The benefits of healthy living are obvious, but for many, healthy habits donâ€™t start until itâ€™s too late and the body is already on the decline.Â Instead of combating health issues once theyâ€™ve begun to negatively impact oneâ€™s life, itâ€™s important to prevent illness and unhealthy lifestyles before they start.Â The following tips offer some tried-and-true methods for staying healthy, which will keep you living longer and feeling great.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Healthy eating doesnâ€™t mean a diet of bland foods, and it certainly doesnâ€™t require going hungry.Â Lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy are all available to healthy eaters.Â And itâ€™s okay to splurge once in a while on a cheeseburger, bag of chips or some ice cream.Â The key to maintaining a healthy diet and weight is to eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods and to reduce your intake of processed foods loaded with refined sugars, unhealthy fats and sodium.
Sleep is one of the most important and overlooked components to healthy living.Â Research suggests that getting too little sleep increases oneâ€™s risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.Â Getting too much sleep isnâ€™t much better.Â Aim for between seven and eight hours of restful sleep each night to keep your body healthy and happy.
Regular exercise promotes a healthy weight, which reduces oneâ€™s risk for heart disease and diabetes.Â Exercise also promotes bone, muscle and joint health, as well as flexibility, each of which keeps us feeling better as we age.Â Plus, regular exercise increases our bodyâ€™s natural immune defenses and even helps us sleep better at night.
Everything in Moderation
Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with enjoying an occasional order of cheese fries or having a couple drinks with friends.Â The key is to do everything in moderation, as overindulging too frequently can negatively impact weight, general health and fitness levels.
Healthy living isnâ€™t about strict rules. Itâ€™s about an overall lifestyle that, when followed, actually increases our happiness and self-image. Â By forming healthy habits early in life and sticking to them, we can ensure that our bodies donâ€™t give out on us as we age.
Richard Monello is the President/CEO of Custom Health Plans, a Texas health insurance agency providing health plans to individuals, families, small businesses and the self-employed.