Thursday, December 22, 2022

Healthy Lifestyle, positive and happy


As the saying goes, if you have your health, you have wealth. Good physical and mental health impacts all areas of your life, but it can feel daunting to make big changes. Spoiler alert: your entire life does not have to be overhauled to start a healthy lifestyle!

You can make daily progress towards big goals without changing every single thing about your current daily routine and activities. Remember that big changes happen as a series of smaller steps. We have outlined eight cornerstones of good mental and physical health and broken them down into smaller, doable habits. Start with the ones you are most likely to adhere to and keep incorporating more healthy changes as you go.

Healthy diet

Create a balanced meal plan, including proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals. They are all essential for your body’s health needs. Focus on whole and fresh foods and increase your daily intake of greens, colorful vegetables, and fruits.

Make cooking at home a priority to be in charge of what exactly goes into your food. Plan your meals in advance and hit the grocery store on weekends to be fully armed with healthy fare during the week.  

Split entrees and choose healthier side dishes when eating out.

Be mindful of your hunger cues to recognize if your desire to eat is actual hunger or if it is boredom, cravings, or even thirst. Be fully present when eating, chew slowly, and try to really notice how your food smells and tastes.

Proper hydration

Maintain the balance of fluids in your body by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day (other drinks don’t count). You don’t need to get obsessive, as drinking to thirst supports most people in meeting this benchmark, but do pay attention to your water intake.

Start your morning with a glass of water, preferably warm, to soothe your digestive system and hydrate your lymphatic system. Wait fifteen minutes after drinking to enjoy coffee, tea, or other foods so your body has time to reap the purifying benefits.

Quality sleep

The average healthy adult needs eight hours of good-quality sleep each night, so make sleep a priority! It’s important to create a comfortable and relaxing sleep environment, focusing on maximizing comfort and minimizing distractions. (Yes, this means keeping your phone and other devices as far from the bedroom as possible.)

Craft a pre-bedtime routine to unwind: lower the lights, listen to soothing music, do gentle yoga or low-impact stretching.

Set up a sleep schedule – try to get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, and stick to a consistent bedtime. Make your bed a sleep-only zone. Your brain needs to develop a strong mental association that your bed is strictly for sleep.

Physical activity

Make sure you’re getting in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times per week to reap the benefits associated with healthy living.

Find workouts and workout styles you actually enjoy doing. The less exercising feels like a chore, the more sustainable it becomes.

Focus on a mix of cardiostrength training, and stretching to maintain proper physical form.

Regularly shake up your workout routine with new moves to keep your muscles challenged.

Exercise outdoors as often as you can to soak up the sun and give your lungs access to fresh air.

Schedule your workouts in advance. Making them non-negotiable like any other important commitment means you’ll be more likely to accomplish them.

Walk or bike to work instead of driving if it’s safe to do so. If you take public transportation, get off one stop earlier. If you drive to work, park farther away from the entrance.

Daily self-care

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so take good care of those outer layers. Shower or wipe off sweat after a workout, moisturize frequently, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen (remember that the duration of protection a newly-applied sunscreen provides is two hours). 

Try a contrast shower! Alternate between hot and cold water while showering to improve circulation and blood flow and to tone your skin. 

Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and drink soda and juices through a straw to help prevent cavities.

Wash your hands regularly and properly, scrubbing vigorously with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Mental well-being

Find time every day to do something you love, whether it’s enjoying a favorite hobby, playtime with your pet, or chatting with a dear friend – whatever makes you happy.

Meditate. This mindful practice brings you to a state of peaceful awareness that is rejuvenating for both your mind and body.

Take a regular digital detox. Set your phone on airplane mode after 9 pm, make your mealtime gadget-free, and implement unplugged weekends.   

Practice gratitude. Focusing on positive things in your life you are thankful for is a powerful technique to help you feel happier and improve your overall health.

Start a daily habit of taking a 15-minute timeout alone with yourself. Remove all distractions, let go of any thoughts, and just allow your thoughts to wander. If you start spiraling, take deep breaths until the feeling passes.   

Practice positive thinking. Our thoughts trigger neurochemical reactions in our bodies and shape our deepest beliefs about ourselves and the world.

Clean up your mental diet. Spend less time with media and people that suck up your energy and focus on those who inspire and motivate you instead.

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