If there is one thing the COVID pandemic has taught us, it is being more cautious about our health – both physical and mental. The major deciding factor in keeping good health is the kind of lifestyle we lead.
While maintaining good health is a complex process as everyone’s metabolism is different, we can still focus on making the right choices at all times.
It is the kind of life we lead and the choices we make with our nutrition, our lifestyle pattern and our daily schedule that decides how to fit we will be. Hence, it is important that we make our own efforts to follow a balanced lifestyle that ensures and assures our good health and overall well-being.
Following are the 7 small lifestyle changes that we can make in our daily routine in order to lead a healthy life. After all, health has truly proven to be the real wealth in these trying and testing times:
- Consume a balanced diet
This means your meal should be a source of the right nutrition for your body. It is important that the body is well-nourished with a healthy diet plan balancing the intake of all macro and micro nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibre, and vitamins.
Healthy eating must be done with a combination of fresh and seasonal fruits, healthy polyunsaturated fats, plant-based and lean high-quality proteins, whole grains, vegetables, omega-3 rich food and probiotic rich food.
In India, people usually get obsessed with a diet plan for weight loss and end up following extreme diet regimes which have adverse effects on health. It is crucial to understand our body type and select the best diet plan, compatible with one’s health.
When following any diet it is important not to compel yourself. Often diets such as the keto diet plan can be extreme for many people, so it is always advisable to consult a doctor or a nutritionist before starting. An intermittent fasting diet plan involves time-restricted fasting where a person can have food during an 8-hour window period and fast for the rest of the 16 hours. This truly helps in gaining self-control as well if followed properly.
Moderation is the key to following any diet plan to reduce weight and this can be easily followed by anyone where moderation of food quantities and avoiding junk and unhealthy food can help you to reduce weight successfully.
A healthy diet plan results in stable and right weight management which remains consistent over a period of time. Rather than jumping on an extreme diet, a positive and gradual change in dietary habits grants the greatest protection.
- Have a good night sleep
Many people today suffer from insomnia especially due to hectic and stressful life. (In India it is 33% as per the study by the National Medical Journal of India).
It is very important that sleep is equally given a priority as it leads to better physical and mental health. This also reflects in your performance in work and in your social life.
Ensuring a minimum of eight hours of sleep is a good place to start. have fixed timings for sleeping and getting up. Make sure your room is dark, clean, and airy when you want to sleep. Have a fixed night time routine. Doing so signals to your body that you are preparing to sleep. Sound sleep that would recharge your body better for the next day.
- Increase your physical activity or mobility
Physical activity just does not mean exercise but it is much more than that. A daily 30-minute exercise, stretching or any physical activity improves your mobility. In turn, this improves your health by reducing the chances of cardiovascular problems or any other health-related problems. It also increases your stamina and energy day by day.
Some of the most cost-effective ways of physical activity are:
- Brisk walking
- Limiting or avoiding alcohol and smoking
Alcohol is something that should be had in moderation. While limited quantities such as that of red wine can lower heart disease, it should never be taken recklessly.
Higher intake of alcohol has adverse effects such as health and behavioural problems, heart diseases, cancer, high blood pressure or becoming violent.
Smoking is a habit one needs to get out of at the earliest lest one can do with heart and lung-related complications and of course cancer.
- Keep yourself hydrated
Drinking ample water throughout the day and most importantly reminding oneself to have water is a major change one needs to bring in life.
Our body requires at least 3-4 litres of water to remain happily hydrated. Drinking water is absolutely crucial for the following reasons:
- Regulates body temperature
- Keeps skin healthy and glowing
- Keeps joints if the body lubricated
- Prevents infections
You could use reminders, apps, or simply carry a water bottle wherever you go to ensure you stay well hydrated during the day.
- Switch to healthier food alternatives
Identifying what is junk food is the first step to eating healthy. Controlling the urges is the next. Oily, spicy, packaged and preserved food items are harmful to one’s health. Some healthy alternatives can be –
- Picking local over packaged foods
- Opting for fresh over tinned or canned
- Organic over pesticide sprayed foods
- Fresh juice over aerated drinks
- Brown rice/Chapati instead of white rice
- Dark chocolate instead of white chocolate
- Wheat flour instead of white flour
- Manage your stress
Stress is highly consuming in various ways and has a deep impact on your health. So, it is necessary that one learns to manage stress and handle it effectively. Stress can lead to an increase in cortisol levels that negatively affect your health. Coping up with stress should be done in a manner that it:
- Maintain a balance of work and personal life
- Relax adequately between work breaks
- Have your own ‘me time’ for self-care and self-love
- Unplug from gadgets and make an effort to keep them away to avoid damage to the eyes and your posture.
- Stay away from social media toxicity. Rather start communicating with friends and family at a personal level.
Things to keep in mind when in a bringing lifestyle change
- Take one step at a time – Though 7 lifestyle changes have been mentioned above, make sure that eachis applied an dintroduced gradually. Keep your comfort prime and do not force yourself to change aloof a sudden.
- Do not expect quick results – Everything takes time especially when it is about your health. while you must not expect results overnight, have realistic, time-bound goals. As you achieve one, you will be motivated for the next.
- Do not give up – This can be too easy yet too risky. If you have decided to bring in some health and lifestyle changes, give it a try for 3 months before expecting a change or giving up.
- Do not compare yourself to others – This is the worst way to assess your health. As mentioned before, everyone’s body is different due to which everyone’s metabolism is also different. Someone’s quick or late result must not be your yardstick.
Remember, if you are dedicated and committed to bringing about the changes, positive results will show eventually.