There are many components of health.
But they’re really not isolated aspects. All of the different areas work together.
Health is holistic.
Short term diets and fancy new exercises won’t do the trick. There are no quick fixes.
Health is a lifestyle.
By taking a balanced approach you can create lasting changes in your life.
Here are four main areas to focus on when taking steps to becoming happier and healthier.
Not surprisingly, what you eat is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle.
What you feed your body influences how you feel, the amount of energy you have, how well you sleep, and even your mood.
Whole, plant foods are the healthiest foods you could ask for.
Transitioning to a healthy, plant-based diet requires changing the way you think about and approach food.
Food is fuel. So, eating better quality fuel will allow your body to function better and actually thrive.
However, making healthy food choices a part of your daily life can take a bit of time to adjust to.
Start at home
The best place to begin is in your own kitchen.
Creating new habits at home where you are comfortable is the easiest way to develop healthier eating habits.
In the comfort of your own home, you have control over all of the ingredients that go into the food you prepare.
Besides, experimenting with new recipes can be fun and help you to be excited about a new way of eating.
The food you eat at home will also help you to develop new tastes and preferences. So, next time you go out into the world, that super greasy, salty fast food lunch you once relied on won’t seem appealing anymore.
Build your own supply of healthy, plant-based recipes from reliable sources. This will ensure you never run out of meal ideas.
Tips for dining out
Changing the way you eat at home is one thing. But, once you open the door and step out into the world there are more challenges to deal with.
Forming new habits is key. The habits you create at home will stay with you as you venture out into the world.
When choosing places to eat that will accommodate your healthier food choices, check out the restaurant in advance.
“If you’re looking for a place to go, a little research goes a long way-and can usually be done in just a few minutes. – Brian Wendel
Having healthy snacks on hand also really helps.
Fresh fruit, cut vegetables, or That’s It. fruit bars are good to have in case you need a quick snack. At the very least they can help tide you over while you make a healthier choice for your next meal.
Find more tips for living plant-based with these 7 Keys to Success on a Healthy Vegan Diet.
This is important for any new habits or goals you are working on.
Motivation is action, but before action often comes inspiration.
Success stories of others can help to inspire you while reinforcing your reasons for wanting to make healthier choices.
Learn about others who have experienced health success stories with a plant-based diet.
Getting recipes for some of your favourite dishes will make the transition easier. But, discovering new, tasty recipes and foods can also be exciting and keep you interested in eating more healthy meals.
Knowing that following a whole food, plant-based diet is paving your way to health can help you stay on track.
Reassurance comes through education, so learn from qualified individuals on plant-based nutrition.
The more you know about a plant-based lifestyle, the more confident you will feel about it.
Exercise is an essential component of health.
You need to move your body.
It should be a part of your regular day.
The key is to incorporate exercise into your life so that it becomes a natural part of your daily routine. Make it part of your lifestyle.
Again, inspiration can help. Reading about others and their passion for living an active life can motivate you to find something you like.
While you’re deciding what to do, remember…
Don’t over complicate things
Exercise doesn’t have to mean getting a complex workout regime from a personal trainer. Just get outside. Go for a walk. Keep it simple. Do something you enjoy and take it from there.
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. It doesn’t have to involve a gym or a complex plan.
Just move your body.
Try something new, meet others and create connections.
Exercise can be social. Or not. Either way, find something that suits you.
Make it a part of your routine
For many people, working out first thing in the morning helps to get them prepped for their day.
For others, social activities, competition, or a way to measure their improvement help to motivate them.
Whether it’s hiking, trail running, going to the gym, doing yoga, or taking long walks on the beach that interests you doesn’t really matter. It just needs to be an activity you enjoy.
The more you like it, the easier it will be to keep at it.
Getting outside is a great way to be more connected with nature. The fresh air and beauty of the natural world can also be relaxing and help you to recharge.
There are so many activities you can do.
Preparing for a longer hike, a race or competition, or an active holiday such as a cycle touring trip can keep your enthusiasm up.
At home, or abroad, there are plenty of adventures to be had.
Reading about other active outdoor vegans, like Jess of Vegan Outdoor Adventures, can help you to come up with ideas and inspiration.
“Remember, exercise to have fun and be healthy, not just to lose weight.
Sleep is vital for a healthy body and mind.
It’s the time when your body restores and repairs itself.
Quality sleep positively affects everything. Your mood, immunity, and general ability to function depend upon it.
Sleep is important for many reasons, so getting a good night’s rest should be a priority.
In order for your body to get the best night’s rest, there are certain factors that need to be in place.
How to get better sleep
Unlike cats, we are diurnal creatures meaning we sleep at night.
Having a regular sleep schedule will help your body to produce the necessary hormones to keep you happy and healthy.
Darkness allows your body to produce serotonin which is essential to you waking up the next morning feeling rejuvenated.
If you’re travelling or happen to live where you are surrounded by city lights, try covering you eyes.
Wearing a sleep mask or putting a t-shirt or dark cloth over your eyes can do the trick.
The aim is to block out as much light as possible.
The darker, and quieter it is the better as well.
Noise outside is one thing. But, the “noise” inside your head you also keep you awake.
Worrying or thinking too much about things can prevent you from getting a sound sleep.
Rest, mediation, yoga, or taking a few minutes at night before you go to bed to unwind can help.
Just focus on your breathing. Relax. Let the day’s events and tomorrow’s “to-dos” clear from your mind.
#4. Positive Mentality
Having a positive outlook will reinforce your motivation to make healthy changes to your life. It helps to remember why you want to be healthy.
A whole food, plant-based diet, exercise, and good sleep can make being positive easier.
It really does all come full circle.
Practicing meditation or some sort of calming, low-key activity can help you unwind and relax.
Learn how to meditate every day. Making it something you do daily will help ensure it becomes a permanent part of your life.
Even yoga, reading, listening to calming music, or colouring can be good activities to ensure you take time out from your busy life.
Spending time relaxing will make it easier to maintain a positive outlook.
But, ultimately, attitude comes down to choice. The more often you choose to think positively, the easier it becomes.
“Attitude is everything so pick a good one. – Wayne Dyer
Diet, exercise, sleep, and having a positive attitude are four important aspects of health that you should focus on when creating healthier habits.
Improving in one area is great, but the various aspects of health intertwine and affect each other.
Health is a holistic endeavour.
Living a healthy life isn’t about fad diets or “quick fix” exercise regimes. It’s about finding what works for you and creating habits that reinforce where you want to be.
Taking a balanced approach to health will help you to create lasting, positive results and a lifestyle you can sustain.
Of course, it always helps to know that the choices you are making not only benefit you, but they also help the world around you.
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