Life is not merely being alive, but being well.
Marcus Valerius Martialis
In our fast-paced world, healthy living can feel elusive. Most of us are juggling responsibilities between our professional, family, and personal lives, and health often falls below the rest of our priorities. And, when we do try to focus on wellness, there are so many pieces of conflicting advice available today that knowing where to start seems overwhelming.
Luckily, we’re here to help you sort through the noise to share healthy living tips that actually make a difference. These strategies can help you to not only get your health on track if it needs some adjustments, but also prevent long-term illness and optimize health at every age.
5 Strategies for Healthy Living
Backed by our team of clinical experts, here are some impactful strategies you can use to lead a healthy day, every day.
Choose Whole Food Sources When Possible
Whole foods consist of real, single ingredients. These are the types of foods humans have been eating since we’ve come into existence. They include produce such as fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts, meat, and poultry.
In the 20th century, we saw an emergence of processed foods, and Western diets have since consisted predominantly of ready-to-eat meals that boast convenience. Yet, this convenience comes at the risk of compromising your health. Multi-ingredient foods are typically processed and may contain additives like excess sugar and salt, among other potentially harmful ingredients. Here are a few other points in favor of whole foods:
- Eating whole foods provides the body with essential nutrients and fiber. They’re also better for your gut microbiome, contain powerful antioxidants to help you fight disease, and can help you control your blood sugar and triglycerides. 
- Whole foods are also more convenient to fit into any diet. Whether you’re following a paleo, Mediterranean, or keto eating style, you won’t have to worry about confusing nutrition labels or whether ingredients are allowed in your diet, since most whole foods don’t even have a label.
There are few, if any, conditions in which a multi-ingredient food is better than a real, single-ingredient food. As often as you can, choose whole foods instead of processed alternatives.
Of course, the quantity of foods you eat matters, too. For example, while foods like nuts, oils, and other healthy fats help to balance a well-rounded diet, they’re especially high in calories and should therefore be limited to their recommended serving size.
Unfortunately, this is where healthy eating can become a bit tricky. Calories taken in versus those used will always determine whether a person loses, maintains, or gains weight. Yet, this can vary by factors that affect metabolism, such as age and hormone levels, along with activity levels. While exact numbers differ for every individual, however, the concept of portion control applies no matter what.
Food logging is a great way to track your portion sizes, and there are many apps and journals which make this practice simple and convenient. Yet, you must first start with a foundational knowledge of portion sizes.
To control your calorie intake, having at least a general awareness of portions will be extremely helpful. For whole foods, simply perform a quick web search of recommended portions if you’re unsure.
For example, while it might make sense to eat a whole apple or orange, determining how much chicken to eat might be a bit more challenging. In general, 5 to 6½ ounces of protein foods are recommended per day, but you may need to adjust based on your current weight, activity levels, and overall goals. 
When we think about healthy living, food and exercise tend to get all the attention. Yet, fluid intake is an important aspect of maximizing nutrition because:
Ideally, you should try to consume at least half of your body weight in fluid ounces every day. For instance, a person weighing 130 pounds would aim to take in 65 ounces of water each day. If you work out, you’ll also need to take in additional fluid before, during, and after your exercise. 
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is another frequently overlooked aspect of healthy living. While it doesn’t include to the food we eat, it does play an important role in how our bodies use nutrients.
The body’s recovery process takes place when we sleep. Yet, when we get too little sleep or our sleep is interrupted, fuel substrates remain in the blood stream, and cortisol levels elevate. High cortisol levels can lead to further breakdown, which can ultimately contribute to fat storage. It’s therefore essential to achieve proper sleep each night so our bodies can recover fully and make the most of our daily nutrition.
While barriers to restful sleep can vary from one individual to the next, here are a few general tips to help you achieve quality sleep:
- Try to stick to the same bedtime and wake up time every day, even on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Keep your bedroom cool. Most people sleep best between 60 and 70°.
- Avoid using any electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime.
- Don’t have heavy meals, alcohol, or caffeine in the evening if you can avoid it.
A final but important component of healthy living is regular exercise. While exercise needs vary for everyone, getting in at least a 30-minute workout on most days of the week can help you boost your metabolism and use fuel more efficiently.
Ultimately, increased physical activity will allow you to eat more, and do more with what you eat. You don’t have to be a competitive athlete to enjoy the benefits of exercise, either. Whether you choose short workouts through high-intensity interval training or moderate activity through long walks, your body will still be able to use its nutrition more effectively with exercise.
Let Healthy Living Turn Into A Healthier & Happier Life - In Conclusion
If these tips seem simple, it’s because they are. Here at Cenegenics, we know that the approaches to healthy living that deliver the best results are those that patients can stick to. While we provide tailored recommendations based on each individual’s unique needs and as clinically indicated, we don’t try to over-complicate the rules for a healthy lifestyle.
Eating whole foods in sensible portions, staying hydrated, promoting ample sleep, and exercising regularly are the key foundations for a lifetime of wellness.
If you’re interested in finding out how our clinicians can help you optimize your wellness by achieving long-term weight management, sleeping better, and feeling your best both now and into the future, contact your nearest Cenegenics location.
Next Steps: Healthy Living is Waiting for You!
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About the Author
Joshua D'Alessandro - MS, CSCS, CISSN
Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City
My name is Joshua D'Alessandro and I am an Exercise and Nutrition Counselor for Cenegenics in NY. My passion for fitness began at a very young age and has manifested into a career filled with possibilities. The countries largest epidemic, and quite possibly the root cause of most issues, is diminishing health. In my career, I hope to do everything and anything I can to improve the well being and lives of the people around me!
This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:
The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation
The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy
Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT
Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.
Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS
Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.
 Spritzler, RD, CDE, F. (2019, April 12). 21 Reasons to Eat Real Food. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/21-reasons-to-eat-real-food#section2
 Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat? . (2019, April 29). Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/serving-and-portion-sizes-how-much-should-i-eat
 Elkaim, Y. (2013, September 13). The Truth About How Much Water You Should Really Drink. Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/09/13/the-truth-about-how-much-water-you-should-really-drink