Healthier lifestyle choices are more important today than ever before. The reason why I intended to write about this subject is that I came across a book based on a Japanese philosophy called Ikigai which in simple terms means the “thing that you live for” written by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia.
They traveled to a small town in Okinawa, Japan where a substantial percentage of people living in a small country are of over the age of 100.
During their travel, they met many people who were happy living in that small community. The dedication towards the work they did was beyond what they had seen. The food they ate was organic, living together and help each other as a perfect society.
The idea of retirement was alien to them, even people over the age of 100 would still work on their daily chores.
What does the book tell us about healthy living?
A key lesson from the book is that there’s no magic potion or a secret to long living. A combination of things that you do on a daily basis contribute to a long and healthy life.
For a flourishing way of living, it is important to love the things that we do, eat healthy, feel hearty and strong, build a great community plus have goals that motivate you to wake up every day with something to look forward to.
Let’s take a look at some of the healthier lifestyle choices we can make.
1. Nutrition & Healthy Eating
A healthy lifestyle choice always begins with the most basic human needs – Food. Today, we are advertised with so much processed food it is tempting to depend on it because it can be satisfying but it lacks complete nutrition value.
Take control and make a choice to include fresh vegetables and fruits with various other naturally grown foods.
They are rich in fiber along with other vital and essential qualities. A balanced healthy lifestyle will require you to make sacrifices. Fundamentally, What, how and when you eat are some of the changes you will have to make.
Undoubtedly, it will be a life-changing experience when you make a shift in your eating habits. That will make you feel better both emotionally and physically.
Confused about what to eat, don’t worry we got you covered. Take a look at our blog on some of the superfoods.
2. Exercise Frequently
The next step in healthy living is to exercise regularly, at least 3-4 days a week. I am not talking about rigorous fitness regimes but most importantly some form of physical activity such as playing your favorite sport or game or taking regular walks.
Researches have shown that a lifestyle without exercise has been a primary cause of the decline of our health.
Once you have developed a habit of keeping up with routine walks or runs then you can progress to a fitness style that suits you the best. Come to think of it, starting a 15 minute light walking can be easily accommodated in our daily life without drastic changes.
3. A Healthy Body Weight
Bodyweight regulates your energy levels & immune system. Understanding the body mass index will tell you the weight range for someone with a given height. This should give you a target weight to focus on and with an exercise routine, a balanced diet you should definitely start to see some results.
One day at a time is the key that will open the locks.
A lot of us believe that achieving these results is highly difficult and I always oppose them. When we choose to get addicted to life and with discipline, results can be achieved.
4. Be on Your Feet – Avoid being Parked
A sedentary lifestyle is responsible for numerous diseases such as diabetes, heart conditions and various other metabolic dysfunctions. In modern days, a lot of us work on computers and stay stationary for long hours at a stretch. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours can lead to bad posture resulting in back pains, neck and disc damage.
I would normally time myself sitting at my workstation. Consciously making an effort to get up every hour to just walk around and come back to my desk in 2-3 minutes.
The benefits of being on the feet are amazing. It can lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and may reduce chronic back pain. A simple walk can improve blood flow that helps with the energy levels and mood too.
5. Say No to Candy
Excessive consumption of sugar through sweetened foods and drinks can be harmful. Sugar in moderate quantities is certainly required for proper body function. Having said that they are usually present in naturally grown foods too. That means that when you have sugar cravings, have fruit instead.
Processed sugar causes the glucose levels to jump substantially and leaving you with mood swings, fatigue and emotionally drained. In addition, a large volume of sugar consumption can slow the body’s defense system even after a few hours.
Right now, we need our bodies to be at their best to be able to fight back against viruses. Healthier lifestyle choices are going to make a difference in us staying safe amidst the crisis.
Although, it may be hard to stop consuming sugar entirely, lowering the daily intake should be the first step. Replace your sugar cravings with fruit or maybe use more organic sweeteners like jaggery or honey instead.
6. A Good Sleep is always a Good Idea
About 7-9 hours of sleeping is generally what an adult requires to recover from long day’s damage. Not getting enough sleep can elevate the stress hormones affecting your ability to efficiently perform your daily tasks.
It can help improve your mood, lowers your blood pressure and helps your body fight back better. All leading to a healthier lifestyle.
Follow a regular sleep schedule with habits such as calming music or reading a book or a warm bath. Avoid any form of caffeine late in the evenings, even smaller quantities can make it really difficult to fall asleep.
7. Resist using your Phone
Well, this one can be tough to crack! In these times where being popular on social media is regarded with high importance being away from the phone is nearly impossible.
Consequently, we need to look at how this affects our lives. Researches have clearly mentioned the effect on our physical and mental health that phones have.
It is important to take smaller steps in order to achieve greater success. Firstly, start with checking your phone once every hour compared to every 15 mins. In fact, I suggest using the Zen mode on the latest smartphones.
Therefore, when you continue to practice self-control, your will-power will eventually get stronger and it will allow you to resist using your phone for longer intervals.
9. Know Your Family’s Health
Knowing your family’s health background is critically important in understanding what potential health hazards we can be prone to.
There are some known diseases that can be inherited through genes from our parents. Those key health problems can help us take steps so that we can safeguard ourselves.
For instance, heart diseases and diabetes are a couple of common ones that are usually inherited. As a result, when children grow older they begin to show signs of these health obstacles. If you know of these things in advance, you may be able to change your lifestyle earlier in life and take necessary precautions.
When making healthier lifestyle choices, preventive measures are way better than having to deal with issues later.
10. Do Things that You Enjoy
Most of us have an unfinished book, incomplete guitar lessons or some sport that we loved to play when we were kids. I know that we are maintaining social distancing right now and staying home. However, there are many things that we can do at home.
Learn how to do things that you had always wanted to do but never had time. It is never too late to start a hobby. There are various online learning courses available these days and plenty of platforms to show off your work.
If you were ever interested in writing, reach out to us in the comments and we can publish your work on our website.
You would agree that recently we have witnessed an increase in the number of people opting for meditation. There’s every reason to do so. While some claim that they have discovered physical benefits from practicing it and some of the found emotional well-being.
A common apprehension that I have noticed among people is that it is extremely difficult to practice or it is impossible to quiet our mind and thoughts.
Every new activity is going to be difficult in the beginning. You don’t have to start with a 1-hour long meditation, 2 mins every day will start to make a difference. I am sure once you do this for a while, you would like to go back to do this more frequently and for a longer duration.
The idea of stopping our thoughts and our from going all over the place is difficult for sure. What we need to know is that the goal, in the beginning, is to allow those thoughts to come through. You acknowledge those thoughts, tag them and bag them. I am pretty sure that eventually, you will find a way to move past your thoughts.
12. Loving Yourself is the Key
We have so many responsibilities to take care of sometimes. We often forget to take care of ourselves. On the other hand, when we don’t love ourselves there are higher chances that we will be bitter and resentful.
“In this entire world, I am just another being, however, in my own world, I am the only thing that matters.”
Our relationship with ourselves is the key factor in how our lives are shaped. Self-loving can’t be easy, we are programmed in ways that we put others first. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, however, we can’t pour from an empty cup.
Whereas, It’s good to recharge and replenish before we are able to give some of it back to the world. Find a happy place, learn to say no, don’t let anyone take you for granted and let your efforts go un-received. Stay away from people that don’t help you become a better person.
The list appears long one so don’t let it overwhelm you. Start taking steps, pick up one habit at a time so that adjusting to new ones will be gradual.
Remember that healthier lifestyle choices are going to be the new trend. These are also going to prepare our mind and body to deal with external influences better.