Changing a few habits throughout your day can change the quality of the life you live.
Make it your aim to live healthy and strong. Your body is a shell that takes you through life, if you abuse it, it will deteriorate quickly.
These basic tips can be a step towards a healthier and most definitely a happier life!
- DRINK WATER
You’ve definitely heard the ‘at least 8 glasses of water a day’ rule, but have you ever wondered why?
It’s because water is essential for our bodies to function, remove waste, as well as carry nutrients and oxygen around the body. We lose a lot of water throughout our daily activities therefore we need to replenish our water intake.
Drinking water at the right times is also an essential point;
2 cups of water after you wake up helps activate internal organs after rest mode.
1 cup of water before your meals helps in digestion and fills your stomach, making you less hungry so you won’t over-eat.
1 cup before taking a bath helps lower your blood pressure.
1 cup before going to bed helps in avoiding strokes and heart attacks.
Always listen to your body, if you feel thirsty, make sure to drink water. The amount of water your body needs depends on your age, weight, your physical activity and the level of humidity in your surroundings.
- EAT HEALTHY; EAT 5 SMALL MEALS A DAY & EAT THEM SLOWLY
The best approach is to eating is simple; eat slowly and stop eating when you’re feeling 80% full. This way, you are limiting your calorie intake and lowering the T3 and thyroid hormone in your body, which are known to slow the metabolism. But hold on, that doesn’t mean stop eating. On the contrary, eat 5 small meals throughout the day. When you eat more meals with smaller portions you make sure to distribute the energy in your body properly. When you eat large meals, your stomach starts stretching to be able to digest huge amounts of food, and with time your stomach size will become bigger and you’ll directly start gaining weight.
If you’re an emotional or stress eater, try downsizing your plate. This simple trick can be used to avoid over-eating. The smaller the plate, the bigger the portions would look to your eye, and therefore you’ll trick your brain into thinking you’ve had a big satisfying meal.
- DO CARDIO FOR 20 MINUTES, 5 DAYS A WEEK
Always keep it moving! Walking, running or rope jumping are just some of the options that can add a dose of cardio to your daily routine.
Cardio moves your muscles, which, in turn, pumps back the fluids to the heart, keeping your heart healthy. It helps in rejuvenates the white blood cells in the body and improves the immune system. It increases the energy and endorphin levels. The benefits are endless. No matter how busy your life may be, 20 minutes of ‘me time’ a day makes a world of a difference to your health and happiness.
- KNOW YOUR SERVING SIZES
No we’re not talking about portion size here; we’re talking about the serving sizes of the actual food we consume. Forget your measuring cups, spoons, and scales, just learn what’s right and with time you just get accustomed to what looks right.
To keep a balanced and healthy diet try to follow these simple instructions; having 1.5 cups of fruit, 2.5-3.5 cups of vegetables, 140 - 230 gram of grain, and 3 cups of non-fat/ low-fat dairy food creates the most balanced servings for your body.
- CUT OUT REFINED SUGARS & REDUCE YOUR SALT
Meet the two white poisons we consume on a daily basis without giving it any thought. If you cut out refined sugars and salt, you will immediately start feeling healthier and more energetic. Why you may ask? Sugar is known to provide cancer cells with the fuel it needs to grow. It works against the white blood cells in the body thus weakening the immunity. It is considered to be a trigger food and therefore promotes weight gain. It also interferes with the way amino acid is transferred to the muscles, and stimulates insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes. But that doesn’t mean you cannot indulge in a sweet bite, you just need to choose your sugars wisely. Simply choose fresh organic sugars such as fruits, organic honey or dark chocolate with organic sweeteners. Make rules when it comes to your desserts; limit it to once or twice a week.
Let’s talk salt now! Salt has a major impact on causing high blood pressure, hypertension, and heart diseases. To cut salts, avoid packaged and processed food; smoked, salted, canned meat, fish and poultry. Lower the consumption of hard and processed cheese, peanut butter, canned soup and broth. Avoid chips, crackers and salted pastries.
- SLEEP WELL
Rule of thumb, less sleep means more food. When you’re exhausted from lack of sufficient sleep, your body compensates with more food for energy, thus eating more calories.
For a good night’s sleep, follow these simple tricks:
- Avoid eating 3 hours before getting to bed
- Drink water
- Try yoga right before sleep
- Avoid drinking coffee, tea or eating sugars before you sleep as these foods are considered to be stimulants and will keep your body feeling awake.
- Prepare the room to be cool, dark and quite before you go to bed as that helps the body to cool down before deep sleep mode.
- Create a routine for yourself; go to sleep and wake up at the same time and make sure you get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
- STAY INSPIRED, AVOID STRESS, DO YOGA, BE MINDFUL
Meditation is the best way to soothe your mind and calm your soul.
Wake up in the morning and take 3 deep breathes. Continue your morning by drinking a mindful drink; make sure to notice the flavour, texture and temperature of the drink. During your morning routine, try to stretch your body. If you have the time, go out for a walk and clear your mind. Make sure to always acknowledge your feelings; don't judge them to be “bad” or “good”, just try to feel them, understand them and acknowledge them.
Clear your life from negativity and stress. Have friends who lift you up, support your decisions and encourage you to take risks to become a better person.
Always make sure to look at the cup half full and not half empty.
- WORK ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
We tend to always focus on our physical health and emotional health and perhaps forget about our mental health. Read a book, learn a new skill, try to draw, and engage in projects that work your brain and body simultaneously. Try to have parts of your daily routine away from technology.
- MAKE SURE YOU’RE THE RIGHT WEIGHT
Being even a few kilos over weight is not healthy for your body. It causes digestion issues and acid reflux. If you have trouble losing or maintaining weight, it is advised to see a dietician and follow a healthy diet that fits your body type and body needs.
- AVOID TOBACCO, AND EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Smoking is known to be very harmful to the human body. It increases the risk of lung cancer, oesophageal cancer, kidney cancer, heart attacks and much more. An e-cigarette, hookah and all the cigarette alternatives are also considered to be as harmful as cigarettes.
If you drink, keep it moderate.
Drinking moderately has significantly lower risks on your body than excessive drinking.
When you drink excessively, you increase the risk of certain cancers, sudden deaths if you already have cardiovascular disease, heart muscle damage, strokes, high blood pressure, liver damage, and much more.
Your body is a temple, make sure to take care of it!
by Maya Abdullah