You would think that getting healthy is a pretty straightforward thing, wouldn’t you? Much to my surprise, it really isn’t.
See, everyone’s body is different and responds differently to different versions of a healthy lifestyle.
For instance, my husband lifts weights 4-5 days a week and eat whatever he wants. Yet, he bulks up, slims down, and his blood tests show major improvements in his overall health.
But for me, if I try to do that, I gain lots of weight, my body is left feeling totally depleted, and there is no positive change in my overall health.
So I have to treat my body differently. With that in mind, I want you to take these tips I’m going to offer you on getting healthier on your homestead as a generalization.
For some, the tips might be overkill. While others, you may need to do more for your particular situation.
But these points are a few great places to start your healthy journey this new year. Here they are:
Tips to Help You Get Healthier
1. Grow What You Eat
When I was growing up I was always a thin person (though if you had asked the younger version of myself I wouldn’t have said that.)
Then I got married, had a career, had children, and then became a stay at home mom. Believe it or not, becoming a stay at home mom is what killed my healthy lifestyle.
Suddenly, I had no time for myself. I was constantly caring for everyone else. I didn’t get exercise. I crammed whatever food I could into my mouth while I was hustling to get everything else done.
So before I knew it, I had packed on 40 pounds! The really hard part, those pounds are stubborn so I’ve really struggled to get them back off.
But it finally hit me, I needed to go back to what my body actually needs. Meaning, before big business took over the food industry (or made food an industry) we only consumed what we grew or could find.
Therefore, we were usually healthier people because our bodies were only consuming natural and healthy food.
So I needed to get back to that. This was a big first step, but it was one that had to be made. Which is why, if you grow a lot of your own food anyway, this could be a financial help and definitely will be a benefit for your health as well.
However, just keep in mind how you prepare the food you grow. If you cover it with grease, sugary syrup, or any other unhealthy alternative you are being counterproductive. Just be mindful of food preparations.
2. Just Say No to Excess Sugars
This was another big one for me. When I became a stay at home mom I had to learn how to cook. We were suddenly dependent upon one income so convenience food and take out were no longer on the menu.
Thankfully, I learned how to cook rather quickly. Then I began branching out into baking and before I knew it, I cooked all of the time.
Unfortunately, when you do that, your family loves it, but your waist does not.
So when I began changing my eating habits, I had to swap out my sugary baking treats for other items. I began eating sugarfree Jell-O and sugar-free pudding.
Then I changed out my coffee creamers for sugar-free versions. I also switched to using Stevia and Splenda in the place of real sugar.
So if you have a sweet tooth, this new year might be a good time to have it pulled (not literally, of course.)
3. Just Say No to Processed Junk
I really didn’t have a huge issue with quitting processed foods because as I mentioned I was on a tight budget and couldn’t afford a lot of the processed snacks or eating out.
But if you eat out a lot, or if you buy a lot of cakes, cookies, and chips from the grocery store, then this new year is a good time to lay those things back down on the shelf and walk away.
See, not only do most of those foods have ingredients in them that you can’t even pronounce (which you know can’t be good for you), but they also break down really quickly.
Then this floods your body with sugar. When your blood sugar increases and stays that way, this can actually be a cause for increased weight gain. The key to losing weight for a lot of people is actually maintaining your blood sugar levels.
So keep this in mind as you are picking out your meals each day.
4. Move It, Move It, Move It
Before you begin any physical exercise always remember to check with your doctor. I used to think that statement was rather silly until I became one of those people that had to check with my doctor.
So in an effort to be totally transparent, I have a condition where my hormones stay constantly out of balance. This puts me at a greater risk for heart disease, I struggle with losing weight, and if I over or under exercise then my body goes into a tailspin.
As you can tell, this makes leading a healthy lifestyle really difficult.
So when I first tried to lead a healthier lifestyle, I went to our local community center and decided to do Zumba. I absolutely loved it!
However, my body did not. Within a couple of weeks, I was in the doctor’s office seriously feeling like I was dying. My doctor took one look at me and said, “What have you been doing to yourself?” I told her I was just doing Zumba, and she said, “You know you can’t do that. Your body can’t handle that. What’s wrong with yoga or walking?”
Then it sunk in, I wasn’t normal. Seriously, we all think we are totally normal and can conquer the world until our body suddenly sets a limitation for us. This was my limitation. I didn’t give up on exercise, but I did learn that losing weight quickly was out the window for me. I wasn’t going to be able to go to a class and burn 700 calories an hour unless I wanted to be back at the doctor’s office.
So definitely move your body. Aim for 30 minutes a day around 3 days per week. This can be gardening, working around your homestead, dancing around your kitchen, taking a walk, or going to a class at the local community center. Just do what you enjoy and try to break a sweat while doing it.
However, keep your limitations and doctor’s recommendations in mind as you choose what form of exercise you’d like to take on.
5. Hit the Gym
This might be a great option for some and not so much for others, but if you live close enough to a town that has a gym, you might want to consider joining it.
Actually, I’ve only had a gym membership one other time in my life. I kept it for a year but really didn’t use it because it was so far from my house.
But when we moved to our new home about 6 months ago, there is a gym that is only about 15 minutes from my house. I love being in a rural area, yet you are still close enough to a town that you can partake in things like a gym membership.
Anyway, my husband and I got a gym membership, and we go most mornings. It is a great way to start the day, they have activities for our kids, and it gives us a moment to just focus on us. If I was trying to work out at home, it becomes easier to push my needs aside for the sake of everyone else’s needs.
So if you are struggling being motivated to work out at home, then look into a gym membership. You might really enjoy it.
6. Don’t Forget Your Vitamins
This is another big step in being healthier this new year. You may have different needs for different vitamins depending upon your personal health history.
But most people can get by with taking a multi-vitamin. You might also want to consider taking a fish oil supplement since most of us don’t eat enough wild salmon. This is a good addition to your healthcare routine for your heart health.
Also, if you are a female, you may want to talk to your doctor about adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet as most of us are deficient in it. This helps support both your bone and breast health. You may want to check with your doctor about taking a vitamin B supplement too.
Again, be sure to discuss all supplements with your doctor before jumping in.
7. Tea…Green Tea
I was never one to drink green tea very much until I decided I needed to make a healthy change in my life.
So I began researching all of the benefits of green tea. There are so many. A few of the important ones that really caught my attention is that green tea can help detox your body.
Also, green tea can help your body burn fat and perform better as well. It can also help you fight or lower your risk of developing diseases such as type II diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
I don’t know about you, but those benefits alone are enough to make me want to indulge in a cup of green tea once or twice per day.
8. Don’t Forget Your Fiber
This is something I always struggled with. My diet wasn’t the best so I struggled to get enough fiber in my day.
So if you are a woman, you need to get in 25 grams of fiber a day. If you are a man, you need anywhere from 30 to 38 grams of fiber a day.
Now, this may sound like a lot but really if you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can actually get that in.
However, remember that fiber is great for keeping you feeling full longer. But if you don’t drink enough water to help push the fiber through your digestive system, then you could end up quite miserable.
So be sure to drink more water when you up your fiber intake.
9. More Water, Please
I just mentioned this point, but you will need to drink more water if you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. It is a good idea to dry to drink about 8-10 glasses of water per day.
So the benefit of drinking water is that it helps your body to flush toxins out of your system. It also helps you to feel full longer so you won’t overeat.
Also, water helps to keep your body hydrated and functioning like it’s supposed to. Your body functioning properly is the whole point of a healthy lifestyle.
So if you are someone who likes to drink a lot of coffee or sodas, try to cut back on those and replace them with water.
For me, I try to drink a large glass of water as soon as I wake up. I drink another glass after I work out, another before I get in the shower, another large glass in the afternoon, and another large glass before bed.
But you’ll figure out what routine works well for you as you design a personalized healthcare routine.
So I hope that these tips will help you lead a healthier lifestyle this year. Getting healthy and sticking with it is not easy, especially in the busy world of convenience that we live in today.
However, if you can get a routine down pat, hopefully, that’ll make the journey a little easier for you.
Now, I want to hear from you. What are your health goals for the year? Do you have any other pointers that may help others get healthier in the new year?
We love hearing from you so drop us a line in the comment section below.