Photo credit: Pixels

Ok it’s actually 7!!  What does it means to be healthy? Health can mean the medical condition of your body, and it can also mean your body composition and lifestyle. It can refer to your emotional or mental well-being as well as physical. Good health is a combination of genetics, environment, lifestyle and luck. The factor you have the most control over is lifestyle, so take control with these head-to-toe health strategies that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life.

  1. Visit your doctor. Before you get started with a healthy lifestyle, you should see your doctor for a checkup. If you have high cholesterol or blood pressure, your doctor will likely recommend a diet that helps regulate those levels. If you have an autoimmune disease or thyroid issues, your dietary needs might be different from what’s typically considered healthy. If your blood sugar needs to be regulated or if you’re pre-diabetic, your diet needs will also be different. The same goes for physical activity that could affect your ailments or undiagnosed conditions.
  1. Find healthy outlets for stress management. It might be tempting to reach for alcohol or drugs when you’re stressed or in pain, but developing a substance abuse habit isn’t a healthy choice in the short or long-term. Women in particular are at higher risk for health problems from alcohol consumption. Research shows that there’s a higher risk of breast cancer for women who consume at least one drink a day.
  1. Give your diet a makeover. If you’re not already eating healthy, then now is the time to start. Healthy eating can mean different things to everyone. Even if you’re on a special diet, it doesn’t make it healthy. Vegan diets still include desserts loaded with sugar and processed products made with soy. Gluten-free foods don’t contain wheat products, but it doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Paleo diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies and increased risk of heart disease.

Since different bodies require different types of nutrients, follow your doctor’s recommendation. For most people, sticking to a healthy balance of carbohydrates (50 percent), protein (20 percent), and fats (30 percent) is generally the recommendation. Eat real foods that are rich in vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, fruit, good fats, nuts, and seeds. Eating late at night, snacking on junk food, and processed food should be avoided.

  1. Start a fitness routine. Exercise is just as important as diet to keep you strong, energetic, fit, and trim. Getting your blood and sweat flowing will also strengthen your heart and lungs, which contributes to your internal health. Joining a gym will allow you access to a variety of exercises while keeping you focused. A gym session is a one-and-done deal, and then you can go about the rest of your day. Whether it’s a machine, weight bench, a personal trainer to keep you on track, or group classes, there’s a gym activity for everyone.
  1. Drink water. Hydrating is essential for the body’s digestive system. If you want to best determine how much water to drink, you should focus on the color of your urine, advises the American Heart Association. Pale and clear means you are getting enough water. However, if it’s dark, you will need more fluids.
  1. Choose walking or stairs over convenience. Take the stairs, park farther from your destination, or replace driving with walking or biking within your neighborhood.
  1. Set move reminders. Get up every two hours from your desk to stretch your legs, get water, or use the bathroom. Better yet, convert your desk into a standing desk so that you’re less sedentary and more likely to move around.

These seven tips are easy for anyone to incorporate into their lives. If you’re committed to a healthier lifestyle and don’t know where to begin, start with what’s easiest for you. Even if it means replacing soda and wine with water, giving up those daily drinks will make a huge difference. Each week, add in another step. It takes weeks to make a good habit, and then you’ll be hooked for the rest of your long and healthy life.

Guest Post BYSusan Treadway; Rehab Holistics