The phrase ‘healthy lifestyle’ is an abbreviated definition of what it looks like to live a vibrant, active life with a healthy body and healthy mind. Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean drastic changes. Making gradual small changes to your daily routine can have a big impact.
What Is a Healthy Lifestyle?
You know the obvious behaviors that describe someone who is healthy and takes care of themselves. A healthy person doesn’t smoke, tries to maintain a healthy weight, eats healthy foods with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber and, of course, exercises on a regular basis.
Then there are other elements to add to the list. A healthy person also knows how to manage stress, gets good quality sleep each night, doesn’t drink too much, doesn’t sit too much—basically, does everything in moderation all the time. When you look at everything that could possibly go into a healthy lifestyle, you can see just how hard all of those things are in our current world.
The good news is, you don’t have to change everything at the same time. In fact, the trick to healthy living is making small changes—taking more steps each day,1 adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water, or saying no to that second helping of buttery mashed potatoes. One thing you can do right now to make your lifestyle healthier is to move more.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.2 That’s 30 minutes a day for five days a week.
If you want to add strength training to your routine, aim for two or three days a week of moderate-intensity weightlifting or strength exercises. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get the benefits of exercise. In fact, shorter bouts of activity are just as good as longer ones as long as you maintain your intensity level.
So how do you know if you’re moving enough? A good rule of thumb is to get up and move every hour. If you can’t get up and walk around, do some chair exercises or stretches.
Eating Well for a Healthy Lifestyle
If you want to eat healthy, you need to think about more than just the food on your plate. You also need to consider how your food is grown, raised or processed.
What Is a Healthy Diet?
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be overly complicated. While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. The cornerstone of a healthy diet pattern should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating meals made from scratch at home with fresh, whole ingredients just tastes better and is better for you than eating out or eating processed foods.
Of course, sometimes life gets in the way and you end up eating fast food or other unhealthy options. The key is to make sure that meals like this are the exception, not the rule. If you find yourself eating unhealthy foods often, it’s time to make some changes.
Healthy American Lifestyles
Healthy American Lifestyles is a site for everyone serious about getting going on improving their health and life. Did you know the United States is far from the healthiest nation in the world? The United States is in 33rd place between the Czech Republic and Bosnia and Herzegovina! Few Americans have a lifestyle that is considered healthy and we’re here to change that.
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