A-to-Z Guide to Healthy Living

A healthy lifestyle can often take second place to the demands of career or family. But fitting in time for health and fitness can be as simple as A-B-C! What follows is an A-to-Z list of healthy-living tips. Try a few each day and you’re sure to find some that work for you.

A – Air 

Some days it seems we just go from one interior to another, from house to car to home without ever experiencing the outdoors. Getting outside, even for a quick walk around the block or in your local park, can do wonders for your mood and for your health. 

B – Breathing 

It’s easy to fall into bad breathing habits. Too shallow or too quick — both can add to stress and have a negative impact on the body. Set aside 10 minutes a day to try the following breathing exercise: Limit breaths to 10 or fewer per minute, and, breathing through the nostrils, make each breath deep and measured. Your heart rate will slow and the physical symptoms of stress may be alleviated.

C – Creativity 

Research attests to the benefits of expressing oneself in an artistic way. It’s incredibly satisfying — no matter your skill level — to craft a short story or finish a painting. And with social media, you can easily share your work with friends and family for a quick self-esteem boost!

D – Dietary Supplements 

Nutrition is tricky. We all know the basics, but sometimes we still fall short. Dietary supplements, including a good multivitamin, can pick up the slack and keep the body in good order.

E – Eye Health 

Keeping your peepers healthy is crucial to protecting your vision and preserving your overall health. Make sure to visit your eye doctor regularly, and follow his or her guidelines when it comes to wearing glasses or contact lenses. Vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids are all vital for maintaining your eye health.
F – Friends
 Time spent with friends is rarely time regretted, and it can have a positive impact on stress levels and overall happiness.

G – Goals

 Don’t keep your goals inside. Write them down! Externalizing your ambitions has the effect of making them seem more concrete and harder to ignore. But keep your goals realistic. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day, and setting impossible-to-reach goals will only leave you discouraged.

H – Hydration

 If you aren’t drinking enough water, you aren’t healthy. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, you’ll want to drink 100 ounces of water.
I – Interval Training 

Interval training, in which you switch back and forth between moderate- and high-intensity exercise, can bump up your metabolism and increase your cardiovascular fitness.

J – Jokes

 Don’t stifle your laughter! Studies show that laughter has a profoundly beneficial effect on mood and can even boost the body’s immune system.

K – Knees 

Nearly everyone has experienced knee pain. Whether it’s caused by arthritis, excessive foot pronation, or overuse of the muscles that protect this vulnerable joint, our knees take a knocking. Protect your knees (find tips here) and you’ll be able to stay active for the foreseeable future. 

L - Love

 Tell someone that you love them every day. You’ll be touched at the warm response. 

M – Meditation

 Meditation can be extremely beneficial, and you don’t need to be a follower of Buddhism to reap the rewards. A simple way to start is by spending 15 minutes a day in a quiet place, focusing your attention on any and all sensations that come to mind.
N – Nutrition

 Control your portion sizes and make sure that fruits and vegetables and lean protein form the basis of your diet.
O – Open Mind

 Make an effort to see things from someone else’s point of view. It’s easy to become wed to your own perspective; a healthy, empathetic mind can turn it around and consider other angles.
P – Pilates

 Need a new workout? Give Pilates a try. You’ll burn calories and work your core in a way you never thought possible!
Q – Quinoa

 This whole grain is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Try it in place of rice or pasta for a nutritional boost.
R – Run 

Running requires just a good pair of shoes and some clothes you don’t mind getting sweaty. Even running for just 10 minutes a day can be beneficial! Just make sure to check with your doctor first if you have joint problems.
S – Swimming

 Another great way to exercise, swimming is a low-impact, total-body workout that engages every muscle group, improving overall body tone.

T – Tea

 Try replacing your morning latte with a cup of hot green tea. You’ll hydrate, avoid a 10 a.m. sugar crash, and reap green tea’s antioxidant benefits.  

U – “Use As Directed” 
The instructions for how to use the weight machines at the gym? Follow them. That box of expired pain reliever? Toss it. Those guidelines are there for a reason: to protect your health and keep you safe!
V – Vacation

 A vacation can be a rejuvenating experience. It doesn’t have to be a trip to Hawaii or the Caribbean: A weekend trip to the next town over could be just the thing!
W – Walking 

Put on your headphones, grab your dog, and go for a walk. 

X – eXercise 

Yes, we cheated on this one. But exercise is so important, we don’t mind stretching the rules a bit.
Y – Yoga 

This ancient practice helps balance the body and the mind, while also increasing strength and flexibility. Learn everything you need to know in our Yoga Solutions Guide
Z – Zinc

 Zinc promotes immune function, giving you a better chance of fighting off illness. It’s especially important for men, because it plays a role in the production of testosterone.

Laurent Kelly is a freelance writer for UKEssays. Founded in 2003, the site has helped students with essay writing in all subject areas.

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