A Healthy Lifestyle Is Not a New Year Resolution, It’s a Discipline

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Living a healthy lifestyle from the start will determine how you will be in midlife and beyond. However, it won’t happen if you don’t make the right decisions. Train, eat healthy, sleep well and you will be on your way to success. After about 40, most people have reached biological adulthood, which is a nicer way of saying you’ve boarded the slow train to your inevitable mortality. You will begin to see the slow and gradual decline in your response to physical activity and the resulting resistance in your bodily functions.

Eating unhealthy processed foods, irregular sleep patterns, and inactivity result in a low inflammatory response in your body. This inflammation gradually increases over time and directly contributes to the germination of all the major diseases plaguing mankind – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, to name a few.

The most important thing to focus on is nutrition – what you eat. Include plenty of green leafy vegetables, whole grains, organic poultry, dairy, and fruit in your daily diet. Keep your body hydrated. Drink plenty of water and raw fruit juices, as fluids help keep body temperature down and remove toxins through perspiration (sweat) and excretion (urine). Make sure you have a balanced proportion of carbohydrates, protein, good fats and minerals. These small changes in your diet contribute to your overall well-being. Slowly reduce unhealthy fats from your diet and aim to consume them fully. Unhealthy fats include: dark chicken, poultry skin, fatty pork, beef, and lamb, and high-fat dairy products include whole milk, butter, and cheese. Common ways to reduce unhealthy fats are listed below:

  • Instead of roasting meat, bake/broil/broil it. Don’t forget to peel the skin off before preparing chicken or turkey

  • Instead of butter and cheese on bread, use low-fat spreads or tomato slices to add flavor

  • Eat boiled/soft-boiled eggs instead of scrambled eggs. Garnish with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste the best

  • Instead of using sugar in pastries and desserts, use organic honey to satisfy your sweet buds and stay healthy

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the importance of sleep is worth discussing. Get enough sleep because internal healing and tissue repair only happen when you sleep. Lack of sleep contributes to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, brain damage, etc. Sleep deprivation lowers your body’s metabolic rate, which is linked to weight gain. Studies show that sleep-deprived individuals have higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and lower levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite. Therefore, good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories.

Last but definitely not least is the importance of regular exercise for a healthy and active lifestyle. Regardless of what age group you are in, it is advisable and sensible to include at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise/physical activity such as running, brisk walking, on most if not all days of the week. As humans, we spend far too much time in our artificial environment, disconnected from the outside world. This disconnect poses a serious threat to our health and overall well-being. Think of your body as a complex machine that houses equally complex parts (bones) and subsystems (organs) inside. If you let it sit idle, the parts and subsystems will lose their ability to move and will eventually rust. A few tips for integrating exercise into your everyday life:

  • Prioritize physical activity

  • make it fun

  • Get a partner

  • Track the results

  • setting milestones

All of these factors together will make a noticeable difference in your lifestyle and well-being. Some changes will happen quickly, others will be gradual. But overall, you will feel the positive change in your health—body, mind, and spirit.

Cheers to a healthy lifestyle!

Thanks to Tanu Bhattacharya

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