For many of us, the demands of work and family can make it difficult to focus on our own well-being, and when we don’t take good care of ourselves it affects our energy level, mood, and our ability to stay healthy.
The key to living a long and healthy life is to adopt good practices that include a healthy diet, mental balance, and strong social connections. This article addresses some of the things that affect your ability to live a healthy life, and we have included tips on how to make better choices.
1. Don’t drink sugar calories
Sugary drinks are very unhealthy when consumed in large quantities – and this is mainly because of how the body processes sugar calories. Added sugar makes you fat: that’s the bottom line. Also, it tends to increase belly fat and in more serious cases, it can cause insulin resistance.
Sweetened beverages are the biggest source of added sugar today, and they make it far more difficult to lose weight. The worst part is sugary drinks are addictive, and anybody, young or old, can find themselves stuck in a destructive pattern of sugar addiction that destroys the body.
2. Eat lots of fruit and veg
Fruits and vegetables are great for your digestive system. They are also very nutritious thanks to a high content of vitamins, minerals and prebiotic fiber. Plenty of studies have shown that people who eat fruits and vegetables regularly tend to be healthier and live longer. Another advantage to adding them to your diet – they reduce the likelihood of acquiring type 2 diabetes, among other illnesses.
Health experts recommend we eat a variety of fruits and veg every day. For instance, you can chop a banana over your meal or take vegetable juice whenever you can – it sounds easier than it is but with a little effort you’ll get the hang of it.
3. Eat nuts
Nuts contain high levels of fat, but it’s healthy fat – the kind your body needs to generate energy and stay healthy. They are also rich in minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin E and fiber, and when taken as part of a ketogenic diet, nuts can actually help you shed those extra pounds.
For maximum effect, eat a variety of nuts. This includes almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamia, pistachios, and pecans just to name a few. All nuts are packed with heart-healthy fats and will reduce risk factors for a lot of illnesses including diabetes and heart disease.
4. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
In large quantities, alcohol poisons the body. It’s also the number one cause of liver cirrhosis, and among its less desirable effects include fluid accumulation, muscle wasting, infections, kidney problems, and mental confusion. The other major concern about alcohol abuse is reckless driving. According to the DMV, alcohol accounts for at least 40% of deaths from car accidents in the U.S.
Without reducing alcohol consumption, it’s virtually impossible to stay healthy or to have a clear mind. However, with proper motivation, anybody can reduce intake or stop drinking entirely, to give the body time to recover from the effects.
5. Get enough sleep
The body heals itself during sleep and when we deny ourselves enough time to rest, we make it increasingly difficult to stay strong and mentally alert. Have you noticed how every health experts emphasizes the need for getting enough sleep? This is because it affects a variety of biological processes, many of which are slowed down when we don’t get enough snooze.
Research shows that people who consistently get 8 hours of sleep per night are healthier and are less likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and opportunistic infections. Getting quality rest is undoubtedly a key part of a healthy lifestyle.
6. Eat fatty fish
The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish twice a week in order to get essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The best types of fatty fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, herring, tuna, tilapia, and halibut. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat has been shown to minimize inflammation and also reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
7. Avoid other high-risk behaviors
If you smoke or use drugs, then it might be more difficult to manage your diet. If that’s the case, then its recommended that you start by tackling the bigger problem before you move forward. Alcohol when consumed in moderation, poses no major health risk; however it will be necessary to drink more water to offset the dehydration caused by alcohol.
Other activities such as indiscriminate sexual contact should be stopped immediately to prevent infection. High-risk sexual behavior can lead to physical and psychological trauma, and in the worse cases, it can cause life-threatening diseases. Avoid unprotected sex outside a healthy committed relationship. Remember, being healthy is a lifestyle, and you have to maintain it in order to experience the benefits.