Do you ever wonder why it's so hard to be healthy? Well, I do too. If you're one of those people who exercise all the time, and eat right and stay fit, then this article probably isn’t for you. But for people like me, who that doesn't come too naturally to, here are a few tips that I have looked up online and in books for the both of us. (Hopefully I'll be motivated to stick to them...)

1. Take Baby Steps:

Instead of completely cutting out junk food, or trying to exercise every day for three hours, try a little at a time. Maybe just cut out sodas, or eat on a smaller plate, or even just take a short walk around the block. Everything in life needs balance, and if you want being healthy to be a part of your life, you have to let it gradually become a habit.

2. Eat your Fruits and Veggies:

Fruits and vegetables are an extremely important part of a healthy diet. Plus they are easy snacks, and good when you're on the go. While sometimes getting fruit is expensive, it is completely worth it considering how good it is for you. Carrots and dip are a great substitute for chips, and an apple is a whole lot healthier than candy (and it's still sweet!). While trying to incorporate these foods into your diet is a whole lot harder than it sounds, in the end, it pays off.

3. Less Carbs:

I know it sounds like something from a movie about the rich and the snobby, but its true, too many carbs aren't good for you. This includes: breads, pasta, rice, anything with white flour. For some people it can even cause painful digestion problems. So in this case less is more. While a lot of these foods may be tempting, and are good to eat once and awhile, its healthier not to have too much. Remember Baby Steps! A good substitute for white flour, though, is wheat flour. They even have wheat pasta that doesn't taste much different.

4. Exercise:

This always sounds really intimidating. When I think of exercise usually I think of the gym, or running, or lifting weights. But really, exercise is just: "an activity requiring physical effort". At least, that's what the dictionary says. Meaning you can do a lot for exercise. Like walking, or hula-hooping, or jump-rope, or dancing, or going up and down stairs, or even standing. I read that there was a study done that proved that people who had office jobs tended to be less healthy because they are basically sitting all day. So, at the very least, try to stand up more often. Or, if a teacher asks the class if anyone would like to go do something for them, offer to help. Really, any activity is a whole lot better than none. If you have a little more time, but aren't really into running or going to the gym, you could always take a walk around the block. A good way to get exercise is to take on a sport. Here at Malden High School we have plenty to join. A sport gives you a commitment to stick to and people around you to help encourage you to keep on going. Even if you don’t feel like joining a school sport, there are always the city teams to think about. But really, any movement is key.

5. Water:

Yes. It's simple. Just trading your soda or your juice for water can do a lot. For your weight, health, and skin. Water flushes the toxins out of your body. Water has no sugar, and your body needs it to survive. Water is pretty filling in itself. They say your supposed to drink eight cups a day. I say that's pretty unrealistic, but if you can drink eight cups a day then well done. I just try to drink water at every meal, and remember to drink whenever I feel thirsty. That was one thing I remembered from some commercial about being healthy, "If you're feeling thirsty then its already too late." Especially if you're exercising.

That's about it. Most of it's pretty simple. Most of it seems pretty do-able. But like I said in the beginning, start small, take baby steps. You won't magically become healthier in a day. I know. I've tried. You can try all or one of these things, it really doesn't matter. (Although personally, I think the easiest to start with is just drinking more water.) And remember, this is about being HEALTHY not about losing weight. If that starts to happen then great, but that shouldn't be your goal. Being healthy is most important. Good Luck!

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