You can download all the latest health apps, read the science, and take the latest wonder pill but at the end of the day there really is no magic, there are no secrets, and there is no fountain of youth but there are a number of lifestyle habits that fit and healthy people do, day in and day out.1. Eat breakfast Breakfast is, without doubt, the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast fuels your body and brain to perform throughout the day. Want that promotion at work, after that next great idea, well not having breakfast slows down your thinking and energy levels. It only takes five to 10 minutes to eat a bowl of porridge with fresh fruit, or to prepare some wholemeal toast and baked beans
2. Exercise regularly There are a ton of different ways to fit exercise into your life, like walking 60 minutes a day, cycling to work, taking the stirs. If the work exercise scares you, replace it with the word “activity”, it gives it a whole new spin. Use technology to help here can up the ante, make it fun, and even spread the activity out over the entire day rather than all at once. Consider the new research that calls “sitting the new smoking”. Physical training has been found to increase tissue sensitivity to insulin in proportion to the improvement of physical fitness. An aerobic exercise plan building up to 30 – 45 minutes 5 days a week is recommended to reduce insulin resistance. Resistance training is also needed to build / maintain muscle mass as well as bone density.
3. Keep moving Similar to number 2 above, while it is important to lock in at least three or four fitness sessions a week, it is also vital to keep your body moving; this is called incidental movement. The average worker sits down the majority of their day – catching the bus or driving to work, sitting at your desk or in meetings, travelling back home and then sitting down for dinner and crashing in front of the TV. Sound familiar? Get moving! Here are some ideas and are written as steps (use a health app or pedometer). For optimal health aim to achieve 7500 steps per day, for weight loss 10,000, and to prevent weight gain 12500 steps. 15 minutes of activity and equivalent number of steps
- Moderate Sexual Activity – 500
- Clearing and washing dishes – 900
- Food shopping with a trolley – 1400
- General house cleaning – 1400
- Bicycling moderately – 1600
- Sweeping – 1600
- Digging or cultivating the garden – 2000
- Mowing the lawn with a hand mower – 2350
- Moving furniture – 2350
4. Show gratitude A healthy mind focuses more on what you have and less on what you don’t have. When you become stressed and life throws challenges at you, showing gratitude for what you have is a proven way to stay in control and manage your emotions. Sounds simple, but how do you put this into practice? At the end of every week make a list of five to seven things in your life you are grateful for. An example might be a loving family, quality friends, a rewarding job that gives you money to travel, a healthy body, a great place to live, or children that just adore you.
5. Have fun It is way too easy to get caught up on the treadmill of life and wake up, go to work, go home, go to bed, wake up, go to work … making time for fun is a habit that you not only need to do, but can also help you live longer. In “The Long Life Equation” Dr Trisha Macnair states that bring optimistic adds 8 years to your life and being happy 9 years, what a great combination. Constant worrying puts a burden on the heart and dramatically increases the negative effects of stress. When you have fun and engage in activities you really enjoy, the body releases endorphins that send a message of confidence and satisfaction to the brain. Watch your favourite comedy show, hang out with silly friends, play. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? You know this stuff, and yet, if you think about the last week, how many of these five healthy habits did you actually use? Remember you either live a life of discipline or a life of regret, and only YOU decide!
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