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How Can I Make My Lifestyle Healthier?

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Heart and blood vessel diseases are our nation’s number one killer. You can do a lot to get your heart in shape. Healthy changes will help you feel and look better. You will find that once you make up your mind to take control over your life, everything else will fall into place. The following are some simple steps to take:

-Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
-Improve your eating habits.
-Be more physically active.
-Don’t smoke.
-Maintain a healthy weight.

-Have regular medical check-ups.
-Take your medicine, if needed, to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.

How do I stop smoking?

-Make a pact with yourself to quit smoking.
-Ask your health care professional for suggestions on programs that may help.
-Fight the urge to smoke, by going to places where smoking is prohibited. Avoid being around people who smoke.
-Reward yourself with something special when you quit.
-Keep very busy doing things that make it difficult to smoke, such as being more active.
-Keep reminding yourself that smoking causes many diseases, and can harm or kill you.
-Ask your family and friends for support.

How do I change my eating habits?

-Ask your doctor, nurse, or licensed nutritionist for help.
-Eat less of foods like egg yolks, fatty meats, skin on chicken, butter and cream.
-Cut down on saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and salt.
-Substitute fat-free or low-fat milk for whole milk.
-Bake, broil, grill, roast and poach--don’t fry foods in oil.
-Eat more fruits, vegetables, cereals, beans, pasta, fish, skinless poultry and lean meats.
-Limit alcohol to one drink a day for women and two for men. If you don’t drink, don’t start.

What about my physical activity?

-Regular physical activity reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke and makes your heart stronger.
-It helps control your weight and blood pressure, helps you to relax, and can help to improve your mood.
-Start slow and build up to 30 to 60 minutes a day at least three times per week.
-Look for more chances to be active. Take 10 to 15 walking breaks during the day or after meals.

How can I be more relaxed?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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