You hear a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that mean? In general, a healthy person does not smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The trick to healthy living is making small changes… taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having extra glass of water… these are just ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes.

One of the biggest problems in Nigeria is lack of activity. We know it is good for us but avoid it like the plague either because we are used to being sedentary or afraid that exercise has to be vigorous to be worth our time. The truth is movement is movement and the more you do, the healthier you will be. Even moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking make a difference.

Just adding a little movement to your life can:

1. Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

2.Improve joint stability.

3.Improve and increase range of movement

4.Help maintain flexibility as you age.

5.Maintain bone mass

6.Improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression

7.Enhance self esteem.

8.Improve memory in elderly people.

So, even if you opt for small changes and a more modest weight loss, you can see the benefits are still pretty good. One study has found that just 10% weight reduction helped obese patients reduce blood pressure cholesterol and increase longevity. Eating a healthy diet is another part of healthy life style. Not only can a clean diet help with weight management, it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older. You can determine how many calories you need and what food group you should focus on or, if you are looking for smaller changes, you can use these tips for simple ways to change how you eat;

1. Eat more fruit. Add it to your cereal, even your dinner.

2. Sneak in more veggies. Add them where you can a  tomato on your sandwich, peppers on your pizza or extra veggies to your soup.

3. Eat low fat or fat free diary.

Switching to skim milk or fat free yogurt is another simple way to eat less calories without having a change too much in your diet

4. Make some substitutes.

Look through your cabinets or fridge and pick three foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you are at the store, find lower calories substitutes for just those three items.

Creating a healthy life style doesn’t have to mean drastic changes. In fact, drastic changes almost always lead to failure. Making small changes in how you live each day can lead to big rewards, so figure out what you can to be healthy today.





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