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In this day and age of instant fast food seemingly on every corner, it can be rough trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Overly processed foods are usually packed with calories and carbs, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they offer very little nutritional value at all. In addition, when you go out to eat in restaurants, they serve you a meal the size  enough for two people. All of these things quickly add up where they not only affect our health, but also our lifestyle.

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Unfortunately, the United States is now known as the fattest country on earth. Nearly 40 percent of all adults are clinically obese, and that does not even take into account the people who are just merely overweight. If we don’t change our ways now, our children will have a very bleak future. And those airline seats and bathrooms are going to become an awfully tight fit for all of us.

he good news is there are some simple changes you can make immediately that will provide you a healthier lifestyle down the road. Think of these as tips or habits to start incorporating into your own life. Before you know it, you will have shed a few pounds and become an overall healthier version of yourself.

Eat Smaller Portions

More than anything, the amount of food we eat is getting out of control. In this super-size me era, with just a few words, we can receive larger and larger portions. This is a recipe for disaster. Many times it is not what we are eating that is making us gain weight, but the abundance of it. By limiting your portions, you will be cutting back on calories and any extra weight you are carrying around will slowly start coming off.

Join a Fitness Class

It is easier to stay in shape when you can do it with friends and other like-minded individuals. All of you have the same goal to become healthier, so a little motivation goes a long way. Therefore, joining a group fitness class is the perfect way to increase your exercising time and have fun doing it. For many of us, if it isn’t enjoyable, then we stop doing it after a bit. Plus, if we are doing it by ourselves, we tend to end our workouts a bit earlier than we should. However, group fitness classes are a lot of fun and you will have others there to keep pushing you forward. In addition, there are hundreds of different fitness classes to choose from, so you probably have a good variety of ones that you will live. You have never lived until you have taken a kickboxing class with the song Kung Fu Fighting playing on blast!

Drink Water

It may sound unbelievably simple, but by switching out the soda and other sugary beverages you are drinking right now with water can literally save you possibly from diabetes down the road. More people than ever before are being diagnosed with diabetes because they are ingesting a great amount of sugar, and much of it comes from soda. There are people that get their daily allowance of 2,000 calories just from drinking Big Gulps throughout the day. Soda is packed with carbs, calories, and sugar. This is a dangerous trifecta. Water will help you immensely in losing weight and improving your metabolism.

Get Enough Quality Sleep

Important, but not thought about enough, sleep is a necessity for a healthy life. While everyone knows good sleep helps you stay focused and energized throughout the day, it can do much more than that. Improved metabolism, stronger immune system and a lower risk of heart disease and stroke are just a handful of additional benefits that consistent quality sleep can do for you. To ensure high quality sleep, make sure you’re sleeping on a high quality mattress. Brands like Tempur-Pedic are great options for maximizing your comfort at night and keeping you on a good sleep schedule.

If you want great sleep, then you need to bring home a Cushion Lab’s foam pillow!

Get Out of the House

There is nothing wrong with being a hermit every now and then. But if you do it too often, it becomes a behavior that is hard to stop. Everyone enjoys being at home by themselves now and then, but don’t go overboard with it. A healthier lifestyle relates to socially, emotionally, and physically improving yourself across the board. Leaving out just one of these segments could be detrimental. Schedule a night out, at least once a week, with friends and family. Go see a movie, find a place to hike, break out your tent and go camping, or go out on the lake. Whatever you choose, just do it with other people.

Learn Different Ways to Relax

We all live busy lives regardless of what we do for a living. There is never enough time in the day. This leads to some of us thinking laying on the couch and watching television is relaxing. And while it is, there are other ways to relax as well. Going on a quiet bike ride in the country is both relaxing and a good way to eliminate stress. Finding a book that you have been meaning to read for the last year and spending a couple days reading it is pretty soothing for the soul. Don’t just depend on vegging out in front of the tv as your sole way to relax. There are more healthy things to do that can lead to relaxation.