Living a healthier life starts with the understanding that your body and mind should be protected throughout your life. You’re never too young or too old to look after yourself. Whilst the physical effects of unhealthy habits might be less noticeable whilst you’re young, that doesn’t make these habits any less damaging. This guide to living a healthier life should help you to look after yourself in the long run.

Stay physically active.

Most people know that exercise is important if you want to maintain a healthy weight, but there are so many other health benefits that come with remaining physically active. The best way to avoid obesity, heart disease, and a myriad of mental health problems is to get your body moving[1]. You don’t need to become a marathon runner or start strength training. An exercise routine doesn’t have to be excessive or time-consuming; it just needs to be regularly. If you jog for 10 minutes every day then this could make a massive difference to your health.

Eat well.

Eating well is absolutely essential when it comes to living a healthier life[2]. We can’t control everything when it comes to our bodies and minds, but we can control the food we eat. You should focus on eating a full, varied, and moderated diet, above all else. Many people misinterpret the definition of a healthy diet. You shouldn’t restrict yourself to fruit and vegetables. In fact, your diet shouldn’t be restricted at all because starving yourself of the sustenance you need is just as unhealthy as overeating bad food. This is what most people fail to understand; skinniness doesn’t mean you have a healthy diet. A healthy weight comes with a diet that contains all the calcium, carbohydrates, protein, iron, and other vitamins or nutrients that your body needs to stay balanced. Moderation of certain foods is the key.

Of course, you might already be experiencing health effects as the result of a poor diet. It’s important to remember that there’s no quick fix. A diet is a permanent fixture in your life. As discussed above, fad diets won’t work. You can’t try a 3-week fix to get that “healthy figure” you desire. A permanent diet might only give you gradual physical and mental improvements but it’ll be healthy for you in the long-term. If you’ve been experiencing reflux then you need to permanently change your diet if you want your health to permanently improve[3]. The point is that there is no cheat guide when it comes to a healthier diet.

Look after your mind.

A final but crucial piece of advice that you should take on board if you want to live a healthier life is that you need to look after your mental health. The best way to stay healthy is to keep your mind healthy. Meditation can help with this. Learning to focus yourself on your body and keep yourself grounded can help to quieten the noise in your head. But talking to people really is the best medicine when it comes to healing your mental wounds. No mental health issue can be solved overnight, but communication can definitely help you to get started.

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Karen is a blogger, future NY Times bestselling author, and fur-momma.

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