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Top tips for a healthier lifestyle

Collaborative post When we hear the term 'healthy lifestyle', many of us equate it to hours spent at the gym, restrictive eat...

Tips for a healthier lifestyle

Collaborative post

When we hear the term 'healthy lifestyle', many of us equate it to hours spent at the gym, restrictive eating and so on. But in reality healthy lifestyle is about making easy-to-manage choices in your daily life that leads to a healthy body and mind. Listed below are some of my tips on leading a healthier lifestyle. Take a look.

Eat a healthy and varied diet


One of the key points to leading a healthy lifestyle is your diet. A healthy diet is not just about counting the calories or depriving yourself of certain foods, rather it is choosing foods that offer good nutrition and improve your health and mood. You need to find a diet that has a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre and various vitamins and minerals. You need to include foods that offer all of these elements and one of the best ways to make the change is to keep things simple and start with small steps. Try to include variety and colour in your food and opt for fresh produce where possible.

Ensure that you include food from all the categories listed below
- fruit and vegetables
- bread, rice, pasta or other sources of starchy carbohydrates
- beans, legumes, pulses, eggs, meat or other sources of proteins
- dairy products
- oils

Eat a healthy and varied diet

See how you feel after eating certain types of food. In general, the healthier the food you eat, the better you will look and feel.

Also, eat in moderation. This is a very important aspect of any healthy diet.

Prepare your meals


While eating out may seem enticing and very convenient, cooking your own meals and eating at home comes with its own set of health benefits. When you prepare your own meals, you know the ingredients you are using and have control of what goes into your food and thus into your body. You can avoid additives and unhealthy ingredients that can leave you feeling bloated, fatigued or generally not feeling good.

When you prepare your own meals and eat at home, you also have control over the portion sizes which is essential when you are trying to stay healthy.

Stay hydrated


Often overlooked, hydration is one of the keys to leading a healthy life. Human bodies are approximately 60% water and drinking the right amount of water daily ensures that your body flushes out toxins and other waste products and keeps the system working efficiently. Research has also shown that if you are well hydrated it helps your heart work more easily and efficiently. Plus, being well hydrated has a direct effect on your energy levels and brain function both of which are crucial for your well-being.

Stay active


Staying active is also very important for a healthy life. Research has shown that regular exercising offers many benefits like a higher bone density, reduced risk of catching certain diseases, weight loss and even an increase in one's lifespan. You do not have to necessarily go to a gym or have expensive equipment to exercise. You can choose a workout you like, for e.g. swimming, walking, playing badminton or tennis, hiking, aerobics etc. Making simple changes in your daily routine like climbing up the stairs instead of using the lift can also help. Every activity counts. Make exercise a part of your day and you will soon notice how it not only helps you look and feel better but also improves your mental health.

Meditation and yoga


Yoga which originated in ancient India has gained lot of popularity worldwide in the recent times. Not only does regular practise of yoga offer physical health benefits like toning your muscles, improving your flexibility etc. but when combined with meditation it also improves your mood and self-control. It eases stress and helps you to relax thus improving the overall quality of your life.

Meditation and yoga


Get enough sleep


A good night's sleep is not only good for your morning mood but it has a whole host of other benefits some of which might surprise you. For e.g. did you know that poor sleep leads to a bigger appetite and consumption of more calories in turn leading to weight gain? The reason for this, according to research, is that poor/inadequate sleep affects the hormones that are known to regulate your appetite.

Poor sleep is also related to chronic diseases like heart diseases and inflammatory conditions.

Conversely, if you look at the benefits of a good night's sleep, it includes steadier blood sugar levels, better immune system functioning, a sharper brain, a healthier heart, better energy levels and improved mood.

While sleep needs vary between individuals, normally 8 hours of good sleep is recommended for best health benefits.

Self-love


I cannot stress enough on the importance of self-love. It is very powerful and impacts every aspect your life - mental, emotional and physical. It is not about being self-absorbed but instead a way of getting to know more about yourself and your well-being and what makes you happy. There are so many simple ways to start practising self-love. Set aside time for yourself, do things that you love and enjoy whether it is dancing, reading, gardening or simply enjoying the day.

Positive self-talk is also a great form of self-love. Avoid comparisons and surround yourself with people who see the good things in you and encourage you in your pursuits. Learn to embrace things about yourself which you have no control over. It is these differences that make people unique and special.

Nurture yourself on all levels and you will see the difference it makes to your life.

Self-love


Regular health check-ups


And my final tip, is to get regular health check-ups. A health check-up is not only useful to examine your lifestyle and to see what changes can be made to improve it but more importantly it can help detect diseases in the very early stages or sometimes even before they start. And early detection means quicker treatment and cure. And that is why it is recommended that you visit your doctor or healthcare provider regularly to maintain a healthy lifestyle and assess your risk of any medical issues/problems.

You can get regular blood tests to check for blood sugar levels or levels of vitamins/minerals. Women can go for PAP smear tests (cervical screening) or mammograms (breast cancer screening). Similarly, for sexually transmitted diseases there are a number of STD tests. For e.g. for those based in the USA, there is a sexual health check that tests for all the most common bacterial and viral STDs including HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis (A,B & C), Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis. A simple test that may help you detect potential health problems early on and take remedial steps accordingly.

Health check-ups


Other health checks include blood pressure tests, Cholesterol tests, dental checks, eye checks for glaucoma etc.

Whatever your age, it is good to go for regular health checks. Depending on the results of those tests, you can make changes to your lifestyle to lead a healthier life.

So, folks those are some of my tips for a healthier lifestyle. If you have something else to add to the list, please do so via the comments section below.



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