Healthy Lifestyle: Steps to a Longer Life, Diet and Exercise Tips

Healthy Lifestyle

Get advice on maintaining a healthy diet and living a longer life, included food and exercise suggestions.

Healthy living should be a priority for you. Chronic diseases and long-term illnesses can be avoided by living a healthy life. Self-esteem and self-image are dependent on feeling good about yourself and taking care of your health. Do what is best for your body to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

In a large study, researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health examined the influence of health behaviors on life expectancy, using data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Unsurprisingly, the healthier behaviors people practiced, the longer they lived.

Small changes can have a big impact on your wellbeing. As a result, after you've made a positive improvement, you're likely to want to continue. The below simple healthy living tips can help you today.

First, we start with nutrition for a healthy living.

Balance, Balance, Balance

1st Healthy Living Tip

Make sure you are consuming a balanced and complete diet.

♥ A balanced diet consists of a 50-60 percent carbohydrate content, that is fruits, vegetables, breads, pastas and rice. Of this amount, 90 percent should be in the form of complex carbohydrates, which are whole grain products (brown rice, whole grain breads, pasta) and less than 10 percent from simple carbohydrates (candy, cakes, etc.).

♥ Compliment this with a diet that has a 20-30 percent fat content and finally balance your diet with 15-20 percent protein content, that is meats, soy and dairy products.

Remodel Unhealthy Food Hotspots

2nd Healthy Living Tip

Find the areas in your life that you grab food items the most and "remodel" the foods that are available there.

♥ For example, move all the healthy options to the forefront of your refrigerator. Hide or move back the processed options out of reach.

♥ Make high caloric and comfort foods difficult to get to. You can even completely cleanse your cabinets and ditch the junk foods entirely if you are worried that "remodeling" is not enough.

Avoiding Fat

3rd Healthy Living Tip

Are you eating a lot of foods that are high in fat (especially saturated fat)? If so, it would be wise to drop them.

The reason is high fat foods add excess calories to your overall diet, and they are typically high in saturated fat, which will raise the level of cholesterol in your blood and can increase your risk for heart disease.

♥ Avoid any food choices that have a higher than 30% fat content.

Food Prep Wisely

4th Healthy Living Tip

Begin preparing your foods in ways that help to remove fat, like baking, boiling, broiling, roasting or stewing.

♥ Never fry your food.

♥ Trim the fat off the meat and remove the skin and fat from poultry.

♥ Make healthier food selections like fruits, vegetables, cereals, pasta, dried peas and beans; low-fat or nonfat dairy products, lean meat, fish and skinless poultry.

♥ Begin reading food labels and avoid foods that are high in fat and calories.

♥ Also, ditch any foods that are high in sugars, such as pastries, candy bars, pies and cakes.

Read Nutrition Labels

5th Healthy Living Tip

♥ Avoid foods high in trans fat (bad for you).

♥ Look for the words hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated for a "dead giveaway".

♥ Also, ditch foods high in sugars. Some keywords to look out for are glucose, sucrose, maltose or the current media sensation, high fructose corn syrup.

Got Vitamins?

6th Healthy Living Tip

Take a good multivitamin to ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals, especially while dieting for fast weight loss.

Pack and Snack

7th Healthy Living Tip

Set yourself up for success by making the good stuff always accessible.

♥ Use pre-made or nature's best creations like fruits, vegetables, salads, beans, nuts and seeds.

♥ Protein bars, whole grain-based foods and lean protein sources are great choices also.

♥ Load your fridge with them. Fill your cabinets.

♥ Pack your own lunch.

♥ Have a healthy snack drawer at work.

Eat to Fuel, Not for Comfort

8th Healthy Living Tip

Do you struggle with emotional eating or using food as a reward?

♥ Either way, write down a list of planned exercises that you will use instead.

♥ Next time you have a bad day, try going for a walk, reading your favorite book or petting your animals.


9th Healthy Living Tip

Cut down on processed foodstuffs and replace at least one daily meal with a bowl of steamed vegetables.

This is especially important for those looking to lower their sodium intake and total calories.

Let Your Goals Be Known

10th Healthy Living Tip

♥ Share your health goals with the people in your life: friends, family, coworkers, to name a few.

♥ Become an advocate for health change and encourage others while they watch you transform.

♥ People who inform others about their lifestyle goals and take ownership of their changes are much more likely to succeed.

Health Partner

11th Healthy Living Tip

Get your spouse or legal partner hooked and hitched on changing shape with you.

Competition On

12th Healthy Living Tip

Social support from your closest loved one can make all the difference.

You can even challenge them to a friendly health competition to really get the love juices flowing.

Write It Down

13th Healthy Living Tip

To increase your fitness successes, write it down.

Research reveals that those who write down their daily goals have a much greater likelihood of achievement.

♥ Thus, every single day commit to writing down your fitness and lifestyle goals and you will drastically increase your chances of health success.

Fitness Role Model

14th Healthy Living Tip

Find a fitness role model in picture form, cut them out and attach them to your fridge.

Don't be afraid to talk with them about your lifestyle goals; they will never interrupt.

You Are Not Perfect

15th Healthy Living Tip

Everyone falls off the bandwagon from time to time. In fact, you should plan on doing so and have a plan of action for when you do.

♥ Make a list of faithful techniques you are going to use to get back on track when you stumble.

♥ Have a go-to person that will urge you on when you hit the brakes.

♥ Keep that person in the loop and let them know you will be calling them on tough days.

Partner In Crime

16th Healthy Living Tip

Get a workout partner and hold each other accountable.

Ally in Change

17th Healthy Living Tip

Find a friend that has similar health and lifestyle goals as you or is interested in your success. Schedule a weekly email or phone call with them on a set day. Commit to it every week.

Reward Your Efforts

18th Healthy Living Tip

Write down your weekly health goals and how you plan on rewarding yourself once you reach them. A shopping trip, massage, whatever gets you excited and is an appropriate reward for your efforts should be the aim.

♥ Update your health goals and rewards weekly.

Don't Judge Your Success Only on Appearance

19th Healthy Living Tip

Don't judge your success only on your physical changes.

Focus on the other health improvements you are making and how they will benefit you for years to come.

Bonus Healthy Living Tips

Continue to Stay Active

Don't give up on your physical exercise program.

♥ Find an exercise partner or a new class to help you stay interested.

Avoiding Plateaus

♥ Switch up your routine when your progress slows or when you get bored with it.

♥ You don't want your routine to get stale.

♥ Usually, you want to change things up when you feel ready for something different or if your progress slows. That usually happens every month or so.

Curb Your Appetite With Activity

Research has shown that a brisk walk can curb your food cravings. Can that burger and walk instead.

Join a Like-minded Group or a Few

Join a like-minded healthy living group or a few.

♥ Get involved with groups that get you moving or are committed to the same health changes as you, like a support group.

Go Heavy or Go Home

♥ Heavier weight training has numerous health benefits.

♥ You really want to select a weight that will challenge you for the specified reps that you can complete in good form.

♥ In other words, you want to select a weight that will cause you to fatigue around the last couple of reps.

Turn House Chores Into an Olympic Event

♥ Clean with speed and focus on raising your heart rate while doing yard work or even sweeping your hardwood floors.

♥ Researchers have appropriately named these types of actions as incidental physical exercises (IPA) and found that 30 minutes a day can have significant long-term health benefits, maybe even helping keep the doctor away.

♥ The higher the intensity, the greater the benefit. Who needs to hit the gym? Vigorously scrub, sweep and vacuum for the best results.

Up-and-downs at Work

Most Americans work desk jobs and are seated for far too many hours in the day.

♥ If that includes you, break it up with movement.

♥ Every time the phone rings, stand up and answer it.

♥ Scratch drafting that long email replay, set forth to your coworker's desk and use words.

♥ Walk to the copy machine or water dispenser every hour.

♥ Stand and sit down as frequently as you can: just don't freak out your fellow employees. Tell them why you are doing this. You might even enlist their support and could start a mini-exercise club during breaks.

♥ An energized staff is a productive one.

My Best Friend Stinks and Loves to Cuddle

Yes, I'm referring to my American Pit-Bull Terrier, Zeus. He truly is the most loyal workout companion I've ever had. Rain or shine, he knows when it's walk time and does not let me forget about it.

♥ Set aside a specific walk time every day with your doggy.

By doing so, once your pooch gets into the pattern, you both will be off to a heather habit. Woof.

Load Your Plate With Green Stuff

Make Popeye proud. Load your plate with green stuff.

Make it a habit to eat a large green salad and veggies before or with every dinner.

♥ Pick darker green spinach and lettuces. They are just loaded with vitamins and minerals.

♥ Also, watch out for calorie sabotaging with dressings and other salad add-ons. Have your dressing on the side and only dip occasionally.

Cut Down on Sodium

Cut down on sodium and your heart will love you for it.

Talk about an easy healthy living tip. Your body will hold less water weight just for doing so.

The dash diet rocks for those looking to shed some sodium in their meal planning efforts and has all kinds of eye-opening heart-healthy tips and stats.

Up Your Fruits and Veggies

Have a plan in place to up your fruits and vegetables.

You will reap so many benefits just for doing so.

♥ Shoot for 5 total servings daily for the best health results.

Healthier Food Selection

Switch to the good stuff.

Eat nuts and whole grains instead of processed foods and snacks.

Eat Out Less Frequently

You already know that eating out at restaurants can be a dietitian's worst nightmare.

Way too much food, fats and oils used in the preparation, can all equate to a caloric apocalypse.

♥ Ask the server if they have a healthy section or if they have any listing of calories.

♥ Avoid anything that is fried or sugary.

♥ Make selections of leaner cut meats like chicken breast without skin.

♥ Don't finish your entire plate and take at least half home or leave it for the birds. Portion control is paramount when eating out.

Avoid Exercise Overload

Formulate a plan that works with your lifestyle and that is not going to cause you to burn out in a few months' time or less.

Start with a smaller commitment to weekly movement and increase those numbers as you progress.

Supercharge Your Results With High Intensity Training

Quick, high intensity workout routines are typically more effective for a couple of reasons. One, they burn more calories and two, they are more realistic based on time constraints. Yes, that even goes for aerobic and cardio routines.

♥ Long, low intensity cardio routines are inefficient and seldom a good workout choice for busy individuals.

Increase Your Daily Exercise With Simple Changes That Make You Move More

Increase your daily exercise with simple changes that make you move more.

You know these: take the stairs, park further away, ride your bike to work, walk your furry friend, daily, to name a few.

Get Your Kids Involved.

No one is as busy as parents these days and finding time to exercise can be disastrous.

♥ Try including your kids into your routine by playing tag or chasing them around the house.

♥ You can really focus on any exercise with them that will get your heart rate up. The higher it goes, the more calories you will burn.

A Vacation Away From Fitness

Try taking a break from structured exercise every 6 months or yearly. This should be a planned break and used not only to break plateaus, but also as a re-motivator.

It's Bigger Than Weight Loss

Think outside the external and aesthetic benefits of weight loss.

♥ Focus on why you want to do this.

♥ What are your internal motivators, improved health, longevity?

Focus on Changing a Few Behaviors Per Week and Building Upon Those Accomplishments

Be realistic and set attainable health goals. If you fall short, learn from your mistakes and implement new lifestyle strategies each week.

You can do it.

Set Time Aside Daily to Visual Yourself Reaching Your Short and Long-term Goals

Set time aside daily to visualize yourself reaching your short and long-term health goals.

You know, you can just about do anything if you want it bad enough.

Do you see the new you, yet?

Tell People About Your Goals

You will increase your odds of following through just by telling others about your health goals.

♥ Try to talk about your health goals daily.

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