4 Simple Ways To Start Living A Healthy Lifestyle

Black woman in light green sports bra and gray sweatshirt cutting fruits and veggies on a countertop in a kitchen with potted plants over the sink behind her.

Guest Article by Jennifer McGregor
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are well known, but between work and personal responsibilities, it’s often tough to make time for a fitness routine. While exercise is a core part of a healthy lifestyle, there are various other small changes to consider, which can seamlessly be adopted into a hectic schedule. In this article, we’ll explore four such strategies and the benefits they provide.
 

 Go to Bed Early 

Do you commonly feel sleepy in the middle of the day? Even after drinking your daily cup of coffee? If so, your circadian rhythm needs to be fixed. Circadian rhythm refers to our body clock that controls the sleep-wake cycle. Sleeping and waking at varied times can negatively affect this cycle leading to daytime sleepiness, irritability, and concentration issues. 

The best way to fix a bad circadian rhythm is to follow a set sleeping time. According to research by the CDC, adults require at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Hence, if you want to wake up at 6:30 am, you should stop using electronics after 9 pm and start prepping for bed by 10:30 pm. Getting proper sleep will result in you feeling active rather than drowsy in the morning, overcoming daytime sleepiness, and performing better at work. 

Fix Your Posture 

Having improper posture while sitting for long periods, as we do at the office and at home, is the prime cause of neck, back, and shoulder pain. While fixing your posture is a straightforward process it can take time as you’re used to slouching rather than sitting upright.  

Purchasing an ergonomic chair is a great first step toward developing good posture. These chairs provide the required arm and lumbar support needed to help you sit upright for long hours without any neck or back pain. Additionally, you can take things further with a stand-up desk, allowing you to work while standing upright rather than slouching and being sedentary. 

 Go for Daily Walks 

Walking is the easiest exercise to practice daily. By doing so, you can reap the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight, improving muscle endurance, strengthening bones, and reducing stress levels. What’s more, exercise is an excellent way to start “spring cleaning” aspects of your life that you’re unhappy about. Aim to complete at least 10,000 steps each day which translates to roughly five miles, or an hour and 40 minutes of walking. While this may sound steep at first, it is an achievable number if you make the following changes: 

    • For short trips to the grocery store, theaters, and bus stations, leave the car at home and consider walking. 
    • At the office, opt to take the stairs rather than an elevator. 
    • Make time for a daily 30 minutes’ walk around your neighborhood. Those living near trails or beaches should take advantage and spend quality time in nature. 

 Start Eating Healthy  

Everything we eat has an impact on our mood. For instance, eating foods high in sugar gives us an energy spike, but this is short-lived as, within a brief period of time, it’ll reverse, and we’ll start feeling sluggish. Practicing bad eating habits for a prolonged period can cause weight gain, cardiovascular problems, and various other health issues. 

 Hence, take a good look at your pantry and consider making the following dietary substitutions: 

    • Avoid choosing donuts, candies, and potato chips as you go to snacking options. Instead, start eating fresh fruits, whole grain snacks, and trail mix, as these will provide you energy throughout the day and nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 
    • Substitute white bread, white rice, and pasta with whole grain alternatives as they have higher nutritional content. 
    • As reported by the American Heart Association, the daily sugar intake should be limited to 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for men and 24 grams (6 teaspoons) for women. Store-bought coffee, soft drinks, cakes, and fruit drinks often contain more sugar than the recommended intake, hence replace these items with homemade juices, healthier home-brewed options for coffee, and water. 

When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, consistency is key. Hence, focus on adopting one strategy at a time and then incorporate others whenever you can. For instance, start with walking 10,000 steps a day which will help you feel tired and make it easy to sleep early and develop a healthy circadian rhythm. 

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16 Replies to “4 Simple Ways To Start Living A Healthy Lifestyle”

  1. I really wish I could go to bed early. I’ve had troubles with sleeping for as long as I can remember. For a while, when I first started on beta blockers for my heart, I started sleeping before midnight and getting more than 4-6 hours. Which was a first. But now I have broken sleep, I can’t sleep unless I’m tired (not ideal for a night owl), and spend the day sleep deprived. I would love to be able to have a proper night’s sleep, because everything is do much harder when you don’t

  2. Lots of good ideas here, I need to get back into walking more! I think as the weather gets warmer, I’ll want to be outside all the time. I also need to work on my posture, I have been especially noticing it after lasting back pain from a car accident.

    1. Hi Caroline, doesn’t it feel good to breathe in all that fresh air when the weather gets warmer? 😊 I hope it helps with your back pain. I do have a video on exercises on the blog for posture from my chiropractor but definitely check with your doctor first. Enjoy your healing!💚

  3. As the saying goes we are what we eat. It is so important to be mindful of what we eat as we are likely to not take the time to read food labels and to assume something is healthy when it is not.

  4. These are some of the basic essential things to live a healthy life. I love the fact posture is mentioned as well. Most people experience some sort of neck or back issues related with bad posture and prolonged sitting. This indeed needs special attention.

  5. I know I have to work on my posture, especially as I am getting older and this will be hard to correct if I don’t tend to it. Also, like a lot of other commenters, I also struggle to get good sleep, so there is that too! I love all the tips and advice as it gives me points to work on. Thanks!

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