It may come as no surprise to learn that a large percentage of the western population leads an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle. Fast food restaurants are everywhere, sugar-laden processed foods line the grocery store shelves, and, for many, exercise is considered a form of punishment.

If you fall into this category but are keen to do something about it, we have many tips and lots of information to help you find a new path. It may be a rather daunting prospect at first, but none of us are getting any younger, so if you are keen to get fit and healthy, there’s no time like the present.

Here are 5 ways to transform your life and keep your body in tip-top condition.

Increase your intake of fruits and berries

Fruit is full of yummy goodness, and berries are packed with powerful antioxidants, so you should try to make sure you eat at least a few portions every day. Eating the same thing over and over can become boring so, instead of grabbing an apple or banana every morning, why not get a bit more adventurous.

A fresh fruit salad mixed with no added sugar plant-based yogurt and topped with nuts makes a delicious breakfast or snack at any time of the day. A plateful of overnight oats can be jazzed up with a few layers of berries and is sure to keep you satiated for hours. Play around with different combinations, experiment with new flavors, and fruit could become a new favorite treat.

Maintain a healthy weight

Carrying extra weight is very common, but it can lead to life-changing health issues. As well as putting extra pressure on your joints, it can cause heart issues too, so if you are overweight, losing a few pounds can only be a good thing.

Shedding excess weight isn’t easy, particularly if you have medical conditions but, with perseverance, you can get there. To lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. A daily deficit of 500 calories equates to around a pound a week in weight loss.

To achieve this, the first thing to do is calculate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) on one of the many free online calculators. It will give you a reasonably good estimate of the calories you burn on an average day so you know how many calories you should consume. Then, enter everything you consume on a calorie track app such as My Fitness Pal or Nutricheck – making sure to reach your daily deficit target.

The bigger the deficit, the more weight you will lose, but you must make sure you do not go overboard – it can be just as dangerous as overeating.

Regular health screenings

 Even if you feel and look fine on the outside, you have no idea what’s going on inside, which is one of the reasons that cancer is still in the top 3 leading causes of death in the U.S.

Apart from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. According to Integris Edmond, a full-service hospital based in Oklahoma, with regular screening, cancer can usually be found before it spreads to other parts of the body, making it easier to treat.

If you don’t already have a health provider or take part in regular screening and health assessments, it’s worth putting in place. Not only for you but for the health and well-being of your family too. Metastatic cancer of any kind can be complicated to treat, so don’t take any chances – your life may depend on it.

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Keep moving

If the idea of attending the gym every couple of days fills you with dread, there are plenty of other options when it comes to exercise, and one of the best is walking. It doesn’t have to be strenuous and, although walking on an incline is far more beneficial, it isn’t essential. Grab a pair of headphones or get together with friends and go for a brisk walk. The longer you walk, the better, but even as little as 30 minutes a day could make a big difference to your overall health – and your heart will thank you for it too!

Many people find fitness classes more enjoyable and far less repetitive than the gym, so why not look online and find out what’s going on in your area. Maybe you’ve always fancied the idea of pole dancing which is fabulous for your core and sure to give you a full-body workout, or, if mini trampolining is more your cup of tea, see if any classes are running nearby. Once you get used to exercising regularly, your body will start to crave it and, before you know it, it will become part of your standard weekly routine.

Avoid stress and conflict

Stress and conflict can be very detrimental to our bodies and minds, so if your day-to-day routine involves either one or both, it’s time to make some changes. One of the most common causes of stress is work-related. If this sounds familiar, try to find ways to manage it rather than letting it get on top of you. Evaluate your workload, repair relationships with other staff members, and if needs be, talk to your boss. You spend a considerable amount of time at work so, if it has started having ramifications on your health, something needs to change.

What you eat can contribute to your mood too, so if your way of coping is to drink coffee and eat copious amounts of processed food, switch to a whole food plant-based diet instead. Laden with vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, pulses, nuts, and seeds, people who have switched to this way of life have experienced some dramatic changes. As well as losing weight and feeling more energetic, many have reported a massive reduction in mood swings as well as a calmer approach to conflicting situations so, if that sounds appealing, it’s worth looking into a bit further.

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