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How to Live Your Healthiest Life: Tips You Need to Know

10 Tips for Healthy Living

We're all trying to live a little bit healthier these days. Self-care is important. If we don't prioritize our own health, it's difficult to take care of others. Maybe you're thinking a healthy lifestyle is complicated and time consuming, but it doesn't have to be. Here are 10 tips and life hacks you can use to start a healthy lifetyle.

1. Prioritize Your Sleep

1. Prioritize Your Sleep

The more we learn about sleep, the clearer it is that getting enough sleep is critical to good health. Having trouble falling asleep? Try taking a warm bath or shower about 90 minutes before you go to bed. This will help you relax, and as your body temperature drops, you start to feel sleepy.

Another thing you can do is set a consistent bedtime and wake time. Humans get used to routines quickly, so when you train your body and your brain to expect to go to sleep and wake up at a certain time, you'll have an easier time nodding off. Keep your bedroom cool and dark. Give yourself a chance to wind down before bed by playing quiet music or reading a book, whatever relaxes you.
2. Exercise at Least 5 Times a Week

2. Exercise at Least 5 Times a Week

How much do you really need to work out? The CDC says it's best to do at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. What's the difference between moderate and vigorous activity? If you can talk to your workout partner as you move, but can't sing your favorite workout song, you're exercising at a moderate level. If you can't say more than a few words without taking a breath, you've hit the vigorous intensity level.

Some of your workouts (the CDC suggests at least two a week) should be strength training to keep your muscles strong and healthy. You can exercise in 10-minute bursts or take hour-long walks, the most important thing is to get out there and get moving!

One benefit to exercising more regularly? Better sleep. Exercising every day helps you fall asleep and gives you a more restful sleep.
3. Switch to a Standing Desk

3. Switch to a Standing Desk

Another life hack for adding some movement to your day is to switch to a standing desk. Even better, get a desk that allows you to move between sitting and standing. Studies show that people who sit too much increase health risks like heart disease and obesity. Standing while you work helps you stay active, which lowers your health risk. Make sure your standing desk is at the correct height for your to work comfortably without putting strain on your hands or eyes. If you have the room, you can also get a treadmill desk that allows you to walk while working.
4. Move as Much as You Can

4. Move as Much as You Can

One tip for healthy living is to move as much as you can every day. Recent studies show that walking as few as 3,800 steps a day can reduce your risk for health problems, but the more you walk, the more benefit you get. And it's good to spread your walking throughout the day–exercising for 30 minutes in the morning is great, but if you sit in a chair the rest of the day, you're still considered sedentary. Here are a few healthy hacks to get more steps in your day:

  • Park farther away from the entrance
  • When you get up to take a bathroom break or get a cup of coffee, walk around the room once or twice
  • Set a timer and walk for 2-3 minutes every hour
  • Take the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator
5. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

5. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Okay, you knew this one was coming. We've all heard this healthy living tip since we were kids–you have to eat your veggies (and fruit) to be healthy. And it's true! Fruits and vegetables contain the nutrients we need to keep our bodies working normally.

Here's the true hack to this tip: You can eat the vegetables and fruits you like, just make sure you eat five servings a day. A study led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed a clear drop in the risk of major health problems for people who eat five servings of non-starchy fruits and vegetables a day, with the best combination being three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit.

Not sure how big a serving is? Here are a few guidelines for one serving:

  • Half an avocado
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli
  • 2-4 carrot sticks
  • 1 cup raw greens like spinach or lettuce (a big handful is about a cup)
  • 1/2 cup sweet potatoes
6. Meditate

6. Meditate

In our hectic lives, it's hard to find even a few minutes to just stop and breathe. But meditating for a few minutes every day has been shown to reduce stress, which can be a source of health problems. Among other things, stress can cause headaches, stomach pain, and high blood pressure. It can also weaken your immune system.

You don't have to have any special equipment or training to meditate. And if "meditation" sounds too out there for you, think of it as sitting quietly and practicing deep breathing for a few minutes. You can try it at your desk or in your car (just not while driving, please!) or right before you go to bed.

There are several apps that can help guide you through short and long meditations. Or try this simple hack: Sit somewhere comfortable, set a timer for two minutes, and focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, making sure to breathe deep into your belly.
7. Portion Your Snacks

7. Portion Your Snacks

An easy way to make sure you don't snack more than you want to is to divide your snack food into smaller portions before you put that box or bag into your pantry. When you pull out a bag of chips or cookies, you might mean to only have a few, but if you get distracted and forget to put it away, half the bag is gone before you know it. Get reusable baggies and put a serving into each one, then grab just one serving when you're ready for an afternoon pick-me-up.
8. Avoid Ultra-Processed Foods

8. Avoid Ultra-Processed Foods

Eating real food is one of the best healthy living hacks. Studies show that eating more ultra-processed foods (a broad category that includes fast food, sugary drinks, and anything with an ingredient list you can't pronounce) is linked to obesity, heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer. One way to live healthier is to eat fewer of these ultra-processed foods.

Does that mean have to eat boring, bland meals for the rest of your life? Of course not! You don't even have to give up comfort food. As our Green Chef home cooks know, cooking at home allows you to eat the things you love by making them with real ingredients. When you cook with real ingredients, you tend to eat less sugar, fat, and salt.
9. Drink Smarter

9. Drink Smarter

We all know we should drink about eight glasses of water each day, but what about other beverages? Both tea and coffee have health benefits (if they're not loaded with sugar), but it's good to pay attention to when you drink them. Caffeine stays in your system longer than you think, and too much of it can affect your sleep. Fruit juices can contain a lot of calories and sugar, so if you like juice, pick a low-sugar variety. If you drink alcohol, practice moderation and don't drink too close to bedtime.
10. Eat Off a Smaller Plate

10. Eat Off a Smaller Plate

The brain plays a role in how we eat. For example, when you get a large dinner plate out of the cabinet your brain tells you to fill it up until it looks full, otherwise you're not getting enough to eat and you might go hungry. An easy healthy living hack is to play a gentle trick on your brain by giving it a smaller area to think about. A smaller plate means less food, so it's easier to eat fewer calories. And in turn, eating fewer calories help us live a healthier lifestyle.
Living Your Best Healthy Life with Green Chef

Living Your Best Healthy Life with Green Chef

Living a healthy life means getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, moving more, and taking time to breathe. Practice these healthy living tips and get the best out of every day.

Remember that healthy living doesn't have to be complicated. Green Chef can help. Our selection of delicious recipes, delivered right to your door, can help support your healthy lifestyle.
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