Setting short and mid-term health and fitness goals is great if you’re aiming for a particular result but don’t forget the bigger picture when it comes to your overall lifestyle. Here are some important things to consider if you want to achieve a long and healthy life.
1. Only eat real foods
What you eat everyday can have a real effect on how healthy you are long term. Forget fad diets, you’ll never be able to sustain these for more than three months. Concentrate on eating real foods that are as close to nature as possible, this means they aren’t processed or have lots of additives. The occasional treat is fine as long as you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals you need – with ‘real food’ eating habits you’ll set yourself up for lots of future health benefits.
2. Hydrate with H2O
Around two-thirds of our bodies consist of water so, if we’re not keeping this topped up, many of our bodily functions aren’t performing their optimum level, and this can cause long-term health issues. Water not only keeps our skin looking plump and smooth but aids digestion, flushes out kidneys, helps the brain to function, energises muscles and more. So keep a bottle of water (not soft drink) on hand throughout the day and aim to drink 6 – 8 cups of fluid per day.
3. Make time to get physical
Studies have shown that those who exercise regularly not only strengthen their immune system thereby avoiding minor ailments but also reduce the risk of developing serious illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Exercise also helps to combat depression, obesity and stress. Need any more reasons to make going to the gym an essential part of your long-term lifestyle?
4. Get enough shut eye
Though most people don’t need nine hours sleep, getting a decent night’s sleep on a regular basis should be on your agenda for long-term health. Our bodies need sleep to regenerate important organs such as the heart and blood vessels. Serious lack of it can cause a raft of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. If you’re a closet insomniac, then it’s best to get it sorted sooner rather than later. If you don’t want to take sleeping pills an alternative is magnesium or herbal remedies. An interesting strategy we’ve heard about to help with getting the right amount of sleep is to set an alarm to go to bed. Count back 8hrs from when you need to wake up and set it as a regular alarm. A reminder to go to bed can minimise those lost, late nights. This makes it much easier to get up at the same time every day without fail which also regulates your body clock naturally.
7. De-stress Your Life
Stress is a big factor in interrupting your sleep patterns, not to mention being linked to early aging, heart problems and lung cancer. If this isn’t enough to encourage you to de-stress, then we don’t know what is! If you’re susceptible to angst or juggle a lot of responsibilities, then take steps to be more organised and find enjoyable ways to relax. This might be going for a hike, doing yoga, having a massage or letting off steam in the gym. Hang out with positive people that make you laugh and avoid negative attitudes too!