Kickstart a Healthier Lifestyle!
When it comes to choosing the best and most healthful practices, all of us have areas where we could improve. Though it may be tempting to sweep those healthy resolutions aside, persistently pressing forward can reap you fantastic benefits! There’s no doubt that making healthier lifestyle choices boosts your physical and emotional well-being, sharpens your mind, and increases your chances of living a longer and happier life. So where do we begin? Let’s look at some areas where careful choices can make a life-enhancing impact.
Take it Outside
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is “among the top-five environmental risks to public health.”1 In most cases, indoor air is more polluted, so it pays to improve the ventilation in your home and regularly get out of the house for some fresh air. When you’re outdoors, be sure to soak up a few rays as well. Sunshine, though it can be detrimental in large amounts, is positively good for us in small doses. And while you’re there enjoying the wonders of nature, get some exercise!
According to Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise is “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.”2 Walking, for instance, helps to prevent disease and improve health. Just going out for a brisk half-hour walk can be a real mood enhancer too, changing your whole outlook on life and striking a powerful blow against depression and anxiety.
Drink to Your Health
With bodies that are roughly threequarters liquid, is it any wonder that water is so essential to our health? Yet it’s estimated that three out of four Americans are chronically dehydrated—resulting in joint pain, headaches, fatigue, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and other problems for many. Recommendations for adults generally range from 8 to 13 cups per day.
There’s a growing mountain of evidence that a whole-food, plant-based diet is the healthiest option, greatly reducing the risks for most chronic diseases and other complications. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains will supply you with a treasure trove of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other nutrients that reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, improve the body’s functions, and boost your quality of life.
Toss the Toxins
At the same time, we want to steer clear of substances that tend to break down our resilience—such as tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. Of the preventable causes of death in the USA, tobacco ranks first and alcohol comes in third; together they destroy well over half a million lives annually.
Take a Break
Did you know that blood sugar levels tend to be above normal in people who are sleep deprived, possibly increasing their risk for diabetes? Indeed, not catching enough winks can also increase your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and kidney and heart disease. In addition, it hampers learning and problem-solving ability and makes you more susceptible to depression and emotional instability.3 Another essential rest is the weekly Sabbath given by our Creator, which provides vital restoration for body and soul. It’s a time to get closer to our families and our God, a time to seek Him more intensely, talk to Him, and learn to put our trust in Him more fully.
Our Creator wants us to be healthy and enjoy a high quality of life. Why not start embracing healthier choices today? And who knows? You may even discover that your early morning jaunts and delicious, plant-based cuisine are inspiring others—including your own family—to make healthier choices as well!