What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms

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Rather than eating right solely for the promise of looking better in your jeans, you should also make a commitment to eating foods that will boost your energy level and keep your system running smoothly. This is because what you eat can not only impact your short-term and long-term health, it can affect your stress levels.

If you're hungry you're malnourished, you may be more emotionally reactive to stressors, or may not have the reserves to handle what comes up as efficiently as you would if you were operating on a full stomach of healthy food. Watching what you eat can be a stress management tool as well as a health preserver. Another reason it's a good idea to maintain a healthy diet for these reasons is that your diet has a more immediate effect on your mood than on the number on your scale.

If you eat a poor diet, you may feel lethargic, jittery, or moody in a matter of minutes or hours, while it may take a greater buildup of unhealthy meals to make a difference that can be seen on the scale.

What You Can Do to Maintain Your Health

This means that there's a more immediate consequence to a poor diet. Conversely, you may also feel more energized and optimistic when you're eating right, so this is a more constant and immediate reward for eating well than a change in clothing size. If you remind yourself that what you eat now will affect how you feel in the coming hours, it may be easier to stick to a healthy diet.

Make a commitment to get enough sleep at night. If you haven't gotten adequate sleep, you may be less productive, less mentally sharp, and otherwise more prone to the effects of stress.

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Carve out a full eight hours, avoid caffeine after 2 pm, and adopt a calming technique such as meditation, and let your body restore itself each night. You may be surprised by how much less stressed you feel when you're not tired if this is an issue for you right now. And use these proven strategies if you have trouble getting quality sleep when stressed.

Healthy food can be delicious, and it's fun learning new recipes and healthy combinations.

Also, healthy cooking doesn't have to be time-consuming:. Everything in moderation is a phrase you hear often, and with good reason.

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Everything in moderation means that there's a healthy balance to your life, so laugh, love, live, and be healthy. Learn more about balance. Healthy Living. Everyday Health Healthy Living. A healthy, happy mind can contribute to good health. Balanced living means having a positive outlook, focusing on good habits, and lowering stress. When you start the day with a healthy breakfast , you avoid becoming overly hungry later, which could send you running to get fast food before lunch. Additionally, skipping breakfast can raise your blood sugar , which increases fat storage.

Incorporate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet per day. These foods, which are low in calories and high in nutrients, help with weight control. Limit consumption of sugary beverages, such as sodas and fruit juices , and choose lean meats like fish and turkey.

5 Benefits of Healthy Habits

Doing right by your body pays off for your mind as well. The Mayo Clinic notes that physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to a better physique. Short-term benefits of exercise include decreased stress and improved cognitive function.

Another healthy habit that leads to better mental health is making social connections. Spend time with family or friends on a regular basis, if not every day. Pick up the phone or start a video chat. Healthy habits help prevent certain health conditions, such as heart disease , stroke , and high blood pressure. If you take care of yourself, you can keep your cholesterol and blood pressure within a safe range.

This keeps your blood flowing smoothly, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Regular physical activity and proper diet can also prevent or help you manage a wide range of health problems, including:. Make sure you schedule a physical exam every year. Your doctor will check your weight, heartbeat, and blood pressure, as well as take a urine and blood sample. This appointment can reveal a lot about your health.

When you eat a balanced diet your body receives the fuel it needs to manage your energy level. A healthy diet includes:. Regular physical exercise also improves muscle strength and boosts endurance, giving you more energy, says the Mayo Clinic.

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Exercise helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and gets your cardiovascular system working more efficiently so that you have more energy to go about your daily activities.