In the fast-paced world of today, it is all too easy to put our physical and mental health on the backburner while we are busy chasing our business and other goals. Fitness and wellbeing are often at the back of our minds, but that we never seem to be able to get around to them. Looking after your body and mind does not, however, have to be a complicated, time-consuming or strenuous ordeal. By simply modifying some everyday habits and sticking to them, you can hope for a happier, healthier, and ultimately longer life.
You Are What You Eat
This may seem like a cliché, but you are indeed what you eat. Junk food is cheap and easily accessible 24/7 and is a major contributor to health issues and even some mental health problems. Instead of eating whatever is available on the go, try planning your weekly food intake in advance. Adding vegetables to your daily diet is a great way to boost your nutrition and vitamin intake. If you have a busy, on the go lifestyle, drinking vegetable juice or fruit smoothies are simple and effective ways of improving the quality of your food intake. Nuts are also extremely healthy for the heart as they contain a high amount of long-chain plant fats. Having a bag of nuts with you at all times ensures you can have a tasty and healthy snack at hand to take the edge off hunger between meals.
Regular exercise does wonders, both for the body and the mind, as it keeps your brain and other vital organs healthy and functional. It also helps release useful chemicals in your brain such as endorphins that – simply put – make you feel good. Although it is easy to make up excuses for not exercising, the hardest part is starting your exercise routine. Youtube is chock full of great exercise videos, ranging from yoga to Pilates and aerobic exercises. Fifteen minutes to half an hour a day is more than enough to put you on the road to a healthy lifestyle. Consider cycling as an alternative to taking the bus or car for short distance trips, as it is a great all round non-impact exercise. Any outside exercise benefits your health because sunshine boosts the production of vitamin D in our bodies. Needless to say, sunscreen is a must.
A good night’s sleep is essential to good health and general quality of living as it refreshes the mind and repairs the body. Experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep a night, since lack of sleep can cause a plethora of adverse effects ranging from fatigue and poor concentration to a decline in physical condition. Electrical devices such as mobile phones and laptops are detrimental to the quality of sleep, so removing them from your bedroom is a definite step in the right direction. A comfortable mattress also does wonders to how rested we are, so consider replacing your bed if it is lumpy or does not provide the support you need for a peaceful slumber.
Take care of your mind
Stress can easily lead to a variety of health problems, both mental and physical. Make time for hobbies, pet projects and strive to learn something new every day. You can do this by reading books on subjects that interest you, or simply by engaging the people around you in stimulating conversations. If you have a hard time quieting your mind, you can try meditating, relaxation and mindfulness exercises. Alcohol, coffee, cigarettes and other drugs wreak havoc on your body and mind, so avoiding these substances will greatly increase your general health and wellbeing. A strong support system is the foundation of a healthy mind, so try to maintain healthy and open relationships with loved ones, family and colleagues.
There is no miracle cure or wonder drug that will help you lead a long and healthy life. On the contrary – general health is reached by a combination of seemingly small steps that you take every single day. Maintaining a healthy diet or exercise plan may seem like a daunting task, but once you have started you are sure to feel positive changes that will motivate you to stick to it. Eat healthy, sleep well, exercise and take care of your mind – simple enough, right?