We all know that we should do whatever we can to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It’s common sense: staying healthy means less trips to the doctor and possibly a longer life.
If we all know that we should do our best to stay healthy, why are so many of us unhealthy? The answer is simple: because we don’t know the easiest, most effective ways to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
If you want to adopt a healthy lifestyle, here are five easy ways that you can begin:
- A Healthy Lifestyle Includes Monitoring Your Air Quality
Air pollution is a major contributor to respiratory ailments, particularly in people with asthma or those with emphysema or COPD. Not only can smog, pollen and smoke in the air make it difficult to breathe, but these particles can lead to irritated eyes, burning throats and eventual lung damage.
The EPA’s Air Now website provides daily alerts for the air quality all over the United States. Check the site daily and, if you suffer from asthma or allergies, stay indoors on high pollen and ozone days. If you must head outdoors, shower when you come in and be sure to wash your bedding frequently in the warm weather months.
- A Healthy Lifestyle Means Eating Less Meat
You don’t have to go vegetarian if that’s not your desire, but cutting back on the amount of meat you consume on a weekly basis will lead to a healthier body. Replacing two or three servings of meat, per week, with whole grains or vegetables will increase your heart health, put you at a lower risk for diabetes and even reduce your cholesterol.
Many people aren’t aware that food animals are fed antibiotics. This overuse of antibiotics has created a general health problem in humans: infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Not only are these infections becoming more difficult to treat but are, at times, impossible to cure. By eating less meat, you are introducing fewer unnecessary antibiotics into your system.
- A Healthy Lifestyle Includes More Exercise
The thought of going to the gym before work sends some people into a tail spin; who wants to get up at four in the morning to go run on a treadmill? Going to the gym after work can be equally as difficult when all you want to do is go home and relax. The good news is that exercising doesn’t have to mean expensive gym memberships. Exercise can happen any time you have a spare 15 minutes.
Here are some simple ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine: take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk rather than drive when it’s safe to do so, do a set of sitting leg lifts under your desk, play Wii with the kids at night or take the dog for a walk. By incorporating exercise into your day, you’ll quickly reap the healthy benefits.
- A Healthy Lifestyle Means Drinking More Water
As adults, we tend to spend more time drinking coffee and soda than water. Water is important for healthy organ function, lubricated joints and even strong bones. If you can’t give up the caffeinated drinks altogether, which, by the way, can lead to increased dehydration, follow each cup of coffee or can of soda with a bottle of water.
Take heed: you don’t have to buy expensive bottled water! Tap water is just fine in most municipalities. Buy a BPA free water bottle and fill it throughout the day straight from the tap. If you can’t go without a bit of flavor, powder packets are available in a wide variety, from lemonade to green tea.
- A Healthy Lifestyle Includes Supplements
Supplements are all the rage right now but unless you have a specific health condition, the tried and true multi-vitamin is sufficient. Taking a multi-vitamin every day will ensure that your body is not deficient in any essential vitamins or minerals; helping you to stave off disease and feel more energized.
Do be aware, though, that vitamins do not provide an instant boost; you’ll need to continue your vitamin regimen for several months before you being to notice the subtle effects.
Keeping a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated.
By following these five simple steps, you'll be sure to maintain your healthy lifestyle in just minutes a day.
Connie Prescott is a conservation writer who works with NRDC and other organizations to protect our health and environment. Connie feels that company owners should become more aware of the huge positive impact that Air Pollution practices can have, both on their net bottom line and on the earth's healthy future.