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Live Longer, Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

Cartoon hand holding a scale with heart on one side and vegetables on the other

Every day people are faced with challenges like getting along with friends, family, and co-workers, paying your bills, getting yourself and family off to work and school, etc. With all the daily items on our to-do list trying to live a healthy lifestyle often ends up at the bottom of the list. Our fast-paced lives put us all on a processed food diet and a sedentary lifestyle. But you can upgrade these habits for healthier ones that lead to a long, vigorous life. Yes, committing to taking steps towards a healthier life and practicing a healthy lifestyle can benefit us all.

How do I start living healthy?

Make good food choices. Healthy lifestyle upgrades begin with your diet. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and bland; there are tons of recipes and food variations to choose from if you want to have a healthy diet.

If your diet is mostly processed foods this can be hard but learn to find alternatives to fast food instead. For example, having meals prepared ahead of time can come in handy for days when you’re short on time to cook.

Healthier food doesn’t have to be expensive either. Here are four quick recipes that are under $1.50 per serving.

 

Make Exercise a Habit

If you are not used to complicated exercise routines, try walking. Increase your heart rate with 30-60 minutes of brisk walking. This is highly beneficial for your cardiovascular health. A healthy heart can pump blood effortlessly and can improve overall health and fitness. Short on time? Split your walks up into multiple walking segments versus all at once.

Additionally, brisk walking can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL levels) and increase HDL or good cholesterol; as well as manage your blood pressure levels.

Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and exercise. You do not have to stress yourself out by doing awkward yoga poses or limiting your foods to eating salad day in and day out. Take baby steps in your transition by choosing healthier alternatives in food (Healthy Snacking) and try to do simple exercises even at work.

Practicing healthy habits long term can prevent heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Furthermore, a healthy diet and exercise are highly beneficial to your mental health, as this helps prevent depression and sharpen memory and stabilize your mood.

Understanding the relationship of specific foods that can lower your risks of getting heart disease or diabetes can be a challenging task as old unhealthy habits can be hard to change. However, with the right support group that motivates you, achieving a healthy lifestyle can be much more comfortable. Try a Living Well workshop series and find support and guidance that will make upgrading to a healthier lifestyle easier to start and maintain long term.

Image Credit: “Healthy Lifestyle” by Mohamed Hassan is licensed under CCO 1.0.

Curtis Harvie, DNP, FNP-BC, AHN-BC

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Jenelle Johnson, MLS (ASCP), PA-C

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