Thinking about how to be as healthy as possible can seem a little daunting if you don't break it down into manageable steps. Rather than focusing too much on the big picture, consider what you can do every day to work toward the healthiest possible lifestyle for yourself. Staying hydrated, meeting nutritional requirements, getting adequate exercise and minimizing stress are all essential components of a healthy day. Don't beat yourself up if you get a little derailed here or there though, focus instead on bouncing back the next day.
Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is perhaps one of the easiest and most important daily requirements for health. MayoClinic.com recommends consuming at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid daily. While other fluids count toward your water needs, make sure they are low-calorie and sugar-free for maximum health. Consider incorporating tea, seltzer water and healthy fruit or vegetable juices to mix it up.
Get enough exercise. You don't have to be an all-star athlete, but you do have to get moving if you want to stay healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderately intense aerobic activity for adults, even if it's in 10-minute increments, for important health benefits. It may sound like a lot, but exercise is most beneficial when done as frequently as possible, and spreading this chunk out over the week makes it a lot easier to accomplish.
Meet your individual nutrient requirements. There are certain food and nutrient requirements you should aim to meet every day. According to the World Health Organization, these nutrients include protein, carbohydrates and various essential vitamins and minerals. While you should meet all requirements on a daily basis for maximum health, certain vitamins and minerals may be needed in greater quantities at some points in your life, such as pregnancy or old age. For instance, getting more iron is especially important during periods of rapid growth. Women also tend to have greater calcium needs than men.
Eat a varied diet as regularly as possible, with an eye toward moderation. This is the best way to ensure you meet all your nutrient needs. If you're worried you may be falling short, nutrition-wise, in one area or another, consider consulting a doctor about taking vitamin supplements or a multivitamin. In general, vitamins should not be used as a substitute for the healthful benefits of nutrient-rich foods, but certain nutrient deficits can be dangerous. Vegetarians, vegans, athletes and people with illnesses are more prone to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.
Find ways to de-stress and decompress. This is absolutely essential on a daily basis for a healthy lifestyle, as stress builds up overtime and can become debilitating, even leading to other problems like sleeplessness or depression. Consider baths, a massage, meditation or even organizing your home as a means of relaxing after a stressful day.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- MayoClinic.com: Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?
- World Health Organization: Dietary Recommendations / Nutritional Requirements
- Iron Disorders Institute: Iron Deficiency Anemia
- The Huffington Post: Daily Doses to De-Stress
- PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images