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10 Sustainable Health And Fitness Habits Everyone Can Adopt

10 Sustainable Health And Fitness Habits Everyone Can Adopt

“Get active,” they said. “It’s as simple as that,” they said.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of this tiring argument. But hey, the gym is way too crowded and pizza has just arrived, looking all steamy and irresistible. Tied down by our schedules or seduced by the world’s most sinful pleasures, we choose not to try. The truth is, developing healthy habits is a galaxy far, far away from easy, but that’s the whole point. After all, success is only sweet when it’s earned.

With a clear understanding that there’s no such thing as “just try, and you’ll see”, I offer you quick tips on how to start introducing healthy changes into your day-to-day routine. They demand a little time and sweat, but won’t give you beginner’s anxiety and frustration. Most importantly, they truly are simple to adopt – whatever your lifestyle choices might be. These 10 habits will prove sustainable and highly addictive, and, in time, they will motivate you enough to change your life completely.

1. It’s All About The Breakfast

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    We all have that one girl on our Instagram feed who’s ultra-fit. Day after day, she shares her pics straight from the gym, with her stomach still sweaty from the workout and a protein smoothie in her hand, looking just as irresistible as her toned abs. #Fitnessgoals, the caption says. But what Miss Perfect isn’t telling you is that she actually follows a dietary concept called the 85/15 rule.

    This simply means that around 85% of your daily calories should come from healthy food choices – food high in protein, like chicken, eggs, legumes and fish, nuts and olive oil for healthy fats, and plenty of fruit and vegetables throughout the day – and you can fill in the last 15% of your calories with your favorite snacks and junk food.

    Moderation is the true goal here, and the routine is effective simply because it offers a reward. But, how do you get there?

    Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic claims it’s all about the breakfast, and other professional athletes agree. In order to start introducing healthy eating habits, you have to start at the beginning – a bowl of nutrient-rich oatmeal, two tablespoons of honey, generously chopped nuts and seeds, a fruit infusion, coconut water and milk (non-dairy, if you are lactose intolerant) are just too tasty for anyone to say “no” to.

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    2. No Water, No Life

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      A large cup of water is an indispensable part of a lot of athletes’ morning rituals as well. It’s a boring tip, I’m aware, but it’s only because it actually works. As frequently mentioned, two liters a day is the goal you should shoot for if you want to stay properly hydrated throughout the day. It is, however, an average measure, which means that some people need less, and some – particularly caffeine addicts – need more. Consulting your doctor might be a good idea.

      Now, you might ask, “Why before a meal?” Well, water gives you a sense of fullness that keeps you from eating more than you actually need to. As for its general effects and benefits, I don’t believe that the ultimate elixir of life needs any particular introductions.

      In addition to keeping you energized throughout the day (energy levels tend to drop with dehydration), water increases metabolism, primes muscles, gives a natural makeover to your skin by relieving it from dryness and blemishes, and helps the heart pump faster and without any unnecessary effort.

      3. Love Your Veggies

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        Fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamins A and E – by themselves, veggies are packed with beneficial nutrients that help dramatically lower the risk of almost every common health issues you can think of, from high blood pressure and heart disease to cancer and diabetes. But, even if they weren’t so good for you, they would still be better from their alternatives, which is why a plate half full of greens is a plate full of health.

        What’s even greater is that when prepared in an imaginative way, veggies are a delight to eat. Broccoli cheese soup makes even the bleakest of diets seductive, while still retaining the much-needed amount of health-promoting vitamins and minerals. If you’re just learning to love flexible dieting, a carrot grated directly onto your chicken breast sandwich will make it impossible to resist.

        Don’t listen to what your burger-loving taste buds tell you – surprise them with unique, straightforward, and utterly brilliant flavours of Asian-style sesame and garlic green beans, sautéed mushrooms, or cheesy Brussels sprouts. As long as your nutrition is diverse and you stay moderate in your choices, feel free to take the best of both worlds.

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        4. Pack Your Almonds

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          Healthy eating habits are so hard to develop, not because wholesome food is tasteless, but because it takes time to make it delicious. Besides, it’s much easier to stop at the nearest drive-in or have your specialties delivered to the door than to roll up your sleeves and get creative. If you are someone who rarely takes it slow, eating healthy is almost impossible.

          Most commonly, that’s why we all fail. Even if determined not to eat processed food at home, we usually fall for it during lunch breaks. On the other hand, preparing homemade meals for your lunchbox the night before is, let’s be honest, a drag. Luckily, there is a quick, yet better alternative you can try out.

          There are three elements you cannot afford to ignore in these cases: nuts, fruits, and whole wheat toasts. Hopefully, you don’t have to be reminded to buy fresh fruit every couple of days. In addition to those, always have a bag of almonds and a pack of miracle bread in your bag wherever you go. Insanely nutritious, wonderfully yummy, and gentle on your stomach, this combo will soothe you whenever there’s no other healthier solution for your hunger pains.

          5. Use Chopsticks, Practise Patience

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            So, your workout session has been long and effective, you’ve just taken your shower and now you feel like you’ve finally reached all of your fitness goals. And there’s a frozen yoghurt in the fridge, too, the one you’ve been thinking about in order to chase away the burn from your outer thighs. Unfortunately, the moment of sweet, sweet victory lasts for about a second, and before you know it, the glass is empty. And then, you reward yourself with Nutella, straight from the jar.

            For food lovers, that moment of pure delight is often too short, so we keep on eating to prolong the enjoyment. Eat slower, count your chews. Although obvious, this hack is usually unsustainable, since at the end of the day, we don’t exactly have the willpower needed for overcoming our urges.

            But what might work is ditching the fork and going Asian-style instead. Years ago, a mate gave me chopsticks for my birthday to encourage me to practise patience and it’s a piece of advice I’ve been passing on ever since.

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            6. Some Walks You Have to Take Alone

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              If regular exercises are not your strongest suit or you really don’t have any time to spare for frequent visits to the gym, you can still use your boots for walking even if you’re absolutely ignorant of everything that’s currently going on in the fitness universe. Stretching your legs at least three times a week is not a habit that needs to be developed – it’s an ability that separates you from the spiritless and disconsolate.

              Ditching your car might be the hardest thing on this list and possibly a habit that will take the longest to develop. If you’re driving to work, park at least a 10-minute walking distance away from the office. Not only will your heart be healthier, but by the time you finally reach home, your mind will be clearer and ready for new, exciting adventures that await you in your family nest. Ultimately, staying in shape is not all about being healthy, but being cheerful and enthusiastic about simple pleasures as well.

              7. Sweat Those Excuses Away

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                As a student, I’ve been in continual struggle with my bodyweight. Additionally, studying sessions were not particularly gentle on my back. Perpetual all-nighters were making me tired and snappy, while my kitchen remained pretty much unused. Until, one day, when I hit a wall and decided that enough was enough. My first goal – a 20-minute exercise routine.

                Having experienced the non-stop working regime firsthand, I no longer believe when people claim that they don’t have half an hour a day to commit to at-home physical training, because it’s simply not true. Getting ready, going to the gym and getting back home is a different thing, and it often lasts longer than the training program itself, but doing a routine in your own room every other night before going to bed is absolutely sustainable.

                YouTube is brimming with such routines and I guarantee you that you’ll work, sleep, and eat better once you’ve included them in your schedule. Along with a 10-minute worth of breathers and a 15-minute long shower, it’s a habit that requires an hour of your time and the one that will fully transform your mindset, health, and without any exaggeration, your life.

                8. Think In Mantras

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                  Meditation is something that has helped me out a lot in life, and it’s quite an easy habit to pick up. Though inseparable from physical exercising, healthy living concerns both the body and mind. I’ve found my peace through regular training, since it helps me clear and reset my mind as well, but incredible benefits of spiritual relaxation cannot be denied.

                  There’s plenty of meditation styles to choose from, from counting your breaths to just focusing on what you feel as you sit and letting each sensation and thought slowly pass away on its own. Beginners are advised to go small until they catch the pace, which is great news for busy people. For most, 10-20 minutes a day is quite enough to calm your mind, refresh your focus, and get ready for new battles.

                  9. Hug Your Pillow

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                    You’ve guessed it right – no health article can avoid discussing the massive importance of regular sleep, and mine is no exception. It is, after all, what balances our arduous daily efforts out and what allows us to dream on. And, when it comes to restoration techniques, nothing beats a good old ticket to slumber land.

                    The rules to improving your sleep cycle are clear and easy to follow. Go to bed and wake up every day at approximately the same time, be clever about naps, make your chambers tech-free and comfortably dark, and avoid coffee intake after 6-7 p.m.

                    Heavy sleepers, myself included, have all those brilliant alarm clock apps to lean on, while newfangled methods for reversing sleep cycles work even for the most notorious of night owls.

                    10. Have Fun! (Seriously)

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                      Last, but not least, remember to take deep breaths, soak up the sun, drink the stars and, celebrate your victories – however tiny they are. A healthy exterior starts from a healthy interior, where our universes are endlessly complex and beautiful. Once we learn to cherish their fragility and nurture their strength, the world will be a healthier place for all.

                      As you can see, it’s not that difficult to start adopting simple habits that can, eventually, lead you to a much healthier and happier lifestyle – just tough it out in the beginning and find a good source of motivation.

                      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/psco/ via pexels.com

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                      Nemanja Manojlovic

                      Editor at MyCity Web

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                      Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                      Listen carefully:

                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                      1. Pray Daily

                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                      3. Smile Often

                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                      8. Go Exercise

                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                      The Bottom Line

                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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