Some words of wisdom
How healthy are you? Do you have a healthy diet? Do you exercise regularly? Do you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day? Do you get enough sleep every day?
Our body is our temple, and we need to take care of it to have a healthy life. Do you know that a shocking over 60% of Canadians! are either obese or overweight? That’s insane! Think of your body as your physical shell to take you through life. If you repeatedly abuse it with unhealthy food, your shell will wear out quickly. While you may look okay on the outside, on the inside, your arteries are getting clogged up with cholesterol and arterial plaque. That’s not a pretty sight!
Life is beautiful and you don’t want to bog yourself down with unnecessary health problems. Today, your vital organs (kidney, heart, lungs, gall bladder, liver, stomach, intestines, etc) may be working well, but they may not be tomorrow. Don’t take your good health today for granted. Take proper care of your body.
Good health isn’t just about healthy eating and exercise – it also includes having positive mental health, healthy self-image and a healthy lifestyle. In this post, we’ll share with you some tips to live a healthier life. Bookmark this article and save the tips, because they are going to be vital in living a healthier life.
Drink more water. Most of us actually don’t drink enough water every day. Water is essential for our body to function – Do you know over 60% of our body is made up of water? Water is needed to carry out our body functions, remove waste and carry nutrients and oxygen around our body. Since we lose water every day through urine, bowel movements, perspiration and breathing, we need to replenish our water intake.
Get enough sleep. When you don’t rest well, you compensate by eating more. Usually it’s junk food. Get enough rest and you don’t need to snack to stay awake. Also, lack of sleep causes premature aging, and you wouldn’t want that.
Meditate. Meditation quietens your mind and calms your soul. If you don’t know how to meditate, don’t worry – learn, it’s easy
Exercise. Not just a few times a week, but every day. Movement is life. Research has shown that exercising daily brings tremendous benefits to our health, including increase of life span, lowering of risk of diseases, higher bone density and weight loss. Increase activity in your life. Choose walking over transport for close distances. Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Join some aerobics classes. Take up a sport of your liking
Pick exercises you enjoy. When you enjoy the sports, you’ll naturally want to do them. Exercise isn’t about suffering and pushing yourself; it’s about being healthy and having fun at the same time. Adding variation in your exercises will keep them interesting.
Work out different parts of your body. Don’t just do cardio exercises (such as jogging). Give your full body a proper work out. The easiest way is to engage in sports, since they work out different muscle groups. Popular sports include basketball, football, swimming, tennis, squash, badminton, frisbee, and more.
Eat more fruits. Fruits are a plethora of vitamins and minerals. Do you know that oranges offer more health benefits than Vitamin C pills? Taking in synthetic supplements are not the same as consuming the foods direct from nature. Fill your palate with these nutritious fruits: Watermelon, Apricots, Avocado, Apple, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Guava, Papaya, Strawberries.
Eat more vegetables. Like fruits, vegetables are important for the well being of our health. Experts suggest that we should have 5-9 servings of fruits/vegetables, and unfortunately most people don’t even have at least 5 servings! Some of my favourite vegetables include: Kidney beans, black beans, asparagus, long beans, french beans, sprouts, button mushrooms and carrots. What are your favourite vegetables and how can you include more of them in your diet today?
Pick bright coloured foods. Fruits and vegetables with bright colours are usually high in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are good for health because they remove free radicals in our body that damage our cells. So get your fill of fruits/vegetables of different colours: 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).
Cut down on processed food. Processed foods are not good because (1) most nutritional value is lost (2) the preservatives added are bad for our health. Many processed foods contain a high amount of salt content, which leads to higher blood pressure and heart disease. Processed foods are anything that are not in their raw form. In general, most of the food in supermarket are processed – the more the ingredients on the label (especially the ones ending with ‘ite’ or ‘ate’), the more processed they are. Watch out for those with salt/sugar as the first 5 ingredients and go for natural foods as much as possible.
Barefoot walking/running. There have been many proven positive benefits of barefoot walking/running, from better posture, less stress for your feet, less stress for your joints, etc . I’ve been running barefoot since May ’10, and loving it.
Purge negative people from your life. Positive mental health is an important part of a healthy life. You don’t need toxic people in your life. If you feel that a friend is overly critical or negative, then let him/her go
Purge negativity from yourself. You don’t need negativity from yourself either. Listen in on the thoughts that come up in your mind and get rid of the negative thoughts you hear. A lot of eating happens because one feels unhappy, so by staying in a positive, up state by yourself, you cut out that unhealthy dependence on food to be happy.
Avoid trigger foods. Trigger foods are the foods that make you go berserk and binge like crazy after you eat them. Everyone’s trigger foods are different (mine are donuts, pastries, pasta and chips), but generally trigger foods are candy bars, chocolate, confectionery, chips, cookies, or anything with high level of refined sugar, salt, fat or flour. These foods cause a blood sugar imbalance, hence triggering one to eat more. What are your trigger foods? Identify them and remove them from your diet.
Breathe. Deeply. 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 breathes and breathe to 1/3 of our lung capacity. Athletes are coached proper breathing techniques to get their best performance. A full Breathe is one where your lungs are completely filled, your abdomen expands and there’s minimum movement in your shoulders.
Eat small meals. Choose several small meals over a few big meals a day. This balances out your energy distribution throughout the day. In general, eat when you feel hungry, and stop when you’re full. You don’t need to wait until official meal times before you start eating. Listen to your body and what it tells you.
Stop eating when you feel full. Many of us rely on external cues to tell when we’re full, such as whether everyone has finished eating, whether your plate was empty or not. These are irrelevant – you should look at internal cues, such as whether your stomach feels full or not. Don’t feel obligated to eat just because there’s still food at the plate. Personally I like to stop when I feel about 3/4 full – if I eat till I’m totally full, I feel uncomfortable as my digestive system goes into overdrive. Use your gut as your indicator (literally).
Say no to oily food. Reduce your intake of fast food, fries, doughnuts, chips, wedges, and foods that have been deep fried. Not only are they very fattening (1 tablespoon of oil is 120 calories), deep fried food contains acrylamide, a potential cancer-causing chemical. According to a BBC report, an ordinary bag of crisps may contain up to 500 times more of the substance than the top level allowed in drinking water by the World Health Organisation (WHO). I personally find that when I consume oily foods, I feel sluggish. There are better alternatives, such as grilled, steamed, stir-fried or even raw food
Have healthy snacks. If you’re hungry during work, eat healthy snacks, like fruits, salads, and fruit juices. These are nutritional and don’t give you that sugar rush. Have them readily available so you can dive in for a munch and stop when you’d had your fill. Get away from cookies and candy bars.
Get out more often. If you have a regular 9-5 job, chances are you spend most of your times holed up in the office and not a lot of time going out and having fun. During weekends, you’re probably busy with work or running errands. Make it a point to go out with friends at least once a week. Get some sunlight. Go out and have a change in environment. It’ll be great for your body and your soul.