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10 Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

author image Craig Smith
Craig Smith covers weight loss and exercise programming for various online publications. He has been a personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise since 2001. Smith also holds a diploma in exercise physiology and kinesiology from the National Personal Training Institute.
10 Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Young woman smiling at camera. Photo Credit: Maria Teijeiro/Photodisc/Getty Images

Choosing to follow a healthier lifestyle can promote a life full of quality and longevity. A variety of factors to implement into a healthier lifestyle include proper diet and exercise, stress reduction and consistent sleep patterns. By practicing these 10 methods to better health, you can reduce your health risks and enjoy a life full of value.

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Exercise Your Heart

Several people exercising on treadmills inside a gym.
Several people exercising on treadmills inside a gym. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Performing cardiovascular exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system and over time lowers your resting heart rate. Forms of cardiovascular workouts include running, swimming, biking or using machines such as an elliptical or an indoor rower. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests performing a moderate intensity cardio workout 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or a vigorous cardio session for 20 minutes daily, three days a week.

Build Strength

Male instructor training female at a gym with hand weights.
Male instructor training female at a gym with hand weights. Photo Credit: Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Resistance training is another healthy lifestyle method that will potentially increase metabolism. Since muscle tissue requires calories to survive, the adaptation of new muscle creates a demand for greater calorie burn. The ACSM also recommends sticking to a twice-weekly resistance program consisting of eight to 10 exercises, keeping repetitions around eight to 12.

Play Sports

A group of cyclists
A group of cyclists Photo Credit: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

A way to get moving again can come from enjoying your favorite sport. Games or leagues in your area provide a way to receive adequate exercise.

Involve the Family

A family stretches in a park together
A family stretches in a park together Photo Credit: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Involving the whole family is another method to create group support and quality time with loved ones. Create games that include the entire family for a workout filled with fun.

Control Your Weight

Woman measuring her waist.
Woman measuring her waist. Photo Credit: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Reducing calories in your diet creates a way to increase overall health and lower body weight. Understand your daily caloric needs by using the basal metabolic rate formula. Basal metabolic rate refers to the amount of calories burned at resting levels. An average BMR for women is typically around 2,000 to 2,100 calories a day, and for men, 2,700 to 2,900 calories daily.

Avoid Processed Foods

Man eating pizza, potato chips and soda bottles in the background.
Man eating pizza, potato chips and soda bottles in the background. Photo Credit: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Avoiding processed foods can increase overall health and prevent unwanted weight gain and illness. Processed foods have been blamed for behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, weight gain and certain cancers, reports the Puristat Digestive Wellness Center.

Control Cravings

Woman smelling a cake.
Woman smelling a cake. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Eliminating nighttime eating will also assist in weight reduction and health improvement. Keep yourself occupied and be aware of times when cravings are highest.


Woman lying in bed.
Woman lying in bed. Photo Credit: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Getting adequate sleep is crucial for weight reduction and health. According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, “Sleep deprivation triggers the release of unwanted hormones such as cortisol, which alters glucose metabolism resulting in fat storage.” Sleeping at least eight hours a night will help promote regular glucose metabolism and limit weight gain.

Reduce Stress

A group of 3 people doing yoga near the beach.
A group of 3 people doing yoga near the beach. Photo Credit: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Controlling stress is another method of creating a healthy lifestyle. Like sleep deprivation, high levels of stress activate hormone release, including cortisol, which modifies glucose metabolism. Unwanted food cravings typically occur during high levels of stress. Control your daily stress by first identifying certain causes and create steps to reduce stress levels. One method could be performing deep-breathing techniques for five to 10 minutes when stress levels are heightened. Yoga can be an outlet for levels of stress and relaxation from your stress-filled life.

Take Gradual Steps

Young woman holding up a plate of salmon and vegetables.
Young woman holding up a plate of salmon and vegetables. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Make gradual and progressive strides toward improving your health. An overall lifestyle change takes time to create. Set small, time-oriented goals and track your success to achieve the big picture that is total wellness.

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