One thing is for sure, healthy lifestyle should be within your reach. And yes, being healthy is always worth it. Think of healthy lifestyle this way: It is your weapon in living a happy and purposeful life. And you should not be short-changed.
Now, let’s get real.
What does it take to have a healthy lifestyle?
First things first, healthy lifestyle need not be glamorous and complicated. If you happen to come up with a handful of habits that include simplicity, convenience and a direction towards sustainability – that for sure, will lead you to a healthy lifestyle.
What is the importance of healthy living?
Climbing your way up the ladder of healthy living can be complicated for some people. Most websites will tell you to sleep early, eat right, stay active – all those are important pit stops on the roadmap to healthy living.
While all of these are true, let’s further break down in bits and pieces how and why do we need to do these life changing habits to have a healthy lifestyle. Gone are the days where the checklist of living a healthy life has to be mindboggling for someone to do and take part of. We don’t need to be wandering around knowing that our health may be compromised in one way or another. Taking steps to be healthy should be easy- going!
It is equally valuable that healthy lifestyle come by with facts backed up by Science wherein its proven to be effective and beneficial to the body.
Your very own plate makes a huge difference.
Healthy lifestyle starts from within, specifically in your own plate. This aspect may be the hardest to deal with for some people. Here are the simple tips that will surely jumpstart your healthy lifestyle journey!
1. Choose your carbohydrates wisely
Having a variety of meals, starting from the excellent selection of carbohydrates will come a long way. When you lean towards the wide array of complex carbohydrates, your body will thank you for it, simply because they are known to have the lowest level of glycemic index—which lowers risk in developing issues with sugar profile in the blood.
Complex carbohydrates like:
One can be perfectly living a healthy lifestyle with carbohydrates in it. Carbohydrates are the body’s fuel to function. It even serves as food of the brain, in the form of glucose.
You see, carbohydrates are not the enemy here.
2. Not all fats are created equal
Experts have explained that the conscious elimination of saturated fat is already one step closer to healthy lifestyle since it decreases someone’s threat in acquiring cardiovascular disease. Replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat removes negative effect to the body.
Unsaturated fats particularly the ones coming from:
The foods listed above are some of the best ones you can try to increase in your diet to improve heart health.
It also helps when you shy away from highly processed food items like fast food take away, junk food, chips, etc. These food items are known to have the highest amount of saturated fat and trans-fat that brings so much threat to your overall health.
3. Know your fruits and vegetables
There’s a wide spectrum of fruits and vegetables that are available. It’s only a matter of choosing which kind suits your preference, palate and how available they are within your area. It is important to remember that you enjoy all colours of the rainbow when choosing fruits and vegetables!
Intake of high fibre foods including fruits and vegetables are known to:
- Regulate bowel movement. This is an essential way of removing toxins from the body that might trigger development of several diseases in the long run.
- Also, increased intake of fibre rich foods are now well studied, stressing out that fibre in general improves gut health that helps with immune system.
4. Refined sugar is not your best friend
Refined sugar like your favourite donut or pastry can give temporary pleasure, but it won’t do you any good in the long haul. Make it a habit to make wise decisions when to eat and when not to eat treats like these. A healthy lifestyle includes being disease- free including Diabetes, kidney problem and some sort.
Why do these foods have such a bad name?
Well they can cause serious damage to your probiotics or good bacteria. They play a unique role in the gut where the immune system can be compromised when you need it the most. They literally wipe out the “good guys” inside your gut which can slow down your recovery when you get hit with a bad flu or some sort of serious disease.
5. Good bacteria/ probiotics are part of the team
This is a total game changer in the aspect of living a healthy life. Probiotics are your “knight-in-shining-armor”. They literally save your gut health and prevent huge damage to your overall immune system.
When the body is exposed to pathogens like viruses, bacteria or any other disease – causing substances, good bacteria serve as building blocks for your immune system to thrive. When you have enough strains and cultures of good bacteria in the gut, it creates a scenario wherein it sends warning signs to the other parts of the body to keep its guards up and stay on high alert whenever a serious threat to immune system comes into play.
Here are the common strains of probiotics that the gut needs:
- Streptococcus thermophilus
- Saccharomyces boulardii
Now that you know most likely which items need to-be and not-to-be present in your system, we all know that healthy lifestyle is not one size fits all time of thing. NEXT THING you might want to ask yourself is the question, how to start a healthy lifestyle?
Tips for healthy living is an endless list. Let’s now dive into the things that most people don’t talk about: the world outside the food you eat!
6. Get yourself to move
Studies and scientific researches cannot stress enough how regular physical activity makes up a healthy lifestyle. Most books will tell you that regular exercise improves cardiovascular disease and boosts normal blood flow in the body. This is very true, however, there’s another positive side to it.
Regular physical activity sets your mind to produce more “happy hormones”. It is known to boost someone’s mood by producing hormones like – endorphins, oxytocin and dopamine that naturally occurs when you feel happy and excited.
7. Taking foods supplements
It is written in stone that the only way for someone to be living a healthy lifestyle is through the food that we eat. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are a lot of macro and micro nutrients that the body needs, that we can only get from adequate supplementation.
Vitamin and mineral supplements can be taken into consideration at any point in time to provide adequate amount of nutrients for the body to function efficiently. You will be surprised how proper supplementation can bring extra glow to your skin, hair and even nails.
Here are some of the most common supplements you can consider:
It’s also been around for quite a while that healthy living is somewhat established with body fitness training (for some people). With this glare of publicity, and of course, the positive effect of physical activity on overall health, adequate macronutrient supplementation is now always on the table, to enhance performance and strength.
8. If it helps, go check your weight
There are countless studies proving that weight alone is not the sole marker of a healthy lifestyle. Someone can be very slender and lean but diseases are all waving at him/her. However, if creating the healthy lifestyle will be complete and well defined when you check your weight in a timely manner, you can go ahead and do it. But, always remember that there’s always more to the numbers you see on the scale.
And yes, there is more to weight than the naked eye can see. A person can be under the state of healthy living when you measure waist- hip circumference, body mass index, body mass composition and a whole lot more!
As we continue to uncover majority of the healthy lifestyle facts, there are a bunch of healthy lifestyle tips that you should know about!
9. Do not underestimate the power of sleep
As simple as it seems, not all people get a good balance of rest and sleep. It adds so much value to be mindful and take part in being conscious where you sneak in rest and sleep in your healthy lifestyle journey.
Recent studies have revealed that sleep and rest “up- regulates” the body’s happy hormones, same set of hormones you stimulate when you move and exercise. However, when you rest and sleep, the hormone responsible for sleep, called Melatonin is activated. In this phenomenon, the cortisol level in the body (also called as stress hormone), dramatically drops. In the event that cortisol level has declined, the body functions more effectively and more efficiently. Making you feel more relaxed. What a way to iron out your healthy lifestyle, right?
10. Hydration is your holy grail
It’s not an old-fashioned belief that water makes you healthy. Why? The human body is 60 % water. Almost all your vitamins and minerals are delivered in areas of the body, through water.
On another positive note, when a person is well hydrated, it ditches issues with:
- massive headaches (especially during hot days!)
- and even better performance during sports activities liking cycling, high endurance work out, and the list goes on.
Case in point, you can never go wrong with drinking enough water during the day!
11. Limit your screen time
Recent studies showed that the longer you expose yourself to unlimited screen time, whether it’s from television, computer, or mobile device, it emits blue light that shackles overall brain health. It eventually compromises someone’s capacity to focus, another harmful aspect that may affect someone’s healthy lifestyle.
This goes for the kids as well. Countless studies involving children say that when you put a limit their screen time, kids enhance social skills, shows better behavior and mood towards people outside their common circle.
12. Make meaningful relationships
Another unsaid truth about healthy living, is mental health stability. Building positive relationships over family, friends, colleagues and such can mend a greater hole in someone’s overall health. In a study conducted last 2010, having unhealthy relationships can actually develop into something more serious like being pre- disposed to cardiovascular disease.
Why is this happening?
It all boils down to the body’s chemical imbalance that may bring about high level of oxidative stress when he/she is exposed to unhealthy or undesirable relationships.
13. There is so much to learn about stress management
Ever heard about circadian rhythm? It is the body’s natural response to sleep- wake cycle that creates a space of balance between stress and rest. When circadian rhythm is maintained, healthy lifestyle is already within reach.
Well, what if it’s far- fetched at this point in time?
Then you will notice problems with sleep, digestion, gut health, mood swings and much more. So, yes, there is so much one can benefit from stress management. You can always seek help by engaging more to people, actively speaking your mind in things that make you uncomfortable. With these baby steps, you will develop a good stress management system, that will snowball into a better circadian rhythm in the long run.
Another aspect of managing stress is magnifying the importance of REST. Healthy lifestyle would encourage an individual to seriously consider resting from all aspects of life that might be triggering too much stress. May it be social media, junk food, toxic relationships/ habits—name it. The thing is, have a clear headspace where you can detox yourself from your known stress triggers.
You might be asking, how do you get there?
How do you start living a healthy lifestyle?
Again, let’s not make it complicated. Let’s shrink it down further so you can take everything in and start making a change!
1. Set realistic goals
A goal cannot be realistic if you can’t achieve it. That goes exactly the same with healthy lifestyle. One piece of advice, hand pick one or two habit that you would want to happen in the next 2 or 3 months. And then what?
- Practice it
- Embrace it
- Feel it
Before you know it, you have created a space wherein in you’re already few steps forward to your healthy lifestyle goal. This might sound odd, but, it’s totally fine if you change plans or goals. If you don’t find it fit or sustainable in the world that you live in, don’t force it. Do it with the idea in mind that you will have to enjoy it until the end of time. Imagine eating an apple for the rest of your life, only to find out that your favourite fruit is orange. Strange, right?
2. Healthy lifestyle is habit forming
Remember, humans are creature of habit. In one way or another, we all need constant push to do things, and that comes a long way, always in the long haul. Yes, it might take a while. But, your body deserves it, so is your mental health!
A famous study has revealed that for a person to fully absorb and accept a huge change in living condition or scenario—it takes 66 days or 2 months to be successful. In summary, it takes 66 days to form a new habit. With this fact waving on all of us, you have to give yourself room to understand the process and take it step by step to be successful in reaching your health goals. You cannot be eating carrots today and fall in love with the taste of cabbage the next morning, quite impossible!
3. Find the ones with common goals as you
Since the start, we cannot stress enough that we are having a mindset shift here. So, being mindful is a pretty huge deal. Mindfulness on which people you surround yourself with can make or break your goals. You don’t have to literally cut ties with the people you truly value, but at least create an inner circle who share the same goal as you, and that is living a healthy life.
Each of us can be fully adaptive and in sync with our own environment. And that reality speaks volume on how soon you can jumpstart and start living a healthy lifestyle. And of course, at the end of the day, it sounds pretty awesome when you have your cheer leaders rooting for you!
4. Find that light that you’re eyeing for
Look for someone, or maybe something that inspires you to be the healthiest you can be. It can be a person, a feeling, or anywhere in between. Find that one thing that will keep you going. When you have the motivation or the right goal to continue to be living healthy, you can only move forward from there.
Also, it’s totally normal to have small bumps on the road. When you don’t get the number of hours of sleep you’re aiming for in one night, keep trying. Or if you weren’t able to have the most colorful plate for lunch yesterday, you can always try again today.
What sets you apart when you start living healthy?
How does your lifestyle affect your health?
Well, this may be no-brainer at this point in time. Definitely you are most likely NOT pre- disposed in developing non- communicable diseases or NCDs. Across the globe, these NCDs are the list of diseases that contributes to the world’s mortality rate, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Some of them are namely:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Respiratory disease
But, there’s more to that. You will agree when we say that you cannot put a price tag when you have the peace of mind that you are living a healthy life, disease- free. It has become one of the most underrated feeling that a person could be in at this point, especially to elderly. That’s why it takes a lot of guts for a person to take a leap and start a healthy lifestyle routine, that’s because it becomes priceless in the end.
And, have you heard of anyone telling you that maintenance medication is a walk in the park? Of course not! One of most un-glamorous aspect of compromised health is the cost of medication and healthcare almost anywhere in the world. And that alone is strong reason, enough for you to aspire and live a healthy life.
We all know for a fact that nothing is worth it if it’s not sustainable. And, living a healthy life in a sustainable manner can become a struggle for most people. Why? Its basically because humans have this tendency to bite more than what we can chew.
Remember, going slow is not a bad thing. Embrace the process of engaging into healthy lifestyle. Ingest the process of growth and learning. Discern which habit will take longer than the other, Maybe eating healthy takes you longer to adapt than sleeping fine, and that’s acceptable.
Also, don’t be afraid to go hit-and-miss. If one habit might not be as fun as the other, then try a different approach. Maybe doing it at a different time of the day may help. Or maybe seek help from someone who went through the same thing. You will never run out of ideas to cope up. It’s only a matter of time and patience.
Lastly, do it for yourself. Do it because your body deserves it. Take that step further because your life depends on it, you are meant to enjoy life to the fullest and make the most out of it!