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10 Steps towards a Healthier Lifestyle and a Healthier You...

A healthy lifestyle is a happy lifestyle. Check out guest contributor Stephanie's tips on how to be healthy and wise!

Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to mean an immediate change. It's really about how we observe and understand our lives in order to make healthy decisions. What we do and how we do things is an important factor that shows how much control we have. If you feel like you are missing steps towards a healthy life, here are 10 steps that will possibly help you change your old ways.

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1. Eat 5 Small Portions of Meals a Day

Normally people will eat 3 meals a day and think their day is complete, but really that is not enough. You need to eat about 5 meals a day. Remember, I'm not talking about big meals but small portions of meals. I would say 4 full meals and 1 healthy snack. It can be whatever you enjoy eating but it's even better when it’s healthy. Eating small will keep your metabolism going strong and your energy level stays stable all throughout the day.

2. Make Sure You Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

Eating fruits and veggies a day keeps the doctor away. If you're not into servings of fruits and vegetables then your body is totally missing out on good stuff. Fruits and vegetables should be added to your diet because eating them daily contains important minerals and vitamins that your body pretty much needs every day to repair, blossom and remain healthy. By the way fruits and vegetables are the perfect snacks!

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3. Drink Water

Water is life. It’s come in the most pure and simplest form, without any types of sugar added that is. We all need to drink water every single day because it keeps your body hydrated and your skin looking good. It also cleanses our bodies inside and out. Ladies, if you don’t drink enough H20 you should probably start now because it is important to keep every part of your gorgeous bodies functioning properly.

4. Eat More Baked than Fried

While some baked foods may not taste as good as fried foods, it's always a better option to go with baked foods, let me elaborate. Baking is way healthier for you because it requires a least amount of oil and fat . What I mean is there isn't much trans-fat and saturated fat in baked foods compared to fried foods which is very high. But overall, if you do bake or fry it’s best to use canola oil or olive oil so you may want to write that down if you please.

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5. Get Plenty of Sleep

We all need our beauty sleep ladies! The best part of the day is when you go to sleep at night. Sleeping is so important that we need to get at least 8-9 hours of it. It increases your memory and your mind gets to rest as well. Sleeping basically helps restore your energy which I’m sure us ladies all know. But the best part of sleeping is it puts you in a great mood in the morning and you even appear more attractive for a whole new day.

6. Take a Multivitamin

Multivitamins can sometimes be the answer. I personally take them everyday because I don’t want to go into a doctor’s office hearing I’m missing vitamin c and vitamin d, but besides that I’m alive and well. But if you know that you have a really healthy diet then you don't need to take them. I would say to take multivitamins unless you want to or feel like your diet is missing certain amounts of vitamins and minerals. With any health choices you make It’s best to speak with your doctor or a dietitian about them.

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7. Drink 100 Percent Juice

Juice is normally a drink we all run too but many juices aren't 100% which is very unhealthy. I think it's important you ladies know what you're putting in your body when you pick up any type of juice from the shelves. Juices that aren't 100 % are just like water and sugar with added color. Juices that are 100% contains vitamins, folate, potassium and magnesium. Next time you purchase a drink look for the label 100% juice. So which would you rather chose? 100% juice or a juice that isn’t 100%.

8. Stay Away from High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup, what is it? Well it’s a type of sweetener that is added in many of our delicious and favorite foods and beverages. It is basically in everything we eat, but if we look closely we'll find food and beverages that don’t provide it which also taste good. High fructose corn syrup causes obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer. If you're concerned about your health, then you may want to cut back on products that include high fructose corn syrup.

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9. Treat Soda like a Treat

I was once so addicted to soda that it became my initial drink. My sister who is a non-soda drinker realized I was hurting myself. She showed me research she found on how it damages the human body. Then, I never took a sip of it again, including my parents. Drinking too much soda causes health problems like obesity, dental health and diabetes which can lead to heart attacks. Drinking soda once in a blue moon won't kill you but It’s best to stay away from it.

10. Exercise

This is probably the most important step of them all because we all need to exercise. My parents, sister and I exercise every morning and it always pays off. Exercising helps keep your muscles and bones strong. It makes your heart and lungs function perfectly. It also prevents your joints from becoming easily injured and stiff. Not exercising is a health risk so get up and move your body because believe me when your 55 years old and come in 1st place at the marathon you'll be thanking me, well maybe not.

I'm not trying to change anyone I’m just sharing what I know. Although it may not be easy to change a certain way it's always worth trying because at the end of the day the decision is in your hands. It’s important to be healthy because you live a longer life and your body is immune to certain diseases. I hope you ladies enjoyed reading this.

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