10 Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

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Young woman smiling at camera. (Image: 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.

Exercise Your Heart

People on treadmills in gym
Several people exercising on treadmills inside a gym. (Image: 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 woman with dumbbells
Male instructor training female at a gym with hand weights. (Image: 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

Cyclists in action
A group of cyclists (Image: 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

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A family stretches in a park together (Image: 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. (Image: 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
Man eating pizza, potato chips and soda bottles in the background. (Image: 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 cake
Woman smelling a cake. (Image: 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.

Sleep

Woman lying in bed
Woman lying in bed. (Image: 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

People exercising by beach
A group of 3 people doing yoga near the beach. (Image: 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 grilled salmon
Young woman holding up a plate of salmon and vegetables. (Image: 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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