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5 Tips for Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Aug 17, 2007
These days, everyone seems to be becoming more health conscious. We know so much more than we used to about what is good for us and what is bad. It is said that a little of what you fancy does you good and this does tend to be true. Here are five tips for a healthy (yet enjoyable!) lifestyle:

1. Eat a balanced diet

A balanced diet does not have to be a boring diet. As long as you are getting adequate proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats, that slice of chocolate cake you're craving shouldn't do you too much harm. Enjoy your meals, chew your food properly and eat a variety of foods, including five portions of fruit or vegetables a day. Too much processed food or sugary food can make you feel sluggish.

2. Drink more water

Water is such a basic requirement and so key to survival, yet ninety percent of us don't drink enough! Six to eight cups a day is the recommended minimum. We can live for several weeks without food but only a few days without water. If you don't like the taste, mix it with juice, sugar-free cordial or make hot fruit tea. Vegetables and fruit contain plenty of water too. If your urine is darker in color than straw, drink more water!

3. Take time out to relax

Relaxation is very important to a healthy mind. However you choose to relax - deep breathing, yoga, fishing, having a bath, reading a book - try to chill out for an hour a day if you can. Mental exhaustion can cause stress, depression and anxiety disorders. Modern lifestyles can be hectic - if you're not working, you're running after the kids or racing around the grocery store or doing something else. Relax! Breathe deeply. Even fifteen minutes of this is better than none, but do try for an hour a day.

4. Get moving!

There is no excuse not to exercise because there literally is something for everyone. Not everybody loves pounding the treadmill or pumping iron in the gym but anything that gets your heart rate up is a good cardiovascular activity. How about playing tennis, meeting a friend for a swimming session or taking up self-defense or a martial art? If you can't think of anything better, run up and down the stairs a few times. Feeling better now? Exercise releases endorphins, which cheer you up.

5. Cut down on smoking and drinking

Have you ever met a smoker who is glad they started smoking? Neither have I. It is the single most destructive thing you can do to your body. Drinking can be harmful if you consume alcohol in excess or binge drink but, like most things, moderation is the key. A glass of red wine has even been proven to be good for the heart. But too much can be devastating to your health.
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