In today’s world it is so important to be healthy. Doctors, scientists, researchers, and engineers all collaborate to make our medicine topnotch. The helpers for our body are doing their part. These advances in technology have done their share, leaving the rest to us. Now, it’s our turn to treat our body the way it should be treated.
Step 1: Know the Fact and Statistics
- 1 in every 4 deaths are due to Heart Disease in America
- 49% of Americans have either diabetes, high blood pressure, or smoke, all key risks for heart disease
- Every 34 seconds an American has a heart attack
- 8.3% of the American population has diabetes
- 41% of Americans will be diagnosed with some stage and type of cancer
Don’t let your body become a part of one of those percentages.
Step 2: Keep Healthy Snacks
Try to keep healthy snacks in your backpack or purse during the day. For example, you could keep a granola bar or fruit. This will give you enough energy to last in-between meals. Sugary snacks (like chocolate) will do that too, but it isn’t a healthy choice.
Step 3: Healthy Grocery Shopping
Make a list of healthy ingredients. Go online and find some recipes you’ll enjoy. You know your taste buds the best. When going down the aisle, try to avoid picking up things like candy and chocolate. Instead, pick a replacement. Maybe instead of getting your weekly dose of chocolate you could pick up raspberries! However, if you really do need that weekly dose, you could try to have a dessert that involves fruits and sweets. For example, I recently made a delicious dessert. It’s called “Caramel Apple Dessert Salad”. It consists of cut apples in the shape of a cube, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, heath bits, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and pecans (optional). It tastes delicious, and it’s not too bad for you! You can’t feel too guilty about eating it since there are apples. Apples reduce cholesterol, detox your liver, and boost your immune system, and all while protecting against Alzheimer’s diseases and Parkinson’s disease! Try filling strawberries with Nutella or cheesecake filling. That way, your sweet craving will be satisfied while gaining essential vitamins and nutrients! Strawberries also boost short-term memory, lower cardiovascular disease, and strengthen bones! You could buy celery sticks and dip them in peanut butter! Celery is one of the healthiest snacks. Celery is a great fiber supplement, and even helps with arthritis and spleen and liver diseases.
Step 4: Drink Water
Water, water, water! Water helps balance other fluids in the body, helps control calories, energizes your muscles, keeps your hair strong, keeps your skin healthier, maintains your bowel functions, increases cognitive function, and helps maintain strong and sturdy joints! Water is an essential part of your diet! Make sure to drink about 8 cups a day. Avoid soda and other drinks with a lot of sugar. If you are having a lot of juice, try added 1/4 or 1/2 a cup of water! Soda increases your chance of obesity, increases your risk for diabetes, increases your risk of having a heart attack and stroke, and of course contributes to the decay of teeth enamel.
Step 5: Set Goals
Setting goals will motivate you. No one ever wants to disappoint himself or herself; that is one of the worst feelings. Set goals for yourself that you know that you will be able to be successful in. You are the only person who knows your body, your stamina, and your metabolism. Try monthly goals at first. For example, this coming month set a goal on running at least twice a week. While doing that monthly goal, also set weekly goals. For example, your weekly goal could be purchasing healthier groceries. Try daily goals, like talking a walk everyday or doing sit-ups in the morning.
Step 6: Have a Friend/Family Member to Start With- Have a Motivation
When starting this new lifestyle, try finding a gym-buddy! Maybe go grocery shopping with someone, so when you reach for the ‘Flaming Hot Cheetos’ and powdered doughnuts someone will stop you! By starting this chapter of your life with someone, both parties will be motivated. It’s a win-win situation. The positive reinforcement and encouragement will also make your ability and will power to change your lifestyle in a positive and healthy way. Try providing incentives for each other.
Step 7: Exercise
Exercise just simply makes you feel better. If you’re not much of a gym-goer you still have many options! For example, there’s yoga, which is a great alternative. Yoga balances out stress hormones, strengthens your cardiovascular system, and speeds up your metabolism. It might even be better than going to the gym! Yoga also strengthens your cardiovascular and muscular system as well as your posture. The great thing about yoga is that anyone can do it! Exercise gives you the time to reclaim your emotional stability as well as your mental and physical health. The key is to deep breaths while coordinating those breaths with the motions of your body. There are many different types of yoga positions. Some require sitting, some reuire standing, some require flexibility and some don’t. You can do yoga anywhere- you can take a class at a gym or you can do it in your own backyard looking over a view. You could even take a walk around your neighborhood or around your office building during your lunch hours. There are a lot of options and you can get very creative!
Step 8: Relax
Relax. If you’re having a busy day, and it’s convenient to pick up fast food, so be it. I understand that McDonalds and frozen meals have programmed themselves to taste better, even if that means the food is ten times unhealthier. Having fast food once in a while is totally okay. Don’t deprive yourself of things you love. Take everything step by step and do something for yourself. Don’t kill yourself over a healthy lifestyle. If you want to get dessert every other weekend, then do it! Do what makes you happy. Always be kind to yourself.
Step 9: Get Enough Sleep
Sleep plays a huge role in one’s metabolism. Getting the right amount of sleep makes learning new things and memorizing much easier. It also helps stabilize your metabolism and blood pressure. Your irritability and mood swings significantly decrease. Sleep keeps your cardiovascular system and immune system healthy as well. By getting the full 8-10 hours of sleep each night, your irritability and mood swings decrease. You will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Step 10: Be Healthy Around Family/Friends- Be a Motivation
Make yourself become a motivation to someone! Be a healthy role model. Everyone wants a healthy lifestyle, it’s just about being able to start it and keep up with it. Show everyone that you did it. Inspire someone. Tell your friends, “If I can do it, so can you!” Be a motivation not just towards your friends, but family, colleagues, and everyone in your circle!
In my situation, cancer, diabetes, and heart problems are running through my blood. I want to be able to live a comfortable life, not worrying about my health and risks constantly. By starting now, I hope to achieve that. I know a lot of people are in my situation. Genetics has a play in diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and many other scary and deadly diseases. However, by taking the right steps, you can always have a leg up and be one step ahead of the never-ending race.