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Healthy Living: What, How and Everything Else You Need to Know. (Includes Practical Tips for Healthy Living)

Healthy Living

As we near the year 2022, I am sure all of us feel reborn.I believe I speak for the majority of us when I say that the last two years have been the most challenging. It was a question of survival and all we got was uncertainty.

People have changed themselves so much in the past two years. There is a conscious shift in the way of living, in the eating habits and I hear more and more voices raising in support of sustainability. 

The concept of “healthy living” is not a fad, it is in fact a long lost concept amidst the changing world. Today’s world changes every second, people have forgotten to stay calm, take breaks and treat their mind and body well.

What is Healthy Living?

The term “health” is basically a measure of an individual’s potential to do and become what he desires. Healthy living in general, means maintaining a balance between both physical and mental health. Healthy living includes components like healthy eating, having an active lifestyle, managing stress, maintaining a balanced life and powering up your mind and body. 

Why Healthy Living?

A study conducted by Delhi-based The Center of Healing (TCOH), a preventive healthcare platform noted that stress and anxiety levels have been on the rise with 74 per cent and 88 per cent Indians suffering from stress and anxiety respectively. The percentages have been on the rise.  

According to the World Happiness Report’s (WHR) Happiness Index, India’s ranking has slipped over time. Starting at number 111 in 2013, it has steadily declined till it was ranked 139 in the 2021 report, a 25 percent drop. Of course, there are other elements that influence the happiness index, but the importance of health cannot be overlooked.

I think it is time that we reinstated the healthy living concepts into our lives with open arms. 

Benefits of Healthy Living

1. Reduces risk of illness

An individual is struck by illness when the body or mind is stressed, suffering from nutritional imbalance and/or neglecting the body or mind’s warning signals. These things frequently happen simultaneously. It’s critical that we begin to adopt more sustainable behaviours in order to restore the body’s balance. These changes aren’t huge or difficult; they’re just different from the ones you already follow. 

2. Can be a money saving tip

This benefit is quite a straightforward one, the healthier you feel, the fitter you are, less doctor visits and more productivity. You will be enjoying what you sowed without any regrets. 

3. Increased sense of self worth and more happiness

The healthier you are, the happier you will be. Being unaffected by a number of diseases due to a good immune response is something of a superpower for an average human being. When you nurture your body, your body releases  serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine and all the other feel good chemicals helping you maintain that million-dollar smile always. 

4. Is beneficial for the environment

One of the components of healthy living is healthy eating. Practicing healthy eating habits means reducing the dependability on processed foods. Processed foods are those that contain refined grains and additives to change the texture, taste, or color. The making of them leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions due to its nature of production, water scarcity, decreased biodiversity, plastic waste, and deforestation. Therefore, healthy eating is a step towards protecting the environment.  

Assess yourself to find out where you stand in the healthy lifestyle and explore what to do to make it better. 

Take a moment to answer the following questions:

  1. Are you having 3 meals a day?
  2. Are you getting 7 to 8hrs of sleep every night?
  3. Does your diet contain enough fruits and vegetables?
  4. Do your snacking habits fall in the category of junk food?
  5. Do you take regular work breaks?
  6. When was the last time you got in touch with your hobby?
  7. How much exercise do you get in a day?
  8. How much time do you spend on social media?
  9. Do you get morning sunlight for Vitamin D?
  10. Do you add superfoods to your diet?

How to Practice Healthy Living? Here are 7 practical aspects you can focus on. 

Start working on any one of these and convert it into a habit for healthy mind and body.

1. Eat healthy 

A healthy gut is the key to a happy soul. Make it a point to never skip meals. It is very important to have at least three meals a day. Practice the habit of healthy snacking. You can read more about the right way of snacking here.

What can you do? 

  • Always be mindful of what you eat and try to exercise control over what fuel you give to your body. 
  • Try replacing junk food with snacks like roasted makhana, jowar puffs, etc;
  • Do not overeat and maintain a good palate 

2. Move those muscles, be active!

Human body is nothing short of a machine. It needs refuelling and maintenance to function at its fullest. 

What can you do? 

  • Start slow, exercising does not necessarily mean lifting weights or hitting the gym until you burn out. Practice any form of exercise, be it aerobics, pilates, zumba, walk or yoga. The key is to enjoy burning those calories so that exercise becomes less of a chore.
  • Try taking the stairs whenever possible
  • Practice some desk exercises if you cannot hit the gym 
  • Have a workout buddy, when you make a social commitment, it is less likely that you will fail. Your workout buddy can definitely help you ease into fitness mode. 

3. Keep your mind calm, control stress

The first step to emotional well being is getting sufficient rest and sleep. 

What can you do? 

  • Enjoy  a break once a while, make it a point to take 10 minutes work breaks when things seem to go downhill. 
  • Explore yourself, find your hobby and nurture it. Hobbies are for the soul. 
  • Always seek professional help when you are feeling not okay. 
  • Make it a habit to take regular breaks from social media. It is perfectly alright not to reply to that dm or comment. A social media detox every once a while is a must!
  • Develop rituals. A ritual can be anything you do everyday at a fixed time. Like – drinking green tea at 5pm everyday or making a bowl of salad for the family at 7pm or going for a walk at 6am with your friends or doing sudoku after breakfast or reading a few pages before bed. Rituals bring some predictability to your otherwise chaotic day. It sets routine and our mind benefits from some routine. Trust me, once you have a ritual, you will look forward to doing it. It gives a sense of achievement and calms your mind.

4. Control certain “bad” habits

Excessive alcohol consumption, chain smoking, drug abuse might all seem to relieve pain at first but it comes with a heavy price. These options are tempting but it wrecks your body to a great extent. Be mindful of how much you drink or smoke. Anything excess is always harmful. 

What can you do?

  • Have a regular detox plan to control your cravings. For every drink, keep a minimum of 7 days detox to help yourself. 
  • Drink plenty of water

5. Don’t overdo it!

Healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to eat only healthy foods and exercise all the time. We have a lot of temptations around us and it is ok to indulge. Too much dieting, over eating only healthy foods and excess workout can harm your body and your wallet. As long as your body is healthy and your mind is stress-free, it doesn’t matter if you have a few extra pounds around your waist and few less bucks in your pocket. 

What can you do?

Be conscious to NOT overdo anything. 

Because when you punish your body with hard diets and painful workouts, your immunity could take a hit.

6. Play Games!

Yes, you heard it right. There is no age to play games. We all do it as children. Indoor and outdoor sports and games are part of our growing up days. But we lose touch as we grow. Research shows that playing games helps the brain irrespective of age. 

What can you do?

Start playing games, it could be:

  • Outdoor cricket, badminton, football
  • Indoor games like ludo, card games, board games, sudoku, nintendo
  • Fix the duration and don’t over do it. Otherwise it can turn into addiction and loss of productivity

Everyday, half an hour of playing games has far reaching benefits for your overall well being. Also, playing in groups, either with your family or friends helps with better bonding and quality of life. 

So, start playing TODAY!

7. Build social connections

Humans are social animals. Irrespective of one’s introverted or extroverted nature, everyone benefits from social connections. The frequency of social engagements could differ but realizing the importance of social connections is important. Some do not want to put this effort and some don’t have time. But, you will regret later if you don’t try. 

What can you do?

  • Connect with family and friends through social media or in-person
  • Stay in touch through calls and whatsapp
  • Attend special occasions in your circles
  • Create opportunities to meet new people
  • Join meetups virtual and in-person
  • Be part of hobby clubs

We learn from other people, share, enjoy and create memories. Memories define a good life!

Final Thoughts

Every person is unique in terms of their needs and how they function. Your definition of healthy living may differ from mine, but the bottom line is that whichever manner you define healthy living, it should include all components of a healthy lifestyle.

Start your first step today, ditch those potato chips, order a healthy snack, go on a walk and call your friend! You only live once, so, do it right!

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Healthy Living