2023 is here, and we aim to ensure a better life without overlooking and neglecting the most important things. If you whispered “accountability partner”, you wouldn’t be wrong.
Having consumed a lot from the holidays and festivities, it is of great importance that we prioritise healthy living amidst our long list of new year’s resolutions.
For the longest time, it is common knowledge that exercise and nutrition can boost overall health regardless of age, socio-economic status, level of education, and exposure.
So in this article, I will walk you through some simple practical steps to stay healthy. Do follow through till the end and let’s not forget that it is of utmost importance that we turn these healthy behaviours into habits and with regular practice we are sure to yield the desired results.
With that being said, let’s jump right into it. Topping the chart is;
Good old exercise tops the list for healthy living. Exercise as you know has inexhaustible health benefits, ranging from improving heart health to reducing the risk of heart disease to ensuring optimal mental health by reducing anxiety and depression thereby boosting and improving self-esteem and cognitive function.
According to research, 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic exercise, or a combination of the two is recommended. If you are a lazy exercise buddy, you can achieve this feat with ease by simply exercising for 30 minutes every five days per week.
Simple exercises that you can engage in include but are not limited to walking, running, dancing, rowing, cycling, swimming, and hiking.
Eat healthily and observe portion control
Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients and food low in calories, limiting your intake of fried food, thick sauces, and canned food. Also, go for whole grains rich in fibre. Some examples include whole-wheat or whole-grain bread, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and buckwheat. You might want to exclusively look at the labels and packaging to be sure they are whole.
Also, do not take too much food at a go, take just enough that will fill you up. Let the need to stay healthy lead you, not your eyes or hunger level. As you know, most times when we are too hungry, we end up not eating so much.
For portion control, you can purchase a portion control plate from the store to help you stay disciplined.
Reduce soda intake or do away with it completely
Excess soda and carbonated drinks increase the chances of high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Instead, go for a healthy fresh fruit drink most preferably the one you made yourself in the comfort of your home.
Do away with unhealthy fat
Avoid saturated fats because they build up and increase your cholesterol level, putting you at risk for unwanted diseases. Eat less or trade the fat found in pastries, red meat, processed meats, and fried foods for those found in foods like avocados, almonds, cashews, and fish.
Drink a lot of water
As the saying goes, “water is life”. Good, clean water does good to the body and must be taken as frequently as possible to aid the optimum functioning of the body.
A glass of water before a meal will help you check the quantity of food you take in. Water also helps maintain your body’s normal temperature, keeps sickness at bay, serves as a lubricant to your joints, protects the sensitive tissues in your body, and helps get rid of wastes through urination, sweating, and bowel movements.
One major threat to our health is stress. How exactly does stress wreak havoc on our bodies? Stress weakens your immune system making you susceptible to diseases and illness, increases your blood pressure, and puts a strain on you mentally and emotionally thereby reducing your productivity level.
What do you do with stress?
Discover and eliminate the stressor and engage in stress-reducing activities. Some of these activities include reducing workload, exercising, sleeping, meditating, spending time with family, worrying less, hanging out with friends, having a good laugh, taking breaks from technology, and doing fun things that would help you relax.
Develop and Maintain Positive Relationships
Increase your network and social connections, and make a conscious effort to improve your social life. Just as the popular saying goes, “your network determines your net worth”.
More so, It has been proven that people with strong social ties tend to live longer, healthier lives than those without social connections and even more positive mental health compared to those with little or no social life.
These practical steps are sure to keep you healthy for the rest of the year if strictly adhered to.