A common misperception about living healthy is that everything must be taken to the extreme from the beginning for best results. Yet, a growing body of research is showing that the secret to living healthy is what is sometimes referred to as lifestyle medicine. That means making small, simple and relatively easy adjustments to diet, exercise, daily routines and stress management.
We cover a few of these adjustments below.
1. Avoid Sitting
You are probably seated while reading this. Sitting for extended periods is one the biggest drawbacks of growing automation and the pervasiveness of technology. People who sit for under three hours each day live two years longer on average. If you aren’t in a job that demands rigorous physical activity, incorporate standing in your everyday work routine.
Stand during phone calls, meetings or even set a time that’ll remind you to get up after a defined period. It will be difficult and awkward at first but you’ll eventually get the hang of it and, if you are lucky, inspire your colleagues to join in.
In some respects, your body isn’t too different from a smartphone. Most of us are now accustomed to observing our phones’ charge diminish with use over the course of the day. Similarly, the body is like a battery meter. Physical and brain activity gradually exhaust the supply of antioxidants, vitamins while causing damage to DNA.
The body is wired to restore the optimal levels during sleep. The average person will require 7-8 hours of sleep to get their body and mind back in shape. Learn about little things that can affect your sleep. Healthy sleep also lowers the risk of heart disease by a staggering 85%.
3. Stop Smoking
Now, it has to be said from the onset that smoking isn’t really something most people would consider an easy thing to stop. However, not everyone who smokes is necessarily addicted to the habit. Still even for those who are finding it hard to let go, there are convenient ways they can start to forge a new path away from this dangerous routine.
For example, you could substitute conventional cigarettes with the safer e-cigs from reputable vendors such as vapour.com. Overall, abandoning smoking is one of the most crucial decisions you can make to better your health and life span.
4. Call a Relative
An old and often cited Harvard study demonstrated that people who have a close relationship with a sibling and especially a sister were happier and lived longer. If you think about it, this does make sense. Having a sibling as a friend and confidant can provide a trusted and unbiased contact for discussing the difficulties of professional and personal life.
A close sibling is someone that can be bluntly honest with you when you are making the wrong choices and reassuring when you have doubts about the goals you’ve set for yourself. If you don’t have a sibling, cultivate a friendship that can play a near similar role in your life.
5. Laugh Often
One of the things that makes babies adorable is how often they laugh. Never mind that the laughter is usually about the most trivial of things. While babies cry a lot too, the lesson here is how much adults lose their funny bone with age.
Of course, being an adult comes with a far more complex appreciation of life’s challenges than a baby can fathom. That’s no excuse to be permanently serious especially since laughter is so good for you. That’s right, a deep belly laugh releases tons of endorphins (the feel-good hormone) while countering the negative effects that come with the stress hormone cortisol.
So don’t wait for radical transformation to mark your transition from an unhealthy lifestyle to a more sustainable one. It’s the small changes you make every day that will eventually lead to the huge gains you hope to realize.
That being said, health goals aren’t homogenous. ‘Having health and wellness will mean different things to different people. Ergo, don’t be demoralized if you cannot effect all of the above small changes from the get go. You can move at a pace that’s comfortable for you.
What do you do to improve your health and wellness?
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