Two factors that impact our all-round health more than any are our diet and how much we exercise. Old habits die hard and making lifestyle changes can be tough but, if you want to feel better and live longer, simple things like eating more healthily and exercising are key. Follow these 10 simple steps and you’ll be well on your way.
1. Keep track of what you eat. Before you start making wholesale changes to your diet, keep a simple log of everything you eat on a daily basis. This will help build an overall picture of your eating habits which will then allow you to draw up a plan.
2. Make a meal plan. Once you have identified any issues in your diet, you can take the next step by setting up a plan to make some alterations. Decide exactly what you’re going to eat over the next week or two and stick to the schedule. This will also help you write your a shopping list.
3. A balanced diet. This is without question one of the most important factors if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. It’s essential that you eat the right amounts of the right types of food. There’s no point in eating lots of vegetables if you’re not getting enough fruit, for example. Nutritionists also advise against sticking to the same foods within the same food group. Try to eat a variety of different healthy foods. Stick to the ‘Half a Plate’ rule which stipulates that you should always fill up half your plate with fruit or vegetables.
4. Eat the right types of healthy food. Sometimes it’s worth getting specific. Protein is good but lean protein, such as the kind found in poultry, eggs and seafood, is better. Similarly, bread, rice and pasta can be good for you but whole grain versions that are high in fibre and protein are ideal.
5. Drink more water. If you want to stay healthy, drinking plenty of fluids is vital. It’s recommended that you drink between 2-3 litres of water per day. Try to avoid soft drinks, caffeine and alcohol.
6. Snack right. People tend to associate snacking with unhealthy eating habits but that doesn’t have to be the case. Healthy snacks like yoghurt, fruit or nuts are a great way of filling a gap between meals.
7. Make an exercise plan. As with any endeavour in life, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Decide which activities you want to do and when you’re going to do them. And again, stick to the plan. Once you develop a routine, exercising will become easier and more enjoyable.
8. Mix it up. Just like your diet, it’s important to vary the types of activities that you do. Experts recommend doing both cardio and strength/conditioning training every week.
9. Visit the doctor. Regular check-ups are a great way of staying on top of your overall physical and mental well-being. Your GP will be able to help you fine tune your diet and exercise habits and also let you know how you’re progressing over time.
10. Be adventurous. Don’t be afraid to try new things. It can sometimes be daunting to make a change but you’ll find that the more you say ‘yes’, the more fun, healthy and fulfilling your life will become.
At Gallivan Financial, our team of experts are always on hand to help. Get in touch today. We’ll be delighted to hear from you.
The Team at Gallivan Financial