Good health is something all people want, but few can easily attain.

Healthy living involves many factors, including diet, exercise, oral hygiene, emotional health and the control of chronic health issues. These various factors make it almost impossible for some individuals to follow through with the choice of a healthy lifestyle.

To be successful when it comes to healthy living, you must be very deliberate in making this lifestyle choice and take time to consider all of the factors involved.

6 strategies for healthy living

Create a flowchart

Creating a flowchart will force you to think about all the factors involved in the pursuit of a healthy life. What does healthy living mean to you? Is it about physical health, oral health, healthy eating? Or is it about exercising and mental health? Or all of these combined?

Good physical health should be at the top of your chart. As you move down and add more entries, contemplate the aspects you’ll need to focus on in order to truly attain this goal. An obvious start would involve your diet, as the decision to eat better is often the initial step a person will take towards living a healthy lifestyle.

Keep a food journal

Keeping a food journal that lists all food consumed will prompt you to take a good look at what you eat.

The truth is, people don’t always remember what they’ve eaten between meals. The snacks you eat at your job, the candy bar you pick up while paying for gas or the first thing you reach for when entering your home after work may all be unhealthy snacks that could be reduced or eliminated.

Keeping an inventory of what you eat in black and white will help you see the flaws in your diet. Unhealthy snacks may add up to a huge portion of your daily calorie intake, not to mention your sugar and carbohydrate intake. A food diary will allow you to reflect about what you eat on a daily basis and make changes in order to eliminate foods that aren’t aiding you in accomplishing your goals.

Pay attention to overall wellness

Once the habit of keeping a food diary is in place, another aspect can be added to the diary. This addition should track overall wellness.

Consider adding a column that tracks your energy level and chronic health issues. For instance, if you experience chronic headaches, a note whenever you experience one could be included in the food journal. This’ll help you see if a certain food is triggering health issues. It can also help you determine which foods give you more energy and which ones drain you.

Listen to your body! It’ll tell you what’s wrong and what’s best for your health. Pay attention to the way it reacts to external incentives and try to figure out the best way to keep it satisfied most of the time.

Track your physical activity

Your food diary can also be modified to include exercise. If you’re not really a “sports person,” choose physical activities that are easy to live with, like a walk around the block or riding a bike.

A weekly habit of exercise can quickly become a daily habit. Tracking your overall feelings, increases in energy or weight loss will encourage you to exercise more.

If you realize you love sports, you could consider going to the gym regularly, and maybe even ask for a personal trainer. A trainer will be able to help you create a personalized routine that includes only the exercises you feel comfortable doing.

Take care of your teeth

Another way of attaining optimum health is through proper oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene will not only affect your appearance, but can also damage your overall health.

Failing to take care of your teeth and gums will likely result in a battle against gum disease, which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even respiratory disease. Gum disease symptoms and warning signs include red, swollen and/or bleeding gums. Other symptoms may include the teeth pulling away from the gums, loose teeth, bad breath and even a change in the way the teeth fit together.

To help prevent gum disease, it’s important to take the time to brush, floss and rinse, and also pay attention to the look and feel of your teeth and gums.

Examine your emotions

Finally, in addition to the strategies above, taking an emotional inventory can lead to a major breakthrough in health.

Analyzing this aspect of health may be harder for some than others. It involves taking a close look at how you live your life, including which people and activities you choose to associate yourself with. Some people end up obsessing over things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of life.

Your emotional inventory can be used to keep track of your state of mind throughout a day or a week. It’ll help you determine what types of activities and people uplift you and which ones drag you down. Be honest with yourself about these things, because this will help you figure out what people and activities you could consider stepping away from.

Some concluding advice

Remember, good health isn’t just about food and exercise—it involves so many different aspects of day-to-day living.

To set yourself on a path towards living a healthy life, you’ll need to define what healthy living means to you and identify which areas of your health need improvement. Then, it’s all just a matter of making the right choices and changes!

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Ethel Huizar is a health writer who has a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Colorado. Ethel is keen on exploring health-related topics, writing and doing research. Through her writing, she aims to inform people how nature and science can help them lead healthier lives.
image: Pixabay

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