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Seven things you need to do to stay healthy – and why they’re important

stay healthy, RECIPES WELLNESS
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Seven things you need to do to stay healthy – and why they’re important

stay healthy, RECIPES WELLNESS

The word health gets thrown around a lot these days, but what exactly does it mean? Health can refer to physical health, mental health, spiritual health, and much more. No matter what type of health you are referring to, there are certain things that we all need to do in order to keep ourselves healthy and prevent sickness or disease. Below are seven of the most important things you need to do to stay healthy, along with an explanation of why each one is so important. ( risk heart disease )


To lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories than your body burns. So if you’re tired, you may have a hard time exercising or resisting junk food when hunger pangs strike. In fact, recent research has shown that sleep deprivation makes it harder for dieters to control their eating habits—and can cause emotional eating in some people. To lose weight and keep it off for good, be sure to get at least seven hours of shut-eye every night. Sleep deprivation also increases levels of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) which is associated with abdominal fat storage and high blood pressure.

You may not feel hungry after a good night’s sleep, but you can still end up consuming more calories than your body needs. Lack of sleep also boosts cortisol, a stress hormone that triggers hunger. Studies show that dieters who get six or fewer hours of sleep a night consume an average of 300 more calories per day than those who sleep seven to eight hours each night. In fact, study participants who slept five hours or less at night increased their body mass index (BMI) by an average of 0.7 percent over four years—the equivalent of gaining 11 pounds!

Reduce your weight

By losing excess fat, you can potentially reduce your risk of diseases like heart disease and cancer. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is on track to replace malnutrition as a leading cause of death worldwide. In other words, being underweight is no longer as big a threat as being overweight or obese. To keep your weight in check and maintain good health, focus on eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, beans and legumes—and limit your intake of processed foods that are high in sodium (like pickles) or saturated fats (such as cheese). Include physical activity in your daily routine—even small amounts are helpful—to get all those benefits without adding stress on your joints.

A balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, beans and legumes—and limits your intake of processed foods that are high in sodium (like pickles) or saturated fats (such as cheese)—should also keep your weight under control. Physical activity is another crucial factor in maintaining a healthy weight. If you’re leading a very sedentary lifestyle, don’t worry; even small amounts can make a difference. Try getting up from your desk once every hour or so to walk around for five minutes—it’s good for both your body and mind!


Researchers have studied thousands of older adults over many years, examining everything from their mood to their mortality rate. What consistently emerged is that those who exercise are more likely to be happy, as well as less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, or other age-related conditions. It’s not surprising then that most doctors recommend a regular routine of strength training and cardiovascular exercise for optimal health and wellness. Just remember: If you find it difficult to make time for working out regularly on your own, consider hiring a trainer or coach;

These days that can easily be done online via Skype or email! So what are seven ways we can all keep ourselves fit? Here’s our list

1) Strength train at least twice per week. Whether you’re 20 or 80, resistance training (or weightlifting) will help build muscle mass and bone density—two factors that decline with age—and thus improve overall quality of life. Don’t know where to start? Try Bodyweight Training for Beginners .

2) Do some cardio at least three times per week. Whether walking, jogging, swimming, biking, rowing—whatever floats your boat—regular cardiovascular activity helps maintain lean muscle mass while burning fat and calories. And don’t worry about hitting a certain number of minutes each session; just aim for 30 minutes total spread throughout your week (e.g., three 10-minute sessions).

3) Eat breakfast every day. Breakfast is an important meal, even if it’s just a bowl of cereal or some fruit with yogurt. Eating a nutritious breakfast will help maintain energy levels throughout your day, reduce cravings for unhealthy foods later in the morning, and help keep you from overeating at lunchtime.

4) Eat more veggies and fruits. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber—all those good-for-you nutrients that can help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes…the list goes on! Aim for five servings per day (that’s about two cups).

5) Drink water regularly throughout your day (not soda or juice). Water hydrates our bodies without adding calories or sugar; it also helps us feel full faster so we eat less overall.

6) Avoid sugary drinks. Sugary drinks—like soda, fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks—are packed with calories that can lead to weight gain over time, which in turn increases risk of heart disease and diabetes. If you’re craving something sweet, reach for a piece of fresh fruit instead!

7) Get enough sleep every night. Getting at least seven hours of sleep per night is crucial for maintaining energy levels as well as cognitive function during waking hours; research has even shown that people who get enough sleep have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease than those who don’t get enough rest!

Eat Right

We all know we should eat more fruits and vegetables. Why? Because that’s where your vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients (plant nutrients), antioxidants, cancer-fighting agents, etc., are found—and studies show that people who eat more of these healthful foods live longer than those who don’t.

To lose weight safely but quickly, get on board with eating right. Eat fruits and veggies every day—at least five servings of each a day is best. You may have heard that seven servings are optimal but even five works well. Fruits and veggies contain water, which fills you up without adding calories. Plus, their fiber content helps slow digestion so that you feel full longer.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has also been shown to reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. And since most Americans aren’t getting enough produce—the average person eats about half as many servings as recommended daily—adding more produce to your diet can only help your overall health picture.

The same goes for whole grains: They’re low in calories but high in fiber so they fill you up while helping control blood sugar levels (so you’re less likely to overeat). Whole grains also provide B vitamins, iron and magnesium; some research suggests they may reduce heart disease risk too.

Manage Stress

Stress is unavoidable. But managing stress in a smart way can have a huge impact on your overall health. Stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, or simply taking a walk outside can help reduce anxiety and improve your quality of life. Learning how to manage stress is an essential part of staying healthy because without it, chronic issues like insomnia are more likely to develop. Also worth noting: Sleep experts recommend that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night—and people who don’t get enough sleep (including those who work erratic hours) tend to be at higher risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure than their well-rested counterparts. Getting adequate rest can also help prevent headaches and stomach problems caused by work stress!

Getting enough sleep, maintaining a regular workout routine, eating a well-balanced diet (including getting enough fibre!), and keeping up your hygiene are all essential elements of staying healthy. There’s also room for small indulgences that can have positive effects on your overall health! Coffee might give you an extra energy boost during those long days at work, while dark chocolate may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and more.

Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively—as both have negative impacts on overall health—and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Research has shown that eating more plant-based foods can reduce risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes. And if you get food poisoning or suffer from any other kind of illness? Make sure you rest and recover fully before going back to work! Getting sick at work is never fun, but taking a few days off to recover is an essential part of staying healthy.

Avoiding stress and getting enough sleep are two big ways to stay healthy, but there are many others: Eating a balanced diet (including fibre!), maintaining a regular workout routine, getting adequate rest and managing your stress levels all play key roles in staying healthy. There’s also room for small indulgences like coffee or dark chocolate—both of which may have positive effects on your overall health!


Intermittent fasting (I.F.) is a way of scheduling your meals in order to boost your overall health. This process forces your body into ketosis, which is when it starts using fat as its primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. According to data from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, I.F. can reduce inflammation levels by up to 20 percent—which may help lower risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Make sure you check with your doctor before beginning a fast; when done incorrectly, I.F. can cause severe negative effects on both metabolism and hormones that could have long-term consequences for overall health. ( )

It should also be noted that I.F. is not recommended for those with diabetes, pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers, children under 18, or anyone who suffers from disordered eating patterns (if fasting makes you feel anxious or overly hungry, it’s likely that your body isn’t accustomed to it yet). Always talk with your doctor before starting a fast so you can monitor how your body responds.

Once your body has adjusted to I.F., most people find that it helps them sleep better, have more energy throughout their day, curb cravings for unhealthy foods and lose weight. Although there are many different ways to practice intermittent fasting, here are a few suggestions:

  1. The 16/8 Method: This is one of the most popular ways of doing I.F.; it involves eating within an eight-hour window during which you consume all of your daily calories in four or five meals (for example, from noon until 8 p.m.).
  2. Eat-Stop-Eat: Similar to 16/8, but with a 24-hour fast once or twice per week; eat normally during all other times of the week.


We smile because it makes us feel happy, or at least happier. By releasing dopamine into our bodies, we trigger a release of endorphins as well—chemicals that contribute to feelings of pleasure. Sharing a laugh with someone else can have a similar effect on them. So go ahead, give your mom a hug, giggle with your friends, don’t be shy!