9 Proven Ways to Get Healthy

Get Healthy – 9 Proven Ways to Get Healthy  written by Alan Anderson

get healthy

Our lifestyle choices have a major impact on our health and well-being. In fact, an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to a range of issues including poor focus and concentration, low energy, sleep problems and stress related illness. Long term, these can all leave us open to major health problems including high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease. That’s why it’s important to review our lifestyle and make healthy choices. Not only do these choices help us feel great, but they reduce our chances of major health problems long term.

I learned this lesson the hard way and was forced to make major lifestyle changes to get healthy. That’s why I want to share nine of my favorite techniques that I used to regain my health and well-being.

get healthy -healthy eating

Get Healthy Tip #1 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Eating well is obviously at the core of good health. There are so many fads and flash diets I know I am bound to upset some people with my simple ideas about eating well. Unfortunately, there is so much information about foods and diets that it can get very confusing to know what is a healthy food. So, if you get confused about what’s good and what’s bad, here the basic rules I have found work well for me.

My simple rules include eating fresh foods as the majority of my diet. Avoid foods with hidden sugars and salt. Use good quality oils in moderation. Eat regularly during the day avoiding sugary snacks or highly processed foods. Finally, avoid and replace bad carbs with good ones. I explain this in detail at the end of this section.

The key driver for me has been about eating a well balanced diet made up of unprocessed protein, good carbohydrates and fresh vegetable.There have been many documentaries that highlight the impact of hidden sugar, poor carbs and salt in processed foods. So for me, eating well is all about eating mainly fresh foods while avoiding highly processed foods. Learn to read food labels on any product and look for the amounts of added sugar and salt. When looking at carbs, also look at the fiber content and choose the high fiber option.

For example, compare the food label of a low fat yogurt with a standard yogurt. Often, the low fat version will have way more sugar added to act as a flavor enhancer. So, avoid the fad diets and eat natural foods in moderation. Don’t succumb to the latest food marketing.

Latest Research

One of the most informative documentaries I’ve seen recently about eating well is the BBC documentary called ‘The Truth About Carbs’.

It seems that the biggest challenge to eating well is about understanding the different types of carbohydrates available to us. Highly processed carbs break down in our body too quickly and convert to massive amounts of sugar. However, good carbs break down slowly and produce much less sugar and are therefore much better for our health.  The take away from this well researched documentary is that we need to eat only carbs that convert to lower levels of blood sugar.

By simply cutting out white rice, pasta and potatoes and replacing them with resistant starch and vegetables, participants in a two week trial all lost weight and drastically reduced their blood markers for type 2 diabetes.

 

get healthy -stimulants

Get Healthy Tip #2 – Hyped Up?

In order to get healthy, it’s important to become aware of stimulants and their impact on our health. One of the most common stimulants is caffeine. Used in moderation it is not a problem. However, excessive use can add to sleep problems and even our levels of anxiety. Also, it’s important to understand that caffeine is not only found in coffee and tea but also many other products like soda, chocolate and even over the counter medicines.

So, it’s important to read those food and drink labels to see if the product includes caffeine. Like tip #1, the golden rule is moderation. Another stimulant that can impact your health is nicotine found in cigarettes. A large body of research also confirms that smoking is bad for long term health. Another stimulant we should use in moderation is alcohol as it can effect our quality of sleep. Also, many over the counter drugs contain stimulants and have side effects that can reduce our sleep quality.

If you have concerns or problems related to alcohol or drugs, make sure you talk to your doctor or health care professional.

get healthy -sleep

Get Healthy Tip #3 – Need More Sleep?

All doctors agree that sleep is vitally important for good health and long term well-being. If you want to get healthy, don’t forget to consider your sleep habits and the quality of your sleep. Why is sleep important to a healthy lifestyle?

When we sleep well, our mind and body are flooded with hormones and brain chemicals that are vital for the repair and rejuvenation of every cell in our body. Therefore, good sleep is vital part of allowing this repair process to occur. If you struggle with quality sleep, here are some related posts about sleep …

How Important is Sleep to Your Health 

Can’t Sleep- 5 Proven Tips for Great Sleep

Getting No Sleep – 6 Key Factors for Great Sleep

How to Go to Sleep

get healthy -habit

Get Healthy Tip #4 – Routine and Habit

Developing good habits is vital if we want to get healthy. Therefore, its important to review our regular routines and habits. It’s really simple to ask yourself the question… ‘Are my habits and routines helping me to become healthier?’

If you want to improve or change any habit, the key is to start small. Often, trying to make large changes in our life can lead to failure and unwillingness to try any further change. So, what ever you are trying to change, start by making little changes and add more change as you taste success.

Some of the biggest health changes for me came about through creating new routines around physical and mental rest and rejuvenation. These include developing positive habits when preparing for sleep, creating quiet times for writing, planning and mindfulness practice.

get healthy -stress

Get Healthy Tip #5 – Stressed Out?

Stress and stress related illness are now the biggest cause of early death in our modern world. I learned this the hard way. Some years ago I had a complete health collapse due to stress from overwork coupled with poor sleep, poor eating habits and overuse of alcohol and prescription drugs.

In fact, I was the poster boy for poor health habits. Finding ways to reduce stress was not only critical to improving my health, but also avoiding a premature death.

Stress reduction is not just about relaxing on a couch. It needs to include activities to gently move and stretch the body and relax the mind. The most powerful ways to reduce stress I have found include writing a journal, walks in nature,  progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness exercises and mindfulness meditation.

Therefore, if you are serious about getting healthy, I would strongly recommend you develop new routines and habits around using these powerful stress reduction techniques. Another key way to reduce stress is to learn to manage and plan your time effectively. Check out tip six for more on this topic.

get healthy -time management

Get Healthy Tip #6 – Use Time Wisely

You may wonder why I have separated out planning time in a new section about getting healthy. Our time on this wonderful planet is strictly limited, so we need to use in wisely.  For me, time management and planning is not just for business people trying to be more productive. Let me explain where I see time management and planning as a tool for better health.

Firstly, using a planner or diary is a great way of allocating your precious time to what matters most in your life and is a proven way to  reduce stress. Beyond this, I also use my diary as a planner and journal which also helps to reduce mind stress. When you shift your mind into planning or writing mode, you are using mindfulness to calm your mental chatter.

So, when you feel you mind becoming stressed, simply use your diary to write or plan and reap the health benefits of regular doses of mindfulness.

get healthy -mind

Get Healthy Tip #7 – Healthy Mind

Eating well, regular exercise and quality sleep are all vital to good health.  On my own journey to wellness I made all the changes listed above. However, I still struggled with mind stress. Unfortunately, most health writing tends to focus on physical health and ignores the elephant in the room…mental health. Keeping your brain and mind healthy is also vital to long term health and wellness.

If we don’t find effective ways to manage and reduce mind stress we may never be truly healthy. In fact, developing mental strength and peak performance has had the most powerful effect on my own health and wellness. The most powerful techniques I use to improve my mental performance are daily affirmations, journal writing, mindfulness exercises and mindfulness meditation for health.

get healthy -exercise

Get Healthy Tip #8 – Taking Action

Of  course, regular exercise can have a positive impact on our health and wellness. I have left this to near the end of this post because most people understand the need for regular exercise and activity. Exercise is very widely written about which makes it easy to find a wide range of good information. The key is to find a level of physical exercise and range of activities that suit our own lifestyle.

By all means join a gym if you enjoy that and can commit to it for the long term. However, we are all more likely to stick with activities that we enjoy. Therefore, why not try one you enjoy like dancing, gardening, walking in nature or tai chi. In fact, any regular physical activity is better than none. So, chose a fun activity to make it easier for you to turn it into a long term healthy habit.

get healthy -inspiration

Get Healthy Tip #9 – The Missing Link

Much of our focus these days is on the health of the body. I have highlighted how important it is to consider mind health in your own health equation through the great ideas in tip #7.

Through out life, we try to stay healthy by doing all the things we believe will make a difference. However, sometimes it just doesn’t seem to work. We stop eating well, or stop exercising or give up on other health giving activities.

Why is that?

For me, the missing link we need to bind everything together is inspiration. We human beings are like guided missiles heading towards our future state. Unfortunately, we often run low on rocket fuel which can send us off course from where we really want to be.

So, the key is to find sources of inspiration in your life which is different for everyone. For me, daily affirmations, journal writing and mindfulness practice keeps me inspired to stay on track with all of my life goals including working on healthy habits.

So, give yourself the gift of  daily doses of inspiration.  Find what inspires you and uplifts your spirit and feelings of joy and happiness. Watch videos, read books, laugh, give time to others, volunteer, write a journal, read daily affirmations or spend time in mindfulness practice.

Once you find your own sources of inspiration, make sure you get a daily dose.

Get Healthy – What Next?

 There are no silver bullets if you want to get healthy and improve your well-being. Like any goal, it needs commitment and regular action to move ourselves forward each day. Remember, start small and experience those little wins that can help us stay inspired and on track.

Finally, remember to consider all three aspects to good health… mind, body and spirit.

Here are some related posts you may find helpful.

Mindful Living – 7 Tactics for Living Powerfully

Calm Down Before Sleep in 5 Simple Steps

5 Ways to Deal With Stress for Busy People

How to De-Stress Your Life

3 Simple MIndfulness Exercises

14 Daily Affirmations for a Great New Year

10 Easy to Prepare Healthy Breakfast Ideas

11 Healthy Snacks to Beat Your Cravings

 

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