Hi Healthy Living Junkies! Everyday you hear people talk about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that really mean? Healthy living is simple: It means committing to a lifestyle that promotes health, both mental and physical. Here are 6 ways to be happier; things you can do TODAY to being a healthier, happier YOU.
How To be Healthier And Happier!
1) Get Enough Sleep.
As a nation, we are overworked, over stressed, and sleep deprived. With an arsenal of caffeine-filled beverages available at our finger tips and a Starbucks on every corner, we can get a cup of coffee, choose to be a “Rock Star”, or get “Wings and Fly” on a can of Red bull. Often times, we compromise sleep for other things such as catching up on work, spending time with friends and family, or just getting some alone time after the kids have gone to bed. “I’ll just catch up on sleep this weekend”, you say to yourself. What we don’t realize is sleep is more that just getting rest. It is the time when our body repairs its self, from the inside out. Everything from your skin, to mental clarity depends is effected by getting enough sleep. Even our metabolism is compromised when you don’t get enough sleep. Instead of consuming calories at the optimal rate, the body hoards on to it, and “saves” it, since the body believes it is in survival mode. That is why no matter how hard you work out and how healthy you eat, you will NOT LOSE ANY WEIGHT if you don’t get enough sleep. How much is enough? Most experts agree between 7-10 hours is optimal. To see what your optimal sleep time is, try this: Go to sleep and do not set your alarm. Make sure you turn off your cell phone, and do not have any thing that would interrupt your sleep. When you wake up the next day, see how many hours you have slept for. This would be your optimal sleep hours.
2) Don’t Stress The Small Things
The human body is designed to deal with stress. Back in the cave man days, stress was helpful, pumping our muscles full of blood so we can run or fight when we are attacked. In modern days, our body responses to stress of emails, bosses, and the deadlines the same way as it does when we were running away from a lion. Over time, ongoing stress causes your body to be vulnerable to some serious health problems. Stress can impair memory and learning, and up your odds for depression. It also triggers the liver to produce more blood sugar, which is great if you are running from a bear. But the problem with elevated sugar (glucose) levels may increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. Long-term stress can lead to narrowing of the arteries and elevate cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. For women, stress can change your menstrual cycle, stopping it altogether, or make your periods more painful. Ongoing stress, also leaves you more susceptible to infection, and makes your skin worse (hello acne!). It can also effect your digestion, causing dry mouth, indigestion, nausea, and gas, or worse causing diarrhea or constipation. How to you reduce stress? Try closing your eyes and focusing on taking deep breathes. Often times, a change of scenery will help you relax. Go for a walk, call a friend, or try meditation. Reducing the amount of stress in your life will make you happier and healthier.
3) Eat More fiber!
Fiber is making a comeback and it is cooler than ever! Guess Grandma was just ahead of her days. In a recent Harvard study, researchers found “dietary fiber may reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases,” published in February 14′s Archives of Internal Medicine. In addition to being good to our hearts, fiber makes us feel fuller and more satisfied during mealtime, reducing the amount of food we eat. So how to you eat more fiber? Simple. Eat plenty of vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and legumes. Fruit is also a good source of fiber, particularly apples. Some fruits are higher in sugar, so eat them in moderation. In addition to the fiber, fruits and vegetables are also high in antioxidants, the good stuff that keeps the body happy and healthy (and young!). A double win! Want to get in shape even faster? Check out this educational weight loss video on how to lose 24 pounds by next month. In addition to losing weight and getting in shape, you will also be healthier!
4) Pump Iron.
Gone are the days when pumping iron is only for jocks and body builders. When you incorporate weight training into your workout regiment, you develop muscle, which burns up to 50 calories per muscle pound. If you were to gain 8 pounds of muscle, you can burn up to 400 additional calories a day, by doing absolutely nothing. Weight training allows you to change your body into a fat burning machine, working even when you are sleeping. How great would it be to go to sleep and wake up lighter in the morning? And ladies, don’t worry about building bulk. Genetically, women do not have the testosterone levels to generate that kind of physique. To learn the truth about cardio, click here. Think of weight lifting as body sculpting, giving you the freedom to develop the body you want. If you keep your current eating plan and calorie intake, you will lose weight. If you choose to eat clean and healthier, you can lose the weight and fat even faster.
5) Drink H20 – Water is Your Friend
Did you know your body is composed of 60-70% water? Blood is mostly water, and your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. You need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to your organs and tissues. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs. So how much water is enough? Experts agree the amount of water you need a day can be calculated by taking your weight in pounds and dividing that number in half. Convert that number to ounces and there is your target number. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you might want to drink at least 70 ounces of water a day. In addition to health benefits, water is the best choice because it’s cheap and has no calories or added ingredients. Sweetened soft drinks and sodas have added sugar that adds extra calories. Sports drinks may have the benefit of electrolytes, but it still has a lot of sugar per serving. So drink to your health, and a toast to H20! For more shocking facts about water, click here.
6) Enjoy the Ride.
Life is full of twists and turns, and more often than not, things don’t go as planned. I will be the first to admit; as a control freak, it frustrates me when things do go as I had envisioned it. Emotions are high, and so is my blood pressure. The heart is racing, and it is fight of flight time. Relax! So what if things didn’t turn out exactly as you had wanted? Many times, the most memorable parts of our lives are the parts that were not planned. Last year, a friend and I had planned a two week trip to Europe. Our arrival in Paris was filled with fun, laughter, and fresh yummy crepes (Yes, even trainers have cheat days!). After arriving at our second destination, London, my friend had an emergency back home and had to fly out on the next flight home. After just spending almost 24 hours between plane rides and airports, I was not thrilled about hopping on another flight home. Instead, I decided to stay in London for the remainder of my flight, and had the best vacation of my life. I met so many wonderful people (traveling alone forces you to make new friends), and really absorbed the culture. Had things gone as planned, I would not have discovered the joy of traveling alone. In fact, I am planning on a solo vacation again really soon. As a wise person once said, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” As I would say, “If life gives you lemons, make a margarita and put those lemons to good use.”
Want to get in shape even faster? Check out this educational weight loss video on how to lose 24 pounds by next month. In addition to losing weight and getting in shape, you will also be healthier!
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Make it a Healthy Day,
Healthy Living Junkie
“Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. And I am here with you every step of the way.”
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