An almost-100 year lifespan, a perfect figure, a glowing skin, six pack abs and being satisfied with oneself entirely may seem like quite a challenging goal to achieve to many people. Sometimes, almost impossible too. But really, it’s just about commitment, will power, compromise, some motivation and being able to engage in healthy behaviors on a regular basis and you’re good to go! Out of the numerous healthy lifestyle habits, here are 5 highlighted for you to stay satisfied and contented with your lifestyle.
Strict diet rules to a healthy lifestyle may seem a lot tougher to follow than it should actually be. It is rather easier to make only one of your meals healthier than the rest. According to research, this healthier meal should be your lunch, which can be made very nutritious with a small serving of protein, a side of veggies, and one serving of fruit – for instance a chicken breast, some carrots, and an apple, or a can of tuna, a few cucumbers, and a banana would both pass for two really healthy examples for a good lunch. One could make small, healthy swaps to some meal of the day. Butter or other types of oils could be replaced by olive oil and dinner could served with a bowl of colorful vegetable salad.This will be a very motivational start to a healthy lifestyle!
Not only this, but one must get into a habit of cooking fresh meals at home rather than hitting some fast food restaurant and grabbing sandwiches, burgers as well as ready-made and microwaveable food items which appear to be a slow death of our mind and soul. This is a rather productive approach and will definitely keep you happy since you would be able to keep a check on the nutrition, to make the food less fatty, less sugary and other healtheir changes to your food. This way you’d get a sufficient dose of your vitamins, minerals and fibers too. Other than that, while grocery shopping, one must buy foods closest to nature as possible and minimally processed.
It is preferable to down a glass of water before a meal instead of sipping it along with your meals. This especially helps to lose weight, to make your skin healthy and to keep you active. Drinking more water keeps your body hyrdrated. Additionally, it permits our stomach to take fewer calories by taking up a lot of space inside and making us feel rather full. One must drink a minimum of 8 cups per day. It is important to note that one must stop drinking soda since it contains lots of calories. Even diet soda has toxic artificial sweeteners that stimulate appetite.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY-THE NEED FOR AN EARLY MORNING STRETCH AND A BRISK WALK
Sitting for long periods of time can be responsible for various health problems such as obesity, the risk of cardivascular diseases, type 2 diabetes or even cancers. On average, people sit for about 7.7 to 15 hours per day. Imagine how unhealthy that is! The easiest solution for this is to simply walk more. Walking helps us maintain a healthy weight, strengthens our bones and muscles, improves our mood and balance and coordination too. It helps bring up the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and strengthens the heart. It was found by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston that women who walked 30 minutes a day reduced their risk of stroke by 20 percent and if the pace was stepped up, by 40! We must choose to take the stairs over the elevator. Climbing stairs is actually great exercise.
Also, we must indulge ourselves in games or sports that keep us active. This would both be pleasure and exercise! Many people, both physically active ones and even the couch potatoes, complain of waking up feeling sluggish. It is common for many to feel lazier to think of a morning gym session or a run in the park. Thus, for a headstart,begin with something less intimidating yet healthy such as just a morning stretch. A few minutes of stretching can actually increase our energy levels hence, keeping us in a happy mood. It helps maintain a good posture, reducing various aches and pains.
ADEQUATE SLEEP AND STRESS MANAGEMENT
Some extra sleep drastically helps improve our health. It boosts our energy and fortunately for the beauty conscious ones, it helps reduce the dark circles! An adequate sleep improves our memory, the quality and standard of life, helps keep us alert, to maintain a healthy weight, and lower stress. An ideal sleep of 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep per night is required by an average human, but this may vary from person to person. People with trouble sleeping, should try some relaxation techniques such as yoga. Eating a small snack, like whole grain cereal with milk, oatmeal, or cherries, can also help. Avoid eating heavier meals at least 1 or 2 hours before bedtime since it makes it harder for us to relax. Extra greasy, fatty and sugary foods that may cause indigestion should be avoided before sleep-time.
A dark room and one that is free of electronics is also very necessary. It may be harder to make bigger amendments and think of sleeping an hour or 2 earlier. So take smaller steps. Sleep 5 or 10 minutes earlier for a change. One must try to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Our body’s system is self-regulating. If one day, we sleep for a fewer hours than usual, we will be sleep-deprived and fulfill our need for sleep the following day, thus disrupting our sleep cycle. Getting to bed early each night should become a practice, and it should be made sure that dinners are eating before 8pm. “Any food you eat after 8pm will sit in your digestive tract all night, making you wake up feeling heavy, foggy and annoyed,” as warned by the nutritionist and naturopath Janella Purcell.
Stress is not necessarily all bad but this rapid pace of modern society has led to persistent and long-term stress, which yields serious physical side effects. The hormone cortisol and some others are released in response to stress which initiate the fight-and-flight response. With an elevation in cortisol levels, there is a risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, compromised immune response, cognitive impairment, osteoporosis, ulcers and may affect almost every regulatory system in the body. Stress also lowers the wound-healing ability.Thus it is very necessary to be able to manage your stress using several relaxation techniques.
ADDRESS ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS
We all have phases of occasional overindulgence in energy or mood-boosting stimulants like coffee, tea, energy drinks or even alcohol for many. They may give us a quick energy boosts initially but the artificial stimulants let us enjoy a series of highs followed immediately by valleys of deep lows that may cause terrible hormonal imbalances and mood swings. Not only this but the issue with artificial stimulants is that they’re addictive, so losing count of the number of cups or mugs of coffee, tea etc, is rather very easy. High doses of caffeine are also responsible for anxiety and panic attacks as well as nervousness. Slowly reducing the intake of such stimulants will help you take back the control over yourself without experiencing the sudden, annoying withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability and headaches.
Although tea is also a source of caffeine that can provide a spike in energy, it doesn’t have the after-effects as severe as those of coffee or energy drinks so it’s better to replace coffees with tea instead. It will be even healthier to replace the artificial stimulants with natural energizers such as water, organic food, exercise, and vitamin D in the form of sunshine of course!
An addiction to smoking is also a very common issue in our society that amounts from stress and personal problems in one’s life regarding employment or relationship issues. Not only does it cause and addiction but cigarettes contain nicotine which is a harmful drug and may cause ultimate lung cancers and may be fatal! It’s not too late to reverse your worst habits such as smoking, drinking, over-eating and immediately start living a happier, healthier life.
INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP HABITS AND HAPPINESS
Staying happy mentally is of course one of the most important of healthy lifestyle habits in itself! One way happiness improves health is by its relationship to psycho social factors such as better relationships, more emotional or practical support, and adaptive coping mechanisms. A higher well-being,one that is independent of health-related behaviors, is associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease.A happier person is develops a decreased bodily response to stress, including lower cortisol release and ambulatory heart rate, better immune response, better cardiovascular function, and improved sleep. And these results are independent of negative feelings. Not only does this prevent anxiety and depression but the positivity itself exerts its own protective effect. Clearly, becoming happier is in the best interest of anyone who wants to live a healthier life.
Being grateful for life in general is no doubt, the best and the most simple way to become a healthier. Other than that, one must be able to take out time for something they love to do passionately and believe that their life has a purpose. This makes a person feel happy and satisfied about themselves. Once you realize that your life has a purpose, it’ll be easier for you to set and achieve goals to reach a desired destination. Some goals are beneficial while others are just unhealthy for you. For instance, extrinsic goals such as attaining wealth, status, attractiveness, or fame don’t make you happier; in fact, they might even make you less happy or maybe sometimes, even lead you to comparison with someone and feeling inferior about yourself.
On the other hand, intrinsic goals such as intimacy, personal growth, good health, progress and contribution to the community will always make you feel healthier. One must also learn to forgive and forget, should be a more giving person and must avoid holding grudges against others. It should be assumed thte people are friendly and positive. This in turn, spreads positivity and helps build healthier and longer-lasting relationships with those around you. This is of course another healthy habit.
Transforming our habits requires incredible stamina, motivation, self-discipline, compromise and vision. It’s arduous and tiring but one need not change themselves completely all at once. Slow and gradual changes will make it easier for you and slowly, these habits will indeed, lurk into your routine-life.
By boldly embracing the above mentioned benefits of healthy lifestyle habits, we are reserving ultimate success and happiness for ourselves. Is that not a good enough reason to try something new?
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