When striving for a healthy lifestyle, it is important to make sure you are giving both your mind and your body the attention they deserve. They much more entwined than many of us would imagine, and when you neglect one, you neglect the other.
An unhealthy lifestyle is one of the largest contributing factors to illness within Western society. The exposure to clever marketing, branded advertising, and an ever growing tide of processed foods, makes leading a healthy lifestyle an uphill struggle. Yet there are those who do make the struggle, and endeavour to better themselves through healthy eating and regular exercise.
While both exercise and healthy eating are essential to a healthy lifestyle, it is important not to lose track of the wider picture, and inadvertently neglect other areas of our health. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body when it comes to you overall wellbeing, and the two are very closely linked. The following are a few tips that will help you strike a balance, and keep every aspect of your wellbeing on track.
Although we have said the bigger picture needs to be taken into account when staying healthy, regular exercise is still extremely important. Turn off your TV, get off Facebook and go out for a 30 minute walk, jog or bike ride. Do whatever form of exercise you fancy – what is important is that you are doing it! You don’t need to become an athlete to make a difference to your life, just take any opportunity you can to do a little bit of exercise – maybe cycle to work instead of drive, or walk your kids to school. Whatever you do, it all counts.
You will find that with regular exercise, not only are you physically fitter, but also more energised and alert. Your brain will benefit just as much as your body, as it is able to obtain more oxygen from a much more efficient cardiovascular system. Aim to be active for at least 30 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be in one go, you can split it up throughout your busy schedule.
Just like exercise, a healthy diet is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. It will help cut out the toxins, hard to digest materials and excess fats, whilst supplying the body with all of the nutrition and building blocks it requires to stay on top of its form.
Replace highly processed junk foods with fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, white meat, nuts and natural oils. As a rule of thumb, the closer the food is to its original ‘raw’ state (not factory processed), the better it is going to be for you. Uzuma’s green slow juice is great for this. It is a freshly pressed raw juice that retains all of its natural goodness – each bottle containing the nutrition equivalent of 1 kilo of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Once again, it is not just your body that benefits from a reduction in saturated fats and cholesterol. The brain is also harmed by such things, and replacing them with healthier foods will do it the world of good, as well as supply it with compounds to protect it and boost its activity.
Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect both mind and body, causing sluggishness, poor judgement, bad moods and lethargy. In today’s fast paced society, it is easy to become sleep deprived. High work expectations and staying up late are slowly but surely degrading the quality of our sleep. Ideally, you need to be getting 8 hours every night. Some people require more, some people require less. 6 hours is thought to be the absolute minimum.
Napping is also a great way to ensure you mind and body are not becoming too fatigued. Even a regular 20 minute nap has been shown to have drastic effects on alertness and health.
Work is one of the biggest causes of stress in modern day living. Being constantly exposed to stress not only has detrimental effects on the body and mind, but is also good indicator that you are neglecting the above 3 points. Regular sleep, a healthy diet and exercise are all ways of relieving stress, and not having enough time for them because of work related issues will only pile on the health problems, causing a negative downward spiral.
For this reason it is important to create boundaries, leave work in the workplace, and know when to say no. Letting stress dominate your life could end up being a massive contributor to putting you in an early grave.
Unless you are a serious athlete (in which you are probably well aware of your health), BMI can be used as good general tool for telling you how healthy your weight is. By maintain a healthy weight for your height, you minimise the risk of developing various illnesses and diseases throughout your body.