May 3rd, 2019
Author: Cocoon Web Design
Making healthy choices shouldn’t be confusing. But when advertisers constantly pitch fad diets and magic pills that supposedly blast fat and build muscle, it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s just a marketing gimmick.
The truth is, there’s no quick fix for better health. However, that doesn’t mean getting healthy is complicated. These simple steps are all you need to transform your health — no expensive dietary supplements, crash diets, or celebrity workout plans required.
1. Get moving
It doesn’t take a ton of exercise to improve your health, especially if you don’t move much now. The minimum amount of exercise recommended for adults is only 150 minutes per week, or about 22 minutes a day, plus two or three strength-training sessions per week.
When you consistently hit that number, you’ll have more energy, less stress, and daily tasks will become easier. There are lots of ways to get moving: You can go hiking, take a dance class, start a garden, or even join an adult sports league. Many people assume that sports are expensive, but if you do your research, you can find durable equipment at an affordable price.
2. Get outside
Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, a vitamin so important that if you don’t get enough of it, you could develop dementia, osteoporosis, and even cancer. Sunlight also plays a key role in regulating sleep, something we all could use more of.
If you’re like most people, you’re not getting nearly enough sun exposure: The average American spends 93 percent of every day indoors. Aim to spend 15 sunscreen-free minutes outdoors every day to boost vitamin D. More time outdoors is even better for your health, but protect your skin during longer excursions.
3. Eat healthy food
Eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean dieting. Instead of looking for short-term weight loss solutions, seek sustainable ways to incorporate healthy foods into your diet, such as:
Drinking water instead of juice, soda, or alcohol
Giving vegetables the largest portion of your plate
Replacing refined grains with whole grains
Choosing poultry and seafood over red meat and processed meats
Paying attention to portion sizes
Sometimes diets do offer helpful guidelines for dietary choices. However, it’s important to distinguish harmful fad diets — think the cabbage soup diet — from ways of eating that actually have potential to improve your health. Diets based on whole foods, like the paleo diet and vegetarianism, can be good foundations for healthy eating. Whatever you choose, make your decision based on research and a conversation with your doctor, not the current trends.
4. Sleep well
A good diet, plenty of exercise, and time outside all promote quality sleep, but they don’t make up for bad habits. Everyone needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you’re getting less, start going to bed earlier so you’re not operating on sleep deprivation. If you try to sleep but can’t, give yourself a bedtime, kick the TV out of the bedroom, and take other steps to improve your sleep hygiene.
5. Connect with others
Most people don’t think about their social life when talking about health, but a supportive social network is as important for your health as not smoking. Socializing protects against stress-related health conditions like depression and heart disease and keeps you sharp into old age.
Maintaining a social life when you have a career and family is challenging. To make your limited social time count, focus on quality over quantity. Visit close friends and family when you can and keep in touch via phone calls, mail, and social media between visits. These relationships keep you feeling supported even when life is hectic.
Notice anything? None of these changes promise to transform your health overnight. Instead, they’re small changes that set you on the path toward long-term health. It might not be glamorous, but when you’re serious about getting healthy, sustainable change is the only solution.
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