So you’re among those who skip the gym often, and feel guilty about it, and are living with the idea that you will never be able to have a healthy lifestyle. Reality check - healthy lifestyle is no rocket science. You don’t need to run 10 miles daily or live on only salads and smoothies to be healthy.
We are all aware of the basics of a healthy lifestyle, but feel overwhelmed when it comes to practicing them. Here are some simple and achievable tips to make this seemingly daunting task simple.
The importance of enough and good sleep cannot be emphasized enough. When you’re well rested, you are active all day. Sleep deprived body secretes high amounts of cortisols. When you have loads of work, you will tend to eat more to compensate for poor sleep and less sleep. And will end up feeling lethargic afterwards. So try to sleep enough and sleep well-
Eat your colors
Fruits and vegetables are packed with minerals and other nutrients that promote good health. The bright colored fruits and vegetables not only make your plate look appealing, but also have high antioxidant content. So eat bananas and mushrooms (white), blackberries, prunes and eggplants (purple), pineapple and mangoes (yellow), papayas and oranges (orange), cucumbers, guavas, spinach and lettuce (green) and apples, tomatoes and strawberries (red) to flush our antioxidants that damage the cells in our bodies.
Drink it up
Drinking enough water is absolutely essential to keep our bodily functions running smoothly like waste removal, transportation of nutrients and oxygen. Breathing, perspiration and urination expel a lot of water from the body all day. Replenishing that water in our bodies is important and you must remember- soda is not water!
Cut down on processed foods
Most of the processed food groups have low nutrition value. Add to that the high amounts of preservatives, salt and sweeteners, refined flour and trans fat, and you have a sure shot recipe for poor health. As a rule of thumb, have 90% of what you eat come from whole food sources. An occasional splurge is fine though! Don’t feel guilty about an ice cream with friends or a decadent dessert on a date night once in a while!
Make time to prepare and eat your meals
You can control the ingredients as well as the quantity when you prepare your meals yourself, and you will obviously make the right choice for your body. When you have sourced your food right, prepared it with love and care, it nourishes you to the core. Start carrying lunch to your workplace and see how it feels! Also, instead of worrying about polishing all the food on your plate in a rush, take some time to eat slowly and relish every morsel. It is your brain, not your stomach, that tells you if you are ‘full’ or not. When you eat fast, you would have eaten a lot before your brain sends the ‘full’ signal. Eating slowly also helps in better ingestion and assimilation of food.
Kick the butt
If you are not a smoker, great! Stay that way. If you smoke, you need to quit, because a significant number of cancer deaths are caused by tobacco alone. Smoking is as bad for you as for people around you. So just kick the butt as soon as you can!
Indulging in some form of physical activity everyday is important- it mitigates the negative effects of our modern sedentary lifestyle. Just half an hour of physical movement improves bone density, makes your heart pump faster, and sends more oxygen to your brain! That doesn’t mean that you have to run on the treadmill every day- swim, jog, dance, trek, do yoga or go cycling – you can do just what suits you. If not anything else, just make the effort to walk- walk to the supermarket, to the mall, to the movie, to the pub. When you absolutely have to drive to a place, parking your car a little far is also a good idea!
Remember, the biggest hurdle lies in our minds- we would rather drive than walk even for short distances, or reach for a cookie instead of a banana for a quick bite. It is not difficult to create a healthy lifestyle, and when you gradually learn to practice it, you will not only feel healthier and fitter, but also have a more positive attitude, and will not be dependent on unhealthy foods to feel good. Follow these simple steps for a healthy lifestyle, and you will observe the changes soon.