A Healthy lifestyle is a very broad topic which it might need few more posts to get in deeper. If we think about the factors that can relate to it the list can be very huge like lifestyle, food, social interactions, habits, passions and more. What are the reasons that all of us should aim to conduct a healthy lifestyle?
The first thing that comes to my mind is that a healthy life style means to feel well since you wake up in the morning and also keeping a good balance between mind and body that allows you to conduct a dynamic lifestyle. Unfortunately not everyone is able to get to that point ,this is because the presence of various obstacles which can be difficult to overcome shortly or because there is a lack motivation to make that happen.
This article discuss some aspects related to health in general and that can be taken in consideration from anybody that is willing to change his/her lifestyle and that still doesn’t know where to start from. There is not a perfect recipe to conduct a good style life, each individual is different and has its own ideas and needs, however once we are able to consider some important elements the possibilities to change your life in a different direction can be limitless.
The starting point
Usually when someone decide to change his/her life style there is always a certain explanation to that. Maybe they have doubts about their health condition that is getting worse every day, or life can appear suddenly no more exiting and they might feel to try something different, or it can be a mixture of habits and conducts that have affect them badly in the long term.
Few years ago my life wasn’t very brilliant; I was overweight, consuming a lot of alcohol, eating a large amount of junk food and I was quite depressed about my job and social relationships. I was feeling most time out of energy and not able to do simple things that I was keen on doing previously like to play football or even going out with my friends.
I had a big hope that one day I could wake up in the morning and feel like a man with superpowers be able to look at my self in the mirror and feel positive about a new day to come. To be honest I ‘ve made already a lots of progress about my lifestyle and I’d like to share some of my experience and tips that can make someone else to do the same.
Find a target!
It is imperative to choose a set of goals that we aim to reach. It can be confusing first but for example you can write down on a piece of paper a list of things that you really would like to aim at and create some deadlines where you can check on your progress and results.
If you have several habits that you want to change on your list focus on a few at a time until you are able to move on to the next one. Your goals should be specific, achievable and time bound; realistic goals can improve your confidence but if you set your expectation too high can suppress your motivation and lead to a failure.
We are what we eat !
Food is also an extensive topic to discuss in deeper , for now are explained general concepts that you should consider no matter what type of diet you want to follow either by yourself or directed by a dietitian. The first step is to consider the food classification in order to understand the essential nutrients that our body needs to work properly.
Food can be categorized into 5 main groups:
- Vegetables are some of the most important food source, depending on the part of the plant, the vegetables category is divided into some subcategories like root vegetables, bulb, leafy, and podded. Vegetables can provide a huge amount of micronutrition to our diets, like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants.
- Fruits like vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that are good for our health, including vitamins A, C and E, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and folic acid.
- Proteins food group includes poultry, beans and peas, soy products, fish, lean meat and eggs. Protein is also present in dairy products and in some plant sources providing fiber and other health-promoting nutrients.
- Dairy products are food produced from or containing milk from mammals such like goats sheep, cattle and buffaloes. The most common products include yogurt, cheese and butter. Consuming dairy products can improved bone health due to the calcium especially in children and adolescents, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Dairy products contain calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, protein, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and selenium.
- Grains are any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal and barley. Classic grain products are Bread, pasta and cereals. Grains are divided in two groups: Whole and refined grain. Whole products are less processed and contains more fibers while refined grains contain some processes that removes the bran and germ of the grain kernel.
Grains are considered the most important energy provider for the body including complex carbohydrates, several B vitamins, fiber and minerals which can help to reduce the risk of some chronic diseases and to help many body functions.
Follow a balanced diet
In order to keep a healthy life it is important also to follow a balanced diet. To balance our diet means to choose the right amount of nutrients that you might need everyday and roughly calculating it from each type of food.
Nutritional requirements are different depending on a person’s age, sex and body weight. For example an adult need nutrients for maintaining optimal body functions, while infants and kids need nutrients to growth. Also Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more nutrients for proper feed their prole.
Elements of an healthy diet
Energy: Energy is the key requirement to perform all our daily activities . It derives mostly from carbohydrates from sources like whole grains and millets like whole wheat, maize, oats, etc. Fresh whole fruits and legumes also can a rich source of energy.
Proteins: Proteins are essential to keeping the muscle in good shape because they repair the daily wear and tear of the body helping also the immune system. We can take proteins from legumes, fatty fish, egg, lean meat and chicken. Milk and dairy products are also rich in healthy proteins that can reinforce bone and tissues.
Fats: Fats are an important part of a diet and it should be no more than 30% of the total calories intake. Fats intake should be a healthy mix of poly unsaturated fats including omega-3 and monosaturated. We can use on a rotational basis fats coming from Oil of oil, sesame or peanut . Seeds and nuts are also a good source of healthy fats.
‘A healthy mind in a healthy body.’
The quote from the above title has been used frequently to outline the importance of physical activity as part of mental and psychological well- being, a healthy mind is related to a healthy body and vice versa for sure. Without regular physical activity our body loses muscle strength, stamina and other important functions.
The benefits of physical activity include also relief to stress, anger and anxiety as the body produces an amount of chemicals like endorphins, dopamine and estrogen that improve our mood. To add more keeping yourself active can lower our blood pressure, improve blood circulation, reduce body weight and fat, bone loss prevention that can lead to osteoporosis.
Least but not last staying active can prevent chronic illnesses and it can even help us to live longer. As I have mention for the food previously, we need to understand also the types of physical activities and how we can combine them together.
The choices are endless however we should think of something that we enjoy doing and that passionate us to avoid boredom in the long term and to keep perseverance. Time is a key factor and we should be able to make a plan may be helped by some professional advises on how we can divide the activities on the basis of what we want to achieve.
The power of mind
As we want to keep our body healthy, we need also to treat the health of our mind. This will let us to obtain mostly all the goals that we have planned keeping focused and determined to reach what we are aiming at. I am not talking about “brain Olympics” or challenging IQ tests.
Use visualization can boost for example our emotional well-being, playing brain games like crossword puzzle or Sudoku can increase our attention span and task solving activity. Reading is also useful to stoke our imagination and to activate many parts of the brain.
What about meditation or yoga? Well the list about this topic is also endless but once again it is up to us to make our choice in relation to our tastes, time and effort that we want to put on it.
More aspects to consider
I have outlined some basic aspects related to a “healthy life” conception like to set up targets, food choice and mind care.
However, there are still more concepts that need to be examined in deeper, like the importance of sleep, stress management, the effect of toxins in our body and much more.
I hope that what this article so far has been helpful and enjoyable, you are welcome to put some comments, questions or suggestions that might be useful to our web community. Thanks for reading and stay healthy!!: