Health Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Five essential, easy habits to achieve health and fitness

You don’t have to go to the gym every day or give up all your favorite foods to be healthy and fit. You can achieve optimal health and fitness by incorporating a few essential habits into your daily routine. Here are five to keep at the front of your mind.

Get Enough Sleep

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Getting enough sleep is essential if you want to be at your best both mentally and physically. When you’re well-rested, you’re more alert and productive, and you’re better able to make healthy choices throughout the day.

 How much sleep do you need? That depends on a few things, including your age and activity level. But most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. 

 If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and avoid using electronic devices in bed.

Stay Hydrated

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One of the most important habits to develop for optimal health and fitness is staying hydrated. Many people walk around dehydrated without even realizing it. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, and people often end up eating when they should be drinking water.

 Dehydration can lead to all sorts of problems, including fatigue, poor concentration, dry skin, and more serious problems such as kidney stones. Drink plenty of water every day. Shoot for eight glasses, or half your body weight in ounces. If you’re working out regularly or spend a lot of time in the salt water, you’ll need to drink even more.

 Water not your thing? Try substituting tea, juice, or low-fat milk. Just make sure you’re drinking something every day.

Exercise Regularly

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If you want to achieve optimal health and fitness, then you’ve got to make exercise a regular part of your routine. Exercise helps keep your body functioning optimally by increasing cardiovascular endurance, strengthening muscles, reducing joint stiffness, and improving flexibility. It also helps with blood sugar control and weight management and can lower your risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

Eat Real, Nutrient-Dense Foods

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If you want to be healthy, you need to eat real, nutrient-dense foods. What does that mean? It means your food should have minimal processing and no additives. As much as possible, your diet should consist of whole foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.

 When you eat processed foods, you’re not only depriving yourself of essential nutrients; you’re also filling up on empty calories. Those calories might make you feel full in the moment, but they won’t do anything to help you meet your health and fitness goals.

  So, what should you eat? That depends upon your individual dietary needs and preferences. But some good options include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, including avocado, all of which are readily available on-island. Visit your local farmer’s market and make use of the island’s bounty, rather than buying that bag of imported chips.

Reduce Stress Levels

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One of the most important habits to incorporate into your lifestyle is reducing your stress levels. High levels of stress can have a major impact on both your physical and mental well-being. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that increases blood pressure and puts you at risk of developing chronic illnesses.

Focus on activities that prioritize self-care, such as yoga, meditation, or journaling. Take time each day to do something calming. And don’t forget to take breaks when needed.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, these five habits are essential for achieving optimal health and fitness. Make them a part of your daily routine and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier you. 

Daron Seal