Alright peeps, it’s time to be honest. Are you still following your new year resolutions? We are reaching the end of January, it would be interesting to know if you are still going strong on your new year resolutions, or if you already dropped a few, maybe all of them. Like a lot of people, my main resolution is to become healthier. To be honest, it was not a new year resolution, it was an after-check-up resolution. Anyway, becoming healthier has been a lasting trend, and for once that a trend is good for people, I’m glad to see that it is still going strong everywhere. However, there are so many bits of advice out there on eating, exercise, food, food supplement, relationship, sleep, that it is quite overwhelming and confusing. So today I’m sharing 13 tips for a healthier, happier life.
Fix your sleeping hygiene
There is two me. There is the me that wake up happy and full of energy, this is the me rested. And then, there is the me that wake up grumpy and not willing to talk, this is the me without enough sleep.
An adult need 7 to 8 hour of sleep. Sleeping less than seven hours is associated with a range of health problems including obesity, heart disease, depression, and impaired immune function. In other words not sleeping enough will make you fat and your skin break out, while it is difficult to make it happen every single night, you should make it a point to go to bed early enough, to get your 7 hours as often as you can. The best way to a good sleep hygiene is to set a wake-up time and a bedtime.
Wake up in a great mood
There are days where we are happier than others, and did you realize that you get a lot more done on the good days? A good way to set the tone of the day is to wake up in a good mood. Create a “happy” playlist and set your alarm clock to play it. Getting up to happy and peppy tunes will set the right mood for the day. Here is a link to my "happy" playlist.
But, there are days were a good night sleep and a happy playlist is just not enough. You just don’t feel it. For those days, the best advice is to go to a mirror and smile! It sounds cliché but it’s one of the best ways to turn around any attitude. If you’re having a bad day, think about 3 things you are grateful for to try and change your attitude and bring a smile to your face. The idea is that the act of making a facial expression influences our feelings in a way that is consistent with that expression.
Eat real food
Learn to cook from scratch and if you find it too time consuming then spend couple of hours during week end on meal prep. Cooking from scratch allows you to have complete control of what goes into your food and avoid processed food. Processed food is bad because most of the nutritional value is lost in the creation of these foods and the added preservatives are bad for our health. Plus, many processed foods contain a high amount of salt, which leads to higher blood pressure and heart disease. If you find it unmanageable to eat only real food, at least study the ingredient list from your favorite packed products. Tons of food being sold in the supermarket are unhealthy and harmful...
Balance your diet
Aim to eat a balanced diet that contains each of the food groups in the correct proportion. Fill your diet with a wide range of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, and dairy.
Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important of the day. I know you heard it a 1,000 times, you heard it so many times because it’s true. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and helps you be alert and awake throughout the day. Make sure you always eat a nutritious breakfast. Make it wholesome and make it count. I’m myself not a big fan of breakfast, I don’t like to wake up early and skipping on breakfast allow me to stay a little longer in bed. But when you are trying to get healthier you can’t be too picky, so I now do a nutritious smoothie every morning. The recipe is easy, it requires only a few ingredients and it’s delicious...
While potato chips, Ice cream, and cookies are delicious, they are definitely unhealthy for your body. They contain high sugar or salt (sometimes both, I don’t get that), and high fat. Instead choose raw nuts, fresh fruit, hummus, bake some healthy muffins. These nutritious foods will bring you fibers, vitamins, and mineral, and won’t give you the sugar rush.
My strategy for long-term success with a healthier lifestyle is to allow for occasional indulgences. As much as I love vegetables, I totally prefer pasta, hamburger, and crème brulée. And also, I don’t eat them every day or in limited quantities, I don’t feel guilty when I do eat them. The trick is to indulge wisely and well. My advice is to reserve your splurges for food that you truly enjoy. Do not succumb to junk food that you don’t find particularly appealing just because they happen to be sitting in front of you.
Cut on sugar and salt
It's no secret that too much salt and sugar in your diet can do damage to your health. Eating too much salt can raise your blog pressure, eating too much sugar increases your risk of obesity. The key with sugar and salt is to go progressively. Slowly reduce the sugar and salt in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust and wean yourself off the craving. Two years ago, I could not drink coffee with sugar, now I can’t drink coffee with sugar
Salt and sugar preference is an acquired taste that can be unlearned however it takes about 6-8 weeks to get used to eating food with a much lower amount of it.
Drink more (water)
I know I said it before, and I’ll probably say it again. I say it a lot because I don’t do it enough myself… Drink more water. Water is good for you, it’s good for your skin, it’s good for your health. Being hydrated helps you feel more energetic. And if you find water boring or tasteless, you can always drink detox water or green tea but avoid fizzy drinks or energy drinks as those are empty calories.
Exercise is an extremely important factor in staying healthy so try to be as active as you can. if you have neither the time nor the desire to exercise, just try to walk more often. Get out of the subway a station earlier, take the staircase, park at the back end of the parking. Aerobic exercise, including something as uncomplicated and low-impact as walking, is associated with a variety of benefits for the body and the brain, including a reduced risk of chronic diseases, anti-anxiety, and mood-enhancing effects. Aim for a total of about 30 minutes of brisk walking every day.
Practice the art of appreciation
Modern-day living tends to be aspirational and we can easily find ourselves chasing an ever-growing list of goals, many of which can be material. Some of us could do with spending more time focusing not on what we don’t have, but on what we do. Our mood can be lifted by giving thanks for anything from our friends and family to a beautiful landscape or sunset.
Make social connection
It is said that lonely people are more likely to become ill and die younger. People who have no friends are more stressed, depressed and often less physically active. Moreover, experts say that how socially connected a person tends to be is one of the most important ways of predicting his health and independence in later years.
Now ladies, enjoy the Glow. Part of the fun of adopting healthy habit like eating better, being more active and getting more sleep is the cosmetic benefit. Not only you may drop some kilos and centimeters thanks to real food, proper sleep, and a good amount of water but healthy habits and healthy food will also improve your skin. In particular, healthy fats like those found in olive oil and avocado coupled with antioxidant vegetables. These two are supposed to help improve the color and texture of your skin.