If you were to ask 50 individuals to describe what a “healthy lifestyle” means, chances are you would receive 50 different answers. The beauty lies in the fact that there is no singular path to achieving good health. Embracing a healthy lifestyle means engaging in activities that bring you joy and improve your overall well-being.
For one individual, this could entail taking a brisk walk for a mile five times a week, indulging in fast food occasionally, and cherishing quality time with loved ones, virtually or in person, every other day.
On the other hand, someone else may define a healthy lifestyle as participating in rigorous training and completing two marathons annually, maintaining a keto diet, and saying no to alcohol entirely.
Neither approach surpasses the other in terms of superiority. Both are equally perfect for the respective individuals. The power lies within you to find what your healthy lifestyle should look like.
Healthy and active lifestyle
Being physically active leads to excellent mental and physical health. By staying active, you can lower the chances of developing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Additionally, exercise has been proven to affect mental health and cognitive function positively.
Remember, you don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap the benefits of an active lifestyle. The key is to keep moving. This can help:
- Give your heart a good workout
- Keep your body strong
- Maintain a healthy weight
The secret to staying active is finding activities that you genuinely enjoy. For some people, having a workout buddy makes exercising more enjoyable. Whether you prefer going to the gym, walking around the neighbourhood, following an aerobics DVD at home, or going for a peaceful bike ride, getting your body in motion is essential.
Discovering your preferred workout style may take some time, but be bold and try new things. Mixing up your routine can be beneficial, and you might find a new activity you love. Here are a few simple strategies to help you get active and stay active.
Tips to lead a healthy and active life
Develop a self-care routine
It’s all about picking and choosing activities to make you feel good about contributing to better health through a self-care plan. When you hit the exact balance, you will feel productive at work, develop significant coping mechanisms for stress, better mental health and a great diet plan that you enjoy (of course, with some cheat days). Start by trying these simple self-care tips:
- Begin with journaling by writing your feelings.
- Practice mindfulness and gratitude for a positive mindset.
- Maintain a regular skincare routine
- Take regular breaks to rest and unwind for better productivity.
Don’t limit yourself to just aerobic exercise. Incorporating resistance training or weightlifting into your routine is equally essential. This exercise is vital in fortifying your muscles and bones and enhancing your balance and coordination. Doing so can significantly lower your chances of developing osteoporosis and minimise the risk of injuries or falls. Need help figuring out where to begin? Consider hiring a trainer for a single session. By taking notes on the workout plan, you can always refer back to it in the future.
It’s important to make stretching a regular part of your post-workout routine. Stretching helps enhance your flexibility and range of motion, reducing the chances of injury or muscle cramps. Additionally, it promotes better circulation throughout your body. Ask a trainer for a brief tutorial if you need more clarification about the most effective stretching techniques.
Stick to 30’s
You should aim for 30 minutes of physical activity every day. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, breaking it into three 10-minute sessions is as effective as one more extended session. For instance, you could try dancing for 10 minutes before work, taking a 10-minute walk around the parking lot during lunch, and another 10-minute walk around the neighbourhood when you get home. Remember, it’s perfectly fine to do more exercise if you want to! Just make sure to be cautious and avoid injuries like muscle strain. If you need to, it’s better to do a little less one day so you can continue the next day.
Switch to healthier eating habits
Eating more veggies and fruits has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and premature death, according to studies. But you don’t have to overhaul your diet overnight wholly.
Start by aiming for just one serving of vegetables at dinner. And if you’re already doing that, try adding a vegetable or fruit to every meal.
Remember, the less processed the veggies, the better. Instead of reaching for fries, why not try roasted potatoes seasoned with herbs? Or whip up a colourful stir-fry with various veggies and drizzle them with a delicious vinaigrette.
Another way to improve your health is by swapping refined grains for whole grains. Start small by replacing one refined grain daily with a whole grain option. It could be as simple as switching your breakfast toast or the pilaf you make for dinner. Feel free to experiment with different grains and flavours to find your favourites.
Some of the whole grains include:
- brown and wild rice
- whole grain bread and pasta
- bulgur wheat
- plain oats
Refined grains include:
- white bread and pasta
- most breakfast cereals
- white rice
Choosing healthy fats
A balanced diet must include fat and fatty acids as they are essential macronutrients. But not all essential fats are the same. A study suggests that consuming less than 10% of daily calories of saturated fats will prevent health problems like cancer, intestinal inflammation, and high blood pressure.
Reducing solid fats at room temperature, like palm oil and butter, and rich meats like lamb and beef is a very effective way to reduce saturated fats. Instead, choose monounsaturated fats, liquids at room temperature, lean meats such as fish or poultry, and olive, sesame, or canola oil.
Pay attention to beverage intake
Beverages might fill you with energy but lack the essential nutrients your body needs. Beverages are loaded with sugar that can increase the possibility of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Rather than filling your cups with these sugary beverages, you could try swapping them with healthy alternatives:
- Try starting your day with fresh vitamin and mineral-rich vegetable juice.
- Enjoy a good cup of tea or coffee.
- Create a flavorful beverage by infusing healthy herbs and fruits.
- Keep yourself hydrated by carrying a reusable bottle as a reminder to drink water regularly.
Taking care of gut health
Trillions of fungi, viruses, and bacteria live in your intestinal tract, known as your gut microbiome, and bacteria affect your immune health, digestion, and inflammation. You can create a long list of inflammatory diseases by changing the gut’s natural sense of balance.
You can fill your gut with healthy bacteria and strengthen your digestive system by consuming fermented foods. Including fermented foods in your diet is one way of filling your gut with healthy bacteria and strengthening your digestive system. According to Nutrients, fermented foods include:
Stress leads to various diseases. Exercise is a great way to alleviate stress as it allows you to release built-up energy. Additionally, engaging in physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, hormones that uplift your mood.
For those who prefer a different approach, practising mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, journaling, or simply spending time in nature can reduce stress levels. Another helpful method is reaching out to friends and engaging in conversations, which can provide relief.
If you need additional support in managing stress, therapy is worth considering. Collaborating with a trained psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist can assist you in navigating life’s challenges and equip you with valuable skills to better cope with stress.
Building healthy habits that develop your overall health can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Begin by analysing your present health, boundaries, and future goals. The key is to discover what makes you feel good and brings you joy and happiness.
How do I start a healthy and active lifestyle?
– Monitor and track your body mass.
– Consume nutritious meals.
– Decrease sedentary behavior and limit excessive screen time.
– Engage in regular physical activity and maintain an active lifestyle.
– Include multivitamin supplements into your diet.
– Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of Water
– Minimise intake of beverages – sugary drinks.
How to stay active while staying at home?
If you don’t have any weights available at home, you can still engage in strength training by utilising full water bottles, canned goods, or other items. Additionally, you can incorporate stretching exercises using a towel. Another effective workout option is walking or running up and down stairs, provided they are free from any obstacles that may cause tripping.
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