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Tips to become healthier with these simple lifestyle changes.

1. Eat Real Food, 2. Regular Exercise, 3. Stress Management

What is the meaning of being healthy?

A joyful, happy life can only be lived in a healthy body and mind. Health is a treasure above all. Good health is being vigorous or free from bodily and mental disease. It fills life with peace, makes us more energetic and grateful, and raises mental capabilities. Attaining a healthy body and mind is simple; however, busy lifestyles and the need for more information may make it seem complex.

Minor lifestyle adjustments can have a significant impact on the well-being of a person. This article discusses simple tips and effective health and fitness practices you can do from home easily and with little or no cost 30 minutes a day to turn your life around and help you attain better health.

Why should we choose a healthy lifestyle?

Healthiness is a composition of our daily habits and the psychology surrounding it. It is affected by the food we fuel our bodies with the movement we give our bodies and our mental state. Healthy people are happier, more productive, and live longer.

Most people turn to exercise to look good. However, being healthy does not just bring benefits in looks. In fact, looking good is just a side effect of it. Healthiness through exercise and diet has benefits far beyond making us look attractive. Some positive impacts of good health are disease protection, better mental health, well-regulated body systems, mental peace and increased ability to deal with stress, high levels of productivity, and improved relationships.

Being healthy in our body and mind does not require a lot of work. Taking small steps and informed decisions in the right direction rapidly bring positive change in our lives.

The essential part of healthy living

Is exercising the only factor in attaining good health, or are other things at play? The answer might come as a surprise, as diet plays the most significant role in lifestyle choices. A common phrase, “you can’t out exercise a bad diet,” says it all. Overall, diet and exercise are both of utmost importance for optimal health, but the significance of a healthy diet cannot be emphasized enough. Without dietary modifications, exercising brings less or little benefits. A good diet, low in sugar and salt, helps to attain optimal body weight and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Any complete diet that offers nutrients to help maintain proper body function is the best choice. A balanced diet typically contains 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 12 to 20 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. Consuming the right amount of nutrients and calories supports and optimizes proper organ function.

Basic principles of healthy eating

Healthy eating is about making positive food choices and filling daily meals with nutritious foods. Some important principles to keep in mind while planning your daily meals are

Rule 1. Eat more vegetables and fruits – 5 a day

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can significantly lower the risk of developing various diseases and prevent cancer. Evidence shows that getting at least 5 portions a day of fruits and vegetables is very important. A portion is 1 apple, 1 banana or 1 fruit. It could also be 80 grams of fresh canned or frozen fruit and vegetable. Adding dried fruits or raisins to your meals could also be another way of adding more of this group to your diet. Fruits and vegetables are good minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber sources. A diet high in fiber helps maintain a healthy gut and prevents constipation. Fruits and vegetables are low in fat and taste delicious, and there is a vast majority to choose from.

Rule 2. Consume moderate amounts of meat, dairy, and other sources of protein

Protein is essential for the body to grow and repair. Dairy is a good source of protein and an excellent source of calcium, a necessary mineral for bone health. Therefore, some amount of dairy should be a part of a healthy diet. Dairy alternatives such as soya drinks can also be included in this group.

Other more important source of protein is beans, pulses, (11 types of pulses: dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cow peas, pigeon peas, lentils, Bambara beans, vetches, and lupins )fish, eggs, and meat. Meat is an excellent source of iron and B vitamins for energy and vitality. When choosing meats, Lean cuts, skinless poultry, and wild-caught fish should be considered over other types to reduce fat intake and maximize their health benefits.

Rule 3. Reduce the intake of salty, sweet, fatty, and processed food.

Some amount of fat is essential for the proper function of the human body, but on average, due to the high consumption of fast food, people have a large portion of fat filling up their daily meals. However, the aim is to get small amounts of high-quality fats. Some examples of foods with high-quality fat that should be a part of our diet are avocados, walnuts, nut butter, olives, flax seed, olive oil, salmon, tuna, and dark chocolate. Since they are high in energy, fats should be eaten in small amounts. We should put maximum effort into cutting out fast food from our diets. It is high in salt and bad-quality fat and lacks proper nutrients and minerals.

After diet, another essential element of a healthy life is exercise.

Physical activity and well-being

Walking Outside

Exercise has immediate and long-term health benefits. Studies have shown that exercise reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, improves sleep quality, reduces the risk of weight gain, improves mental health and lowers cancer risk. Therefore, regular movement is detrimental to good health. Physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity should be a part of our daily routine. It could be exercise, or training done in leisure time, such as dancing or playing sports. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that healthy adults include aerobic activity and strength training in their fitness plans. The goal is to achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity in a week. Strength training exercises of all the major muscle groups at least twice a week should also be included.

Incorporating exercise into daily routines is not a daunting task. There are different activities and modifications available for people of all fitness levels. If you are a beginner, easy workouts are a better choice to lose weight and increase strength and flexibility. Busy people who want to improve their fitness can work by mixing up diet and exercise programs to make the best out of the options available. Some of the choices available are

Walking

Walking is an excellent exercise form and best suited for those looking to start being active. All that is needed is a good pair of shoes. The aim should be to walk five times a week. Start with a 5-minute warm-up by strolling. Then increase your speed and incline based on your ability. A 30 min walk is a reasonable limit to start. At the end of the session, slow down and walk slowly while taking deep breaths to cool down. Each week add more time to your walking. The main goal is to have at least 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week.

Yoga

Starting yoga is another brilliant way to bring flexibility and strength to your life. A 30-minute yoga session can be done at home, outdoors, or in a studio. Yoga’s breathing routines also freshen up the mind, reduce stress and improve sleep. If you have never done yoga, visiting a studio is a great idea. However, there are videos available to do it at home too.

Strength training

The best thing that can be done for a healthy body is to include strength training in our routine. There is growing evidence on the benefits of strength training. Most exercise programs have some form of strength training incorporated in them. Among other benefits, resistance training increases strength, reduces fat, and balances hormone levels. Strength training exercises can be performed with the help of weights or bands, or they can be performed with body weight. Bodyweight strength training exercises are known as calisthenics. There are good fitness programs that can be followed at home with little equipment. Going to a gym is another way to incorporate strength training into your fitness routine.

Calisthenics

Calisthenics is a form of strength training that uses body weight and works against gravity to increase endurance and mobility. It also improves coordination. The best part about calisthenics is that these exercises can be performed anywhere without the need of any equipment.

Common body weight exercises such as squats, lunges, crunches, and push-ups are all included in calisthenics. Many of these exercises are also great for beginners and carry minimal risk of injury. Some basics are squats, lunges, planks, leg raises, and push-ups.

Taking care of the mind

Getting enough sleep and keeping away from alcohol and other drugs are two critical things that are essential for optimal mental health. A stressed mind wreaks havoc on the body by increasing cortisol levels, disrupting sleep, and promoting the accumulation of fat, which in turn causes disease. It is essential to learn to manage stress by practicing relaxation techniques, meditating, connecting with nature, being generous, and helping others. A positive aspect on life brings about positivity and success. Being happy and spreading happiness fills life with joy, promoting better health.

Conclusion

Health is the biggest treasure of all. Taking care of our health entails caring for our bodies, mind, and soul. Small lifestyle changes and little shifts in thought processes significantly affect our lives. The only way to do this is to have knowledge of what and how to do it.

References:

nhlbi.nih.gov/news/2021/study-supports-5-day-recommendations-fruits-and-vegetables

mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-and-chronic-disease/art-20046049

wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Health_and_Human_Services

hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/strength-training-time-benefits/

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