Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle

Family dining together.

Dr. Purushothaman
August 29, 2013

What is a Healthy Lifestyle?

According to a study by Michigan State University, a healthy lifestyle is defined by four basic criteria:
Not smoking

Holding weight down

Eating right

Of the 153,000 respondents, only 3% participated in all four of what are termed healthy lifestyle characteristics.

“We have millions of people now going through adult life leading unhealthy lifestyles and a medical system that can treat illnesses and keep you alive longer than ever before,” said Mathew Reeves, a Michigan State University epidemiologist. “If we don’t turn this around, the costs to society are going to be crippling.”

What can be done to help people change?

Everyone talks about achieving it, but most people have plenty of excuses as to why they can’t, won’t, or don’t want to change their current status. The most common excuse people make for not trying to have a healthy lifestyle is “a lack of time.” Have you ever said to yourself, “Oh, I’m tired, I don’t have time to exercise?” or “I don’t feel like cooking dinner tonight; let’s just get some fast food.”

Yes Dorothy, excuses are real and they are contagious.

Time and health always seem to be at odds with each other. We have time to work, time to commute, time for our business associates, but very little time to spend on ourselves, people we love, or even random people who deserve our attention.

What can you do in 10 minutes or less?

More than you think. In a brief 10 minute window you can release tension, prevent future frustrations, get your blood flowing, etc. In fact, here are 50 things you can do. With time out as an excuse, what are you going to begin doing differently tomorrow? I don't care what it is, the point is, just do something!

Here are some ideas. If you have other thoughts, leave them in the comments!
Brush your teeth

Do 15 sit-ups

Read the health news headlines of the day

Straighten your posture

Eat an apple

Stand up and stretch

Send a friendly email to a friend

Resist the impulse purchase of a candy bar

Post an inspirational quote on Twitter

Do 10 lunges

Drink a glass of water


Put a package of oatmeal in your pocket or purse for a healthy breakfast or snack

Throw a bottle of water in there as well

Plug your cell phone into the charger

Pay a bill online

Ask to have your salad dressing on the side

Start a dollar jar to be added to once per day

Open a window

Say thank you to someone who deserves it

Take a deep breath

Put on your seat belt

Wake up 10 minutes earlier

Post a comment on a blog

Turn off the lights when you’re the last one out

Put on your make-up (this usually pertains to the ladies, but hey, whatever makes you happy)

Share a healthy recipe

Give your mother a call

Wash your hands

Put on hand lotion

Check your blood pressure

Jog in place for 9 minutes

Throw away that pen that doesn’t work

Take a canvas tote bag to the grocery store

Ask a friend to join you for a healthy dinner

Put down the remote control and get up to change the TV channel

Hug your kids

Replace your next cup of coffee with a cup of tea

Lay out your clothes for the next day

Put your car keys in the same place everyday

Take a 10 minute break

Suck on a breath mint

Add a little pepper to your salad

Load the dishwasher

Play FreeRice for 5 minutes

Take a quick walk

Prepare your coffee maker the night before

Skip your late evening grocery store run

While watching TV, do 5 push-ups during the commercial

Read this list over again and count how many things pertain to you

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