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7 Steps To A Healthy, Active Life

7 steps to a healthy and active life

Introduction

Are you concerned about your health and energy? Do you want to maintain or implement good patterns for nutrition, exercise, sleep, and more?

In the times we are living in today, it’s more important than ever to put good wellness practices in place in your life.

This free guide is packed with useful advice and practical steps to help you live your life to the full. You can use the information right now to help with your diet, exercise, sleep, stress levels, and ensuring your body has the nutrients it needs.

All this information has been compiled and condensed into one place and it’s right here at your fingertips.

The guide covers 7 key areas of life – exercise, diet, sleep, breathing techniques, nutrients and supplements, optimism, and, connection with others.

1. Exercise

Exercise Exercise Exercise!

Health experts have long known that exercise can greatly reduce the negative

effects that stress and anxiety produce since physical activity stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine within our brains. Take this advice to heart by going for a morning walk or hitting the gym after work.

2. Diet

Eat A Healthy Diet

If your diet is filled to the brim with junk food, it’s time to cut back! High levels of sugars and unhealthy fats can worsen that annoying anxious feeling, and lower your overall energy levels. Increase your longevity with healthy food choices. Substitute junk food for healthy snacks like fruit and veggies for longer-lasting energy and better nutrition for a healthy body and mind. 

3. Sleep

Still counting sheep?

To thrive and succeed in your daily life, you need your brain to function at its best. Problem is, without catching enough Z’s your brain could be left foggy, slowing you down tremendously throughout the day and even increasing your risk of messing up or getting into an accident. Make sleep a priority for a healthier and happier life so you can reach your goals and thrive.

4. Breathing Techniques

Want a fast tip for reducing anxiety that you can do no matter where you are?

Breathing techniques can work wonders on the anxious mind with almost instant results. Simply breathe in slowly for five seconds and exhale for five seconds; you’ll immediately feel more relaxed and less tense! Do this each morning when you wake up and anytime throughout the day when you feel the pressures and stresses of the day catching up to you. 

5. Nutrients and Supplements

There’s more to nutrition than just a healthy diet!

No matter how hard we try to eat right, diet alone can not provide us with everything we need to survive. Some nutrients, such as Vitamin D, can only naturally be absorbed through exposure to sunlight. Along with nutrients like this, many of us quietly suffer from absorption problems without even realizing it. The right nutrient supplement can complement any diet and help fill the gaps where lifestyle simply can’t. 

6. Optimism – A Positive Outlook

“Dispositional optimism — the belief that positive things will occur in the future — has emerged as a psychological asset of particular salience for disease-free survival and superior health.”

–  Dr. Rosalba Hernandez

Having an optimistic outlook on life can have a positive effect on health and wellness. A recent study showed that optimists are 74% less likely to suffer from insomnia! This proves that not only does optimism improve your mental outlook on life, but your physical wellbeing as well. 

7. Connecting with others.

Restart a social activity that you previously enjoyed!

Because depression can “sneak up” on you slowly, you may be unconsciously withdrawing from friends, family, and enjoyable activities. Try to get out in public, meet with friends and neighbors, and go to family occasions. It doesn’t have to mean long visits and you don’t have to talk about how you feel, but it will certainly help lift your spirits. Contact with people that you enjoy being around is important for human health, after all, we are innately social beings! If it would help you, add your visit to your to-do list so you can’t talk yourself out of it at the last minute. You’ll thank yourself later!

Chapter 1: Exercise

Exercise is a necessity for more reasons than one. Along with cardiovascular health and body strength, a good exercise routine implemented in your daily life is one of the most effective ways to ward off depression and anxiety.

Exercise causes a chemical reaction in our brains, releasing dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin is the so-called “happiness hormone,” responsible for helping us feel good on a more long-term basis.

Low serotonin can cause an irritable or depressed mood, difficulty concentrating and increased anxiety. Without adequate serotonin, the body can’t produce enough melatonin either, radically affecting sleeping patterns. As your sleeping gets worse, the depression may worsen and you end up in a loop that’s seemingly impossible to break out of.

Thankfully, with a good exercise routine, the chances of falling into such a downward spiral are greatly decreased. If you have found yourself already stuck in a dark place and aren’t sure how to get out, exercise can also be one of your greatest allies to overcoming it.

Now, when we say exercise, you may imagine running full-tilt on a treadmill or lifting weights until your muscles are sore. However, the positive effects of exercise can be yours with only three 10 min walks a day.

Studies have shown that in order to reap the benefits of exercise, adults over the age of 18 require 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, or 75 mins of vigorous-intensity activity each week. The beauty is, you don’t have to achieve this goal all at once!

If you split it up, you can get all the benefits while doing an amount of activity that works for your fitness level or capabilities. For example, three brisk 10 minute walks a day, two brisk 15 minute walks a day, or one 30 minute walk per day, can help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as keep your heart healthy and strong.

The best part about this step is that if you don’t like walking, you can choose any other form of moderate-intensity activity to do, whether it be walking, cycling, swimming, or even dancing!  Whatever works for you, make it happen and stick to it.

A great tip to sticking to your healthy exercise regime is to make sure that the activity you choose is something that you genuinely enjoy doing. This will make it easier to stay consistent with your routine and feel excited to work out.

Lastly, if you feel like being adventurous, don’t be afraid to switch things up and do a different activity each day. Have some fun and enjoy it!

Chapter 2: Diet

Do unhealthy food cravings often get the better of you? There may be a reason for it that has nothing to do with self-control.

When you are not supplying your body with the nutrients or calories that it needs to thrive and grow, the only way for our bodies to communicate with us is through subtle messages like food cravings, an irritable mood, and eventually illness.

Our busy schedules and stress-filled lives can lead us to accidentally skip meals, survive on caffeine, or not have the energy to cook so we opt for take-out instead. Don’t worry, we all do it, you are not alone!

The good news is that you can change these habits from being a regular occurrence, and start taking back control over your diet and lifestyle today. The best place to start is always with a small step. For example, turn your weekly take-out run into a monthly one, or satisfy your unhealthy cravings with a healthy alternative. Your health is worth it so why not make the shift?

A diet filled with junk foods can wreak havoc on our body and mind. There are a few tell signs that you may not be getting the nutrients you need, or that you are overloading your system with unhealthy, processed foods. 

Here are some of the most common warning signs that it’s time to improve your diet:

  • Energy shifts: Bouts of low energy levels, especially after you eat a meal high in complex carbs, can be a telling sign that you are eating too much sugar. The sugar will make your insulin spike, followed by a drop in blood sugar that can leave you feeling sluggish and tired. 
  • Stomach problems: Not being able to pass a bowel movement regularly or frequently having an upset stomach are both signs that your diet is not right. If you are not going to the toilet every day, it may indicate a lack of fiber or hydration in your diet. Drink more water and make sure you are eating enough fruits and vegetables.
  • Adult acne: If your skin is breaking out regularly, your diet may be the culprit. A diet high in sugar and/or dairy can cause break-outs. Alcohol and coffee can also be to blame, so try to rule out the cause one food at a time. When in doubt, always stick to whole foods and fresh produce.
  • Hair changes: Both a sudden or gradual change in hair texture or thickness can indicate a lack of nutrients in your diet. Common causes for thinning hair are low iron and low vitamin B, especially common in women. Left untreated this can lead to many other unpleasant symptoms such as chronic fatigue, difficulty breathing, and dizziness. Try to eat plenty of dark leafy greens, lentils, and legumes for iron, and foods rich in vitamin B such as seeds, avocados, and oatmeal.
  • Bad breath: There are a few dietary-related causes of bad breath, but the two most common causes are dental decay and ketosis. The obvious one, dental decay, is caused by a diet high in sugary foods or drinks, such as sports drinks and soda. However, the unexpected cause, called ketosis, is a sign that you simply aren’t meeting your caloric needs. Ketosis is when your body begins metabolizing fat for energy because your diet isn’t cutting it, and this process causes an unusual smelling breath. 

As you can see, a poor diet can cause a plethora of health problems. You owe it to yourself, and your loved ones, to take good care of your health by making healthier choices about your diet.

A healthy diet paired with other aspects of wellness, such as sleep and exercise, can contribute significantly to your longevity. Why not eat well, and live longer? Even if you have to start small, changing out one food at a time will make a difference.

Remember, a healthy diet refers to what we eat most of the time, so there is no harm in the occasional take-out or sweet treat. Becoming too strict on your diet can be unhealthy too, so just keep it balanced and listen to your body!

Chapter 3: Sleep

Your bedtime is in an hour and you are completely exhausted from the long day that you’ve had, you have dinner and watch your favorite program before nestling into bed.

You are so tired that you swear you will fall right asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. The problem is, you don’t.

Suddenly your brain switches on and no amount of counting sheep will help. You wake up the next morning unaware of what time you fell asleep, and the process starts all over again.

This cruel cycle of sleep deprivation can leave you feeling frustrated and debilitated. Quality sleep is one of the most important aspects of good mental health and general well-being.

Before you worry too much, you should know that according to the US Sleep Association 30% of adults have experienced insomnia at some point and 10% have chronic insomnia. You are not alone!

Although it may not seem like it now, you can start getting a better night’s sleep and finally catch some much-needed Z’s with a few simple lifestyle changes.

One of the leading causes for poor sleep quality is a lack of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in response to darkness.

Certain types of light, particularly blue light from computers and phones, inhibit melatonin production. This interruption of melatonin production in the brain may cause you to stay awake longer and keep you from getting the deep sleep you need to rejuvenate for the next day.

To instantly improve your melatonin production, try keeping off of electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime, and supplementing with natural melatonin sources.

Combining a natural melatonin supplement with a healthy lifestyle can help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer to give you the quality of sleep you deserve. Above all, get into a routine that nurtures a positive sleep pattern.

Here are some of the best changes you can make in your routine to get better sleep: 

  1. Get active: Moving your body during the day allows your body to expend excess energy and adrenaline to help you feel more tired and relaxed at the end of the day.
  2. Wind down: Implement a relaxing night-time routine, including minimizing screen-time at least an hour before bedtime. 
  3. Go herbal: Try taking a herbal supplement to help your mind relax and replenish your melatonin levels for better and longer sleep.
  4. Connect with others: Positive social interaction during the day can help you feel more optimistic about life and ease your mind. Friends and family can also help take the weight off your shoulders if you are going through a tough time. Don’t be afraid to reach out!
  5. Eat Healthily: Junk food and foods high in sugar are stimulating to the body’s nervous system. Try to eat a healthy balanced meal for dinner every night to give your system a fighting chance at winding down for sleep.

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, every aspect goes hand-in-hand. If you are struggling to sleep and don’t know why make sure you are ticking all the boxes by ruling things out one-by-one. Health is holistic, remember not to leave anything out! 

Chapter 4: Breathing Techniques

In this day and age, it seems that stress and anxiety are more prevalent than ever before. We live fast-paced lives and have much higher demands to meet than any other era. With a global population of almost 8 billion people, it is no wonder the world has become so chaotic. So how do we stay on top of it all?

One of the most effective stress management techniques is breathing exercises. They are easy, and quick and can be done anywhere at any time, making them perfect for a busy lifestyle.

Whenever you feel tense or stressed out during the day, try this popular breathing technique called square breathing: 

  • Stop what you are doing and sit quietly for a moment.
  • Breath in slowly through your nose while counting to five in your mind.
  • Then, breath out slowly through pursed lips, as if blowing on hot soup, for the count of five.
  • Breath in slowly again for five, and out slowly again for five to form a “square.”
  • Sometimes it helps to visualize a square and trace your breaths along each edge of the square in your mind.
  • Repeat the square as many times as you’d like, or until you feel calmer.

Breathing techniques form part of a practice called mindfulness, which is simply the art of being in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness comes in many shapes and forms, including meditation, breathing exercises, and prayer. It is a vital part of a holistic outlook on wellness.

Starting each morning with 15 minutes of mindfulness practice, in whichever form works for you, can transform your day by helping you stay calm and clear-minded while you confidently tackle the day’s challenges head-on.

If you aren’t a morning person, you can implement your mindfulness techniques at any time that suits your schedule. The main priority is that you take some me-time to just be quiet, calm, and let go of any negativity you may be holding onto. Just breath!

Chapter 5: Nutrients and Supplements

Do you believe that muscle tension and general fatigue after a long stressful day are normal?

Well, the truth is, feeling drained or anxious in the evenings, or even during the day, could be a sign that your stress levels have zapped your body’s magnesium, or that you may be struggling with another vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Healthy magnesium levels help maintain a well-functioning central nervous system. Some researchers even refer to it as a neuroprotector! Now, just like long-term magnesium deficiency can worsen headaches, affect your bone strength and even damage heart tissue, any long-term vitamin or mineral deficiency can do damage to the body, sometimes irreparable damage. 

Our bodies lose vitamins and minerals all the time, through urination. This is why it is so important to replenish our nutrient stores daily with nutritious foods and supplements.

Some of the most vital vitamins and minerals that we simply can’t go without include:

  • Magnesium: Keeps stress levels at bay and helps release the build-up of stress-related tension in the muscles.
  • Vitamin C: Wards of colds and flu by building up the immune system and keeping our cells healthy. 
  • Iron: Allows oxygen to bind to red blood cells for better oxygen supply around the body, improving energy levels, pale complexion, weakness, and other symptoms associated with anemia. 
  • Zinc: Commonly known for treating acne and other skin ailments, yet also assists in healthy immune function, wound healing, increasing bone density, and preventing vision loss associated with aging. 
  • Vitamin D: Fights diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and heart disease, can help prevent flu, and treats depression caused by a vitamin D deficiency, or lack of sunshine.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Supports cognitive development and functioning, reduces risk of age-related ailments such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s, improves joint health, and much more.

If you have a stressful lifestyle involving frequent mental or physical stressors, or if you are moving on in years, your body may use up more nutrients to help your body cope. Your body may also struggle to absorb everything it needs from the food you eat.

You can safely assist your body by eating more nutritious foods and by giving your body the boost it needs with a natural vitamin supplement.

Supplements can help support our bodies and minds as we age, aiding in a healthy lifestyle and increasing the longevity of our joints, muscles, organs, tissue, and cognitive functioning. It is only natural to see a decline in functioning in all of these areas as we age, so don’t be alarmed, there is support out there.

A great supplement for healthy aging that supports joint health and healthy airways in elderly people, athletes, and anyone looking to maintain good joint functioning, is the sustainably sourced NZ Green Lipped Mussel extract.

The fatty acid profile of the mussel is preserved during the advanced extraction process to offer the highest quality oil within each capsule.

Product Benefits in a Nutshell

  • High strength formulation
  • Supports joint health and normal mobility
  • Supports healthy airways
  • Essential nutrition for cognitive development

You can take this supplement for nutritional support to maintain your wellbeing and active lifestyle, and to assist in a healthy aging process. The mussels used contain naturally occurring marine lipids, and are a natural phospholipid-rich supplement.

The supplement is high in Omega 3 fatty acids and contains other essential fatty acids including DHA, ETA, EPA, and OTA. Each capsule is small and easy to take and can be easily transported for a busy lifestyle. All you need is one capsule a day!

Chapter 6: Optimism – A Positive Outlook

The golden rule to staying optimistic is this: Always look for the silver lining in every situation.

The mind is a very powerful thing. Often we overlook just how much of an impact our thought patterns and mindset can have on the outcome of our lives. Nothing is set in stone, if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything!

No longer is the saying, “Just put your mind to it.” a passing piece of useless advice, studies show that an optimistic mindset can have a direct impact on your health, wellbeing, and success.

Just think about it, things rarely go as planned in life. How many times has a plan of yours gone topsy turvy and you’ve had to come up with a solution on the spot? If you panic and worry about how things didn’t go to plan, chances are the situation will only be made a lot worse by your reaction.

Nurturing a positive outlook takes time and patience with yourself, and being optimistic doesn’t mean that you are never allowed to be sad, only that you place your focus on the better times ahead.

There are many unforeseen benefits to an optimistic outlook in life. For many years, some people have believed that optimism is a form of denial about the chaos of life, but now there is proof that there is more to it than blind positivity.

According to a study done in 2019, people who live their lives optimistically are 74% less likely to suffer from insomnia, meaning that a positive outlook not only nurtures a healthy mind but a healthy body as well!

This quote from Dr. Rosalba Hernandez says it all, “Dispositional optimism — the belief that positive things will occur in the future — has emerged as a psychological asset of particular salience for disease-free survival and superior health.”

Next time something goes haywire, stop, take a breath and focus on the good things. Nothing lasts forever, neither the good nor the bad, just wait for the moment to pass and get ready for the better times!

Chapter 7: Connecting With Others

Put down the smartphone and turn down the volume of the TV. Electronics can get in the way of important bonding moments and conversations. After all, your family may not be around forever. Children leave for college, parents age, and pets grow old too, don’t let the time slip away!

It may feel easier to push through life when you are feeling low, and withdraw away from others, but being honest with yourself about how you truly feel can help you work through your emotions better and open up. 

Sometimes reaching out for help is one of the hardest things to do. We don’t want to burden our friends or family with our problems and we end up keeping it to ourselves, suffering in silence. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and check in with your loved ones during tough times because they might need you just as much as you need them!

Everyone needs a little extra support from time to time and it is important to learn how to reach out for help if you need it.

Human beings, like most mammals, need social interaction to stay healthy and happy. Loneliness often accompanies mental illnesses, like depression, but can also be felt with a lack of meaningful connection. So, just because you regularly spend time with a big group of friends doesn’t make you immune to feeling lonely.

Connecting more meaningfully, for example, more one-on-one time with friends, allows you to build trust and understanding with others. These types of connections give you the confidence to reach out during times of need. You can trust that you won’t be ridiculed or brushed aside.

If you are feeling lonely, try reaching out to a good friend and invite them to do something together. Put your phone away and enjoy connecting. If something is bothering you, find a moment to bring it up and talk it through. You’d be surprised at how relieving sharing the load of a problem can be!

There is a beautiful saying that goes, “A problem shared is a problem halved, and joy shared is joy doubled.” Now, call up that friend or family member, and enjoy some quality time together.