If you came across the title, there is good chance that you are trying to do the same as I. Working towards a healthy lifestyle. Who does not want to be healthier?
There has been so much talk in the last decade about health and a better lifestyle, as not before in our history as humans. Everybody seems to be worried about better health and somehow have we realized that we are doing things incorrectly regarding our food and our overall lifestyle.
But how can we become more healthy? In this post you will find 10 tips to be healthy and to change your lifestyle.
When I deny eating sweets at a party or when I drink water instead of coffee, I am often laughed. People tend to ask me why I would be so extreme with my eating habits. They tell me: “Remember how X or Y ate so healthy, but then suddenly became sick and unfortunately died shortly after? Why would you not enjoy your food because it is not that much about what you eat.”
Here is my typical answer, to which they usually cannot find the correct response: “I don’t eat to stay alive forever. Certain foods are not for my body and I do not want to eat them, since they were not made for me. Also, I just prefer to feel healthy and fit the way I do when I eat real and healthy food over feeling chronically tired and exhausted.”
That is a way of living and not something you “have” to do. Is not healthy living all about feeling well? Nobody has a long life guaranteed, nobody knows exactly how long he will live, nobody is guaranteed a cancer-free body. Once you experience how well you feel by eating whole and real food, or by doing exercise, you will not want to give that up and change that back to the old normal where you have no energy to do things.
Here are 10 tips to be healthy which are easy to understand and to some point easy to follow if you decide to go the whole way down the road.
1) Assess Your Health!
The first thing to do to be more healthy is to understand and assess your health status. Diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and other health issues that are causing you problems can prevent you from becoming better if you don’t take action.
Our body can easily adjust to changes, which is not always good. Let’s say that your head been aching for some time, but you are waiting for the day that it will go away, so instead of looking for a cause, you wait and slowly your body adapts to the ailment and sooner or later you might not feel it as much and be able to ignore. As I said, your body is adjusting to change without you noticing it. Often times small things can be solved quickly and others require a visit with your doctor, bed rest, medicine, or whatever it might be.
Why wait for the problem to grow? Assess your health and take action.
There are diseases that you can do something about and with others you cannot do much. For instance, if smoking is the underlying cause for a problem that you are having, why not quit? If your head hurts constantly because you are sleep deprived, why not sleep? Your cholesterol levels are too high, why not eat foods that lower these levels? If you are depressed, why not seek professional help? If your blood pressure is not cooperating with you, why not see the family doctor and find a cause? If you are overweight, why not go on a diet?
You see there are so many things that have a quick fix, but we often don’t take the time to work on it and we just accept things as part of us. Yes, there are things that we cannot change in our bodies, but why keep those little stones in our shoes to constantly pinch us? If there is a solution to the problem, it is always better to find in time, before it grows into something that cannot be changed?
2) Change Your Food!
The food industry has changed our view about food so much in the last 50 years and we cannot do anything about it. This strong industry has its way not only to convince people to buy and eat their stuff; they even extol and praise their tainted foods as healthy, organic, naturally grown, fat free, hormone free, gluten free, and whatever labels they have for all their stuff.
And that is not enough, these foods contain so many poisons and are highly addictive, which is why people will buy them again and again, just as it is the case with alcohol and cigarettes. People get addicted to this unreal food and end up buying and eating it again and again.
Yes, there is not much to be done with all that food marketing that is highly successful. Nevertheless, there is one thing we can do: Change our own view about the needs of our body and what to give it. You see, there has to be shift in they way food has to be viewed, but I will discuss that below in another of these 10 tips to be healthy.
What food should you eat and what not?
The first and most important thing is to find out what our body needs and what is poisonous. This post would be too extensive to discuss that, but there are certain foods that you do not want to eat and others that you really want.
First of all, take sugar out of your diet. Sugar is among the major causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, mental disorders, exhaustion, lack of energy, and many others. This includes all sweets with refined sugars which is found in great quantities in nonalcoholic as well as alcoholic beverages, desserts, baked goods, canned foods, and many others. Your body needs sugar to convert it into glucose which is the energy for your cells to function correctly. However, added sugars, refined sugars and all the loaded sweets is not what gives that to you. Fruit is an excellent source of natural sugar, which is what your body is so desperately asking for. With 2-3 portions of fruit you will do your body a favor, not only for the sugar, but for all the added health benefits to it.
Sugars and flours in all forms from all different kinds are much the same. What do I mean by that? How many almonds do you need to make a batch of almond flour to make a decent meal? How much sugar is needed to make that 1 cup of sugar for your friends’ Birthday cake? Flour is a concentration of a grain that is healthy and required by your body, but flour comes packed with more than your body needs and wants. The same happens with refined sugars. Sugar cane is not unhealthy but you need it in moderation, but sugar is in no way moderation because of the high concentration.
Interestingly, drugs are pretty much the same essence as sugar and flour. Most drugs are made of plants, which are not harmful at all. But when the content of the plant gets concentrated to make the drug, it can be dangerously harmful to the body and highly addictive.
When I first viewed sugar and flour compared to some drugs, at first I was skeptical, but it started to sink in and make sense. Do you honestly think that your body was made to process highly concentrated foods like that and be able to cope with it? I firmly believe that this is not the case. When we talk about healthy foods, we need to talk about moderation. For example, we might say that a cup of 100% natural orange juice is healthy, but do we realize that you need, depending on freshness and size, at least 4 oranges for one cup? Sure, orange juice is great, but so much at once? You will agree with me that it is most likely not that healthy.
Do I say that you should never eat flour, no sugar, no juices? Not at all. I personally prefer to stay away from these things as much as possible. I eat and drink sweets and foods made from flour on average once or twice weekly. I prefer to eat the whole orange, gnaw on 10 almonds, eat a cup of oatmeal, half a cup of rice instead of the highly concentrated foods as would be orange juice, almond flour, wheat flour or even rice flour. Does that make sense to you? Can you relate to it?
There is the joke that I read recently where it says that bunnies hop all day and live 8 years if much, dogs run every day and live 15 years and the turtle does not do anything and lives up to 150 years. 🙂 If that would apply to us humans, that would probably be great for those who don’t like to be physically active, including myself. Unfortunately, that rule does not apply to us. By not doing anything, our body does not work properly.
Who has not heard this from the family doctor: “You need to do more exercise!” That is nothing new. However, it is not as easily done as it is said. We live in an era where we don’t need to move around as much anymore to get our daily chores done. How many gadgets do you have in our homes, in our cars, at our job, and wherever we are, to make things easier. It seems like we need to do less and less every day to get simple things done for us without moving. For instance, one quick Skype call, one quick Whatsapp message, and we are communicating with our family, without even getting out of bed. Throw a frozen food into the microwave without walking around in the kitchen and preparing food from scratch.
To many of us, this new lifestyle that is taking over, not many healthy benefits are in sight on the long run. And what is in sight for future generations? There are massive things going on in our body every single second of our life. Millions of cells are busy receiving nutrients, getting rid of toxins, maintaining the body healthy. Can you expect anything of these cells if you don’t give them what they need? How can you get your blood to reach every single hair root of the more than 100,000 roots? Is it possible to send blood into your nails without doing anything? Of course. Your body pushes and works relentlessly to get the job done.
Our body has been miraculously designed that it can do all these things without you needing to do a single thing. However, how long will your body be able to do that? How much easier would it be for your body to get everything done?
How much exactly should you move around and what can you do? If you lead a passive lifestyle, you cannot go from 0 to 100 in a day. Change comes slowly. Forming new habits is crucial to be able to do this. You need to make small tweaks to you habits and they will change over time. Here are a few tips that can help you get into moving more little by little.
- Instead of sending somebody else to the store, go yourself. And if the weather is good, and the store is just around the corner, why not walk instead of driving? Cars are to easily used nowadays. Fresh air provides your body with so much-needed oxygen and your circulation going with those few steps.
- If you have a garden, pay your garden a visit frequently. Do you see that this is a little thing to do, but keeps you moving? If you don’t have a garden, make sure on planing for it in this upcoming season. You don’t need a big garden. Only a few plants in the backyard will do to make you smile and make you walk a few extra steps every day.
- Do rough house cleaning yourself. If you are like I am, being busy at the computer to get all chores done in time, you think there is no spare time to clean the house. Let me tell you, bringing the trash out, get the laundry into the laundry basket, making your bed are all things that need to be done, and so often our partner, or the cleaning lady, or the kids have to do that. Yes, they need to learn, and the cleaning ladies get paid for that, but your health cannot be paid.
- Play with your kids outside or inside. Kids enjoy to play with their parents, and it can be the smallest of things, like chasing. My son loves me to push him in his toys, play tag, or simply play with a ball. I often do that inside because the weather is not the best. And what a lovely daddy-toddler time we have. Besides getting rid of my stress and often getting sweaty from playing with him, I get the benefit of being a little more active and the gift of bonding is invaluable.
Small things, but they can make a significant difference in your health status. You might say: “I am doing that, is that enough?” Surely this little moving is not enough to keep your body completely healthy, but if that is what you can give, good for you. If you don’t even do those simple things, start doing them today. Lay your phone down, get out of those social networks that are killing your time and move.
If you are doing these things, why not gradually increase duration and frequency of your fitness. Either walking on a treadmill, walking your pets outside, going grocery shopping, going to the gym for workout, swim in a nearby pool, playing sports at the club, etc. There are thousands of ways to get active.
When thinking of doing sports or fitness, that is something I dislike! I have never enjoyed it at all. The nutritionist once told me that I just needed to find my perfect sport and I would see that it could be appealing to do it. I guess my favorite “sport” is gardening. I have a huge garden and I work in it as much as time as I have. Even though I often can spend more time during the weekend and vacations in it, I work hard in it to get all the goods out of it, including moving for my health.
Here is our recommended treadmill to lose weight
Here is our recommended treadmill for beginners
Nobody glues you to the treadmill if you don’t like it, and nobody will make you play basketball if you don’t want it. Look for something you like to do that includes moving and you are good to go. Take it one step at a time. Make small goals and stick to them. That makes more of a difference than making huge goals that you are aware right from the beginning to fail.
Are you interested to read how you can lose weight by walking? Click here
4) Stay Connected!
In today’s world, we seem to be overwhelmed with connections we have with other people. Who is not on social media? Most people have that today. And while social media aims to connect people, real connections are not made anymore. The massive changes in this world through technology have played a positive role in being able to stay connected.
If you think about businesses, how great is it that you can have all your necessary documents with you, travel all over the world while being connected to those that stayed home or to be able to contact colleagues and organize things that need to be done while gone. You can have meetings from wherever you are with whomever you want. You can send important documents and have them delivered to whom asked for them in a matter of seconds. You can go online and stay on top of the news and know what is going on in any part of the world. Isn’t that great?
Yes, technology is great and it has brought us so many benefits, that only our great grandparents could testify of. However, I sometimes imagine my grandparents still living. I believe they would freak by what our phones are able to do, what Internet has to offer, and how we are informed from 24/7 about everything that is going on.
However, would not my grandparents see one thing that is missing among this great technology: Lasting and positive relationships?
With all the social media that I am involved in, and in talking to people all day long on the phone, texting endless messages to get my work done, I sometimes feel so apart and far away from all these people that I constantly deal with. Is it that I am missing human relationships that are not only based on likes, shares, thumbs and sometimes hearts?
Do we need each other? Or is it enough to be active in social media? Can we close up into our bedrooms forever and make a healthy lifestyle by staying connected through social media?
The answer is clearly NO. We as humans are social beings. There is no way we can survive on the long run. Why do we need each other?
- We need to be loved. Everybody has the need to be loved, surrounded by people that show affection. Once in a while do we need hugs and encouragement. A teenager once told that he strove to be like his dad who was the strongest person he had known, somebody that was never hurt, never afraid, was so strong that he could face danger, anxiety, and fear without it touching him. I only replied that this world could not use this kind of people and that it might appear as if his dad would never be touched by anything, but deep down inside he would have feelings. Even though we do not like to admit, we all need love, affection and emotional support.
- We need each other to learn. We cannot get better as human beings without somebody “scaffolding” our learning. Deep down we have the need to grow spiritually and emotionally. How can that work without a human relationship?
- We need each other to share fun, laughter, good moments, and happiness. How good does it feel if somebody not only writes you a text message on your birthday, but comes to see you and wishes you a good day. Or when you are finally pregnant after trying for many times, does posting on Facebook make you happier or is it better when you share it with your friends in a restaurant?
- What happens when you get sick? Don’t we need a helping hand? We need each other for the bad days in our life when we have burdens to carry that we cannot seem to carry alone. I remember vividly when my grandmother was a widow, living in the retirement home, she would have a glow on her face whenever I came by. Even though I would stay for 15 minutes, she absolutely loved that. She was not healthy at that time anymore. Se was in her mid-eighties. I cherish those moments. How would I love to have her back and be able to talk to her again.
What happens if we don’t have connections with people dear and near to us? Not long ago I heard a doctor state that research had found people living alone to be more prone to cardiovascular diseases because they had so much time to think through things that they eventually started to live in fear or felt ill.
Have you not seen a dog seemingly die heartbroken when its mate died? There was an article in the news not long ago about a woman that died suddenly a few days after her daughter died. There was no obvious cause for her death, which brought to the conclusion that she had died heartbroken.
How can you become more healthy by staying connected? When you live alone and have little to do with other people, what happens to your eating habits, to your hygiene, you stop to follow your passions, you decide not to learn and grow emotionally and spiritually, we become sleep deprived and many other things.
The point is clear, make meaningful relationships that are not based on social media. In fact, you should not be connected via social media to some people that are dear to you heart. You need to visit them, go on a trip with them, or plan something together.
It can be challenging in these days to do that, but it is well worth it.
Think about the valuable time you can spend with your partner, children, siblings, and children by going off social media and connect. Put your phone away and talk, laugh, play, enjoy, relax, etc. You will see how your brain is going to shut off from your daily chores and you will see things form a new perspective, not to mention how your body will start producing the good anti-stress hormones.
Chronic stress, which is produced by not having meaningful relationships, is public health’s major enemy; therefore, stay connected.
5) Slow Down!
Do you also live in a world where you cannot seem to be slowing down anymore? We are overly connected. It seems like we cannot live without our phones anymore at any given time. The world is so demanding, and we can be reached any time anywhere. Is it that we are afraid to miss out on something very good or very important by answering text messages until the middle of the night, from the early morning, during meals, in church, at our jobs, etc? If we can always be reached by anyone, we are constantly under stress and pressure. We have become numb to that feeling. It seems that we feel stressed when we are not available.
Studies made in different places have shown that people need to shut off during the day so they can do their jobs more efficiently. In some countries, people are asked to sleep during the workday for 15-30 minutes so they can regain their strength. Researchers have found that workers that literally shut off for a few minutes during the day are much better at their jobs than the ones that make many hours without a break.
It might sound as a bad idea to sleep during job hours, but thinking critically about it, it makes sense.
Our brains are beautifully designed. It can process the magnitude of information that is coming in through our senses in a matter of milliseconds. It then stores this information quickly while new information is coming in. By the time 6 hours have gone by, can you imagine how much information is sitting there and waiting to be processed?
Our brain puts information in different “boxes”, so to speak, things for short time memory, for long time memory and connects it by emotions, feelings, etc. And your brain cleans all this information while you sleep. Exactly what you do with your computer in the night. You ask it to organize everything, delete things that are unnecessary and will not be used in the future, and create folders that are necessary.
But your brain does this while you sleep and while you relax. Can you imagine your computer working tirelessly and you don’t give him time to organize things? Your brain is going to burn out soon if you never give it a break. Your brain needs to be able to process through all we
Although we want to have our phones on us and stay connected, there are times when we just need to lay them down on Do-Not-Disturb mode.
7) Get Your Brain Going!
8) Drink Water!
9) Get Your Conscience Settled!
10) Live Today!