A healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve your health and well-being. Basically, it is the way of life wherein you take care of yourself as a whole.
Even though there are many common ways to live a healthy lifestyle, actually doing it looks different for everyone, and means something different from one person to the next. Regardless of what you choose to do, living a healthy lifestyle is a key component to disease prevention, wellness, and longevity.
Healthy Lifestyle with these 8 Quick and Easy Tips
1) Drink plenty of fluids –
Adults need to drink at least 1.5 liters of fluid a day! Or more if it’s very hot or if they are physically active. Water is the best source, of course, and we can use tap or mineral water, sparkling or non-sparkling, plain or flavored. Fruit juices, tea, soft drinks, milk and other drinks, can all be okay; from time to time.
One way to tell if you’re hydrated — your urine should be colorless or slightly yellow. If it’s not, you’re not getting enough water! Other signs include: Dry lips, dry mouth, and little urination.
2) Get your Beauty Sleep –
Lack of sleep may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. Continued lack of sleep can affect your immune system and make you less able to fend off colds and the flu. So, it’s important go get a good night’s sleep.
You can do things to help you sleep better at night. You can avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime. Also, while alcohol is well-known to help you fall asleep faster, too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as the body begins to process the alcohol.
3) Physical Activity –
Physical activity is important for people of all weight ranges and health conditions. It helps us burn off the extra calories, it is good for the heart and circulatory system, it maintains or increases our muscle mass, it helps us focus, and improves overall health well-being. We don’t have to be top athletes to get on the move! 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is advised, and it can easily become part of our daily routine. We all could:
- use the stairs instead of the elevator,
- go for a walk during lunch breaks (and stretch in our offices in between)
- make time for a family weekend activity
Exercise can also help you sleep better at night. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality but please avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime.
4) Cut down on Processed, Oily & sugary food, along with soda/caffeine –
If possible, reduce your intake of fast food, French fries, doughnuts, chips, wedges, and deep-fried food. Not only are they very fattening (1 tablespoon of oil is 120 calories), deep fried food contains acrylamide, a potential cancer-causing chemical. There are better alternatives, such as grilled, steamed, stir-fried, or even raw food.
Cutting down on sugary food is better for your health as well. These are things such as candy bars, pastries, chocolate, cookies, cakes, and jelly donuts. Not only do they not fill you up, they cause you to want to eat more due to the sugar rush. Go for healthy snacks instead like fruits, salads, pure juices, and unprocessed foods.
Drinks with caffeine are diuretics, meaning they speed up the rate of urine production. This means they don’t hydrate you as well as plain water can. Also, soda is unhealthy, causes weight gain, and is an artificial stimulant. Replace your soda with water or vegetable juices instead.
5) Eat Regularly with Fruits and Veggies –
Like fruits, vegetables are important for good health. Experts suggest 5-9 servings of fruits/vegetables a day, but unfortunately it may be difficult at times. However, when you can, include foods like kidney beans, black beans, asparagus, long beans, green beans, and carrots. Think about your favorite vegetables and how you can include more of them in your diet every day, and pick bright-colored foods.
Fruits and vegetables with bright colors are good for health because they remove the things in our body that damage our cells. So, get your fill of fruits/vegetables of different colors: White (Bananas, Mushroom), Yellow (Pineapples, Mango), Orange (Orange, Papaya), Red (Apple, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon), Green (Guava, Avocados, Cucumber, Lettuce, Celery), Purple/Blue (Blackberries, Eggplant, Prunes).
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, we could choose yoghurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks), unsalted nuts, or perhaps some bread with cheese.
6) Small Portions is the key –
Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet.
Paying attention to portion size will help us not to consume too much calories, and will allow us to eat all the foods we enjoy, without having to eliminate any.
- Cooking the right amount makes it easier to not overeat.
- Some reasonable serving sizes are: 100 g of meat; one medium piece of fruit; half a cup of raw pasta.
- Using smaller plates helps with smaller servings.
- Packaged foods, with calorie values on the pack, could aid portion control.
- If eating out, we could share a portion with a friend.
7) Meditate and Breathe more on Purpose –
Meditation quietens your mind and calms your soul. It can also help you deal with and manage the stress in your life. Check out our post on 6 myths and misconceptions about meditation.
Oxygen is a vital source of life. You may know how to breathe, but are you breathing properly?
Most of us don’t breathe properly — we take only shallow breaths and breathe to 1/3 of our lung capacity. A full breath is one where your lungs are completely filled, your abdomen expands, and there’s minimum movement in your shoulders. There are many benefits of deep breathing which include a reduction in stress and blood pressure, strengthening of abdominal and intestinal muscles and relief of general body aches and pains. Deep breathing also helps with better blood flow, releasing toxins from the body, and aids in getting a better night’s sleep.
8) Maintain a healthy body weight –
The right weight for each us depends on factors like our gender, height, age, and genes. Being overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
Excess body fat comes from eating more than we need. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient – protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps us spend the energy, and makes us feel good. The message is reasonably simple: if we are gaining weight, we need to eat less and be more active!