A healthy lifestyle from the start will decide how you will be in your midlife and beyond. However it won’t happen unless you make the right choices. Work out, eat healthy, sleep well and you will set yourself on the path to success. After about 40, most people have achieved biological adulthood, which is a nicer way to saying you have boarded the slow train to your inevitable mortality. You will start to realize the slow and gradual decline in your response to bodily activities and the resulting resistance in your bodily functions.
Eating unhealthy processed food, irregular sleep pattern and inactivity create low level inflammatory response in your body. This inflammation gradually increases overtime, contributing directly to the germination of every major disease plaguing mankind – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, just to name a few.
The first and foremost thing to focus on is Nutrition – what you eat. Add lots of green leafy vegetables, whole grains, organic poultry, dairy and fruits in your daily diet. Keep your body hydrated. Drink plenty of water and raw fruit juice as fluids help keeping body temperature low and removes toxins through perspiration (sweat) and excretion (urine). Keep a balanced share of carbohydrate, protein, good fats and minerals. These small changes in your diet will contribute to your overall wellbeing. Cut back unhealthy fats from your diet slowly and target on stopping to consume them completely. Unhealthy fats include: dark chicken meat, poultry skin, fatty pork cuts, beef and lamb and high-fat dairies include whole milk, butter and cheese. Common ways to cut back on unhealthy fats are listed below:
- Instead of frying meat, Bake / Grill / Broil it. Don’t forget to take the skin off before cooking chicken or turkey
- Instead of butter and cheese on bread, use low fat spreads or slices of tomatoes on it to enhance the flavour
- Instead of scrambled eggs, eat boiled / soft-boiled eggs. Garnish with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste best
- Instead of using sugar in patisseries and desserts, use organic honey to satisfy your sweet bud and stay healthy
When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the importance of sleep is worth discussing. Get yourself adequate sleep, because internal healing and tissue repair happen only when you sleep. Sleep deficiency contributes to an increased risk of cardio-vascular disease, kidney disease, brain damage etc. Sleep deprivation lowers the metabolic rate of your body, which is linked to weight gain. Studies show that sleep deprived individuals have higher levels of Ghrelin, the hormone which stimulates appetite and lower levels of Leptin, the hormone which suppresses appetite. Hence, good sleepers tend to intake fewer calories.
The last, but definitely not the least is the importance of regular exercise when it comes to a healthy and active lifestyle. No matter which age group you belong to, it is advisable and wise to include a minimum 30 minutes of workout / physical activity of moderate intensity such as running, brisk walking on most, if not all days of the week. As humans, we spend far too much time in our synthetic environment, disconnected from the outside world. This disconnect poses a serious threat to our health and general wellness. Think of your body as a complex machine, which houses equally complex parts (bones) and sub systems (organs) inside. If you let it sit idle, the parts and the sub systems will lose movement capability and eventually get rusted. A few tips to incorporate exercise in your daily routine:
- Prioritize physical activity
- Make it fun
- Get a partner
- Keep a track of results
- Set milestones
All these factors put together, will bring noticeable change in your lifestyle and wellbeing. Some changes will happen quickly, some will be gradual. But overall, you will feel the positive change in your health – mind, body and soul.