The simple fact is that there are numerous benefits to healthy living. There are so many, in fact, that you may be hard pressed to find a good reason not to strive towards a healthier lifestyle after reading this article. Best of all, most of these steps cost little or nothing and are easy to implement.

The Importance of Sleep

A lack of sleep is far more significant that people might suspect. People frequently view sleep as something that they can "skimp on." However, this really isn't the case. Studies are showing that those who get less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night are putting themselves at risk for an increase of disease across the board.

Not getting enough sleep stimulates the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which, in turn, triggers inflammation. As it turns out, a lack of sleep can lead to premature aging, aches and pains throughout the body due to inflammation, and even weight gain. Another reason that proper sleep is key to your health is that it gives your body time to repair any injuries that you may have. Sleep isn't just an option for health, it is absolutely critical.

Fruits and Vegetables

Most people simply do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, and the end result is a decrease in lifespan. This may sound harsh, but there is little denying this fact. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals, but that is only the beginning of how they can benefit health. Fruits and vegetables are also high in antioxidants and all important enzymes. Enzymes are often destroyed when food is cooked, so eating at least some raw fruits and vegetables is absolutely key for good health. The enzymes contained in fruits and vegetables are essential in body processes such as the proper digestion of food.

If you find that you simply don't have the time to shop and prepare fresh produce, there are supplements that you can take that will conveniently enable you to get the daily vitamins and minerals that you need from fruits and vegetables.

Avoiding Processed Foods and Fast Foods

If you think you can get a lot of processed foods and fast foods and still experience healthy living, you are simply mistaken, as it just isn't possible. Processed foods are full of chemicals, additives and preservatives, and these are all things that you don't need. Eating foods with short ingredient lists or whole foods is pivotal for good health. Likewise, avoiding fried foods, high fat foods with trans fats and foods with lots of sodium and sugar should be at the top of your healthy living list.

You Can Improve Your Health

By adopting healthy living approaches, you can greatly increase your overall well-being and likely your lifespan as well. Getting enough sleep, avoiding unhealthy foods, such as fast food, and eating more fruits and vegetables really will help you look better, feel better and live longer!