Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

Think you’re leading a healthy lifestyle? Aside from occasionally veering off the path, most of us think we do a fair job of maintaining our health with good eating habits and physical activity whenever we manage to fit it in. But is that enough to be considered “healthy?”

There are studies that state that for an adult to meet the criteria for a healthy lifestyle, you should achieve the following requirements:

Avoid smoking.

Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables

Exercises 30 minutes or more, 5 times a week.

Even when these behaviors should not be foreign to you, a healthy life style involves more than this. There are healthy behaviors (beyond the four basics) that contribute to wellness and satisfaction with one’s lifestyle:

Get a good night’s rest. Well-rested people not only cope better with stress, but may also have better control of their appetites

Enjoy regular family meals. This allows parents to serve as good role models, can promote more nutritious eating, and sets the stage for lively conversations. Being connected to family and/or friends is a powerful aspect of a healthy life.

Smile and laugh out loud several times a day. It keeps you grounded, and helps you cope with situations that would otherwise drive you crazy. Read the comics, watch a sitcom, or tell jokes to bring out those happy feelings.

Meditate, pray, or otherwise find solace for at least 10-20 minutes each day.

Stand up straight. You’ll look 5 pounds lighter if you stand tall and tighten your abdominal muscles. Whenever you walk, think “tall and tight” to get the most out of the movement.

Power up the protein. This nutrient is an essential part of your eating plan, and can make up anywhere from 10%-35% of your total calories. Protein lasts a long time in your belly; combine it with high-fiber foods and you’ll feel full on fewer calories. Enjoy small portions of nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, lean meat, poultry, or fish.

Finally, be optimistic. Do your best to look at life as if “the glass is half full.” Think the best out of you and look at the brighter side of every situation. This will help you to cope with hardships in a better way. Life is short, so make it worthy to be lived.