Diet and staying healthy

Taking steps to make your life healthier and less stressful can be a challenge, although the end result is well worth the effort. Wellness is about more than simply exercising every now and then; it's about consciously trying to be as healthy and as happy as you can, and improving your state of mind is just as important as having a healthy body.

A Balanced Diet

We all know how important it is to eat a balanced diet, and one of the best ways to do that is to start out in a small way, and keep your expectations realistic. Cutting back on red meat, microwavable meals and salty snacks, eliminating crisps and sweets from your diet, and switching to low fat milk and margarine are all small steps that can make a big difference. Try to include more vegetables and fruit in your diet; once you get into the routine of doing that, it becomes a lot easier to do that. Don't forget the importance of drinking plenty of water every day, and filter taps can remove the impurities from tap water, and also have the advantage of eliminating the cost of having to buy bottled water.

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Get Some Exercise

Getting exercise doesn't just improve your body, it can help to focus your mind and generally make you feel better about yourself and your life. However, exercising regularly can be difficult, especially if you feel as if you are always on the go. If that sounds like you, you don't need to join a gym in order to keep fit and work out; running, cycling, swimming or simply walking can provide you with several health benefits. And exercise can easily be incorporated into your daily routine; make a point of taking the stairs instead of the lift, park a little further away from your school or office, or walk around the local park on your lunch break, instead of sitting at your desk working.

Sleeping Well

Being healthy also means getting a good night's sleep on a regular basis, and although you may not be able to sleep for the recommended 8 hours a night, there are steps to take to improve the quality of your sleep. If practical, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even if it is the weekend and you don't have to be in the office. Avoid rich or spicy foods close to bedtime, and limit your intake of alcohol a few hours before bedtime. And try to keep distractions out of your bedroom; taking your work to bed, or having a computer or TV in the bedroom can prevent you from falling asleep easily. And if you aren't sleeping well, it may just be the colour of your bedroom walls; light pastel tones are more conducive to a good night's sleep than loud or bright colours.

Avoid Stress

Stress is a big part of everyone's life, and of course it can literally be a killer, leading to a stroke or heart attack. Make a point of trying to not let the small things upset you, and if practical don't take your work home with you when you leave the office. If your drive to work is stressful, consider carpooling, taking the train or working from home as healthier alternatives. Try to find time each day to do something that you enjoy, even if it's just for a few minutes, such as reading, listening to music, gardening or playing with the kids. Meditation and yoga are both proven methods of relaxing and eliminating stress, and are suitable for just about anyone.