9 Things You Don't Have to do to be Healthy

A. L. Tudor Jun 4th, 2012 (updated Jun 9th, 2015)
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You're bombarded daily with information on the things you should do to live your happiest, healthiest life. But what advice can you avoid? Read on to find out.

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Reach your goal weight
Reach your goal weight

Setting a weight-loss goal is a fine way to motivate yourself, but let's face it, sometimes a goal number can mess with your head. Don't sabotage your hard work by insisting that you won't be happy unless you hit your goal weight. Remember, you can always redefine your own finish line!

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Love to exercise
Love to exercise

You may never come to adore the hour you spend on the elliptical machine, and the truth is, that's perfectly okay. There's a lot to be said for finding a sport or activity that brings you enjoyment, but just because you're the type who'd rather be reading a book than running intervals doesn't mean you're doomed. The key is finding a type of physical activity that you can live with, and doing it regularly.

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Drink 8 glasses of water every day
Drink 8 glasses of water every day

There's no question that water is better for you than other drinks, but that doesn't mean you need to down eight glasses per day. Much of the water your body needs is found in food, and assuming you're drinking water or other fluids when you're thirsty or active, then you're probably hydrated enough.

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Be fast
Be fast

The benefit of increased cardiovascular fitness often means you're able to walk, run, or workout at a higher intensity, but you don't have to be truly fast in order to burn fat and increase your endurance. You might have heard the saying that no matter how slowly you go, you're still lapping folks who are sitting on the couch. In addition, slower exercise that is steady often burns fat better than high-intensity exercise.

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Give up meat
Give up meat

Sure, chicken fried steak is never going to be a superfood, but that doesn't mean you have to give up meat in order to have a healthy lifestyle. Switching processed or red meat for fish or poultry that has been prepared in a healthy way is a great move, but there's certainly room in life for a nice steak upon occasion.

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Meditate
Meditate

There are some who find meditation to be clarifying and worthwhile, while others find their mind spinning like a top any time they try to be zen. If meditation isn't your thing, try to find another way to relax and clear your mind.

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Buy organic
Buy organic

Buying strictly organic food just isn't feasible for many people, because organic food--particularly meat--can be expensive, and just hard to come by in some places. But rest assured, eating a diet that is full of fruits and vegetables is still a healthier option than buying packaged food, even if it isn't free-range, wild, grass-fed, or 100 percent organic!

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Be a great cook
Be a great cook

If you watch television and read magazines you'd be forgiven for believing that eating a healthy diet requires you to be on-par with the world's best chefs, but that just isn't true. Recipes are great, but so is the normal routine of making easy, uncomplicated food for yourself and your loved ones. So don't feel bad if you don't know or don't care about the difference between fleur de sel and fennel.

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Be perfect
Be perfect

Your self-control, your dedication, and your interest in living a more healthy life isn't going to be any stronger tomorrow than it is today, so stop trying to be perfect. Perfection is impossible, but progress happens one choice and one meal at a time. Instead of beating yourself up for every bad choice, start congratulating yourself for your good decisions. And start today!