Make health a lifestyle choice, not a chore

September 23, 2015

Health is about how you live — each and every moment. That's why it's important to make health a lifestyle choice, not a chore. This article can help motivate you to keep at your lifestyle choice.

Make health a lifestyle choice, not a chore

What health is really all about

If you're feeling somewhat daunted by your new health regimen and are seeking a "day off" from "being good," then you need to be reminded of the fundamental truth about healthy living. Health isn't a program that you can go on or come off. It's not a formal diet or rigid exercise regimen, or compulsory stress-relief program, or a weekly visit to the psychiatrist, doctor, nutritionist, gym or personal trainer.

Health is about sleeping well, and waking up happy. It's abouteating a good breakfast, and enjoying your work, and taking regular breaks. And it's about laughing with friends and family, having a positive attitude, enjoying fresh foods, loving nature, and respecting yourself.

Look at it like this: you are going to sleep, work, eat and have free time each and every day. Toachieve health yougo about these daily activities a little more wisely and healthily, and with a slightly different attitude.

After all, it's the little choices that matter. Choices like eating whole-grain toast instead of white; going fora walk, not a television show; laughter, not anger. These kinds of minute-to-minute choices are what clean arteries, lower blood pressure, strengthen the heart and make life long and good. If, along the way, you enjoy a little ice cream, an occasional steak or a lazy afternoon, it really doesn't matter, because it's more than balanced by your everyday good choices.

So if you still believe that following a program is necessary to achieve health, it's time to break free.

A formal program can get you started, teach you healthy choices, and help you to break bad habits and form better ones. But in the end, healthy living, done properly, is simply living — but it's a good life.

Ways to stay motivated

Here are some tricks that can help make living healthy easier.

  • Ask yourself: Did I get on my feet for fun or exercise today?
  • Set a goal: Sit for one hour less per day. Fit in a brisk, short stroll or two during the day.
  • Tracking trick: Before lunch and mid-afternoon, ask yourself how long you've been sitting without a break. Then move.
  • Added bonus: When walking, swing your arms energetically or stride quickly up a hill. March on the spot when on the phone.
  • How to catch up: At the end of a sedentary day, take the stairs, not the elevator. Stroll around outside for a few minutes before getting into your car. Once home, take the dog for a walk or drag the kids out for a game of "tag."
  • Practice mindfulness: Be fully aware of what you're doing at any given moment — or take a few minutes to focus on your breathing. You can let go of irritable or impatient thoughts before they double your risk of high blood pressure and heart attack.
  • Take stock: Never underestimate the calming health benefits of having a laugh with your friends, listening to music, walking and playing with your dog, or enjoying nature.

Keep the information in this article in mind to help keep you motivated along your way to living a healthy life.

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