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Simple Ways to Live Better

09/18/2017 01:33 ● Published by Family Features

When it comes to creating a healthy lifestyle, some recommendations are fairly simple, such as exercising regularly and eating right. Many people, however, don’t know how much exercise they should get or which foods are the best choices. They also may not realize there are other ways to take care of their bodies and minds to promote better overall health.

Start on the path to healthier living with these tips from the wellness experts at Walgreens.

Exercise regularly.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least five days a week, and that’s because an active lifestyle can help you achieve far more than muscle mass or weight loss. Regular exercise can also contribute to mental well-being, and even something as simple as a walking break or two at work can provide health benefits.

Eat well.
The keys to a healthy diet are eating the right amount of calories for your activity level and eating a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re receiving all the nutrients your body needs. By prioritizing great taste and ingredient guidelines, such as minimizing hydrogenated oils, trans fats and artificial ingredients, Walgreens Nice! products help take the guesswork out of making healthier choices. In an effort to simplify healthy living, the line’s packaging, products and ingredient standards were updated, and offerings now include organic and gluten-free options in addition to traditional baking goods and other general grocery items.

Get enough sleep.
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being, and can help improve your mental health, physical health and quality of life. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per night for adults and 9-11 hours for school-aged children. If you find sleep elusive, try implementing a bedtime routine to send signals to your body that it’s time to sleep, avoid screen time immediately before lights out and eliminate caffeine after lunch.

Manage stress.
Between juggling a career, family and other commitments, it’s easy to find things to stress over. Practices such as meditation and yoga can help better manage stress. Setting aside time for a favorite hobby can also help relieve stress and focus on an activity you enjoy. Aside from mental and emotional impacts, stress can also impact your physical health, so it’s important to identify coping mechanisms that reduce overall stress.

Be social.
Making time to socialize with friends and family is an important part of living a long and healthy life. Even if your schedule is packed, try to block out time at least once a week to spend with family and friends.

Break bad habits.
Whatever their nature, work to break bad habits by first acknowledging the problem then working to replace the negativity with alternatives that make a more positive impact on your life. Even a negative attitude can bring you down.

To discover more ways to make healthy lifestyle choices, visit walgreens.com/nice.

Make Better Food Choices

Maintaining a healthy diet can be easier than you think if you make your eating habits a priority and know how to make smart food choices. For the best results, choose foods from all five major food groups with help from these tips:

Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and contain necessary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Rather than serving fruits with cream cheese or sugary sauces, opt for nut butters or Nice! organic honey, and toss raw, steamed, boiled or baked vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper instead of buttery sauces.

Protein
Select low-fat, lean cuts of meat and season them with herbs, spices and low-sodium marinades. Baking, broiling, grilling and roasting are the healthiest preparation methods. Try swapping ground beef for a lean or extra-lean cut, or opt for ground chicken or turkey instead. Non-meat protein options such as dry beans, peas and lentils can even be swapped for meat in recipes such as lasagna or chili.

Dairy
Choose skim or non-dairy milk, like soy, rice or almond milk, and use low-fat or part-skim cheeses in recipes. Nonfat or Greek yogurt can replace sour cream in many recipes and options like sherbet and soft-serve frozen yogurt are lower in fat than ice cream.

Grains
Choose products that list whole grains as the first ingredient, as they are low in fat and high in fiber. Some easy swaps include whole-grain flour, pasta and rice, as well as bypassing doughnuts and pastries for English muffins or bagels and opting for unsalted pretzels instead of potato chips. Add some variety with tasty organic items such as Nice! flavored popcorns and tortilla chips.

Fats, oils and sweets
Too many high-fat foods can add excess calories to your diet, which can lead to weight gain and obesity, or increase your risk for certain health issues. However, a small amount of heart-healthy fat is actually good for you. When it comes to sweets, fig bars and gingersnaps make for healthy alternatives to cookies. Also beware of calorie-laden condiments and opt for nonfat and light mayonnaise and salad dressings instead.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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