A Health Guide for Unhealthy People
Leading an unhealthy life can cause all sorts of issues both physically, mentally, and even socially. While no one is perfect and we all have days when we fall off the train, embracing healthy living is a big part of leading a long and prosperous life. With the New Year right around the corner, use this guide as a stepping stone to get your health back on track.
Get Your Diet in Check
None of us make perfect diet choices each day. Some days we’re stressed and really want junk food to make us feel a little better. Other days we’re running short on time and have to choose between the office snack bar and fast food. While it’s okay to have off days, in general, your diet should be wholesome. A quality diet should meet your macronutrient needs (protein, fats, and carbohydrates), as well as your vitamin and nutrient needs. Not eating enough protein can cause muscle loss as well as thinning hair. A vitamin C deficiency can lead to fatigue, weakness, and skin rashes.
As a general rule, your diet should be mostly comprised of:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean protein
If you’re serious about overhauling your diet, tracking your food each day will be extremely helpful. There are all sorts of food diary apps, including MyFitnessPal, Spark People, and Lose It! Lose It! These apps allow you to set macronutrient goals to meet your daily needs. You can also use these apps for losing weight, exercise goals, and ensuring that the food you eat meets your macronutrient and micronutrient needs.
Did you know that less than 5% of adults exercise for at least 30 minutes each day? For some people, finding the time to exercise is impossible. Other people prefer to watch T.V. or spend time on social media. The fact is that a lack of exercise is dangerous for your health. Leading an inactive or sedentary lifestyle decreases cardiovascular health and can lead to other health issues including diabetes and obesity. While it’s rare to find someone who’s in love with physical activity, it’s one of those necessary evils.
Set a goal to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. To achieve this, break exercise into two 15 minute chunks. No matter how busy you are, you have 15 minutes of free time at least a few times throughout the day. Another tip for adding more exercise into your life is to erase the traditional idea of exercise. Physical activity doesn’t have to involve a trip to the gym nor do you have to become best friends with the treadmill. Exercise is all about moving and getting your heart pumping. If you’re moving, you’re burning calories. Not a runner? No problem! Try swimming, boxing, dancing, spin classes, resistance band exercises, or even brisk walking. Any activity that gets your heart rate up is acceptable.
Embrace Mental Health
The other side of health is mental health. While you want to be physically healthy, you also need to be stable mentally. In today’s social media driven world, the occurrence of depression and anxiety has increased. In fact, a study found that many social media platforms are strongly linked to depression and anxiety, especially among young adults. People who use many social media networks have a three times risk of suffering from a mental health issue. Sometimes taking a break from social media can do your mind some good.
Another impactful way to improve your mental health is to find time for you. In the hustle and bustle of long work days and taking care of the family, it’s hard to find time to focus on you. At least an hour or two a week, set aside time for yourself. Read a book in a quiet nook in your home. Take a long hot bath and enjoy pure relaxation. During this time, center yourself. Leave the stress behind and focus on nothing but the moment.
Other tips for boosting your mental health include stress management, time management, yoga, meditation, and staying positive. Life is a rollercoaster but if you’re strong mentally, you can get through anything.
End Bad Habits
Everyone has a bad habit or few that they can’t seem to shake. Whether it’s poor time management, smoking, or snacking throughout the day, we all have our vices. But, if you want to embrace a healthier lifestyle, now is the time to put those bad habits to rest. If you’re bad at managing your time, use a time management app or create list of to dos and other action times. Serial snacker? Eat wholesome meals and pack healthy snacks to take with you on-the-go. If you’re a smoker, check out a local vape shop and pick up a vape and some e-juice.
Bad habits can negatively impact your health. Acknowledge your vices and take on ways to end them for good.
Don’t let your unhealthy decisions impact your future. Take the smell steps to move your life into a healthier direction.