How Can I Live Healthier?
Many people are beginning to take a closer look at how they can possibly eat, work, play and live healthier. “But where do I start?” many ask themselves the question. Well the most crucial place to start is your diet, especially your fluid intake. Consider your drinking of fluids such as water, alcohol and carbonated (soda) drinks in relation to one another.
Finally you need to look at your overall lifestyle, your work/play balance, the number of hours of sleep you are getting and the schedule of sleep you have during the week and at weekends. Finally if you are not getting regular exercise in, start to gradually introduce it to your week.
So let’s look at a few ways that you can readily make changes to start to live more healthily.
8 Tips To Healthy Living
If you are not drinking 7-8 cups of water or at least mostly water topped up with other liquids like cordial, mineral water and tea/coffee, then you need to increase it. In normal weather you should be drinking at least 8 cups a day (i Litre).
In hot temperatures and heat waves you should ramp up consumption of water and liquids to 2-3L a day. This is because you perspire and sweat more in very hot weather, losing water from your body more quickly!
The reason you need so much water is your overall body is made up of 75% water. Therefore it needs replenishment or a top up if you like constantly. Water is needed to refresh body cells, including the mind which also benefits in overall well being when well watered! Kidney function, the elimination of toxins from them is more efficient when water is regularly ingested. The skin is also healthier due to the elimination of wastes and impurities in the body.
If you find drinking water a bit boring, you can always add a tint of lemon to water, lime or even cordial if it helps. Also a lot of people including myself find they simply forget to drink water every now and then! To avoid this get into the healthy habit of having a bottle of water with you wherever you go.
That might be at your desk, at a business meeting, during exercise, after exercise, at night. Also get into the habit that Mediterranean people have of having a glass of water with every coffee! If you like you can even download an app on your smartphone that reminds you to drink water!
#2. No Alcohol
There is nothing wrong with the odd glass of alcohol. Some health experts even swear on the benefits of wine. Many old people, who live to very old age, cite drinking Guinness ale as part of their longevity recipe! But whatever the case too much alcohol on a regular basis is not good for your mind, for your kidneys, for your skin, for your sleep, for your entire working body! Not only that excess alcohol causes you to gain weight, it may even cause the onset of diabetes type two if you drink alcohol high in sugar.
3. Carbonated, Soda & High Caffeine Drinks
These types of drinks have long been popular in the Western world. Yet what started off as a treat in the local chemist, buying a soda drink in a 1950’s drug store has become a global addiction. Carbonated drinks are unhealthy in that they contain high levels of sugar, of food additives and in the case of high caffeine drinks, dangerous levels of concentrated caffeine which put strain on even healthy hearts. As for the sugar levels in caffeine drinks, they are extremely high and enough to tip the scale for a pre-diabetic.
So start to cut down on the alcohol, carbonated and high caffeine drinks you consume. It is better to reduce them gradually. Sometimes going cold turkey when you drink too much can be a shock on the body’s system. Also it can be harder to keep up the good habit! Try replacing that next soda or high caffeine drink with a juice or better still a bottled mineral water or tap water if it is available next time you are out.
#4. Work/Play Balance
This is increasingly becoming important in the Western world. After decades of increasing the working hours to encroach more and more on personal lives, offices, organizational psychologists and health experts are beginning to do their maths. The time off work due to sickness, ill health due to overwork in the Western world economies is outweighing the so called productivity obtained.
More importantly sick and burned out employees do not make happy employees or productive ones long-term! In a recent Australian survey on work absenteeism, it was revealed that the 108 company respondents were losing AU$2741 each per year, due to sickness or stress.
As a worker ensure that you set up boundaries between your work and play/downtime with your time, family and friend’s time and of course sleep! The concept of a balanced work/play life is so important to your overall health. Think of the balance Yin Yang sign depicting this!
#5. Sleep Times & Sleep Schedule
At the end of the day you need to switch off your mind, your electronic gadgets. You also need to re-charge both physically and mentally. This means you need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Ensure that you have a bedtime routine, a bit like when you were a kid perhaps. Have that glass of milk an hour before bed as you read that best seller you have been wanting to read for ages!
Sure you may love TV and cable TV or watching things on your iPad or smart phone but studies are showing that the LED displays is contrary to inducing sleep. So try and put these aside an hour before bed. Leave them out of the bedroom so you won’t be tempted to view messages, Facebook updates or global news coming in 24/7 overnight.
I know I used to be in that place! I would have my tablet and when I could not sleep I would be going through the news apps, my Facebook since bedtime, my Yahoo! mail, downloading e-books from Amazon, you name it! Not good! Slap on the wrist for you and for me when I do it!
Do moderate exercise if you are already doing it. That does not mean 2 hours in the gym every night. Recent scientific studies from the UK has indicated over exercise can increase heart disease later on in life even in young, healthy people!
If you currently are not doing any, do not go joining your local gym, going all out doing 6 days a week. You simply will burn out or get sick of the slavedom to the gym. After all trying to look trendy and sophisticated while panting and grunting in front of one hundred seemingly more fit gym bodies is not exactly relaxing!
So pick something you love doing, which at the end of your stressful work day you will look forward to with relish and anticipation. Think of things like calm, unwinding walk around the block after you have commuted home, walking home if it is not too far, or if wanting to rid yourself of some pent up stress, swimming laps in the local pool, doing a yoga class after work to break up your day from work to play.
Blend this in with week night visits to the movies or maybe catch a bite to eat with a long-time friend you have not seen for a while. Exercise combined with good companionship is good for the mind and the heart!
By the time you have made some changes in the above areas you will start to notice a positive difference within weeks! So will your loved ones, your work colleagues, your class mates, even the strangers in the street!
#8. Control Sugar Intake
Add to this a new religiousness in watching how much sugar, salt and processed foods you eat. Gradually increase whole grain foods, fresh fruit and vegetables and having a freshly made juice (green juice even) instead of that fourth daily coffee…and you will soon start to see a new, reinvigorated you again!
You will lose weight, sleep better, socialize better, think clearer, have more energy for work and play and most importantly be enjoying life again with a sense of contentment you never thought it was possible to have. Enjoy life, it is meant to be enjoyed!