How to Be Happy and Healthy All Year Long

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How long has it been since you took a long, hard look at your health and fitness goals? When is the last time you challenged yourself to take leaps and bounds in the direction of total wellness?  Your health cannot only determine the longevity of your life, but it impacts the quality of your life also. That’s right, your health and happiness are directly connected. Studies have shown that a happier disposition can lower your risk of heart disease and other health issues in the future. For example, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t fit chocolate into an overall healthy diet.  It’s all about finding balance. Now that sounds like a great way to stay healthy- enjoying life.

Often times when we think of staying healthy, we think of the difficulty and hard work that we will have to face in the process. But in actuality, if we manage our health now, it will be a lot less work than if we have to do damage control in the future. Perhaps we should start changing our outlook by accomplishing one new and exciting challenge at a time.

Pick One Thing to Change

You might be surprised what positive effects can happen just by making one change your daily routine or exchanging one item in your go-to meal. Instead of driving, can you walk to work or ride a bike to the grocery store? One man decided he could make his commute more physical and lost 100 pounds in the process! Perhaps you can also replace your daily soft drink with a glass of water. Or maybe you can lengthen your daily walks with your dog by offering your dog walking services to neighbors. One small adjustment can make a huge long term impact.

Make good decisions while eating out

Now you may be thinking, “What’s the difference in eating at a restaurant and eating at home? As long as I make healthy meal choices, it’s all the same, right?” Well actually, there are a lot of factors that can make eating out the less healthy option. Consider the portion size at your favorite restaurant versus the portion size when you make a meal at home. Most casual restaurants serve much more food per order than you would make in your own kitchen. Restaurants also offer additional items that you wouldn’t typically make for yourself, by serving items like buttery rolls before the meal or fries as a side with every entrée.

It’s all about making the right decisions when eating out. Order healthier options, and try to keep your portions in mind. Remember that you don’t have to eat your entire meal at once. You can always get a to-go box.

The Diet Dare

If you are ready to make serious, immediate changes to your diet and exercise plan, then count yourself officially dared to cut out all bread and sweets from your meals. Take it a step further by avoiding any flavoring in your coffee, and drinking primarily water throughout the day. The cherry on top will be 30 minutes of an exercise of your choice every day of the week. It might be tough, but it’s the kind of challenge you might like if you want to see a quicker return on your hard work.

No matter which of these ideas you implement in your lifestyle, be a more confident you and take control of your health by making choices that yield long lasting results, motivating you to keep going. Whether you take one step at a time or one giant leap of faith, your healthier future is waiting on the other side of the decisions you make today. Choose to live a healthier, happier life, all year long, to enjoy lifelong wellness.

By:  Helen Carter

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