5 practical things to do for a healthier you.
There are countless articles on how to be healthy and a barrage of information on diet and weight loss. Most are conflicting and confusing, and we often wonder what exactly is the right thing to do.
When it comes to becoming healthier, there are no quick fixes. Staying and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a process, and it takes time, efforts, dedication and determination.
To succeed in our quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we must have realistic goals and be ready to celebrate every little success along the way. The road may not be easy, but it’s doable.
1. MOVE 20 FOR 2!
A sedentary lifestyle is associated with illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Studies have shown that frequent interruptions of sitting time with bouts of physical activity have beneficial outcomes even in individuals who regularly exercise.
MOVE 20 FOR 2 is simply getting up from a sitting position every 20 mins. Doing a light intensity exercise for just 2 mins helps regulate your blood glucose, which is beneficial in preventing and treating type 2 diabetes and obesity.
So let’s keep moving! #MOVE20FOR2
2. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
There are 5 important health numbers you must know. Please visit your healthcare giver or your GP to do these simple checks, especially if you are 40 years old and above.
Knowing your baseline for the above 5 numbers is a good barometer of a healthier you. As you maintain and improve your health practices, you will see improvements in your health numbers. Keeping these numbers in check will help to reduce the risks of Type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes
3. EAT REAL FOOD
Food is medicine. That statement is so true. You can eat your way to health, and the reverse is also true. So what is real food?
There is so much confusion about what is healthy or not. The advice keeps changing, and it’s hard for most of us to keep up with the ever-changing advice on healthy eating. To keep it simple, EAT REAL FOOD.
R – Avoid Refined and processed foods
E- Eat plenty of non – starchy carbohydrates
A- Allow treats on occasions, e.g. 80% dark chocolate has health benefits
L- Low carbohydrate options are proven to aid weight loss and losing significant amount of weight can help to reverse Type 2 diabetes.
4. STAY HYDRATED
Drink water freely all through the day. Avoid sugar-loaded drinks, including diet fizzy drinks. Natural sparkling water or a slice of lemon in still water are better options than regular or diet soda. There is some evidence to show that sparkling water may help to increase the feelings of fullness than still water.
5. INTERMITTENT FASTING
It is okay to eat when you are hungry but the practice of fasting intermittently has health benefits. However, fasting is not for everyone. Speak to your healthcare professional before you engage in fasting.
Intermittent fasting is when you abstain from food and eat only during a specific time during the day or eating just one meal a couple of days a week. Water, tea and zero-calorie beverages are allowed during this time.
During fasting, there are changes to certain hormones in our body. These changes facilitate fat burning and may help with weight loss. In simple terms, when you go for many hours without food, your body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. This invariably leads to weight loss.
THE 3 D’S TO ACHIEVING YOUR HEALTH GOALS
Maintaining a healthier you is doable. It takes 3 D’s to achieve this goal
I don’t know where you are on the scale of moving towards a healthier you, but we all have to start with DECISION.
What will you decide to do differently about your health today? After deciding, your DETERMINATION will keep you from giving up on your goal, and DILIGENCE will ensure you keep at it until you see your desired results.
You don’t have to do the 5 things mentioned above all at once. Start with one, The power of ONE!
For me, I will be starting with MOVE 20 2. I have asked friends and colleagues to join me. Together, we will work on this simple but yet highly effective way of maintaining a healthier you.
What decision will you make today that will take you closer to maintaining a healthier you? And if you are already doing so well in this area, please share your useful tips with us in the comment section.