10 Tips for The Healthy Lifestyle, To Look and Feel Your Best
Now, more so than at any other point in history, lifestyle diseases have ravaged the planet, leaving in their wake a pile of corpses, blood, and tears. Indeed, it is believed that lifestyle diseases are responsible for more than 50% of all deaths in the developed world and a third of deaths in the third world. Notably, governments across the globe are increasingly putting in place measures to reduce the incidents of cancer and other lifestyle conditions among their populations.
One proven way to do that is by creating awareness among people with the main aim of preventing, rather than treating, various Non-Communicable Diseases. To that end, we compiled the following 10 tips for a healthy lifestyle, to look and feel your best, and most importantly, to improve the quality of your life:
Getting lots of sleep is one sure way to look and feel your best at all times. Lack of adequate sleep can cause you to perpetually feel drowsy at work or school during the day, and can also lead to irritability and depression. And that’s not even the surface of what sleep deprivation can cause – it is further associated with premature aging, increased anxiety and loss of focus. Poor sleeping habits have also been linked to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
So, how much sleep is necessary to look and feel your best?
Basically, small children and teenagers need between 9-10 hours of sleep per night, while for most adults, 6-8 hours of sleep is considered adequate.
2. Exercise Regularly
Second in our list of 10 tips for the healthy lifestyle tip is what, in layman’s terms, we can refer to as synchronized physical activities. Stretching your muscles regularly, mixed with some high impact activities, such as running and weightlifting, further makes you more agile and able to perform various activities with ease.
Research also shows that exercising most days of the week at moderate intensity can help you live 1-3 years longer than you would have if you didn’t exercise. This is due to the fact that exercise significantly reduces the risk of heart diseases and other lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity which in turn boosts your quality of life. Of course, you don’t need to get a gym subscription for you to exercise – just aim to increase your levels of activity.
For instance, choose the stairs over the lift, walk home from school instead of taking a bus or even go for walks around your neighborhood. They may not seem like sensible exercises, but these activities, if done consistently and regularly, can make a great difference to your body and living standard.
3. Eat Lots of Fruits
Fruits are exceptionally delicious on their own. You may choose to blend a fruit juice, prepare a salad or simply consume it as a whole fruit. Whatever your choice, fruits go beyond leaving a good taste in our mouths, to making us healthier and more hydrated. This is important as our bodies require a collection of vitamins and minerals to control blood pressure, repair body tissues and keep heart disease at bay.
Whether you want Vitamins A, C, D, and E, regularly eating fruits such as oranges, apples, bananas, mangoes, and avocados will leave you adequately replenished. Fruits like pears, raspberries, beets, carrots, and bananas also contain varying amounts of dietary fiber, which is vital in controlling blood cholesterol and preventing constipation. Notably, eating fruits alone won’t make you healthier as they lack enough of other essential nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins, but they should definitely be a regular feature in your diet.
Water is The Foundation of Life
4. Drink Enough Water
If you are a regular on healthy living forums, you might have heard the saying that our bodies are more than 70% water. Admittedly, water has minimal nutritional value to our bodies, but it does carry out essential bodily functions such as the removal of toxins and digestion of food.
You will also benefit from chugging generous amounts of this precious liquid if you’re on a weight loss program. This is because the water sits in your stomach, giving it the illusion of being full which in turn reduces the craving for food. Additionally, the more water you drink, the more you sweat and the more toxins are released from your body, leaving your skin glowing. That fits in perfectly with our topic of the day – 10 tips for a healthy lifestyle, to look and feel your best.
The amount of water that you need depends on your weight, levels of physical activity, and of course, the humidity in your particular location. Generally, our bodies need between 2.5-3.7 liters of water per day for optimum performance. However, the food we eat supplies us with about 20% of the recommended water intake, leaving us with a fluid deficit of between 2-3 liters, or roughly 8 glasses. So, always stay hydrated!
5. Stock Up On Some Veggies
The vegan lifestyle is often linked to benefits such as added protection against heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It also helps you lose excess weight faster. Matter of fact, eliminating meat and animal products from your diet in favor of vegetables and whole foods means you’ll consume more complementary nutrients you may have missed. As for preventing diabetes, a vegan diet lowers your blood sugar levels and improves your insulin sensitivity, which further makes the disease easier to manage and less painful to treat.
Onion and garlic, which can be categorized as vegetables, are great sources of good gut bacteria. As you already know, good bacteria helps get rid of harmful bacteria, keeping your gut and general digestive system healthy and in top shape. Leafy greens, including kales, turnip greens, spinach, and swiss chard are rich in vitamins and minerals like zinc and calcium which are great for blood production.
Ideally, you should have at least 5 vegetable servings a day to reap the maximum benefits. If you use the common breakfast-lunch-dinner schedule, you may have to consume your veggie portions as snacks. Moreover, vegetables can be eaten raw, cooked, stir-fried or even steamed.
Remember not to overcook your vegetables as excess heat may kill essential nutrients rendering them un-nutritious.In essence, you should only apply moderate heat, in a short period of time, just to soften the veggie. In case you choose to boil your veggies, it is advisable not to pour out the excess water, as it contains dissolved nutrients. You may drink, or use it to prepare a soup.
6. Get Enough Macronutrients
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of including micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in your diet and now it’s time to stress on the importance of macronutrients. If you are not well versed in the nutritional lingo, macronutrients are basically the 3 most essential nutrients necessary for survival. They include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. As their collective name suggests, our bodies require large amounts of these nutrients for growth, healing and carrying out body functions.
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Fortunately, macronutrients occur, albeit in varying levels, in most of the foods we eat. The key is to balance your intake such that you don’t consume way more carbs than proteins and fats and vice versa. Nutritionists recommend diets consisting of 40% carbs, 30% fats, and 30% proteins. Such diets are especially great for diabetes patients as they lower glucose tolerance. Simply put, reducing your carb intake in favor of more proteins and natural fats will go a long way towards keeping you healthy.
That said, you may want to include in your diet foods that contain more than one macronutrient. For example, beans, peas, and buckwheat are known to contain both proteins and carbs while dairy, eggs, and nuts are essential sources of both proteins and fats. Whatever your choices, you should strive to include as many macronutrients as you can, and in balanced portions. This helps in keeping you fit, all the time.
7. Cut Your Sugar Intake
Yes, sugar helps us enjoy our beverages. However, in the case of artificial sugars and sweeteners, the cons far outweigh the pros. For one, imbibing too much sugar will, over time, make you susceptible to diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, and heart disease. Additionally, exposing your teeth to sugary foods and drinks could cause dental plaques and cavities. Even worse, artificial sugars, particularly from processed foods and fizzy drinks, contain lots of calories that may increase your cholesterol levels, leading to weight gain.
Naturally, we all need sugars in one form or another in our lives, and most people will find it difficult to completely cut them off. A good way to start would be to replace foods that contain artificial sugars with those that contain natural sugars. For instance, replace the cream you normally put in your coffee with honey. You may also buy sugarless cakes and top them up with maple syrup, which is a natural sweetener that contains far less fructose.
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Admittedly, it’s hard going from using lots of sugars and sweeteners to a zero sugar diet. However, it doesn’t have to be abrupt. Gradually reducing the number of sugars in your diet works better. You only need to choose alternative sweeteners to avoid a possible relapse.
8. Watch Your Company
Are you Wondering How This Makes it to The 10 Tips For a Healthy Lifestyle?
Well, here is the point…
Your friends, or people you hang out with, generally determine your moods, which in turn drive your actions. For example, if you’re friends with people who aren’t into healthy living, particularly those into heavy alcohol abuse, you may find it hard to control yourself when you are out with them. And as you may be well aware, peer pressure is so powerful that it can bring out a completely different person in you. For this reason, you should spend less time with friends that don’t share your health ideals and instead look to join communities, and forums of like-minded people.
Additionally, if your friends and accomplices leave you stressed and angry as opposed to calm and joyful, cut them off. If you’re always angry after hanging out with your friends, you are likely to drink too much to quell the anger or look for solace in junk food. Of course, none of those two options are exactly healthy.
If you spend much of your time around positive minded individuals, they may positively impact your general thinking and the way you conduct yourself both in public and private life. In simple terms, try to be around people who are not only in agreement with your healthy living habits, but who also don’t leave you feeling worthless.
9. Have 5 Small Meals a Day
Most of us have been programmed from childhood to only take our meals in the morning, noon/afternoon, and in the evening. However, it is best to split your meals into five small parts as opposed to 2-3 large portions. First and foremost, having small meals throughout the day evens out your energy distribution, keeping you strong and focused all the time. Also, small meals are easy on your stomach as they don’t overstretch it, making digestion easier. What more, putting too much pressure on your stomach muscles increases the chances of developing hiatus hernia – a condition where the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest – when you get older.
In summary, plan your meals and spread your eating times throughout the day, as opposed to only eating on official meal times. In essence, you do need a constant supply of nutrients and energy to look and feel your best.
10. Avoid Deep Fried and Processed Foods
Avoiding deep-fried foods is one of the most effective ways to stay and feel healthy. Deep fried foods, such as potato chips, deep fried turkey, and scotch eggs contain a carcinogenic compound known as acrylamide. Moreover, oily foods are only tasty for a moment and often leaves you craving for more. Naturally, it is not easy to avoid these foods, but with proper discipline, you will eventually adopt a more healthy eating pattern.
Moreover, processed foods like cakes, biscuits, and cheese contain high amounts of artificial sugars and calories that mess up with your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, leaving you vulnerable to a bunch of lifestyle diseases. Other foods to stay away from sausage rolls, wedges, and doughnuts. Replace all these junk foods with less “oily” foods, preferably steamed, grilled, or raw food.
Conclusion: To Looking and Feeling Your Best
There goes our 10 tips for a healthy lifestyle, to look and feel your best, which hopefully, were enjoyable and sufficiently informative. Keep in mind that leading a healthy lifestyle is easy if you put your mind to it, avoid temptations, and most importantly, follow and stick to your goals at all times. It sounds easy, right?
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