The Top Four Ways to Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting a healthy lifestyle requires a commitment to making decisions and taking actions that are for the benefit of your mental, physical and emotional being. Moving towards a healthier you do not have to mean a full overhaul of your life. Instead, gradually bring about change by incorporating small habits into your day. Manage Your Stress While stress is a natural bodily function, too much stress can lead to serious health problems.  The first step to creating effective stress management tools is to identify your stress triggers. Jobs, personal relationships and money can all contribute to stress.  Examples of relaxation techniques include breathing exercises, meditation and physical exercise. No matter what the technique, the key is choosing something that is relaxing and helpful to you. Once you determine your technique, use it whenever stress arises. Practiced Balanced Eating and Moderation When it comes to food and healthy living, it is easy to focus on specific food groups and labeling some foods “good” and others “bad.  Balance requires eating foods from all five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein, grains and dairy.  For example, do not limit yourself to eating carrots to meet your vegetable intake. Instead, make a salad that includes a variety of vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, olives, avocado and tomatoes. Moderation requires making a habit of not overeating. Eat only when you are truly hungry and stop when you are full. Enjoy the foods you love such as desserts and chips; however, enjoy these foods in small portions and make healthier options the majority of your meals.   Think Positively When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, your mind plays an important role.  Making a conscious decision and taking action to think positively can improve your health. According to Mayo Clinic, possible health benefits of positive thinking may include: increased life span; lower stress levels and rates of depression; greater resistance to the common cold; better physical and mental well-being; reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; and better coping skills. Make the decision to think positively each day. Look for the humor in everyday situations; surround yourself with positive people; and constantly encourage yourself with positive words and affirmations. Stay Hydrated The majority of the human body is composed of water. It comes as no surprise that water is a key component to health. Your body needs water to digest food, create perspiration and for normal cell function. Drinking water does not have to constitute your sole source of water. Your body can also pull water from any food or drink that contains water, such as juice, vegetables and fruit. Accordingly, make sure your body is well hydrated by consuming foods that contain water and drinking water several times a day. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. Instead, keep water on hand and take drinks throughout the day as you think about it. Keep extra water on hand when you are performing physical activities and on warm days. The Hemsworth Wellness Center on the campus of Maple Knoll Village is always ready to help older adults with fitness, nutrition and changes to lifestyle to help make healthier adults. Jon Paul Williamson-Hemsworth Wellness Center Director
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Brenda Miller - July 25, 2011 Reply

Four important tips that should be practiced every day. A tip for staying hydrated is to carry water in a plastic bottle, about the size of a lotion bottle, with flip top lid. And put in your purse or fanny pack when out and about. The salad tip is a good one since so many of us older folks tend to eat the same thing a lot.

Barbara - July 26, 2011 Reply

“Balance requires eating foods from all five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein, grains and dairy. For example, do not limit yourself to eating carrots to meet your vegetable intake. Instead, make a salad that includes a variety of vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, olives, avocado and tomatoes.” Balance is definitely important to be healthy. Eating a lot of bright colored vegetables is an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants. Who would just want to eat carrots anyway when there’s so many delicious healthy foods!? 🙂 thanks!

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