10 Top Tips to Eat Healthy & Stay Active
By now we all know that two key elements to living a longer, healthier life are a well-balanced diet and exercise. Even as little as 30 minutes of exercise per day can have a huge impact on your changing your life for the better. But old habits die hard and making consistent lifestyle changes can be difficult. Try following the ten simple steps below to get you on the right track.
- Keep track of what you eat. Before you start making overall changes to your diet, try keeping a log of everything you eat on a daily basis. A food diary is a really good way to build an overall picture of your eating habits. Being aware of when and what you eat can help you to identify situations where you may eat for reasons other than hunger.
- A balanced diet. A balanced diet is without doubt one of the most important aspects of leading a healthy lifestyle. As well as eating the right foods, it is essential that you eat the right amounts of the right foods. For example, there is no point in eating lots of vegetables if you’re not getting enough fruit. Try to eat a variety of healthy foods. Stick to the ‘Half a Plate’ rule which recommends that you should aim for half your plate to be filled with vegetables, fruits or salad, while the other half should contain a reasonable balance of everything else.
- 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.
- Make a meal plan. Deciding on exactly when and what you’re going to eat for the coming week is an easy step to help you reach your healthy eating goals. When you’re hungry and your blood sugar drops, you’re more inclined to make unhealthy food choices. By meal planning you will have a well-balanced meal prepped and ready to go when you need it.
- Drink more water. When you stop to think that nearly two thirds of your body is water, it’s obvious how important it is to stay well hydrated. It is recommended that you drink between 2-3 litres of water per day. Little and often is the key. If you struggle to keep track of how much water you drink in a day, why not try a tracker bottle with time markings to remind you to keep hydrated throughout the day.
- 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. Have your snacks chosen in advance as part of your meal plan.
- 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. Once you develop a routine, exercising will become easier and more enjoyable. Try to choose exercise that you actually enjoy as well. If you choose an activity you dislike you will only be fighting an uphill battle!
- Mix it up. Just like your diet, it’s important to vary the types of activities that you do. Experts recommend that your regular weekly exercise routine should include both aerobic exercise (such as walking, jogging, cycling, aerobics or running) for cardiovascular health and gym-type sessions for muscular and bone health. Also, by doing different exercise sessions you will reduce the risk of injury, as well as preventing monotony.
- Visit the doctor. We’ve all heard the old proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but regular check-ups with your GP are an important part 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.
- 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. Some people find that signing up for a regular class or joining a social sports team helps them commit to regular exercise. If you’re worried about where to even start with a new fitness regime, personal trainers offer group and individual sessions that can cater to your needs.
The Gallivan Financial Team