumping counts as exercise and will contribute to better health.
Choose to manage stress
Stress can be useful but excessive stress over time can be really hard on your body and can cause any number of illnesses, like:
- Gastrointestinal problems
There are numerous tools available to manage stress, including deep breathing, mindfulness, gratitude and visualization. Experiment to find the right one for you, then choose to use that tool rather than dwell on what’s stressful.
© Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2015