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Building a Healthy Lifestyle

Building a Healthy Lifestyle

February 29, 2016

PHOTOMarch is National Nutrition month, and there is no better time than now to start building a healthy lifestyle. This doesn’t mean you have to go straight to running marathons and eating kale though. Building a healthy lifestyle is always a work in progress. It’s all about learning more, making better choices, and incorporating them into your life until they become natural habits in your daily routine.

Luckily, there are some actions you can take that require little time and commitment, but can positively change your life in a healthy way.

Start your day off by stretching. There are numerous benefits to stretching daily. It improves your body circulation, raises energy, increases flexibility, and aids in relaxation. Stretching does not require a lot of time. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel by taking 5 or 10 minutes out of your day to stretch.

Eat a healthy breakfast. Breakfast gives you energy to start the day, which makes it the most important meal of the day. Try to incorporate fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and veggies into your breakfast routine. By doing this, your body will stay full longer and prevent you from snacking on unhealthy food from vending machines.

Drink plenty of water. Substitute sugary drinks for water, especially ice water. You burn more calories warming up ice water to body temperature than you do drinking cool or room temperature water. You can burn up to 123 calories if you drink 8 pints of ice water a day. Plus, drinking water keeps you hydrated and flushes toxins from your body.

Portion your meals. Portion control is the key to building a healthy lifestyle. Try using a smaller plate, like a salad plate rather than a dinner plate for your meals to help control portions. This method will help you avoid binge eating and the need to finish everything on your plate even though you’re full. You know the saying, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach?” By using a smaller plate, you won’t have to worry about overloading on too much food. Not only will you be consuming less food, but you will be more aware of what you are putting on your plate as well.

Exercise regularly. Although eating well is a large part of living a healthy lifestyle, exercise is just as important. Even just adding a small amount of movement to your daily routine, like walking a few extra blocks to work, can significantly improve your health.

Get a good night’s sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep, which is about 7 to 9 hours, helps to reduce stress, makes you more alert during the day, helps you lose weight, and reduces your risk for depression. You will feel better, think better, and look better with the right amount of sleep.

Overall, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to begin with a big, dramatic, challenging change. Starting off small, and then building upon it, is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

For nutritional resources and more ideas on how to build a healthy lifestyle, visit http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org.