Health Benefits of A Lifestyle Change

lifestyle-changeAre you considering making positive changes in your lifestyle? There are a variety of reasons to make changes to your lifestyle including obesity, hypertension, heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Or it may be a simpler reason like improving your general health and outlook on life.

Diet, nutrition and exercise should be the first areas to address in your positive lifestyle change.

Move more. Moving more and exercising will reduce your risks for obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Increase your activity level until you are exercising for at least 45 minutes 3-5 times per week. Ideally, exercise should be vigorous enough to work up a healthy sweat and can include a brisk walk, jogging, running or cycling. Try to fit as many of the activity sessions you can during the workweek and then on weekends you should get in a couple of longer workouts. You will look better, feel better, lower your blood pressure and begin to approach life with a “can do” positive attitude.

Eat less junk. The modern diet is filled with convenient junk food, empty calories loaded with fat and sugar. This refined carbohydrate diet increases your insulin resistance and can quickly lead to obesity, diabetes and depression. A healthy diet that cuts back on the refined carbohydrates (sugar) will reduce your risk diabetes significantly. Find healthy alternatives for donuts, sugar coated cereals, French fries and fast foods and you will notice almost immediate increases in your energy level.

Stop smoking. While difficult, the single most important lifestyle change a smoker can make is to quit. Smoking raises the risk of a number of other health issues ranging from heart disease to lung cancer. Stop smoking and you will add years to your life.

Lose weight. If you start moving more and reducing or eliminating sugar and junk from your diet, you will begin to lose weight. If you can continue that weight loss until you lose 10% of your body weight, you will see many positive changes in your appearance and attitude. You will also improve your insulin resistance levels and lower your blood sugar and blood pressure.

Drink more water. Your body works better when it is hydrated. Drinking more water will maintain a healthy blood volume and help flush toxins and chemicals from your body. By drinking more water (and eliminating sugary sodas and colas) you will also eliminate many empty calories and eat fewer calories at each meal. Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day and you will experience an increase in energy, weight loss and clarity.

Making the choice to live a happier and healthier life begins with diet and exercise. Once you make these changes, you will begin to look better, feel better, sleep better and develop a new, positive outlook on life.

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