When it comes to living healthy, consistency is key. We can all agree that living a healthy life consists of three fundamental pillars — a healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate rest. Many people have the intention to achieve it, but sometimes we do not know where to start. Truth be told: changing and acquiring small habits can go a long way.
Principles of healthy living
Today we bring to you our top five principles of healthy living that you can start implementing to improve your physical and mental health, both in the short and long run.
1. Move more
Be active during the day! An hour at the gym does not mean having an active lifestyle. However, going to the gym anytime from 3 to 5 times a week is much recommended. Yet, that may not be enough.
We live in a modern world, where most people work sat down all day. We need to make up for it; our bodies are designed to move. If you sit at a desk all day, then get up and take a short walk!
To become more active during your day, walk around 10,000 steps a day. If you’re now tilting your head in doubt, wondering what 10,000 steps look like, it equates to about eight km or an hour and 40 minutes of walking. This may sound like a lot, but you can try the next tricks:
- If you drive a car, park it a few blocks away from your destination.
- If you use public transport, stop a station away.
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
- If you have a dog, take it out more often, at least 3 to 5 times a day (no dog? No problem! Go out for a ‘dogless’ walk)
- Enjoy your favorite podcast while walking. Time flies as you do this.
2. Reduce your sugar intake
When you make a healthy habit, both your brain and your body behave accordingly. If you stay away from sweets or sugary beverages for some time, your body will no longer crave sugar that much, and when you eat it, you will find it too sweet! If you are craving something sweet, have a fruit or dark chocolate.
3. Eat clean, healthy food
Healthy eating is one of the ‘crucial’ principles of healthy living. Try to change your eating habits to improve your diet. Include lots of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, protein and lean meats, nuts, olive oil, and avocado for healthy fats. The cleaner your diet, the better your nutrition.
Try to stay away from ultra-processed foods as much as you can. Some examples of ultra-processed foods are soft drinks, alcohol, sweet or salty snacks, ice cream, cookies, vegetable oil and spreads, cakes, cereal bars, etc.
Try the 80/20 rule. Where 80% of the time you consume healthy food and 20% is your allowance of snacks and processed foods
Another thing you can do is not to skip meals. Many people who tend to skip meals also tend to give in to snack cravings. For instance, too many people have become accustomed to not eating breakfast – which is an important meal of the day, as it kickstarts your metabolism.
4. Don’t take everything so seriously, have fun!
A healthy lifestyle is not healthy if you do not stop for a while to rest, have fun, and spend time with your loved ones or doing what you like the most! It’s essential to relax and enjoy yourself from time to time.
Enjoying your life is as crucial to your health as anything else, probably the most important thing. Why? Well, because it improves our mental health, it puts us in a good mood, reducing stress and anxiety levels.
When you are stressed, your adrenal glands create and release the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. When cortisol levels are out of balance, our organs and systems stop working in harmony.
This can lead to an endocrine alteration, producing adverse effects on the functions of our body. It can lead to irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, weight gain, poor sleep, insomnia, increased hunger and cravings, depression, and low libido.
5. Drink water throughout the day
Your body needs water to survive, whether you exercise or not. If you do not drink enough water, you will compromise your health, as you become dehydrated.
Blood, which consists mostly of water, provides oxygen to your muscles and brain. If you are not well hydrated, it becomes more difficult for your body to carry oxygen where it is needed.
Hey Joyfreshers, have you tried any of these principles of healthy living? Do you find it easy or difficult to live a healthy lifestyle? Tell us below.