Tips for a healthy lifestyle
You may be aware that your body needs exercise, eating right, good quality sleep and destressing for maintaining good health and you also want to have some healthy and positive modifications in your lifestyle to achieve these goals but your busy, hectic and overwhelming schedule with responsibilities of your job, family and home becomes a hurdle for this as it makes it quite tricky and a real struggle for you to find the energy and time for working on your healthy habits and ultimately having a healthy lifestyle for a better you.
Mostly health is the first thing to be neglected when you are having a busy schedule as at that time your priority becomes to fulfill your responsibilities and complete the deadlines but remember health is wealth, only if you are healthy, you will be more present for others and more able to carry on your responsibilities.
Otherwise the situation can be ‘all work and no play makes jack a dull boy’.
According to the results of a 2018 Harvard study based on 34 years’ worth of data involving 78,000 women and 44,000 men, adopting healthy habits were linked with prolonging a person’s life by up to 10 years or more. Healthy behaviors and cardiovascular issues were found strongly correlated and those individuals who maintained the healthiest lifestyles had 82% fewer chances to die from heart disease and 65% less chance to die from cancer when compared with those having the least healthy lifestyle throughout the study period (Yanping, 2018).
Here are mentioned some practical tips that if implemented steer you in the right direction and makes it possible for you to stay on track and live a healthy life.
- Avoid or limit alcohol and tobacco: you can start by reducing your intake to half or avoiding it during the week days and ultimately decrease it to the least possible or complete avoidance (Iranpour 2019, Saha 2007).
- Have a good night sleep: add 30 minutes of extra sleep in your schedule 3-4 times this week. Switch off from technology at least half an hour before going to bed, switch off lights and engage in 8 hours of good night sleep. You may keep on adding 30 extra minutes of sleep each week until you reach your goal (Colten 2006, Worley 2018).
- Limit your caffeine intake: you may need multiple cups of coffee to stay active during long hours of work but remember this is not the solution as low to moderate doses of caffeine can increase your alertness, concentration and energy but high doses ca give you anxiety, insomnia, restlessness and increased heartrate so limit your caffeine dose to no more than just 1-2 cups and look for healthy alternatives such as herbal teas or turmeric latte that fulfill your cravings without the caffeine of coffee (Eskelinen, 2010).
- Meditate: this can be for five minutes in a day but is great for calming your mind and relaxing your body too. You may increase the time when you see its tremendous benefits for you.
- Engage in yoga, deep breathing, or other meditation techniques (Sharma, 2015).
- Stock up just healthy foods: your fridge and pantry must just be loaded with healthy food options such as fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes and whole grains and it will help you greatly to make healthy meals (Cena 2020, Kandel 2019). You can have an occasional treat but your priority on daily basis must be to have healthy well-balanced meals
- Prepare beforehand: You can cut veggies and freeze them or do whatever preparations are possible beforehand on 1 of 2 weekend or some other day when you are less busy and take healthy homemade food for your lunch at work instead of going for fast foods (Cena 2020, Kandel 2019, Mills 2017).
- Make some food replacements: Slowly one by one replace white flour foods with whole wheat foods, soda with fruit juice, milk shakes, flavoured sparkling water or lemonade, cut down the number of week days you eat processed meat, and make sure to have at least one veggie meal a day (Elizabeth 2020, Pem 2015).
- Supplement: you may need omega-3s, magnesium, vitamin D, probiotics or multivitamin, so consult your healthcare provider for getting guidance regarding that. And remember, take medications only when needed as taking unnecessary medications is not a healthy approach at all and can result in severe side effects (Rambhade, 2012).
- Engage in moderate physical activity: make it a point to move your body every hour for 2-3 minutes. You can stretch, walk or whatever is possible for you but don’t sit still for long hours while during desk jobs as it is extremely hazardous for you. Set reminder to move yourself even if it is for 1 minute every 60 minutes. If you can also manage to do 20-30 minute of physical activity such as walking, running, swimming or doing workouts on 3-4 days of the week, it is ideal (Warburton, 2006).
- Stay hydrated: water is essential for your health and needed for maintaining optimal bodily functions. Keep a water bottle with you everywhere or set reminder to stay hydrated. If you take infused water, fresh fruit, and veggie juice or milk, that will also be counted. You will see how your body is behaving positively when you are keeping yourself hydrated (Popkin, 2010).