When you set off to live healthier, the whole process can be overwhelming, but all it takes are a few small changes to make a big difference! Start with these 15 simple tips.
1.Eat fruits and vegetables
Getting fewer than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day can eat away at your health. Nutritional powerhouses filled with fiber and vitamins, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of heart disease by 76% and may even play a role in decreasing your risk of breast cancer. As an added bonus, the inflammation-fighting and circulation-boosting powers of the antioxidants in fruits and veggies can banish wrinkles.
If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80% full.St. Louis University researchers have confirmed that eating less helps you age slower; in a 2008 study they found that limiting calories lowered production of T3, a thyroid hormone that slows metabolism—and speeds up the aging process.
3.Focus on fitness
Daily exercise may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. A 2008 study found that regular high-intensity exercise (such as running) can add up to four years to your life, which isn’t surprising given the positive effects working out has on your heart, mind, and metabolism.Even moderate exercise—a quick, 30-minute walk each day, for example—can lower your risk of heart problems.
4.Drink more water all day
Gulping plenty of water prevents headaches from warmer temperatures, but it also improves your skin, suppresses appetite, and helps with belly bloat.
Having satisfying sex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life. Getting busy can burn an impressive amount of calories—sometimes as much as running for 30 minutes. (Which would you rather do?)Regular sex may also lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and protect your heart.
6.Turn off the TV
Too much time in front of the boob tube can take a serious toll on your health. In fact, a 2010 study found that people who watched four or more hours a day were 46% more likely to die from any cause than people who watched less than two hours a day.Even cutting back a little can help; each additional hour you watch increases your overall risk of dying by 11% and dying from heart disease by 18%.
Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking.Loneliness seems to pose the greatest risk for elderly people, who are also prone to depression.
8.Pack your own lunch
Healthy and fresh fast-food options are more readily available than ever, but when you bring your lunch to work, you know exactly what you’re getting. If you’re worried about cook time, enjoy one of these dinner recipes that make even more delicious leftover brown-bag lunches.
9.Get to bed on time
Not getting enough sleep can lead to a whole slew of consequences from higher blood pressure to memory loss. Be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep every night to keep you alert and energized to take on the day.
10.Keep life simple.
Far too many of us are always over analyzing and looking for the most complicated way of doing things in life. Sometimes life was meant to be simple – a walk through the park, a simple yes or no answer, or a quiet evening with the family. Don’t try and clutter your life with unnecessary decisions by making everything complicated and complex. Keep it simple!
11.Practice being satisfied.
How many times have you heard someone say, “If only I had a few more Ghanaian Cedis I’d…” or “If I just had another day off I could….”? Many people don’t know how to be satisfied with what life gives them. They are so busy wanting more that they squander what life has already given them.
12.Beware of indecision.
Nobody said life is easy, and sometimes you have to make the tough choices. Never put off a decision that you can make today. You may miss some of the best and most exciting opportunities in the world because you were indecisive. Successful people didn’t get where they were at by prolonging or going back and forth on decisions!
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it here again – it only takes a few muscles to smile! You would be surprised at how well being cheerful to others can spread like wildfire. We live in a society where it seems that glumness is the rule of order. A simple smile or kind word can spread through our culture like wildfire – not only will you feel better, but those who interact with you will feel better!
14.Learn to like people.
You don’t have to love everyone you encounter, so learn to like people – especially those who are different than yourself. Often you won’t agree with everything they do, or maybe all of their beliefs, but by learning to get along with them you will open your mind up to change – a critical trait that is absolutely necessary in today’s world.
Stop beating yourself up over things that happened in the past – things you did or didn’t do, and mistakes you may have made with others.
Forgiving yourself is a skill so few of us have the ability to accomplish. It’s such a shame that we spent a lifetime living in the past and never make it to our full potential in the future. Forgive yourself – and just as importantly, forgive others.
It may seem like a rather long list, but I encourage you to read it and then refer back to it every now and then. You’ll see each one ties into the others in some fashion and that these simple steps really do help you live a more meaningful, happy and fulfilled life.
In summary: Train yourself to notice the many blessings that God is constantly pouring into your life. Then make a habit of thanking God for the blessings He has given you. Each time you do, you’ll grow happier.