The lifestyle of a modern person is fast, stressful, and overall unhealthy. An average human in the United States eats processed foods, rarely exercises, and is overweight. In other words, there are plenty of people out there who aren’t happy with their bodies nor their health.
We’ve put together a list of several simple yet life-changing practices that can help you turn things around, become healthier and feel better about your body. Let’s start with the basics.
You’ve probably heard it many times from older generations and those who believe in healthy nutrition. The whole “you are what you eat” idea isn’t just something that people like to throw around. This is an age-old concept that is absolutely true. The type of food you eat will determine your health, how you feel on a daily basis, and whether you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.
Food isn’t just about calories and fats, even though both of these metrics are important. You’re also getting important vitamins and minerals through food, which are necessary for the proper functioning of various body organs as well as your brain. The moment you cut off the intake of vitamins and other important nutrients, you’ll begin to feel “off” in some ways.
Here’s the thing — fast food, junk food, processed foods, and similar widely available products are rarely delivering the nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy body. On the contrary, these foods are often devoid of essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need to survive.
What processed foods are full of are non-essential, harmful ingredients such as processed sugars, bad fats, high amounts of sodium, and other forms of empty calories. When you base your diet around such foods, you’re getting a surplus of calories at a nutrient deficit.
These are just some of the reasons why you should focus your diet on healthy foods such as unprocessed meats, vegetables, fruit, and various cereals. Unprocessed food is packed with nutrients, offers a richness of taste that you won’t find among processed foods, and will help you feel better about your body.
Vitamins are an essential part of nutrition. We need only a small amount of each vitamin in order to survive, yet there are so many people who are currently experiencing a deficiency in key vitamins. There are 13 essential vitamins we require and most enter our bodies through food.
That being said, if you’re experiencing a vitamin deficiency, you can fix that issue through supplementation. Supplementation of vitamins USA statistics shows that around 86% of people take vitamin supplements of some kind. In other words, every 5th American isn’t taking supplements.
Going down the list of healthy lifestyle practices leads us straight to exercising. In fact, nutrition and exercise are neck and neck when it comes to importance. Both are essential parts of a healthy lifestyle, although they bring different types of benefits.
The idea behind exercising is simple — your body is full of muscles that need to be used. If you don’t use them, you’ll lose them. Your cardiovascular system will start suffering as well if you’re not moving enough. All of this ultimately leads to chronic diseases and various health conditions that will impact your quality of life.
It’s a common misconception that exercise has to be extremely straining or difficult. While high-intensity workouts do miracles as far as health benefits go, you can still maintain a relatively healthy body with a minimum of effort. Walking for an hour is a good way to keep your body from suffering too much.
That being said, there are benefits to being more involved in fitness. Lifting weights, heavy cardio exercises, and similar straining physical activities make you feel good — literally. When you exercise your body produces endorphins. Endorphins are a chemical whose main job is to take the edge of pain and discomfort produced by heavy physical work. However, it doesn’t stop there. Endorphins will literally make you feel good. This is why so many people are addicted to working out.
Acceptance Of Yourself
Everything we’ve mentioned so far was aimed at helping you become healthier, leading to a body that you should feel good about. However, there’s one more, often overlooked component to feeling good about yourself — your ability to accept your flaws. The mental image you have of yourself is a major factor. If you can’t look in the mirror and be content with what you see, whether it’s an overweight body, or a very fit one, none of the tips we’ve mentioned above will matter much.
In many ways accepting yourself is the most difficult part. You can eat clean and lift heavy things to build muscle and lose fat. It’s a cause-effect process that is rather predictable. There are no workout plans, rep counts, and weight progressions that will help you accept your body. That is something you need to come to terms with through introspection.
The good thing is that most people start to progressively feel better about their bodies as they gain muscle or lose weight. It’s a matter of putting in work and making a change that can bring satisfaction even before you start seeing the results on your body. For some, simply working out and eating right is enough to improve their self-image.
It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Making a positive change and attaining that healthy body isn’t something that can happen overnight. It takes time to see a difference and reach your goals. However, this isn’t something that should discourage you from making a commitment to change. The journey might be long, but it is well worth the effort.
When you look back in a year or two, you’ll want to see a road full of challenges you’ve conquered, not the same place you’re standing in right now. As that famous Chinese proverb says “a thousand-mile journey starts with the first step”. There is a lot of truth in these words, especially when it comes to fitness and fitness-related results.