Many people want to change their lifestyle to improve their health. However, a lot of these people don’t know where to start. With this being said, we thought it would be a good idea to provide a framework for living a healthy life.
Here are the 5 key steps you need to take to improve your overall wellbeing and improve your quality of life.
Take a look at your current situation
To begin your new healthy life, you need to get to grips with what’s going on in your life right now. Start by looking at how much exercise you are doing per week on an average. The NHS recommends that the minimum you need to be doing a week is 150 minutes, with strength training being at least 2 days a week. If you want to see what else they have to say, you can find it all here.
The next thing you should do is to start making a note of all the things you eat on a daily basis. Don’t kid yourself and not include a biscuit you had with a cup of tea… write down everything you have to eat and drink throughout the entire day. From here you will be able to see where you can change your habits.
Exercising is the key to great health. There are many advantages that come with exercising, such as stimulating muscle growth and development, while also having a big impact on improving mental health.
The best types of exercise are things that you enjoy. If you enjoy running but hate using a treadmill, don’t force yourself to use the machine. Instead go for a run outside or go hiking. The point is that you do things that will motivate you to build up your confidence and change your lifestyle for the better. The more you enjoy the task, the more likely you are to repeat it going forward.
Even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day, that’s still better than 0 minutes you were doing previously, and you will see results.
Make more notes about where you went, what you did and how long you did it for. Then, set a goal for what you want to achieve for the week. Make it achievable based on your previous results. The benefit of doing weekly goals is that if you do miss a day for some reason, you don’t get discouraged and give up.
Make notes of these new results to compare against what you achieved the previous time you did the activity.
When you have achieved your goal, reward yourself with an activity as a reminder of how well you have done.
Usually, when people see the word diet, they think of cutting out all carbs and consuming like 5 calories a day by eating lettuce and celery. However, when we say diet, we mean being aware of the choices around you and picking the right foods to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Aim to get a portion of vegetables in with every meal. Stock up on at least 5 daily servings of mixed vegetables to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs. You should also be looking to get a good source of protein and carbohydrate in every meal. Protein builds muscles and repairs them if they become damaged from exercise and working out Carbohydrates give you the energy you need to carry out your daily tasks.
Carbs are not enemies; they should be embraced. Sweet potatoes or whole meal rice/pasta are the best varieties as they release energy over a longer time.
If you need a boost in giving your body the extra nutrients it needs, consider investing in supplements.
Get better sleep
The next step in improving your health and wellbeing is getting sufficient rest. There are many benefits of getting plenty of sleep including increasing attention span, lowering stress levels and helping with weight. You should be aiming to get 8 hours of good sleep a night. To get your body relaxed, tire yourself physically and mentally each day and you will find it much easier to sleep. Showering or hot baths are also a great way to calm down your body. Going from a warm core temperature to cooler will help your body relax. Plus, it’s very soothing to soak in a warm bath and is an excellent way to de-stress. Having good sleep is just as important as getting good exercise because it’s time where your body can rest and recover from the day’s activities. Particularly from an intense workout, your body does most of the muscle building and recovery during sleep.
One thing you should be aiming to keep under control is the use of electronic applications such as phones and TVs.
Turn off electronics a couple of hours before sleeping. The light emitted from the screens tricks your brain into thinking that it’s time to stay awake and get on with your life.
To have good health and wellbeing, having good relationships with friends, family and partners is vital. Surround yourself with like minded people and those who you can be open with in terms of personal growth. This could be problems you may be facing or making plans for a fun activity, either way get good people around you. Make sure you are making time to spend with these people. You will get a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from sharing experiences and ultimately just having a good time.
At the end of the day, it’s important to share the successes in your life with others who appreciate you.
Tom Buckland is a health writer and writes on fitness, nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.