New Year is all about making new resolutions and doing all your best to live by them. Most of these resolutions are health and lifestyle-related —probably a new diet to try, a different kind of sport to venture on or some random workout to complete the work-life balance shiz. The beginning is always as exciting as it sounds but the usual challenge comes after a few weeks or months of trying. Admit it or not, living healthy can be a difficult task for most people especially when the level of commitment is low.
Usually, people like you are busy trying to balance work, family, social life and other extra-curricular responsibilities. As a result, your health goals are often put on hold.
So how should you address the issue considering that it is a common challenge for all? How do you step up and raise the lifestyle-change game?
Here we have enumerated 8 steps to live a healthier and also, a happier life:
1. Always eat good breakfast
It might be a cliche but a good meal in the morning sets the tone of your entire day. Whether you like some pancakes or waffles paired with hot cocoa or black coffee or some fancy smoothie bowl, it is very important that you are happy with your starter.
An expert from the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) mentioned that “Breakfast is linked to improved nutrient intake, as well as improved concentration and alertness. Studies show that skipping breakfast is associated with increased stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue and tiredness.”
Yup, that’s how important breakfast is.
2. Drink more water
Water is life, literally. It is essential to make the body and all its parts function properly. Do you know that over 60% of our body is made up of water? Water is needed to carry out body functions, remove waste, and carry nutrients and oxygen around our body. Since we lose water daily through urine, bowel movements, perspiration, and breathing, we need to replenish our water intake (Chua, n.a).
Apart from that, drinking water also has a lot of other benefits such as weight loss and kidney stone treatment. Usually, experts will say that we need 8 glasses a day to stay hydrated but if you can make it 10 or more, then the effects can be all the way better.
3. Get enough sleep (and sleep the same time every night)
Getting enough sleep helps you avoid mid-day sluggishness and at the same time, prevents you from the hazards of overeating. It also helps you address certain body ailments like headache, migraine and dizziness.
Also, having a set bedtime helps train your body’s internal clock to fall asleep faster at a certain time plus it also helps you to focus on your tasks (healthline.com).
Time to set the alarm, yes?
4. Eat your greens
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times, but you seriously need to eat your greens. Take the time to detox and cleanse your body by filling it with the best variety of green vegetables like fennel, kale, celery, spinach, Brussels sproutsand others.
Take note that greens are full of fibre which too which is great help to your digestive system (so it’s a good addition to your weight loss diet).
Green veggies like broccoli and kale are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for the body to make carnitine –which transports fatty acids into cells to be used as a source of energy in a process is known as ‘fat oxidation’. If you’re not getting enough dietary vitamin C you may start to feel low in energy, so give yourself a boost with plenty of greens (West, 2015).
5. Exercise regularly and pick the kinds of workout that you enjoy the most
Movement is important to keep the body alive (and kicking). Research has shown that exercising daily brings tremendous benefits to your health, including an increase in lifespan, lowering of risk of diseases, higher bone density, and weight loss (Chua, n.a).
Increase activity in your life and pick routines that you enjoy. Whether it’s a weekend hike, a daily trip to the gym, some MMA training or extreme sports that hype up your excitement, the most important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing.
It is also very important that you do a simple exercise every day. Aside from the fact that exercising can reduce all the biomakers of aging (gaiam.com), doing regular movements can also normalize blood pressure, improve bone density and lower fats and cholesterol in the body.
So yes, time to make that workout a regular routine.
6. Always choose healthier snacks
You probably look forward to your daily snacking and with the wide options available in the market today, choosing a healthier alternative can be a bit of challenge. Well, here’s the tip, stock your pantry with healthy snacks so you will always have some good stuff to fill your cravings.
Some great healthy snacks include a variety of nuts, smoothies, slices offruits, veggie chips or even a little bit of dark chocolate.
7. Try Regular Meditation
Meditation can be a good stress-reliever. It quiets the mind and the soul and gives you a sense of balance (yin and yang). It also helps you achiever greater focus and concentration and at the same time, gives your brain enough breather.
8. Have a positive mindset
Being positive is easier said than done but as the saying goes, happiness is a choice. Good health isn’t just about healthy eating and exercise —it’s also about having a positive attitude, a positive self-image, and a healthy lifestyle (personalexcellence.co).
Purge negativity from your life and see how easy it is to live without all the toxic factors around. Let go of negative people and stressful activities and learn to focus on the good facet of your being.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the choices you make and the things you value. So the real healthy life starts in you and there’s not better time to do it but now.