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Healthy Living

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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. 

In today’s fast-paced world, doing a lifestyle balance is really a big challenge for many. The thing is, we always aspire to strike the middle scale by trying a couple of things (basically multitasking) all at the same time but we always end up sacrificing a few activities.

Take for example work and working out. Given that all of us want to get fit (of course, we all do), it is still very hard to do a couple of exercise routines in the middle of our busy work day. It may be because we have a demanding job, a long commute, some odd work hours or a physically exhausting work.

While most people could probably relate to this scenario, experts still say that no matter how busy a person’s life is, there is always a way to sneak in exercise (yes, even if you have a strict 9-5 job and a far stricter boss). It is because working out, in general, can be modified to fit each individual’s lifestyle and schedule. It’s easy to customize it as long as you really make it part of your daily plan.

IF you are up to take the challenge, here are some ways you can get more exercise into your schedule.

1. Write it out

Yes, there’s no better way but to actually jot down your schedule and make time for that quick workout sesh. Start the plan with the time you get up in the morning (or in the evening depending on your shift). Consider how long it takes you to get ready, what time you leave the house for work, how much time you spend eating and taking mid-day breaks. Remember to always cite the details because that is the key in really finding a good time.

As what Wikihow has taught us, you may not find room for a workout every day or enough time to fit in an entire trip to the gym. That’s OK. Even 10-15 minutes is enough time to fit in a short exercise session.

2. List down your favorite routines

Do you like doing cardio? Or squats? Or maybe some push-ups? Are you into CrossFit or bodybuilding? Do you wanna try out some martial arts? Whatever it is, make sure you got a bullet list of all your favorite workouts. Aside from the fact that it helps you do what you like, it also helps you customize your workout time depending on your available schedule.

3. Do some desk exercise.

So you’re stuck in the office for most of the day and can’t really find time to go out or hit the gym. Why not do some“deskercise”? Find one minute to do push-ups, whether they’re at home or in your office (with the door closed). Take another minute during the workday to do triceps dips on the edge of a chair, push-ups against your desk, lunges or squats or even some hip rotation–whatever combination is best for you just do it (Reno, 2016).

4. Find a fitness partner

As they say, two heads are better than one. Same thing with exercise. Find a colleague who also wants to accomplish the mission of striking a balance between work and workout. Partner up with him or her to reach your desired end-result. Note that it’s easier to do things when you are working with a person who has the same goal. He/she can give that extra push especially when you’re too lazy to move your ass and you can do the same for him/her.

5. Try to start early in the morning

So you’re already too tired after your 8-hour shift. Why not start early and do a pre-work workout? Once you get going, you’re jazzed up and feeling like you can take on the world. By the end, you start to think about why you even thought about going back to bed. By raising your heart rate, you’re ready to take on the day with extra oomph. That’s one of the benefits of morning exercise –they give you energy to tackle the workday and have you going into your day feeling great (Reno, 2016).

6. Pack your gym bag and bring it to the office

It’s always best to come prepared and ready because it weeds out all your nasty excuses not to do your workout routine. When everything is set of you, you’ll be obliged to maximize both supplies and time.

7. Go for the 10-minute workout

Say you have meetings here and there and you can’t really do a full pack workout. Still, there is no excuse for you to skip that stretch. Come up with a list of 10-minute workouts and ace that quickie exercise. It can be a 10-minute walk, some jumping jacks or hula hoops, just do it. Also, the USDA suggests getting in 150 minutes of exercise each week. If you just did a 10-minute walk or short work out 3 times a day, 5 days a week, you’d meet that goal.

8. Try to look for a 24-hour gym

We all have different work schedules and not everyone has the usual 9-5 job. It is best to find a gym that’s open 24 hours so you have access to it whether you work out at lunch, before work or after work. There are benefits to having these types of hours, too. Depending on when you go, the gym could be all yours. No more fighting over free weights (Reno, 2016).

While it is not always possible to accomplish everything every single day, remember that nothing beats a well-crafted plan and the willpower to really do it and become successful at it. The balance feature will take a while but if you are up to take the challenge and your goals are all set, there’s really no way but to ace both —making good at work and getting fit.