Staying healthy involves more than just eating your 5-a-day and the occasional trip to the gym. Ultimately, a fit body is down to many different lifestyle habits that promote good overall health. Many of you will know that diets don't tend to work, you reduce your calorie intake, lose a few pounds, come off the diet and pile the weight back on again - does this sound familiar?
The trick is to ditch the diet and instead adopt a long-term lifestyle change. You can achieve good health by eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, sleeping 8 hours a night, resting and recuperating and avoiding things like cigarettes and takeaways and limiting your alcohol intake. By adopting changes like this for the long-term (not just short-term diet fads), you'll soon begin to notice changes within yourself.
By controlling your portion sizes, decreasing fatty foods and improving your fitness and nutritional plan you'll help maintain your weight. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, incorporate foods from each group: fruits, healthy fats, lean protein, wholegrains, vegetables and low-fat dairy. Your slimmer physique will give you bounds of confidence whilst at the same time improving your mood and energy levels - great for long-term health.
Exercise is a vital step in keeping your mood uplifted. By working out you allow your body to work through stress - reducing the risk of depression. Exercise releases endorphins, a chemical in the brain that leaves you feeling happy and relaxed. By improving your mood, the rest will follow suit - you'll soon begin to make healthier lifestyle choices such as sticking to that yoga class and opting for more greens!
It might seem counter-intuitive that when you're feeling tired you should get up and exercise! But the reality is that working out gives you a release of energy and those feel-good endorphins. So whether you're a keen gym bunny, a yoga enthusiast or even just a stroll-in-the-park type, anything that increases your heart rate slightly will give you bounds of energy for the week ahead.
In addition to the above benefits, regular exercise and healthy eating can help reduce the risk of illnesses. By maintaining this lifestyle you lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and illnesses such as the flu and the common cold.
If you're interested in promoting a healthier, happier you by changing your lifestyle for the long-term, look out for current updates in our Health and Wellbeing section. We'll update it regularly with top tips and news, telling you on a monthly basis how to adopt these long-term health plans.