How to Focus on a Healthy Lifestyle
For most individuals, obtaining a higher level of health, fitness and mental well-being requires a significant change in lifestyle. Truly living a healthy lifestyle typically requires changes in several areas. The three primary areas that each individual should focus on in obtaining a healthier lifestyle are:
In order to truly achieve good health, fitness, and mental well-being it is imperative that you focus on each of the three areas and strike a balance between obtaining each of them.
The intent of this article is to briefly discuss each of the three areas of good health and thereafter, detail a few tips on how to modify your specific lifestyle to that of a healthier one.
Three Areas Related to Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Health and Fitness
The human body is designed to perform work. More specifically, the muscles, tendons, ligaments, cardiovascular system and structural frame of the human body need to be worked in order to function at their optimum levels. With a large majority of the work population performing their job responsibilities from behind a desk, it is no wonder that the average American is in such poor shape.
The second area of concern for most individuals is nutrition. In today's fast-paced environment, it is easy to consume foods that are low in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein, and healthy carbohydrates and fats. A large portion of the foods that are consumed today are nutritionally-deficient, processed foods. Not only are these highly processed foods nutritionally-deficient, but it is also difficult for our digestive systems to absorb any of the nutrients that are present. This area of nutritional deficiency alone has been and will continue to be one of the leading causes of many debilitating diseases and autoimmune disorders.
The third area of concern most Americans face is mental well-being. With such a high percentage of Americans living such a hectic and hurried life, it is not surprising that diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and depression are at epidemic levels. Most individuals simply do not have the time, or take the time, to allow themselves to mentally unwind and clear their mind. The importance of mental well-being and stability is often overlooked until it is too late. This fact can be witnessed by the staggering number of mental disorders and nervous breakdowns that occur yearly.
Small Steps Lead to Long-Term Success
So does this mean that there is no hope for any of the millions of individuals that can identify with several of the statements mentioned above? Of course not. For most individuals, all that is needed is that they actively allow more time to focus on themselves. Since the human body is amazingly resilient, a small change in lifestyle can go a long way toward improving one's overall health.
For example, if an individual achieves an aerobic effect three times a week (i.e. aerobics class, biking, jogging, etc.), consumes a healthy well-balanced diet (eating fish, chicken, beef, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts), and practices yoga and/or meditation, they will be well on their way to a healthy tomorrow.
The first step after making the decision to take an active approach to your personal health and fitness is to set aside a workable amount of time to focus solely on your health. Achieving good health is a lifelong endeavor and is not something that you can simply decide to do on a Monday night. Obtaining good health throughout your life will require that you focus on your personal fitness, nutrition and mental well-being on a daily basis. By doing so, you will begin to develop a lifestyle approach that will facilitate your personal health and well-being.
Define and Implement a Personal Fitness Routine
The first thing you must do is set up your personal fitness program. To do this, you will need to define your personal fitness goals, and thereafter create a fitness routine that will allow you to accomplish your personal fitness goals. It is important to spend some time deciding what types of physical fitness exercises you enjoy.
For example, if you enjoy swimming, then be sure to add it to your fitness program. The more enjoyable the fitness exercise, the greater the probability that you will stick with it.
In the beginning there will be a temptation to quit your exercise routine. This is quite common as it will take approximately two months to develop the new habits associated with your new lifestyle.
Do not get discouraged if at times, especially in the beginning, you find yourself wanting to either skip your fitness routine or quit it altogether. This is quite common.
However, in order to modify your lifestyle to that of a healthier approach, you must persevere and push through these temptations. Early deviations from your defined fitness routine can have a snowball effect, and before you know it you will have regressed back to your previous lifestyle.
Focus on Healthy and Nutritious Foods
Secondly, you will need to ensure that you are providing your body with high quality foods. By doing so, you will begin to improve your overall health from the inside out. In addition, your improved dietary approach will complement your fitness routine. The main area of focus in terms of nutritional health should be the consumption of all-natural whole foods. This means that you should eliminate as many processed foods from your diet as possible.
In addition, you will want to ensure that you are consuming an appropriate balance of proteins, healthy carbohydrates and quality fats. This modification in your lifestyle is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, we have several healthy dietary approaches, recipes and tips throughout our website. Our intent is to provide you with all of the information necessary to successfully transition to an active and healthy lifestyle.
Give Your Mind a Rest and Improve Your Mental Well-Being
The final aspect of improving your overall health and fitness level is associated with your mental well-being. This area of health and fitness is often overlooked, even by those with excellent levels of physical fitness. However, mental health and well-being is actually one of the most important aspects of overall health. This is due in part to the fact that the mind drives all physical activities. In other words, if there is a day in which you do not feel like working out, it will most likely be related to mental let-down.
One approach to improving your overall mental well-being is to participate in yoga classes and/or meditation. There are several excellent DVDs and books that are available to assist and guide you through the concepts associated with yoga and meditation. By simply learning some of the techniques and approaches derived from yoga and meditation, you will notice an inner calmness, improved mental clarity and greater focus. We feel so strongly about these techniques that we have set aside an entire section of our website for the sole purpose of discussing the benefits associated with the practices of yoga and meditation.
Recruit a Friend
As you begin your lifestyle change to that of a healthier approach, it may be beneficial to partner with a family member or friend. The journey towards better overall health and fitness is far easier when you're not alone.
In addition, you and your partner will be able to motivate one another when one of you is feeling discouraged. Each of you will be able to hold the other accountable for any fitness routine deviations that either of you may take. Having an appropriate "partner in crime" as you embark on your new, healthy and balanced lifestyle will only improve your chances of success.