7 Tips for Living and Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle can seem like so much effort. But luckily, all it takes is a few simple changes that start becoming daily habits. Here are 7 things you can do to start living a healthy life:
1. Choose plants over processed food
It’s important to be aware of what exactly what we’re putting into our bodies. You have a choice at every meal to decide if it’s going to be healthy or indulgent. By adding more plant foods into your meals you’re eating more essential vitamins and minerals to help your body thrive.
The easiest way to start? Simply increase the amount of green leafy vegetables on your plate. They’re high in calcium and iron as well as vitamins A, C and K. And if you keep your fridge stocked with healthy produce all the time, it'll be much easier to stay on track.
2. Prep your meals every week
This little hack is so simple yet so life changing! Whether your week is busy with uni, work or running around after your little ones - meal prepping will be your new best friend. It doesn't need to be fancy or time-consuming - it may only take an hour or two to cook a big batch of rice, cut and roast bulk vegetables, make a one-pot chilli, lentil dhal or soup and your week of eating is sorted.
If you want to get really organised, you could make up little meal containers for each day and store some in the freezer so you can literally just heat and eat as you need.
3. BYO lunch & snacks
Depending on where you live, buying meals may not be the easiest option for healthy eating. Keeping your own food on hand is always a good idea and actually works as a great money saver as well. Remember the meal prep you did for the week? Here’s the time to use it.
If you are heading out but have specific food requests, be sure to check the menu in advance and call the restaurant to see if they can cater to you. Most of the time, venues are quite accommodating with some notice!
4. Stay active
Being active and moving your body isn’t just important for your physical health, it's also mentally rewarding. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins which are the reason we feel happier and uplifted after working out. Physical activity shouldn’t feel like a chore, and there are so many different ways you can incorporate it into your life. Find the activity that you love doing - for some people it might be the gym for others it could be running, yoga, walking, surfing, swimming or dancing. Change it up and have fun while doing it!
5. Stay hydrated
Water is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in the body; your body uses water in all its cells, organs and tissues. Keeping hydrated is also beneficial for healthy skin and hair. Another way to keep your water content up is to "eat your water" and hydrate your body through eating water-rich foods like watermelon, cucumber, carrots and cauliflower.
6. Get enough sleep
When we sleep, our bodies work hard to repair and heal our heart and blood vessels. Sleeping well is part of a healthy lifestyle and can greatly benefit your body and mind. Getting into a good sleeping pattern will make a significant difference to your everyday function both physically and mentally. Go to bed earlier and challenge yourself to wake up earlier, take some time to watch the sunrise or go for a morning stroll before life gets too hectic - it really does set you up for a productive day.
7. Focus on minimising stress
Stress - a word we’re probably all familiar with in some way. We’re so conditioned to being stressed that sometimes we don’t even realise it’s happening! Being in a constant state of stress can have negative effects on your mind and also create physical symptoms such as pain or tightness in the body. Take some time each day to really wind down and do something for yourself. It doesn't have to take long, all you need is 5-10 minutes. Stretch. Meditate. Walk. Read. Dance. Write. Find whatever it is that makes you happy and practice it each day.