If there's anything the pandemic taught us, it's that staying healthy is important. A healthy body is less susceptible to diseases and has a fighting chance of getting over illness.
With over half of the population in England overweight, according to a survey in 2019, there is even more need for everyone to start worrying about being healthy. With a few changes, one can begin building a healthy lifestyle.
Here are five healthy lifestyle changes to make today:
1. Keep active
Physical activity isn't just for overweight people trying to lose weight. It is essential for everyone as a little exercise goes a long way to keeping your organs and muscles healthy. In many cases, regular exercise also puts off degenerative diseases.
Here's the kicker, though. You don't have to be sweating buckets at the gym every morning and night. Physical activity includes taking a 20-minute walk, cleaning your home, taking the stairs, or riding a bicycle. As long as you log at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, you should be in better shape.
2. Eat healthily
There are no shortcuts for this step. Not even exercising can counter the effects of what you eat. Feed your body with healthy foods whether you're trying to lose weight or not.
If you aren't, eat a more balanced diet with more vegetables and proteins than carbs. Also, avoid fast food. Most of them are made with products high in corn syrup which encourages gut fat.
3. Set time out for meditation and mental balance
The 'trifecta' for a healthy living revolves around:
1. what you eat,
2. physical activity, and
3. your mental health.
It's easy to overlook the third part of that trifecta, but neglecting your mental health could adversely affect your health.
You can improve your well-being and mental health by doing activities that you enjoy, connecting with others, focusing on positivity and making time out for meditation to declutter your mind. Talk to a professional if you need help, and don't be scared to reach out for support.
4. Avoid liquid calories
In many cases liquid calories should be avoided for these reasons:
- They contain more calories in small packages, and because people don't see them as calories and take a lot, they tend to add up quickly.
- They have less nutritional value, and you'll still be hungry after taking them.
- The sugars in liquid calories increase insulin production, which leads to them being absorbed quickly and stored as fat.
Liquid calories include soda, alcohol, coffee that isn't plain black coffee, and fruit juices. What can you drink? Ideally, water is the best drink of choice. You can spice it up by infusing them with fruits. Other options include fresh fruits and teas, especially black tea.
5. Get enough sleep
The hustle culture has made it seem like success is directly proportional to how little you sleep. Being healthy is directly proportional to getting enough sleep.
The body needs sleep to rest the organs and take care of itself. Outside the burnout that is sure to occur with a lack of sleep, sleep deprivation makes you more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus.
Get a solid eight hours of sleep every night to stay healthy! With a few changes, you can be on your way to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.