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How to Improve Your Life: Five Quick Tips to Better Living

Are you seeking some basic ideas for how to improve your life? Find five tips for laying the foundation for developing healthy living for a better, healthier life.

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by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

Given a choice, just about everyone would prefer to live a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes the advice seems overwhelming. Sometimes the solutions are too costly for our budgets and/or inconvenient to our busy lifestyles. This article will show you -- in five quick tips -- how to easily improve your life.

Studies show that the average person is at least partly overweight and out of shape, often eating foods that are more for convenience than for health and nutrition and avoiding exercise because of time or cost constraints.

If you are seeking to improve your life, this article is for you! Here are five quick tips to better living.

1. Set some healthy living goals. Start today by taking some time to really scrutinize yourself and your lifestyle. Be brutally honest with yourself. Weigh yourself and take key body measurements. Examine the foods you eat regularly -- especially the snacks and food on the go. Look at your typical day and take some notes about what you like and dislike about it -- whether you go to work, work from home, or are a stay-at-home parent.

Once you have really examined and reflected on all these elements of your life, it's time to set some goals for improving whatever areas you feel need the most improvement. Don't set too many goals. Focus on the two or three most important changes you need to make. (Keep a list of the others, ones you can work on once you have achieved your primary goals.) Make your goals specific -- and set a timetable for achieving them. For example, I will lose 20 pounds during the next four months. Or, I will find a less stressful -- and more rewarding -- job in the next six months. Or, I will eliminate all junk food from my eating habits within the next month. A note here -- keep your timetable realistic and healthy, and adjust it if circumstances dictate.

2. Eliminate fast foods. Most fast foods -- whether they are the meals you buy from a fast food restaurant or the prepared foods you can buy in the grocery store -- have way too much fat, salt, sugar, and empty calories. You can eat healthier on the go, such as with a salad or wrap (which you can do when traveling or when you simply have no other choice), but the best solution -- at least at first -- is to simply eliminate any of these choices from your life.

Fat and calories, in excessive amounts, of course, add to our weight issues. Salt can increase blood pressure and lead to other health issues, including increased risk of hypertension and osteoporosis. And sugar? Sugar is the greatest threat to health -- mainly because it lurks in so many fast and processed foods and condiments. (Sugar is often one of the primary ingredients in many foods; start reading labels and you'll be shocked.) Sugar, in all its varieties, lends a hand in increasing tooth decay, obesity, heart disease, bad cholesterol, hyperactivity, and diabetes.

3. Clean out your pantry. Even if you mostly eat at home and avoid fast and junk foods, there are many products lurking in your pantry that can lead to weight gain and adverse health conditions. You don't have to throw these products away or give them to a local food bank -- but you could of course -- the idea here is eliminating them and not purchasing them again once they are gone.

Start with all the "white" stuff. Get rid of white (granular) sugar, white flour, and white rice. All these products are empty calories and carbohydrates that lead to health issues, but they are also all chemically bleached products -- and in the case of flour and rice, stripped of natural nutrients.

Also eliminate most sodas and fruit juices, as these contain high fructose corn syrup -- a cheap sweetener that has all the same health problems as sugar.

Read about the entire list of products that you should eliminate from your pantry in our article, Purge Your Pantry to Pursue Health and Wellness.

4. Carve out an hour a day for exercise. The good news is that the hour of daily exercise does not need to be all at once... you can break up the hour into several smaller segments throughout your day -- and, you do not need to join an expensive gym or club to get the exercise you need. Remember to check with a doctor before you start any kind of exercise program to make sure you are healthy enough and to get tips for starting slowly and gradually working up to a more vigorous workout routine.

The easiest -- and cheapest -- way to get started is by starting a walking program... adding walking to your daily routine as well as perhaps a power-walking program around your neighborhood or local park. You can keep track of your time or buy a cheap pedometer to monitor your steps. Many experts promote the idea of a goal of 10,000 steps daily.

See our articles, 10 Quick Exercise Tips for Enhancing Overall Health and 10 Critical Walking Tips: Begin Walking Safely for Heart, Health, Life.

5. Reserve some quiet time daily. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health -- and, in fact, plays a key role in your overall health and wellness. Finding a pocket of "me" time is essential for improving your life. Whether you use the time for checking the status of your goals, reflecting on your day, or saying your prayers -- or for all these things -- the idea is giving yourself the time to recharge and reflect without interruptions or other distractions.

For other mental health tips -- including how to deal with stress and combating negative self-talk, see our Empowering Serenity and Mental Health Resources.

Final Thoughts on Living a Healthier Life

Even if you are facing what you feel are monumental challenges to living a healthier life, the truth is that you can start making goals and changes toward a healthier lifestyle. Remember that all it takes is one small step at a time -- and after you take that first step successfully, take the next one, and keep moving toward your goals. And once you reach one goal, add another, or increase your current goal, taking your mental and physical health to an even higher level.

There are no guarantees in life, but this article on how to improve your life, provides you with the tips and resources to better living.

Interested in reprinting or republishing this article? Please refer to our Article Reprint Guidelines.

Avid wellness guru Dr. Randall S. Hansen Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., is an avid bicyclist, adventurist, environmentalist, and student of wellness and photography, with a mission of empowering others to lead great lives. He is Founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites. Dr. Hansen is also the founder and caretaker of this site, EmpoweringRetreat.com, as well as founder of EmpoweringAdvice.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He's often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com or reach him by email at CEO(at)empoweringsites.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.

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