Versione Italiana: https://spark.adobe.com/page/14khVyUzKa9L1/
Getting and staying healthy does NOT have to be complicated.
For someone who has decided to live healthier, at the beginning it can feel overwhelming and quite difficult to know where to start, considering all the informations available out there,
The reason why I’ve decided to write this article in the first place is, indeed, to help those people looking to improve their overall health, but have no idea how to.
Why should you start living Healthier?
As a Health Professional (I am indeed a Physiotherapist), it is my job to promote a healthy lifestyle. And that’s what I am here for today.
One big question that you may have is: “Why should I start conducting a healthier lifestyle in the first place?”.
My answer is: “Because taking care of your body by living healthy will allow you to live longer with far less health-related problems“.
Who wouldn’t want to live more years, avoiding taking pills, being hospitalized, living in pain, undergoing long expensive treatments or surgeries?
I know I would. And I know you would too.
So let’s dive into it!
5 Steps to Be Healthy
As I said before, Health does NOT have to be complicated.
So here I’ve summed up 5 actionable steps that will help you get and stay healthy:
1. Eat Fruits & Vegetables
You will have very likely heard this a ton of times already, but do you really know why is it SO important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday?
First of all, fruits & vegetables contain a lot of minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals, that contribute to keep you healthy.
Furthermore, fruits and vegetables are a great source of dietary fibers, in addition to being low in calories.
This means that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you feel fuller for longer, preventing you from overeating throughout the day.
It has been shown that incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet can help you:
- maintain a Healthy Weight, preventing obesity;
- feel more Energetic;
- lower Bad Cholesterol levels;
- prevent Type 2 Diabetes;
- lower Blood Pressure (a.k.a. Hypertension);
- lower the risk of Stroke;
- lower the risk of other Cardiovascular diseases;
- lower the risk of Cancer;
- prevent premature Death.
So make sure you eat vegetables with every meal and snack on some fruit thought your day.
Currently the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables is at least 10 portion/day, which is about 800g.
2. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated helps your body work better.
In fact, water is the main constituent of the human body (+60%), so it’s no wonder that staying hydrated is very important for your health.
Here I wrote a list of reasons why you should aim to drink at least 2 liters of water per day (about 8 cups of water):
- promotes Cardiovascular health, preventing the blood to get too thick and too low in volume;
- helps regulating your body temperature;
- contributes in cleansing your body, by helping the kidneys filtrate the waste products from your blood;
- prevents kidney stones & infections of the urinary tract, keeping your kidneys in function;
- keeps your skin elastic;
- helps with muscle performance by bringing nutrients to your muscles;
- fights fatigue, keeping your blood volume from dropping;
- keeps your joints healthy, increasing synovial fluid availability;
- helps metabolizing food;
- reduces constipation;
- reduces fluids retention;
- helps brain function, preventing you from feeling dizzy or lacking concentration.
As you can see, water plays a key-role in your health.
And this is not even a complete list of all the incredible benefits associated with staying hydrated!
3. Exercise Daily
Exercise is a powerful tool that can improve your life and boost your health!
It is recommended that you perform at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (such as walking) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as running or swimming), or a combination of the two.
You should also perform strength training (=lifting weights) at least 2-3 times a week.
Daily exercise can, indeed help you:
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight, burning excess calories;
- Boost your energy, improving your muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness;
- Improve your mood and fight depression thanks to the release of Endorphins, that make you feel happy and positive.
- Improve cognitive function
- Sleep better, by reducing stress and tiring you out;
- Prevent falls (that can be very dangerous especially for elderly people)
- Prevent high blood pressure
- Increase good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, HDL) and decreases unhealthy triglycerides.
- Lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Prevent Stroke
- Prevent metabolic syndrome
- Prevent type 2 diabetes
- Reduce risk of cancer
- Lower risk of premature death.
4. Get 7-8 Hours of Quality Sleep
Studies have shown that sleeping for less than 6 hours a night or more than 9, were more likely to die prematurely.
A lack of sleep causes many other significant concerns for you health, such as:
- Weight gain, due to the release from your brain of hunger-signaling chemicals that will make you eat more and move less;
- Hormonal imbalances;
- Type 2 diabetes, due to the presence of too much glucose in the bloodstream, caused by excessive release of cortisol and reduced release of insulin;
- Cardiovascular diseases;
- High Blood Pressure
- Impairment of cognitive functions (such as memory loss, lack of focus, disorientation).
- Taking care of your sleeping habits is very important: it happens to everybody to skip a few hours of sleep now and then and that is no big concern. What matters, though, is that poor sleeping does not become a chronic habit.
So make sure you get those 7-8 hours of quality sleep. (More on this topic on another article I will write soon.)
5. Meditate Everyday
Mental health is SO important, yet so often overlooked.
Health does not concern your body only, but both your body AND your mind. The thoughts you make and the way you feel have a huge impact on your overall health.
So start meditating everyday: 5 to 10 minutes is enough.
Mindful meditation can help you:
- Manage stress;
- Improve sleep;
- Increase focus;
- Boost creativity;
- Fight anxiety;
- Lower blood pressure;
- Ease chronic pain.
Now is YOUR time to start living healthy!
I hope this 5 steps will help you kickstart your new journey towards a healthier lifestyle!
I know you can do this: set actionable and reasonable goals, and make small yet consistent daily steps to reach them!
You will NOT regret it!
Any questions? Comment below!
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Keep Active & Stay Healthy!