written by Kristi Leigh Morgan
Life, in general, is the sum of our choices. Good choices, bad choices, right choices, and wrong choices. Choices can lead us toward our goals or further away from them. Every choice we make has a consequence that will affect our lives and shape our destinies. I want to share five choices we can make that will lead to a healthier lifestyle. A lifestyle that will lead to a healthier, more energetic you!
One of the most important choices we can make is deciding to eat a healthy diet.
I have found that people care more about what they put in their cars than they do their own bodies. If your goal is to lose weight then caloric intake and portion size can be issues. However, if you follow these basic philosophies, nine times out of ten you won’t have to do either of those things. Very simply, eat as close to nature as possible. Limit man-made and processed food. I love the quote “If it is a plant, eat it. If it is made in a plant, don’t!” Hard to follow completely, but the point is clearly made. Eat lots of veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds (in that order). Choose raw over cooked, fresh over frozen, and as little canned as possible. Purchase organic products over pesticide-laden ones. Eat fresh caught seafood over farm-raised. Consume organic-fed, free-range, grass-fed meats, with no steroids and antibiotics. Limit your sugar to natural fruit sugars and stay away from artificial sweeteners.
Live by the 80/20 rule.
80% of the time, eat this way and 20% of the time you can let loose and indulge in some of the less-healthy favorites. If you have any doubts or questions about any of this advice, do your own research. Educate yourself about food. Ignorance is not bliss! I saw a great quote “Don’t dig your grave with your own fork and knife.” There is a correlation between health and a persons’ diet. Yes…it is more expensive to eat this way. I believe it is better to invest into your health on the preventative end than to be forced to spend money in prescriptions, doctors’ appointments, surgery and physical therapy to restore it.
Another very important necessity for optimum health is adequate sleep.
The duration needed for each person can vary. However, in general 6-8 hours is required to wake feeling refreshed and energized. Whatever that time is for you….do it! Tape your late night programs and watch them during the day, if you must! What’s more important, your energy levels, immune-system, and health or watching television? In the end you will reap the harvest of your choice.
Thirdly, exercise every day.
It doesn’t always have to be formal exercise in the gym. Although, resistance training carries lots of benefits such as increased muscle mass and bone density. Exercise can be walking outside, playing a sport, biking, etc. Move as much as possible as many days as possible. We were made to move and our society barely does anymore with all its conveniences. These conveniences are stealing our quality of life and killing us off early. Move, move, and move some more!
Next, reduce your stress levels where possible.
Some things are unavoidable such as the big life changing events like marriage, births, moving, illness and death of a loved one. However, there are things that are in our control and need to be addressed. So many people take on more than they can handle. Saying “yes” to every social engagement, involving our children in too many activities, staying in unhealthy relationships, etc. all add to the problem. If stress is an area of your life that needs tweaking, evaluate what can be changed and then change it! Studies show stress to be detrimental to our health in several different ways. The list is too long to mention. Do things you enjoy and relax! Get a massage, practice yoga, spend time with positive friends, watch comedies and laugh. Whatever it is that helps you decompress and unwind. Read, watch and listen to positive messages. Even speak out positive words to others and yourself. The power of the spoken word is amazing! Choose your words wisely.
Lastly, drink plenty of water.
Most people know this and yet, grab everything else except water. Water is beneficial for efficient metabolism, mental clarity, weight loss, flushing toxins out of the body and aids in digestion. The recommendation is generally eight, twelve ounce glasses a day. It can be more if you exercise and sweat. You can get your personal water intake requirements online if you are interested.
I hope you found this article informative and inspiring to make some new choices for yourself. I challenge you to do (not try) these five suggestions for six weeks and see how you feel. Don’t accept your circumstances as they exist. If you aren’t completely happy with something in your life, change it. The only way you can do this is by making new choices that will take you in the desired direction. Make new and better choices. Choose proactive and informed choices. If you need inspiration or guidance to accomplish your goals, contact a trainer here at HAC. Invest in yourself! You are worth it!