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10 Steps Towards Living A Healthy Life

Written by: Karalynne Call, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

It’s that time of year again where we get bombarded by New Year’s resolutions and all kinds of restrictive diets and quick fixes, promising to make the new year your healthiest year yet. Well, I can’t promise this will be your healthiest year – that’s up to you – but I can share with you 10 tips for living a healthy life in 2023.

female home workout living room facing the city

Why Live a Healthy Life?


Your health is one of the most precious things you have. It’s the root of everything in your life. It dictates how you show up in the world, how you show up for yourself, for the people you love, for your community. When you don’t feel your best, it’s hard to be the best version of you, whether that’s as a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a friend, and the list goes on. You owe it to yourself to live a healthy, happy life. And, if that’s not the type of motivation that works for you, you owe it to the people who depend on you. So, where to begin?


Say Goodbye to New Year’s Resolutions


While studies show that New Year’s Resolutions aren’t the best way to achieve your health goals, taking small steps toward living a healthy life is a much more effective route to go. With that in mind, these 10 health tips are meant to serve as small steps to get you started on your health journey.


Don’t feel like you need to implement all these changes at once. That’s a surefire way to set yourself up for failure. Instead, try these tactics:

  • Pick 3-5 tips to focus on implementing at first. Once they’ve become part of your daily routine, come back and choose another 3-5 to work on. This will help you build confidence in achieving your goals and keep you progressing in your health journey.

  • Make a plan. That might look like adding more fruits or veggies to your weekly grocery list or waking up an hour earlier to get your workout in before the kids are up. With a plan in place, you’re more likely to add these changes into your daily life.

  • Ask for support. When people are on board with your lifestyle changes, it makes it that much easier to implement them. For example, if you’re eliminating processed foods from your diet, it helps if your family is doing the same so processed foods aren’t even present in your home.

  • Give it time. Studies show it takes about 10 weeks to build a habit. Which means, it’s going to take time. And likely, there’s going to be days that you might mess up. Give yourself a little grace and keep going. In building healthy habits, you don’t have to do it perfectly, you just have to do it consistently.

10 Tips for Living a Healthy Life


1. Eat fruits and veggies daily.

Even if it’s just adding some fruit to your breakfast and cooking a veggie with your dinner, incorporating fruits and vegetables into your daily diet comes with countless benefits. As an important piece of a healthy diet, this dynamic duo can help give your body the nutrients and nourishment it needs.

2. Filter your water.


Drinking water is one of the best (and easiest) things you can do for yourself, but if you’re not filtering your water, you’re exposing yourself to hundreds of harmful contaminants including BPA, mercury, chlorine, PFAS, pesticides, lead, VOCs, arsenic, pharmaceuticals, and possibly more. EWG even found that flowing water to about 85% of the US contained 316 contaminants.


Investing in a quality water filter is a great next step in investing in your long-term health.


3. Cook with non-inflammatory oils.


Corn oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil are all high in omega 6s, which contribute to inflammation, a root cause of many common diseases today such as depression, anxiety, hormonal imbalance, migraines, joint pain, chronic fatigue, auto-immune issues, and so much more.


Try cooking and baking with non-inflammatory oils like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, or ghee. This will either help your body heal from inflammation or prevent inflammation from occurring later down the line.


4. If buying processed foods, buy ones that are made from whole food ingredients.


Heavily processed foods often have unhealthy levels of sugar, sodium, and fat. They lack nutritional value and are full of artificial ingredients, and when consumed long-term, they pose an increased risk for cancer.


Look for processed foods that contain whole food ingredients – these will still provide nutritional value and likely have less or no artificial ingredients. A general rule of thumb, the longer the ingredients list, the more processed. The shorter the ingredients list (and full of ingredients you’re familiar with), the more likely it’s made from whole food ingredients.


5. Move your body and prioritize your sleep.


Movement is medicine. Exercise is so good for so many different areas of health, including your heart, hormones, immune system, muscles, lymphatic system, blood pressure, energy, stress, sleep quality, and the list goes on and on. There’s a reason the Mayo Clinic recommends aiming for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. While it might be one of the harder steps to implement in your daily life, it will certainly be the most transformative.


And the opposite of movement, sleep, is just as important. Sleep gives our bodies a chance to rest and recharge. It’s no secret that we feel our best after a night of good, quality sleep, but that’s often not always achievable. Having a solid nighttime routine can help improve sleep quality:

  • Minimize electronic use before bed.

  • Journal or "brain dump" before trying to fall asleep.

  • Try to go to bed at the same night every night.

  • Don’t eat 3-4 hours before bed.

  • Create a comfortable, cool sleeping space.

  • Reduce daily sugar consumption.

6. Nourish your physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health.


While this step is going to look different for everyone, it’s so important to recognize each of these different components to health. A lot of trendy New Year’s resolutions focus on physical health (as do a lot of the items on this list), but that’s only one factor that contributes to your overall health.


So, for this step, I challenge you to take the time to reflect on these four components. Take stock of where you are for each and where you’d like to be. Then make a plan to nourish the areas that might need a little more attention. Remember, this is a lifelong part of the journey and will look different for everyone.


7. If you’re battling a health issue, figure out the root cause and address it.


We live in a world where there are quick fixes everywhere. Unfortunately, a lot of these quick fixes are only addressing the symptoms of what might be a larger health issue. If you’re battling a health issue, dig to find the root cause. Once you’ve uncovered what the source of the issue is, you can treat it and heal.


In my own experience, and countless stories I’ve heard from people I’ve had the privilege of helping, treating the root cause of your health issue often clears up multiple symptoms, sometimes symptoms you didn’t even realize were affecting you.


8. Value your health.


Your health is priceless. Nourish your body so that in return, your body can do the best for you. When you start to internalize this belief, it’s easier to opt for water instead of soda, or spend your 30 minutes of free time going for a walk instead of watching TV. If you’re struggling to value your health, try leaving sticky note reminders for yourself around the house, or journal about it before bed. It can also be helpful to talk to a mental health professional to understand what is keeping you from truly valuing your health.


9. Strengthen and support your immune system.


Living a healthy lifestyle automatically leads to having a stronger immune system, but it’s important to recognize that you have the power to strengthen and support it. Here are a few things you can do to help strengthen it:

  • Reduce sugar

  • Increase fruits and vegetables

  • Increase fiber

  • Exercise

  • Spend time in the sun

  • Drink filtered water

  • Get quality sleep

  • Reduce stress

  • Improve your gut health

  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco

  • Supplement with zinc, elderberry, and vitamins C and D

10. Love others, love yourself, spread kindness.


This one might be a little more aspirational than the other steps, but it’s true. Loving yourself and others helps you feel more connected to the world. And according to a study by Stanford, those that feel more connected to others report lower levels of anxiety and depression. “Social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being” the study says.


That’s where spreading kindness comes into play. Performing acts of kindness triggers the release of feel-good hormones in our brains, which can help lower levels of depression and anxiety.


Your Healthy Journey


Keep in mind, some of these are goals to work towards throughout your healthy journey (aka your entire life), not something meant to be achieved overnight. So, be sure to give yourself a lot of grace. Change can be hard, even if it is for the better. Just be sure to stick with it and keep taking those small steps. Wishing you the best of luck on your healthy journey! I’ll be rooting for you.


Join me on Instagram @just.ingredients for daily inspiration, tips, and swaps, to help you live your healthiest life yet.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Karalynne Call, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Karalynne Call is the Owner of Just Ingredients, a chart-topping podcast host, Certified Nutritionist, and mom of 6. She began her health journey 15 years ago as she battled severe depression, and has helped many others begin their own health journey. She shares the how-to’s and why’s behind choosing better, whole, clean ingredients in your diet and daily product use. Over 800 thousand people follow her Instagram account @just.ingredients to find helpful advice on how to make small changes in their lives to make a long-term benefit in their own health. In addition to her impact on socials, she launched her own successful product line of clean beauty products, protein powder, pre-workout, and more.

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