December  2023

Maximixe your HSA e-Newsletter  Vol. 19, Issue 15

Back to Basics: Twelve Keys to a Healthy Lifestyle

I’ve always been a health nut.

Back before I started HSA for America, I got a Masters Degree in exercise science and nutrition. I learned a lot about the theory, physiology, organic chemistry, biomechanics, and cellular nutrition.

It was all fascinating. But the more I learned, the more I realized that most of our health outcomes are rooted in just a handful of basic principles.

Get these right, and turn them into habits over time, and you can do a lot to prevent medical problems and reduce your healthcare expenses later in life. 

Here’s I what I learned:

1. Take ownership

It’s your body—Take care of it.

Nobody else can do it for you. Don’t blame your spouse, your kids, your parents, your job, your doctors, or anyone else. From today on, your health is your responsibility.

2. 90% of weight loss happens in the kitchen. Not in the gym

You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet.

You think you can in your 20s. But by the time you’re 50, you’ll find that that approach doesn’t work, long term.

Take control of your kitchen, and be conscious of everything you put in your mouth.

3. Portion control matters.

Measure out what’s right for you, and know when to stop.

4. Get off the couch

Sedentary lifestyles are deadly.

Get up, get out of the house, and run, bike, or walk around. This is especially important if you work at a desk.

5. Tie your social life around activities.

Spend time with active friends, not couch potatoes.

6. Strength training is important

Cardio is important, too, but not sufficient by itself.

Get out there and challenge yourself with weights or bodyweight exercises designed to build muscle. But it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

7. There’s lots of cardio in weightlifting

If you do it right.

No weights? Any kind of resistance training helps. Try pushups, pilates, yoga, or lunges. Or put books or other heavy objects in a gym bag and lift that over your head. Anything goes! Work your muscles to burnout, and you’ll rev your heart rate in the process.

8.  Complicated diets don’t work, long-term.

Keep it simple, stupid.

General Patton used to say, “The perfect is the mortal enemy of the good.” Similarly, a decent, simple diet exercised consistently over time is better than a complicated meal plan that’s too exhausting to stick with.

9. Quit smoking

This is one of the most important things you can do, period.

It not only preserves your health in the long run; it also saves significant money now.

10. Limit sugars and starches

Think sugar, white bread, potatoes, or rice.

These spike your insulin, screw up your metabolism, and can lead to diabetes. Instead, replace them with green vegetables, and legumes.

11. Recognize stress and depressive eating when it happens.

If you catch yourself doing it, go for a walk or bike ride instead.

If it happens a lot, ask your doctor for help. Both conditions are treatable.

12. Put the phone down at bedtime. 

Poor sleep patterns lead to multiple health problems, poor work performance, and accidents.

13. Drink no calories

Sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, Starbucks frappes, and beers are all counterproductive.

Even fruit juices contain a lot of sugar… and calories. Many people have experienced very positive health results and weight loss just by eliminating high-calorie drinks. 

Instead, replace them with water, seltzers, plain tea and coffee, and (in limited amounts) zero-calorie sodas.

Your path to a healthy lifestyle is a personal one, and finding what works for you is the key to a long and healthy life​. The small steps we take now lay the foundation for our future health

Click here to schedule an appointment, or call 800-913-0172 to get started.    

To your health and wealth,

Wiley Long Signature

Wiley P. Long, III
President - HSA for America

Wiley Long Portrait

Subscribe to Maximize Your HSA

The HSA for America Maximize Your HSA Newsletter is published monthly and emailed to subscribers at no charge. Subscribe now to stay on top of the critical information you need to know about health insurance, healthshare plans and managing your finances to achieve financial security.

Wiley Long HSA for America President

Wiley Long is President of HSA for America. He believes that consumers should have choice and price transparency, so they can make the best healthcare decisions for their needs. Read more about Wiley on his Bio page.

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