5 everyday habits for a healthy life
Health is a state of mind and body. Sometimes we take care of our bodies and tend to neglect our mental or our emotional health.
But you should also know that our mind and our emotions play an important role in our physical well-being.
Negative thoughts can lead to chronic stress, which affects the body's hormone balance and can damage the immune system.
When we are facing stressful situations, our body’s natural stress response is to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline is responsible for increasing our heart rate and elevating our blood pressure. Over time, high levels of adrenaline in the body can cause health problems, such as: weight gain causing metabolic syndrome, heart disease, high blood pressure.
Cortisol is the primary stress hormone. When cortisol levels are higher than they should be, for long periods of time, we experience some side effects such as muscle weakness, sudden mood swings, increased risk of osteoporosis, weight gain. In severe cases, high levels of cortisol can also trigger more serious problems, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, frequent infections, etc
Poorly managed or repressed emotions are associated with a series of health conditions, such as hypertension, digestive disorders, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk of infections.
Therefore, taking good care of our bodies implies taking good care of our mental and emotional state as well.
Luckily, there are a few daily habits you can improve your overall health:
1. Sleep is not for the weak, it’s for the wicked
Good sleep plays a vital role in our well-being.
Sleep helps maintain a healthy hormone balance, and it is involved in healing and repairing the heart and blood vessels. Deep sleep triggers the hormone that boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues. Our immune system’s efficacy also depends on the quality of your sleep. If you’re experiencing sleep deficiency, your immune system might not respond properly and it won’t be able to fight against infections or pathogens.
2. Hustle to gain more muscle
Exercising regularly benefits both your physical and mental health in so many ways.
For instance, did you know that muscles burn more calories than fat? Therefore, gaining mass can increase your metabolism and help you lose or maintain a healthy weight.
Studies have shown that physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress, anxiety, and the risk of depression. It also plays a role in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, among others.
Looking fabulous and feeling amazing? Yes, please!
3. “Taste the rainbow” is not just a figure of speech
Some people live to eat, others eat to live. When it comes to a healthy diet, besides counting calories or carbs, you should count the colors on your plate.
If you want to make sure you're getting sufficient micronutrients (or as they're better known- vitamins and minerals), you should add a variety of deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables to your plate. When you eat all the colors of the rainbow, you're eating a micronutrient-rich diet.
Each color of the rainbow is linked to a different nutrient composition. For example, red foods are rich in Lycopene, which is an antioxidant that plays a role in cutting prostate cancer risk and reducing the risk of heart attacks. Orange foods contain Beta-carotene, which supports the immune system. Yellow foods are rich in Vitamin C, which plays a role in detoxifying harmful substances. Green fruits and vegetables contain isothiocyanates, which are great for inducing enzymes in the liver that help the body in removing potentially carcinogenic compounds. Blue and purple foods are rich in anthocyanidins, that help to destroy free radicals.
Colorful plate, healthy lifestyle. Simple as that.
4. The scale is neither your enemy nor your best friend
It’s a great thing to monitor your weight, but don’t do it obsessively. Consciously or not, the number you see on the scale can have a significant impact and how you feel about yourself and might lead to unhealthy eating habits. Weight fluctuates frequently, depending on the time of the day you weigh yourself, or the amount of food and water you consume. It is recommended to step on the scale once a week. Doing it more frequently is pointless and it might affect both your mental and physical health by distracting you from paying attention to your body's signals, such as hunger, fatigue, or stress.
5. Small changes in your routine might bring big changes in your life
Routine can give us a feeling of safety, keeping us in a comfort zone, but sometimes it also creates a sense of mundane, dull life that can result in anxiety or depression. Small changes in your daily routine might trick your brain into believing you’re doing something new and exciting.
You don’t have to completely change your habits to bring novelty to your life. You could start by taking a different route to work, trying new food, going to a different gym, going to bed earlier.
Breaking from your routine might help you gain more clarity and improve brain functioning. Moreover, it will bring more excitement to your life.
Sticking to a healthy lifestyle is not that difficult, nor does it require a lot of work. Just follow a few easy steps and you’ll see the difference in your life.
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