2020 has been a lesson for all of us, and possibly not the good kind. With the outbreak of a viral pandemic that the world simply did not see coming – several questions have emerged about the way, we do things in our lives, the way we lead our lives. One of those questions has to do with our lifestyle. It took us a pandemic to remember the side-effects that our otherwise very convenient lifestyle has on our health, with our immune systems almost running on fumes.
While most people would evaluate their lifestyles in terms of the clothes they wear, the restaurants they dine at, or even the exotic vacations they flaunt – none of that has anything to do with our physical health. Money can buy us most comforts, but good health comes at the cost of patience, tenacity, and consistency of healthy habits. On that note, here are ten common steps that can help you achieve a healthy, wholesome life.
8 steps to achieving a healthy lifestyle:
A healthy diet: Human bodies are designed to be self-sufficient as long as you remember to give it the fuel it needs. A healthy, balanced diet can make a world of difference in terms of boosting your energy levels, your immunity, and your mood too. A balanced diet should include hearty helpings of protein, fiber, and those leafy greens that you know are good for you. Consult a dietician if you’d rather have customized plans or medical conditions that require a supervised diet.
Regular exercise: Another cliché we all have heard a million times and yet we simply do not seem to care. Not only exercising would literally release your happy hormones, but regular exercise has a plethora of benefits like weight control, stress management, and yes, a toned physique. Start slow, and keep steady – like all the other races.
Avoid consumption of saturated fats: In other words, take all those chip packets out of your grocery carts (even the baked ones!) and replace them with genuinely healthier snacks like nuts and seeds. Try reducing consumption of sugary, aerated drinks, pick up some green tea, or even a mint cooler, and notice how that bloated feeling vanishes in a week!
Drink your water: If water had a fancy, hashtag-worthy name – it would have been all the rage, right? It is still the healthiest of beverages out there and offers the greatest number of benefits without burning a hole in your pocket. 3-4 liters of water a day would not only help your body detox, effectively helping your immune system – and the glowing skin is just an added bonus.
Meditation/self-care: Career advancement, professional accomplishments, or that brilliant new job you finally landed would not mean anything if you are running yourself ragged after your goals. Make self-care a priority, because nobody else does it better than your own self.
Remember to rest well: Resting well is extremely important. Our minds or bodies need to recharge so they can keep functioning. Experts across all spectrums have been repeatedly emphasizing the need to sleep for 7 to 8 hours a day, especially in a world like today’s where everything has to be open and available 24*7. Myths have it, even the Creator took a day off. The minimum you can do is a good night’s (or morning’s, we don’t judge) rest!
Reduce tobacco/alcohol intake: Tough choices? If you think just a little deeper, maybe not so much. Alcohol and tobacco only provide momentary relief even if we were to buy into that stress management argument. The impacts they leave behind are long-term and affect both yourself and those around you. Start with small reductions in the intake and consciously work towards complete replacements of your unhealthy consumption habits.
Be consistent: Last but not the least, keep at it. All good things take time. A healthy lifestyle is a lasting change, and that change will only come with lasting habits. Set your own pace.