Being thin is not the same as being fit. To be fit, you must be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy. Contrary to what you may believe, this is not so difficult to achieve. All you need to do are take a few small steps every day and be consistent with your efforts. Being healthy is not an aim but a continuous work in progress. Here are a few tips you could use as guidelines on your journey to becoming a healthier person.
The key to staying healthy is to eat the right food. Eating the right food gives your body the nutrition it needs and helps you maintain an ideal weight. There are a number of diets that you could follow to live a healthier lifestyle. Avoid fad diets that focus only on weight loss and instead find a good plan that helps you get the nutrition you need without the added fats. When you eat your meals, avoid multitasking and focus only on the tastes, aromas and textures of your food. This is known as mindful eating and will help you control portion sizes.
Your body is still at work even while you sleep. Through the night the body repairs itself, heals and is rejuvenated. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you’ll wake up feeling tired. As a result, you’ll feel lethargic and lazy instead of energetic. Lack of sleep also has an adverse effect on your metabolism, memory, motor skills, mood, immunity and ability to focus on tasks. It also affects your body’s ability to deal with stress. To improve the quality of your sleep, try following a sleep schedule. For at least 5 days in a week try waking up and going to bed at the same time every day.
Regular exercise is great for your physical and mental health. It helps you maintain your weight, builds muscle and improves flexibility. It also boosts your immune system and in turn, protects you against a number of diseases. Cardiovascular exercises improve blood circulation and strengthen the lungs and heart. Exercise also helps fight against mental issues such as depression and helps deal with stress more effectively. If you can’t find the time to schedule a workout every day, consider incorporating it into your daily routine. This could be as simple as parking your car at a distance from your office and walking to the office or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Giving yourself a few minutes to quietly reflect on your day is a great way to begin the morning. Meditation calms the mind and energizes it. It also gives you the strength to fight stress and increases your ability to focus on tasks. Meditation is great not only for your mental health but for your physical health as well. For example, many people tend to binge eat when they are stressed out. If you meditate and find ways to deal with your stress, you will be able to stick to your diet plan. Meditation is easy. All you need to do is set aside about 15 minutes every morning to sit quietly and focus on your breathing.
Give Up Bad Habits
In addition to doing things that benefit your body, you must also avoid doing some things that could harm your body. Some habits like smoking, unsafe sex and drugs are unhealthy no matter how you look at them. There is no way you can make these habits healthy. With such habits, merely cutting back is not enough, you need to quit completely. However, there are some habits that are a problem only if you overdo them. This includes drinking alcohol, consuming sugar and drinking coffee. Many doctors will tell you that there is no harm in drinking a glass of wine a day but more than that can cause serious problems. Similarly, sugar and caffeine in small amounts may energize you but in excess could harm your health. It’s great if you can quit these habits but if you cannot, make a conscious effort to limit your consumption of these substances.
We think of drinking water only when we’re thirsty but this doesn’t mean that your body does not need water when you’re not thirsty. Water keeps the body hydrated and ensures that the vitamins and minerals in the food we eat are absorbed and transported to all parts of the body. Water also helps cleanse the system and aids in the removal of toxins from the body. Not drinking enough water is one of the most common reasons for constipation and other digestive issues. Most fruits and vegetables do contain water but this is not enough for the body. You should ideally drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. To make it more appealing you could infuse water with fresh herbs and fruits.
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. To stay mentally healthy you must learn to express yourself. Keeping your thoughts and emotions bottled up can make you stressed out and cause a number of physical and mental ailments. This includes sleep disorders, depression, eating disorders etc. There are a number of ways you can express yourself. It could be by writing in a diary, by painting or any other art form or even through music.
Regular Health Exams
You shouldn’t wait till you’re feeling unwell to schedule a checkup. One of the reasons many diseases such as cancer are diagnosed only in their later stages is because we ignore the early symptom and do not get ourselves checked out regularly. It is important to remember that any issue is easier to treat in its early stages rather than in its later stages. Just as your car needs to be serviced regularly, so does your body. There are many symptoms that you may not recognize but your doctor will. Hence, schedule a complete physical exam once a year. This will help you identify problems in their early stages and give you the chance to take action on them.