Unless you live under a rock, you probably know why it is important to be healthy. Health is key to living a happy life. When we are healthy, we are more likely to be confident, productive, joyful, focused, and resilient to disease. But what does it mean to actually live a healthy lifestyle?

A New Template

A healthy lifestyle is one that supports you to feel your best, every day. It will be centered around activities and habits that are energizing and positive. This includes eating appropriate amounts of nourishing whole foods, getting plenty of rest, cultivating meaningful relationships with inspiring friends, frequent vigorous exercise, some sort of mind-body-spirit practice, enjoyable recreation, and fulfilling work.

For most people, a healthy lifestyle will be very new and potentially uncomfortable. While some people grew up in an active and healthy environment, most of us are having to revolutionize the way we live. Transforming old patterns can be hard work, so do not feel bad if healthy living does not feel natural at first – you are not alone!

The Long Haul

First, it is important to recognize that becoming healthy can take some time. There is no quick fix. Professional athletes, personal trainers, health coaches, and other people you might think of as very healthy all had to work for a long time to look and feel the way they do today.

To truly live a healthy lifestyle, you must be committed. It is not about eating well and exercising hard for a few weeks and then going back to the old way. You need to be willing to take care of your health every day from now on.

Ease Into It

It is important to start out gradually, with sustainability in mind. If you drastically change everything about your diet right away or try to run a marathon when you can barely walk for 30 minutes, chances are you will hurt yourself or give up.

If you have never exercised before, there is no need to sign up for an expensive gym membership or buy a bunch of equipment. Start by walking for at least 30 minutes, 4 to 6 times per week. As you get more comfortable with this, you can work up to an hour or more at a time. If you cannot do 30 minutes at first, that is okay. Even 10 or 15 minutes to start is great.

As you walk remember to breathe deeply and take long strides for the most cardiovascular benefit. You will be less sore if you start walking slowly, and then build up speed after you are warmed up. Stretch your calves, hips, and back after each walk to avoid soreness and injury.

Once you have been walking for a while, you may want to work with a personal trainer or coach to develop an exercise routine that is appropriate for your body to help you reach your fitness goals.

A Healthy Diet

Just like exercising, your diet changes will be the most sustainable if you go easy at first. Start by cutting out, or at least cutting down on, the things that are destroying your health. These include toxins like alcohol, cigarettes, preservatives, artificial flavors, sugar, fried foods, processed foods, and unnecessary drugs.

Begin including more whole foods and homemade dishes into your diet. The more living foods you can eat, the better. Let salads become your new staple. Learn to love the sweetness of a ripe berry or peach. As your taste buds adjust and your energy levels stabilize, it will be easier and easier to stick to healthier foods.

Eventually you will want to base all of your meals around mostly raw vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes, and sprouted whole grains. Living foods provide the most vitality and nourishment, and are both cleansing and fortifying for the body.

Other Healthy Lifestyle Tips

While centered around diet and exercise, a healthy lifestyle has many other facets. Drinking plenty of pure water is a cornerstone of any healthy lifestyle. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night allows the body to reset, improves mental clarity, and helps prevent many diseases. A mind-body practice like Yoga, Qigong, or dance inspires a deeper commitment to health and improves well-being.

As time goes on, your healthy lifestyle will naturally start to take over. You will find yourself walking more, and maybe even running. It will be easier and easier to skip over the booze or snack food aisle and only eat healthy, nourishing food. Your increased activity will help you sleep better, and getting more sleep will give you more energy and help you avoid caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants.

A healthy lifestyle takes time, dedication, and patience to create. Start small, and remember to be kind with yourself. Every time you choose to exercise, eat real food, or go to bed a little earlier, you are doing something good for your body. Eventually you wont have to think about creating a healthy lifestyle, you will just be living it.

Related Posts