I'd like to firstly wish y'all a happy health day, as we know, health is more important than it ever has been. People are talking about immunity and about exercise. But is that all? What really is healthy living?
Let me take you all through a life of healthy living. I personally believe one must look at life in a more holistic manner and build a combination of habits to lead a healthier life.
Of course, the first thing when it comes to being healthy is what we put inside our body. Notice how mothers always keep saying "Eat a well-balanced meal"? Trust me, there's no other meaning to it. A healthy diet is one that encompasses nutrients. A nutrition dense meal with all macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals.
"Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates
A healthy diet keeps you away from diseases, and some articles even prove how plant based vegan diet may even help you reverse diseases such as Alzheimer, Diabetes, Cancer.
A quick thumb rule to a healthy plant based meal you can easily follow and incorporate in your diet -
2 Fist Full of Veggies - say broccoli, carrots, lettuce, cabbage or bell pepper.
2 Palm Sized Protein- legumes, tofu, tempeh, soya, etc.
2 Handful of Grains - Wheat, Buck wheat, Bread.
2 Thumbs of Dressing - lemon juice, apple cider, olive oil,etc.
Physical Activity or Exercise
Exercise has clearly been the most advocated ways of improving health. A regular fitness activity is responsible for a bundle of benefits!
"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity." - John F. Kennedy
First thing you will notice is an increase in your energy levels and mood. Exercise help in stimulation of chemicals which relieve stress levels and anxiety while making you feel better about yourself, hence boosting confidence and your self-esteem.
Exercise will keep your weight in check, you must focus on maintaining your BMI levels. The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists a high BMI as a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, bone and joint problems including osteoarthritis and a number of cancers, including breast, colon and endometrial cancer.
A regular exercise regime will deepen and improve your sleep quality as well, and who doesn't want to sleep better right?
A good workout regime would be minimum 30 minutes everyday for at least 5 to 6 days a week.
Reduced Alcohol Consumption
Now as you all might already know, Alcohol is known to reduce metabolic activity and increase fatigue. You will see a significant drop in sports performance if you drink everyday for a week. Further, Excessive alcohol is known to hamper brain functions as well. Remember those black outs or friends passing out? Yes, it will effect the brain.
Although I might face certain criticism here, but I personally enjoy a drink or two once every week to keep my liver exercised. If you already drink, don't shy away completely. Reduce, and avoid as much as possible.
A moderate alcohol limit, which was measured as between 5 and 15 grams per day for women, and 5 to 30 grams per day for men is considered safe for consumption.
Worse than Alcohol, smoking hurts your body in worse ways than you can imagine. Sadly neither can i tell you a safe limit as healthy in smoking reference would be "Never smoked in life". Avoid Smoking Cigarettes, Sheesha or Hookah, E-Cigarettes or Vapes. None of them are safe, and none will ever be safe. Smoking effects your brain, throat, lungs, colon, prostate, stomach, kidney, bladder and pancreas. And once a smoker quits smoking, lungs start recovering, their hearts start pumping faster and stomach's acid levels hit normal.
"Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom." - Buddha
Thumb Rule on meditating:
1. Sit or lie comfortably and close your eyes.
2. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
3. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.
Do this for 10 to 30 minutes every day and see an increase in energy and focus, decrease in anxiety and stress; meditations provides a sense of calm and balance to the mind and the body.
Sleep is where it all links, if you are following all of the above and not sleeping well, might as well start smoking(Sarcasm guys, sarcasm). Sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs. Sleep gets you ready and active for the next day while helping your muscles recover. A good sleep will also help you in regulating weight.
What is sleeping well? Just ensure you get a sleep of 7 to 9 hours a day. Fitness devices can help you in tracking your sleep cycle. More Zinc & Magnesium in your diet can help you sleep well. Literally, Sleep like a baby.
Travel & Explore
A very mentally healthy thing to do is explore the world, meet new people, explore different cultures and try new food. Although not directly related to physical health, I feel it is an underrated point in living healthier. For me personally, it keeps my mental sanity in check.
review and meta-analysis" - a study of 15 international studies that included over 500,000 participants found that over half of premature deaths were due to unhealthy lifestyle factors such as poor diet, inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, and smoking. And the list of supporting research goes on.
Gift yourself a healthy living this Health Day and see how dramatically all aspects of your life improve.