What Can I do to Become Healthier in 2011?
What Can I Do to Become Healthier in 2011?
Is the thought of becoming heathier overwhelming to you? Do you wonder how to begin such a huge undertaking? Are you starting from the beginning or are you already on your way to a healthier lifestyle and want to make more progress?
I believe becoming healthier does not need to be a difficult. I think we get overwhelmed because we think we have to do a huge overhaul on our lifestyles, but the truth is, we can make one change at a time to become healthier. Just one thing. Once it becomes a habit and doesn't require much effort, make one more change. It's that easy. Think you can do it? I know you can.
Where Do I begin?
Where does one begin? The most important thing you can do to become healthier is make sure you are adequately hydrated, with the cleanest water you can find. Water bottles? Not necessary! Besides, let's not contribute to the growing plastic problem, okay? It can be as simple as a faucet filter, or as intricate as a whole house filtration system. The choice is yours. But most importantly is to drink at least 50% of your body weight in ounces per day, more if you are active. That means if you weigh 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ounces of pure water daily. Water is crucial to make sure every system in your body functions properly.
Sugar, in all it's forms, is a huge problem for Americans. It is highly addictive and wreaks havoc on your health. After getting enough water, I believe reducing your sugar intake is the next most important change you can make for your health!
We get sugar not only from the most obvious sources, like ice cream and soda, but it is also hidden in many other foods, like condiments. Start reading labels to see how much sugar you are getting daily. Begin to cut back on your sodas. Start drinking your tea or coffee with less sweetener. Eventually you will lose the need to sweeten your drinks. You just won't miss it! Instead of dessert daily, make it once a week. Once you cut back on sugar, you will start to feel so much better, and your body will thank you. Remember, don't try to do it all at once. Begin to make small changes, and you will find that it gets easier and easier.
What do I mean by whole foods? Choose foods that are as close to the way God made them as you can find! Instead of drinking apple juice that has undergone processing that removes the natural occurring vitamins and enzymes, eat an apple. You will get the nutrients and fiber in its natural state, much better for you than synthetic vitamins added back in!
What about salsa? Instead of buying jarred salsa, make your own! One of my favorite things to make is fresh salsa. Just throw a pint of cherry tomatoes, a jalapeno pepper (deseeded), a small chunk of onion, a handful of fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and salt and pepper to taste into a food processor and give it a whirl. In minutes you have fresh salsa, with all the health benefits of those fresh ingredients you just put in.
The more a food is processed, the more food additives you will find in it. In order to make a processed food appealing to consumers, preservatives, chemicals, food dyes, and more are added. Don't think that these just evaporate when you eat them! Your body has to process this junk, and try to eliminate it. The more of this garbage you eat, the more toxic your body becomes.
Take a little extra time to plan ahead to have fresh ingredients on hand, and you will find it doesn't take long to put together wonderful tasting, fresh meals. If raw, fresh produce is not in season or hard to find, frozen is the next best thing. Your body will thank you for it!
Too Tired To Exercise?
Are you too tired to exercise? Then don't! At least, don't think of it as exercise. Sometimes doing an exercise program sounds daunting, but going for a walk doesn't. It's all in the way we think of it! Walking is so easy. And you know what? It's therapeutic! Pick a safe place to walk, put on your headphones, and zone out. Listen to something peaceful and soothing. Allow your mind to drift off into a place of peace, and let your body do the work in the meantime. You will find your mind is refreshed, and your body has had a bit of umm.. exercise (smile).
Just the Beginning
These are only a few suggestions, but they are significant. Even if you only make these changes, you will be all the better for it.
Remember, though, that we are made up of spirit, soul, and body. Making good changes for your body is very important, but don't neglect your spirit and soul. Reading uplifting and inspirational books, taking long baths, and making sure you attend church or temple are all paths to better health!