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Keeping Up On Your Health

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By Kari Oakley

Many of us live very busy lives and there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to live up to our obligations. As we try to cram more and more into each day, we tend to forget about the duty we have to keep ourselves healthy. In most cases, people aren't eating right, getting enough exercise, or getting enough sleep, which is why illness and disease is so much more common today. By taking a greater interest in your health, you can ensure you'll live a longer and more active life.

Knowing Where You Stand

There are a few methods for determining where you stand in regard to the status of your health. One popular method is to take a formal online health assessment quiz. This type of quiz will ask you questions about your habits, lifestyle, and general feelings to come up with an evaluation of your health.

Alternatively, you can give yourself a less structured test by simply asking yourself how you feel. Being as honest as you can and using a scale of 1 through 5, estimate your energy, stress, sleep quality, and self-esteem levels. By conducting this self quiz on a daily basis and keeping a diary that documents your activities, you can determine how your daily routines affect you. For instance, do you feel better or worse on days you skip meals? Does exercising during the day help you sleep better at night. This type of ongoing evaluation can help you tweak your lifestyle as you go.

Changing Your Diet

Ideally, the perfect diet consists of an entirely plant-based meal plan, eliminating all processed foods and only eating small portions of red meats. Of course, getting to that point is going to take time. After all, you're trying to rid yourself of a lifetime of bad habits and the best way to do that is to start slow. Make minor changes and adjust to them, before making more changes. Over time, you'll be eating a healthier diet without feeling as though you've made those tremendous sacrifices.

To begin, add an extra serving of vegetables to your meal. Try to select vegetables you really like, so eating them won't feel like a chore. Add veggies to each meal, even breakfast to maximize the benefits you'll reap from these foods.

Next, replace your cookies, cakes, and ice cream with fruits. Kiwi, bananas, and strawberries are just a few fruits that can satisfy your sweet tooth without dumping grams and grams of refined sugar into your system. Additionally, fruits are packed with vitamins and nutrients. Similarly, replace white bread and rolls with whole grains. This is a simple trade-off that doesn't really require you to give anything up. Small sacrifices like these can help you eat healthier without giving up variety and flavor.

Fitting Exercise into Your Daily Routine

There are many ways you can adjust your daily routine to fit more exercise into your routine. While you should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity each day, more is definitely better. You can begin by making small changes, such as parking farther away from the building at work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

One trick busy people are starting to use is to schedule an appointment for exercise. By setting aside a definite time for your workout, you're less likely to skip it. Once you've made a habit of inserting this appointment into your routine on a day to day basis, you'll get used to it as a regular part of your day. While you're at it, choose an activity that you enjoy doing. It doesn't have to be a gym workout. You can go rollerblading, dancing, swimming, or you can select any physically-demanding activity.

As you begin to make these changes to your lifestyle, you'll begin to feel healthier and happier with your life. A better diet and more physical activity in your daily routine will naturally cause other changes. You'll soon feel less stressed and you'll begin sleeping better at night. Making these simple changes can have a drastic and positive effect on your health.

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