Everyone knows the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. In many cases, it’s essential for reducing the risk of health concerns such as diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease. However, making health-conscious decisions is often much easier said than done. Making the decision to become healthier is the first step to making a positive change in your life, but it can be daunting at the same time. While it can be tempting to take things to the extreme and overhaul your entire lifestyle in one go, it’s much better to make small changes that you can stick to. What might seem like a minor change at first will soon add up to make a big difference to your life, health, and happiness.
Here are three easy lifestyle changes you can make starting today to be healthier.
- Make plant-based swaps
Plant-based and vegan diets are becoming increasingly popular, with more options available in restaurants and grocery stores for those who wish to ditch the meat and other animal products. People choose to go vegan for environmental, health, and animal welfare reasons. However, following a wholly vegan or vegetarian regime isn’t for everyone, and that’s why a lot of people choose to adopt a flexitarian diet. Those who follow a flexitarian lifestyle still eat meat and other animal products but eat them in moderation, favoring vegetarian and vegan meals most of the time. As a rule, meat contains more saturated fat than plant-based alternatives, which is linked to high cholesterol and heart disease. Plant-based diets also use more natural ingredients with less refined sugar, which is linked to type 2 diabetes, so adopting a flexitarian lifestyle can help reduce these risks.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to switching to plant-based, you can start small by swapping a couple of meals a week for a vegan one. If cooking these meals yourself is daunting, you can search for vegan food around me to find restaurants that can do the hard work for you.
2. Get your steps in
Being active is essential to good health. Everyone knows that, but not everyone enjoys exercise. If strenuous exercise isn’t your thing, make a promise to increase your step count each day by going on a walk. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, ten brisk minutes around the block on your lunch break can be enough to get your heart pumping and blood flowing, which can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and help keep your blood sugar in check. While it is generally recommended to get 10,000 steps per day, this depends on your age, weight, and level of general health. Getting out for just ten minutes is better than nothing and is something you can aim to increase over time. Other easy hacks to increase your daily steps include taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking your car further away in the parking lot, which encourages you to walk a further distance.
3. Practice self-care
Stress is damaging to health. It can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Mental health is just as important as physical health, so it is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding stress. One way to safeguard your mental health and reduce stress is to practice self-care. Self-care helps people achieve good emotional wellbeing and ensures they stay positive and motivated, which is more likely to encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices. It also helps people living with long-term medical conditions manage their symptoms better. Examples of self-care activities that you could try include journaling your thoughts, doing a hobby you enjoy, getting outside in nature, getting enough sleep, watching your favorite TV show, and taking the time to relax.