A Healthy Lifestyle - Where Do You Start?

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We all want to have a healthier lifestyle, but starting is the hardest and most confusing part. Read on for some simple steps to get you started on your road to healthy living.

• Health: Diet • Health: DIY • Health: How-To

You usually want to begin a healthy lifestyle because your lifestyle is currently unhealthy. It is that way because of poor eating and exercising habits. It is important to remember that you didn't build those poor habits in a day and they won't be replaced by new ones that quickly either. To begin you need to examine your current weight, nutrition, and physical activity and build a plan for a new and better way. Here are a few steps you can take to get started:

Step 1
Get your priorities straight—The world around you is always full of negative food choices. People often carry food around with them in case they don’t have time to eat. But it’s food that may keep them from being hungry, but won’t help their health goals. They also say they don’t have time to exercise.

Getting your priorities straight means you ignore the negative food choices. Stop just eating what is convenient. Which is more important—your healthy lifestyle goals or the convenience of fast food or a candy bar? You’re also always going to have something to do. Don’t use work for an excuse. Schedule exercise time and stick with it. Add exercise to your daily routine like walking stairs or parking at the far end of the lot. Whatever you do, know it is a priority and stick to it.

Step 2
Start eating healthier foods. Here are a few tips for food choices:

You need on the average at least half a plate of vegetables daily. Start good vegetable habits like drinking vegetable juice. Carry carrot sticks or celery sticks as part of your lunch. Make sure to include vegetables with your dinner. Remember—the darker the better.

One serving of nuts is only about 10 and they’re packed with heart-healthy nutrients. They make the perfect snack to carry with you just in case hunger hits.

Eat what you like
No, that doesn't mean you can go out and eat processed foods that are bad for you. It means that there are enough healthy foods out there that you can find many new foods you love as well that are good for you. No one eats healthy all the time. Once in a while won’t kill you, but stick to healthy and in no time, that will be what you prefer.

Step 3
Promote family health and fitness. Your children, especially young ones, model themselves after you. Healthy children grow into healthy adults. Sit down as a family and discuss what you can do to improve diet and exercise. Children love it when they have a say so in lifestyle changes.

Step 4
Don't eat meals in front of the TV. Sit together at the table whenever possible. This has been found to help promote weight control and build family bonding even if it can only be worked out a few times each week.

Step 5
Make green tea your drink of choice. This can be a great way to protect your body from cell damage than the powerful antioxidants in green tea. It's much better for you than coffee or soft drinks at work. Three cups a day, one after each meal, will also help burn fat.

Step 6
Have fun in the sun. Vitamin D helps improve your mood and strengthen your bones. Eat your lunch in the park or take a 10-minute walk each day during your lunch time. The walk will give you both exercise benefits as well as the vitamin D you need.

Step 7
Find a fish oil supplement. Fish oil contains omega-3 fats. It reduces blood pressure and inflammation as well as improving skin cells. Taking a supplement is recommended because you’d have to eat 200 grams of salmon to get the benefit of only two supplements.

Step 8
Eat a small healthy snack before you eat out. This will help to curb your hunger and help you make wiser food choices when you eat out.