Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about healthy eating and doing exercise.
A ‘true’ healthy lifestyle requires efforts to be made in every aspect of one’s life.
Diet and Nutrition
Before trying to master the other aspects, it is essential to get the most important one right. No amount of exercise, healthy relationships or good sleep will give you a complete healthy lifestyle. Eating well is the main foundation of a healthy life and being happy!
Would you ever put olive oil in your car instead of engine oil? Or put water in instead of petrol or diesel? I don’t think so. Same goes for our bodies! Why would you put fizzy, sugary drinks and fast-food into our bodies? Just like olive oil would do to an engine, unhealthy foods clog up your insides!
Don’t forget that the food that we put into our bodies sends a strong message to our unconscious mind! As we eat unhealthy foods, we are telling ourselves that we don’t care about ourselves and our wellbeing. Conversely, choosing to eat healthy and nutritious food tells our unconscious mind that we love ourselves and we want what it is best for our bodies.
Even the slightest, positive change in our diets can have a big impact on our self-esteem and self-confidence. We cannot hope to feel good if we are constantly eating unhealthy food and refuse to change the way that we eat.
By eating healthily, we benefit our bodies in so many ways by giving ourselves many important nutrients.
So, what must we change to eat healthily and feed our bodies the right things?
Firstly, we must get rid of processed and prefabricated products like ready-made meals, low-end restaurants, snacks, fast-food, and any type of that has undergone industrial processes.
Secondly, we must forget about dairy products such as milk, cream, and yoghurts. Except if your body can digest them well, items like cheese and butter can be allowed, but only if they are organic.
Thirdly, we should erase cereal-based products from our diets like bread, pasta, cereals, etc. However, rice, quinoa and oats can be permitted.
These are more or less the changes that we can make so strive towards an ideal, healthy diet. Either way, by following these tips and concentrating on eating fresh, wholesome, and seasonal products, we will definitely be in the right direction!
Put shortly, avoid any products that have been processed by humans!
Sport and Exercise
The second pillar a healthy lifestyle is sport and exercise. Despite this, there is still a huge level of inactivity amongst us. Across the world, there are 3.2 million deaths linked to an inactive lifestyle. With help from copious amounts of fast-food and bad eating, there is an exponential increase in obesity and all the problems that it causes.
Time is a frequently used excuse as to why we don’t to any sport or exercise. Everyone has time to do it! If you think you don’t then you need to sort out your priorities in life!
“Why do sport?” you might ask yourself. Well there is a never-ending list that answers this question: more energy, better motivation, better self-esteem, and self-confidence.
If you find yourself short of time to do exercise, try throwing away your television, sort out your priorities, wake up earlier and learn to manage your time effectively. Don’t be afraid of cutting of bad relationships with people in your entourage or social life!
So, what sport should you take up? Running, jumping, and swimming are all good sports which will help you lead a healthy lifestyle!
Social relationships are another very important aspect of our lives. What is less well known is that it they are also essential to be healthy. A study over several decades has recently shown that social relationships have been the # 1 factor of happiness in a person's life.
Inevitably, if we have conflicting relationships in our family and with our loved ones, it is normal that we have a much lower morale than if we had loving, affectionate relationships. In turn, bad relationships with others can influence our overall health.
Having volatile relationships with those close to us stimulates cortisol and stress hormones, which causes fat storage, permanent stress, and insomnia.
It is important to sort out our relationships because as a human being we evolve and it is quite normal that most of our friendship circles change as we get older.
I am not, however, saying that you should cut all the people out of your life that don’t think the same way as you, just keep in mind that it is pointless having relationships with people with whom you have nothing in common with.
Sorting and selecting is not the only thing to do. The relationships you have with people are like a fire: you must maintain it to prevent it from disappearing. It is therefore essential to put wood, or effort, into all your relationships to maintain your friendships.
To make friends, learn to really care about each other, ask them questions and be interested in the answer. Developing your communication skills is the best skill you can develop to have good, healthy relationships with your friends and acquaintances.
One last thing chosen: a dispute arises, do not try to be right or to argue, accept your mistakes and swallow your pride.
Even if you are right, admit your mistakes to cool down the situation down, you will soon see that this is the most useful strategy, and it shows great strength of character.
You must be humble to accept what the other is annoyed with us for, but you have everything to gain!
There is a tendency to underestimate nature, which could be considered a necessity because it is so important. Nature is our natural environment, and failure to understand this can have effects on long-term health.
It's like sport or food: a paleo diet and sport are not good for health per se, it's junk food and an inactive lifestyle that are extremely bad for us. What difference does it make?
In practice, there is no difference, but I will the illustrate the difference so we can understand. A human normally functions with the pillars that are presented in this article.
A proper diet makes us function properly, it's the same for physical activity and nature.
As soon as we stop fulfilling these vital needs for the body that the problems start occurring. It is for this reason that it is not "good" in itself, but it’s simply the normal functioning of the human being to live like this.
In fact, nature has tremendous benefits in our stressed and polluted world: it reduces stress and anxiety, improves creativity, attention, productivity and is excellent for eye health, lung health, for the conscious health and mental health. Exposing ourselves regularly to nature is a great way to increase our lifespan.
To do this, there are many possibilities like exploring near a lake, a beach, a forest or the countryside. If you live in a big city, there are likely to be parks: go there regularly to take the time to unwind, read, meditate, listen to music, or just walk and breath in all the awakening stimuli.
Minimalism is a pillar that I really love; it's a revolution when you start applying it in your life. Minimalism is not new, it has been practiced by the Buddhists for a long time. Minimalism is the art of voluntary simplicity, in other words "less is more." This is about simplifying one's life and gaining enormous benefits from living that way.
Minimalism can be practiced in all areas of life. We can start sorting at home by throwing or giving away any objects that we have not used in a while. In the western world, we have far too many material possessions, as to barricade ourselves with all these objects giving us an illusion of security to protect us from the policy of fear induced by the government and the media. But it is a false illusion of security, and the accumulation of material goods only makes us a slave to the latter.
Have you ever noticed how many people are attached to their material objects?
Accumulating ever more material goods does not make you happier, I even think that it does the opposite. With fewer possessions, we can feel so much freer and flexible!
It is in this context that minimalism takes on its full meaning. Minimalism also refers to food: it is useless to have 5 stoves, 5 pots and cupboards full to the brim. We are in a period of abundance, but there is no point in making provisions for 6 months or to have equipment to serve 20 people, it will never happen or almost.
The last pillar of a healthy life is unhappy sleep. Why unhappy?
Because it is flouted in our modern society. It is not respected at all!
We go to bed too late, with a permanent exposure to strong light at night, we put a loud alarm clock at the wrong times ... No wonder most people live like zombies when they destroy what is supposed to put them back on their feet!
Take care of your sleep: identify your sleep cycles, use blue light filters on the computer and phone, stop the screens 2 hours before sleeping, wake up to the schedules that are consistent for you and you will be an Olympian only by doing this.
You do not necessarily need to sleep for 8 hours, it's a myth. In general, the sleep cycles last 90 minutes, therefore you can decide to sleep for 6 hours, 7h30 or for 9 hours.
If you take naps after eating and know how to manage your stress, emotions, sports and not eat too much at night and close to bedtime, you will need to sleep much less!
Invest in good bedding, sleep completely in the dark, meditate before sleeping then read a good book.
You now have in your possession a whole load of advice that will make a noticeable difference in your life!