Reality Check? Practical guidelines for a healthy lifestyle.

We’ve just stepped into the new year and you are determined that in this year, you are going to be living a healthier lifestyle. But you don’t want to be obsessed with every new fad diet or read every new study that contradicts the previous study.

Healthy living is a long-term commitment, not a flash-in-the-pan fad. Here is the check-list of practical healthy living tips.

Make appointments with your doctor and dentist

Catch up on the regular check-ups routine screening, tests, and immunizations. Take the opportunity to ask the doctor for any queries that may be bothering you.

Gauge your girth

Measure your height and weight to check your BMI, and measure your waist circumference to see if you’re overweight and if your waistline is putting your health at risk.

 

Assess your activity

Exercise and physical activity need to be checked. How intense is the activity? How much variety do you get in your activity and do you enjoy it? The CDC recommends adults get at least 2-1/2 hrs per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity plus muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week.

 

Check your mood and energy

Healthy living includes emotional wellness and adequate rest. How has your mood been lately? Are you depressed or anxious? How is your sleep pattern? Does it meet the required 7 to 8 hours per night?

 

Consider the social network

How strong are you bonded with family? Are you connected well with your friends? Are you plugged in with social or spiritual groups that enrich your life? Nathan Dewall, assistant professor in psychology tells “people have a fundamental need for positive and lasting relationships.”

 

Think positive and focus on gratitude

Research shows a healthy positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system and boosts overall health. Your body believes what you think, so focus on the positive.

 

Eat your vegetables

Shoot for five servings of vegetables a day. Raw, steamed or stir-fried, all are welcome.

Check your food tude

What we eat and how we feel are linked in very complex ways. A healthy approach to eating is centred on savouring flavours and eating to satisfaction and increasing energy rather than focusing on weight. Check your balance of low-calorie foods, nutrient-dense-foods, and foods that are calorie-dense but nutrient-poor.

Get satisfaction

Both eating and physical activity are fun, sensory experiences! In both, aim for pleasure, not pain. Pay attention to the nutritional value of foods you choose to eat as well as your sense of satisfaction, relaxation, tension, exhilaration, and fatigue when you sit down to eat. Check-in with yourself as you eat, rekindling your recognition of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction when considering when and how much to eat.

 

Don’t smoke

Don’t smoke or use tobacco. Limit how much alcohol you drink.

Take a break

Give yourself a break. Take one step at a time.

If you’re not thrilled with the answers, remember that the point is to figure out where you stand and set them right to reach the healthy living goals.

By Chandra Subramanyam

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