The key to a healthy body are making healthy lifestyle choices. People can look healthy on the outside, but they could be eating tons of fast food and lots of cigarettes. Or maybe they make healthy choices in their diet, but they never work out. The point is, healthy habits equal a healthy life, healthy body and healthy mind. To help you begin your health journey, here are 5 lifestyle changes you may want to think about making to treat your body how it deserves.
1. Stop Eating Fast Food
The quickest and most effective way to begin your health journey is to quit eating fast food. Yes, this even means Starbucks, Panera, Subway, and all those other options that advertise as being “healthy.” The truth is, even though some of these fast food places claim to be healthy, they are far from it. There is nothing better for your body than filling up your grocery cart with fresh produce items and unpackaged ingredients and avoiding fast food and chain restaurant foods altogether.
Even though you may think you are too busy to cook for yourself, you probably do. But you just haven’t figured out where to fit it in your schedule. Make Sundays a cooking day. Invite your friends over and cook all the meals you need for the week, all in one day. Or, simply get your day started earlier. Once you decide to devote the time for cooking for yourself, you will have time for it. After a few weeks of a strict, no fast food diet you will no longer crave it, and you will see results you and your body will love.
2. Sweat Every Day
It is so important for your body to sweat everyday. Incorporating some form of cardio will keep your heart and happy. Not only is , but also for your mind. Aerobic exercise is found to be just as effective as antidepressants when it comes to curing depression and anxiety. More sweat equals more dopamine flowing through your body, which equals a happier you. More importantly, have fun with your workout. If you hate cardio, don’t be so hard on yourself while you are starting out. Even walks through your neighborhood count as cardio. If you have extra money in your monthly budget, join a kickboxing gym or a climbing gym. The best way to sweat is to have fun while doing so. This mindset will not only make a positive shift in your health, but also your attitude.
3. Stop Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking is a habit that is hard to break. Smoking, even though it’s not great for your body, it can have positive psychological effects on the brain. It relaxes you and centers you, makes you feel good after a big meal or right before bedtime. Thankfully, with the development of vaping – you can still enjoy the positive effects of smoking without touching a cigarette ever again. Do proper research on the for you, so you can really quit smoking cigarettes this time. Quitting cigarettes is a huge leap on your health journey that will make such a positive difference in your health and your life. Not only will you feel so much healthier, but you are taking a huge leap towards a healthy lifestyle.
4. Meditate Often
The power of simple meditation is highly underestimated. For the next month, get in the habit of doing a 5 minute meditation in the morning before you start your day. This will give you time to establish a positive energy for the day, bring awareness to your immediate goals and help you visualize your future. These days, there are so many apps, podcasts, YouTube videos and books that are great for guided meditation if you are a beginner. After a few guided meditations, you may feel comfortable meditating on your own.
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You can meditate on your lunch break, on a subway ride, in coffee shops and wherever you can sit yourself down, close your eyes, focus on your breath and let go of your thoughts for a few minutes. Meditation not only helps your brain stay refreshed, but it is a great way to ensure positive energy throughout the day which means you will be motivated to cook yummy food and get a workout in.
5. Avoid Bad Sugar
Soft drinks, sweets, having dessert for breakfast (waffles, pancakes, french toast), iced teas and all of those other crazy food items with insane amounts of sugar are all so bad for you. Go sugarless for a few weeks, and afterwards – you won’t even crave sugar anymore and you will be able to manage your cravings and drastically reduce your sugar consumption. Sugar is a silent killer, and too many of us consume way too much of it. A great way to avoid sugar is to eat dark chocolate. Have a dark chocolate square after dinner and all of your sugar cravings will be solved. Once you go a long time without sugar, fruits like strawberries and bananas will start tasting like candy and you will no longer need donuts on Sunday mornings or three packets of sugar in your coffee to get your fix.
Having a healthy body and a healthy mind means you need to have a healthy lifestyle. Making these major lifestyle changes will drastically improve your health, and it is not as hard as you think it is. It’s all about having mind over matter. A habit takes 21 days to make, once you do something consecutively for 21 days – you can do it forever. Have the right mindset, skip the drive-thru, cook yourself a healthy meal and look forward to a future of health and happiness.