Health and wellness – Advice on What Habits you should adopt for a Healthy Lifestyle
Last week we talked about changing our thoughts toward prevention and away from treatment, advocating for our own health and wellness, and creating a health mantra to encourage you to make better health and wellness choices. Now, let’s look at what the experts believe are important habits for a healthy lifestyle that will help to ward of disease and sickness.
We know the importance of nutritious food, physical activity, sleep etc. But what about lifestyle factors we can adopt to help increase our chances of living a healthy life?
Our Sedentary Life
We sit too much. Research shows that this is the next silent killer. The dawn of the “electronic” era and office jobs have made sitting for up to 8 hours a day normal. Then we go home and sit some more…watching TV, scrolling our devices, working on work that we brought home! I am here to tell you – IT’S NOT NORMAL. Our bodies are made to move, and need that movement on a regular basis, throughout our day.
I have an office job where I spend 9 hours of my precious day. In an average day, I get 10,000+ steps. How you ask? I choose to. I get up at least once every hour and either walk to the printer (farthest away from me), the kitchen to fill-up my water or sometimes, I will take a stroll around the building, walking, taking the stairs and going from one building to another. I think of it as movement not exercise, and movement is for my health and wellness. Every time you park your car far away from your destination, stand up to take a call and walk as you talk, you are choosing your health and wellness.
Easy ways to get more movement:
Set a timer on your watch, phone or computer – every hour and get in 250 steps
Make a 10 or 15 minute walk part of your lunch break
If you run errands at lunch, park far from the entrance
Skip the drive-thru and go inside
The first three letters of the word dieting spell die. Every time we go on some crazy “diet”, we kill (or at least sabotage) our metabolism. This may sound really simple but we all need to find a sensible, healthy way to eat that works for our body and lifestyle.
I’ll be honest, I have tried some crazy diets. Super low calories (500 to 600) for three days, then a 1,000 calories for two days and 1200 for two days. I did some crazy diet where I ate a protein, a cup of strawberries and a cup of greens for each meal. UGH. Sure, I lost weight but I always gained it back. In 2012 when I was getting ready to turn 50, I had had enough! I went on a diet for the last time. Only this time it was not a diet, it was a total change in my lifestyle. I changed my thoughts about weight, learned to eat whole foods and the importance of balance in my exercise. I found a love for running that I had lost and I got totally onboard with weight training, yoga and doing other things I love instead of just grinding out some exercise routine I didn’t like and knew I wouldn’t stick with. I didn’t diet. I change my lifestyle. I learned what “habits” were keeping the weight on (you can’t eat ice cream every night).
The biggest changes in my food came when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I had to go on meds and I hated it. I hated that I was this “healthy” person and I had to take medicine every single day for the rest of my life if I wanted to keep the weight off and not feel tired all the time. I gave up gluten but still ate bread and crackers (gluten free). It was not enough to let me lose a bit more weight. I lost 11 pounds in 2012 and stayed there until 2016 when I switched over to No Flour No Sugar. I lost 5 more and I have stayed my present weight past 2.5 years.
When I switched to No Flour No Sugar, I felt like a new person. I went to see my doctor and told him I was going to continue to eat this way for 6 months and I was coming back to have my thyroid checked. To his amazement, my numbers were normal. They stayed that way for 3 months, then 6 months and I went off medicine. I continue to eat this way, planning for flour or sugar on a limited basis.
For the health and wellness of our brain and to age with cognitive function, you must keep learning. Read books about things you want to know, learn a new language or skill, learn how to do something you don’t already do. Take classes to learn cooking, welding, art or to hone your skills in your current line of work. Train to do a 5k, 10k, a sprint triathlon or something bigger if you choose. Play games, do puzzles and crosswords. Keep up with the latest trends in medicine and healthcare to help you better optimize your health and wellness. Take a new exercise class. The point is — if you don’t use it, you will lose it.
Learn how you best de-stress
Figure out what helps you unplug from the chaos of life and work. Spend time in nature, go on an extended vacation, learn how to meditate. Of course, exercise is a great de-stressor. Go for a walk, run or take a yoga class. If music or art helps you, go to a concert, play or visit a museum filled with beautiful artwork. For me, it is a trip to the beach. As soon as I can hear the waves crashing and my toes are in the sand, the stress just melts away.
Keep your life in balance
Keep your entire life in perspective. You want to be healthy, well, happy and functioning. But you also need to be happy, fulfilled and find joy in your life. Figure out what is important for your life and focus on those.
Your health is there to make your life better – don’t spend your life having to make your health better. Adopt some new healthy lifestyle habits. Your body will thank you for the health and wellness.
This blog is my own opinion and is not sponsored in any way. To leave a comment, please scroll to the very bottom of this blog page.
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Kim, excellent post. I think the most important point you touched on (at least for me) is about health issues. We can eat “whole foods” all day long, but if we have an allergy or intolerance to one or more of those whole foods, we won’t feel good.
Thank you Loretta. I think the most important thing for me is knowing my body and what is “normal” for me. Since I feel really good most of the time, when I don’t something is wrong!
Great article! I have tried going dairy, gluten and sugar free and once I got through the withdrawal stage, (I felt horrible for a few weeks), I felt great. Unfortunately, I have slipped back to my old habits. It may be time to reassess my eating style!
Thank you Sherry. I follow NFNS about 95% of the time – no gluten or dairy either. Since I know I am going to want to have it, I simply plan for it.