This post is by Josh Sarz of sagoyism.com.
Are you as healthy as you should be? Everyone wants to live a long, healthy, meaningful life. But the harsh reality is, it’s not that easy at all.
I didn’t think so.
Is living healthily hard work?
Of course it is. We don’t expect to get something so beneficial for free. By just sitting on your couch all day and watching mind-numbing television, you won’t miraculously turn into a healthy human being.
It’s supposed to be hard! That way, not a lot of people will turn out healthy—and the ones who do will have something to gloat about.
Well, not really.
There are actually small, realistic steps that you can take to turn your life around and start living more healthily.
You don’t have to be The Biggest Loser, folks
You don’t have to slave and torture your body in an effort to force it to lose weight. Remember, you’re not on a TV show. You don’t have to go through psychotherapy or hypnosis to quit that bad habit like smoking or drinking. There are step-by-step guidelines on this. And you don’t have to go through the whole ordeal alone.
You don’t have to finish an Ironman triathlon. Although one of the highest accomplishments bestowed upon man, this is not required to prove you are living a healthy life.
You don’t have to venture into the extremes. There are easy and realistic ways to start this healthy, upward spiral.
1. Get enough sleep
I can’t stress this enough. There’s a reason why this is number one on the list.
If you plan on living a healthier life, you need to understand that sleep is one of the most important parts of your day. You shouldn’t miss it for anything. If you run late, just make up for it.
The average adult body needs around eight hours of sleep per day. Any less would mean a visible decrease in productivity and quality of work. Spending more than nine hours on sleep causes more or less the same effects.
For the incredibly busy, what I can suggest is to prioritize your physiological needs over anything else.
2. Eat well
Healthy does not mean that you avoid food. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Food has a purpose for our bodies. It helps us grow. It helps us live for tomorrow. It gives us the nutrition and energy we need to achieve anything physically and mentally.
How many times do you eat a full meal each day? If by any chance that number is below three, then you need to change that. Fast.
If you’re trying to lose weight, simply eat smaller meals five to six times a day. It’s much more effective compared to actually starving yourself. Go on, don’t be scared. Indulge.
3. Clean up your act
I’m not just talking about physical clutter here. I’m also talking about emotional clutter, as well as psychological clutter. There’s a lot of forms of clutter. The most common ones are smoking, alcoholism, drug dependency, etc.
Moderation doesn’t cut it in the long run anymore. As long as you still have addictions in your life, you’re not going to get any better. Wean yourself off of that baggage. Lessen your smoking, day by day, to the point where you actually quit. If you can pull this off, you’ll find that this is one of the best decisions in your life.
I myself had to let go of alcohol and cigarettes. My body was addicted to them. I had to let go of alcohol because I didn’t like how my body felt every time I had a hangover. Although there were withdrawal symptoms, I was able to beat the habit after about a year.
I also defeated smoking once, until one fateful day where I eventually went back to it. This time was much harder, as my body actually wanted to smoke like a fiery dragon. The thing is, it damaged my personal relationships with my family and my girlfriend. So I decided to try and quit smoking again. I’m now on my third week of being smoke-free.
4. Put down those gadgets
This can be tied up with the previous point, on de-cluttering. But you don’t have to throw away your computer. Your console. Your phone. Or that iPad.
What you need to do is make time for yourself. Your physical self—not your social media account. Go outside. Get some fresh air. Find time to smell the roses. Learn how to ride a bike. Take leisurely bike rides along the beach or on the countryside. Play some basketball with your friends. Do something physical. Work out. Get fit. Anything.
No, Angry Birds isn’t a physical activity.
5. Fall in love with walking
One of the simplest, yet most effective way to live a healthier life is by walking. Yup. Walking.
Research shows time and time again that people live longer if they’re physically active.
No, they didn’t do some research on athletes. They did it on regular adults, both male and female, aged 40-79. One group walked for more than an hour a day, and the second group didn’t.
The results were amazing. The group who actually walked for at least an hour a day came out healthier and lived longer lives than the other group.
Just by walking for an hour a day, that group of people had an average lifespan increase of three years. Amazing.
The stage is yours
See how simple the above guidelines are? That’s the key. There are no secret techniques, and no marketing. Just simple, realistic steps you can take to start living a much healthier life.
Once you’re able to put them to practice, you can then incorporate the intense workout routines if you still need to.
Now, when do you plan on living a healthier life? What are you waiting for? What steps have you already taken toward this goal? And how many times have you tried, but failed? Tell us all about it in the comments.