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22 Tips to Help You Lead the Healthy Lifestyle Your Body Deserves

22 Tips to Help You Lead the Healthy Lifestyle Your Body Deserves

Do you dream of living the healthy lifestyle after you see a picture of a fit person on social media?

What you may not know is that it isn’t as hard as you think to live a healthy lifestyle if you know what to do.

You will find 22 practical tips in this article that will help you to live the healthy lifestyle you want!

1. Drink more water

This is obvious but really is the basics,

According to research: you should drink 3.01 L per day as a male and 2.21 L per day as a female.[1] This exact number should be taken as lightly as some people may need more due to the amount of water loss through activity, ambient temperature, and other factors.

Your body consists of around 60% of water. This alone proves the importance of hydration throughout the day.

Try consuming at least 0.5 L right when you wake up to live a healthy lifestyle because at this point your body is dehydrated. Then strategically plan to drink enough throughout the rest of the day with timers or an app to help you drink more water.

Another tip: take a bottle full of water with you everywhere you go to make it easier to live the healthy lifestyle.

2. Wash your hands

We all know that it’s good to wash your hands after going to the toilet, before eating, etc but only 12% of the people wash their hands before eating![2]

You are probably not one of them!

Washing your hands is critical on the following occasions:

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating
  • After using the toilet
  • After touching anything dirty (animals, garbage, sick people)

Here’re some simple steps you may have missed when you wash your hands:

    The benefits of washing your hands are:

    • Preventing infections in the eyes
    • Lowering the chance of diarrhea and intestinal problems
    • Fewer bacteria = less chance on any infection or illness

    3. Floss your teeth

    Flossing helps remove food debris and bacteria where the brush can’t get to. This prevents bacteria from turning your teeth into a yellow canary which eventually leads to damaged teeth over time.

    We all know you should brush your teeth twice a day but how many times should we floss a day?

    According to the Water Tower Dental Care team, flossing once a day is more than enough to keep away these bacteria as they form a plague after 24 hours.[3]

    4. Create a healthy sleep routine for yourself

    There are so many successful people who live off of 3 – 5 hours of sleep per night;[4] but Mariah Carey says she needs 15 hours of sleep a day.[5]

    Now the question is: “How much sleep do you need?”

    Nobody knows, so you should experiment with it. Plan your sleep and record how you feel after waking up. Find your sweet spot.

    You don’t even have to follow a monophasic sleep schedule (known as sleeping in 1 go). You could try polyphasic sleeping schedules like the Uberman Sleep Cycle or simply have a siesta (1 – 1,5 hours of sleep) in the afternoon.

    Start the experiment now!

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    5. Track one full day of eating

    Tracking your intake of food for only one day can change everything. Using an app like MyFitnessPal shows what you ate and all the calories and nutrients of those foods.

    One rule: track literally everything.

    When you have tracked a typical day of eating; you will see what you usually eat, even the cookies you sneaked in at night.

    Awareness of the fact of what you’re eating can subconsciously change your unhealthy eating habits into healthy eating habits.

    The next time you crave a chocolate bar the option of eating a piece of fruit is going through your mind.

    You will train your healthy lifestyle discipline reserve the more you choose something to support your healthy lifestyle over something unhealthy.

    The next time you crave an unhealthy meal; eat a healthy snack instead and see how you feel about yourself:

    15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

    6. Make exercise fun

    Exercising shouldn’t feel like an obligation; it should be fun!

    You could make exercise a part of your daily routine by applying simple tweaks to your life:

    • Walk to work instead of commuting (don’t come into work late though!)
    • Instead of watching TV, walk the dog or take a walk with a loved one.
    • Use a standing/treadmill desk instead of a regular desk.

    Note: Consult a professional coach or doctor if you want to train like a hardcore athlete.

    7. Sit less

    Sitting time increases the chances of dying. In a study; they found that people who sit more (inactive) have a higher chance of dying than people who sit less (active).[6]

    If you exercise but sit a lot, you’re still unhealthy.

    So get off that chair and move around. Set a timer for 25 minutes and make sure you walk around for 5 minutes.

    It’s simple; minimize the time you spend sitting. Here’s how:

    The Simplest Way to Make You Sit Less

    8. Weigh yourself daily

    The same principle of tracking your daily food intake applies here.

    Weigh yourself between every 1-7 days consistently at the same time (preferably right after you wake up). And write it down on a piece of paper.

    Research proves that weighing yourself daily can actually prevent weight gain and increase fat loss.[7]

    Don’t hate yourself for it; be aware of it and change where you can.

    9. Plan and prepare your healthy meals

    Planning your meals forward takes away the unhealthy snacks you eat in between and the amount of effort it takes to decide what to eat.

    There are many benefits to planning your meals:

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    • Saves time and money
    • Helps avoid unhealthy choices
    • Makes shopping easier

    There are a lot of apps that can help plan your meals. Healthy meal planning includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks throughout the day.

    Preparing your food all at once saves time over the course of the week. Choose one day (most people do it on Sunday) in the week to invest a couple hours in preparing your meals for the week.

    Here’re some inspirations for healthy meals:

    40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

    10. Get more vitamin N(ature)

    Another great principle to include in your life to lead the healthy lifestyle your body deserves is to stay as close to nature as possible.

    This means eating less processed foods, more organic foods, more plants and nuts.

    Aim for eating more fruits, nuts and vegetables instead of cheese, cereals, bacon, etc.

    You should also make sure you spend more time in nature. This way you’ll get more vitamin D in because of the sunlight.

    11. Love yourself

    There’s a close relationship between mental health and physical health.[8] So, loving yourself more by talking positively to yourself or having more love in your life increases mental and physical health.

    Another fascinating part of our nature is that we can make our bodies heal wounds.[9] How? The simple answer: oxytocin.

    Touching yourself releases oxytocin; just place your hands on your belly or anywhere you feel like.

    Or call your mom. I mean it; hearing the voice of a loved one also releases oxytocin.[10]

    12. Lower sugar and sodium intake

    We consume 82 grams of added sugar[11] and 3.4 grams of sodium (salt = sodium x 2.5) per day.[12] This is far above the recommended intake, which is:

    • Max. 25 grams of added sugar for women and 38 grams of added sugar for men.[13]
    • Max. 1.5 grams of sodium per day.

    The added sugars and sodium are mostly found in processed foods like bread, pizza, chocolate and soda drinks.

    Before you consume the next thing, check the labels first. Look for the amount of sugar and sodium that’s in it. If you’re really serious about it; you can even decide to track it.

    The benefits of consuming less sugar and sodium are:

    • Decreasing the chance of getting diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and heart diseases.[14]
    • Preventing spikes in your blood pressure.
    • Preventing the build-up of resistance to insulin.

    13. Stop unhealthy habits

    Smoking, drinking alcohol or eating a lot of snacks at night. We all know that these are unhealthy habits but we’ve all been there.

    The most important thing here is getting rid of the unhealthy habits and replace them with healthy habits.

    The change is relatively simple; it can be done in 2 simple steps:

    1. First; you need to identify why you take part in the unhealthy habit. You need to find the trigger/cue which leads to the action. The reason why you crave smoking could be because you have the need to have a way of socializing; which in this case could be smoking.
    2. Now you can think of other ways to fulfill your needs. So, keep the same trigger/cue (= a need for social stimulation) and the same reward (= social interaction). The only thing you need to change is the routine (=smoking). You could turn this in grabbing coffee with a colleague or friend. This way you still get the social stimulation, but you improved and created a healthier habit.

      14. Regular health checkups

      People assume when they are feeling alright that they are living a healthy lifestyle. But this isn’t always the case. Having everything in perfect balance is hard.

      Checking your blood for specific diseases is never harmful. You might feel a little bit drained (literally) afterward, but at least you get to know how your health is looking.

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      Checking your blood every 6 months could be enough to discover some deficiencies and potential dangers. Some companies offer advanced blood tests which creates an overview of the areas you could improve in.

      Besides doing a blood test, there are also many other health-related tests you could do.

      15. Build healthy relationships

      “The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviors, so choose friends who have healthy habits.” – Dan Buettner

      If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you should not spend most of your time with people who don’t live the healthy lifestyle.

      The solution is simple but not easy:

      Decrease the amount of time you spend with people who have unhealthy habits and increase the amount of time you spend with people who have healthy habits.

      If you don’t have a lot of friends with healthy habits, search for people who do. Search in communities where healthy habits are a focus like vegan or vegetarian people; Facebook groups focused around the subject; bloggers in the health industry or hire a health coach and become a knowledge sponge (absorbing all the information the person provides).

      There’re toxic people who you need to get rid of, and sometimes, you may need to do friendships decluttering.

      16. Increase your energy

      There are a lot of ways to increase your energy but the best change you can make is to live a healthy lifestyle that delivers sustainable energy levels throughout the day.

      It is important to watch which type of carbohydrate you are consuming. There are basically three main categories:

      • Simple carbohydrates (A.K.A. sugar) which give you an energy boost short-term.
      • Complex carbohydrates like whole grains; peas and beans. These can be divided into refined (processed) and unrefined (unprocessed) carbs. Unrefined is the healthy lifestyle choice as they still contain the complex carbohydrates.
      • Fibers found in most vegetables helps with digestion.

      Focusing on unrefined complex carbohydrates will result in sustainable energy levels throughout the day. Include a lot of vegetables and healthy sources of protein, and you are good to go.

      Besides having to deal with our physical energy; sometimes it comes down to mental energy. Check out this article on how to boost mental energy:

      15 Ways to Boost Mental Energy Levels

      17. Don’t skip breakfast

      A lot of people say that breakfast is the most important meal of all the meals. This is mainly because eating a high-protein,[15] and high-fiber[16] meal right after waking up is associated with fat loss.

      The benefits of having a healthy breakfast are:

      • Increased fat loss
      • Improved concentration and performance
      • More strength and endurance
      • Lower cholesterol levels

      Some breakfast inspirations for you to stay energetic throughout the day:

      31 Healthy Breakfast Recipes That Will Super Boost Your Energy

      18. Increase fiber intake

      The main benefits of fiber are:

      • Helps you on the toilet and decreases the chances of constipation[17]
      • Lowering the cholesterol levels
      • Helps control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption[18]
      • Increases fat loss (see healthy lifestyle tip 16)

      Fiber can be found in

      • Oats
      • Beans
      • Vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli
      • Carrots

      Find out more foods which are rich in fiber here:

      20 Ultimate High Fiber Foods To Add To Your Meal Plan

      19. Choose meals in reverse order

      People usually tend to choose a meal in the order of 1. Carbohydrates, 2. Protein and 3. Vegetables.

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      Doing this the other way around makes sure you put more veggies on your plate and fewer carbs. Make sure you fill half of your plate with vegetables and feel the benefits such as:

      • Reducing the risk of heart disease including heart strokes and attacks
      • Protection against certain types of cancers[19]
      • Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes

      Try it next time you put a meal together!

      20. Explore new hobbies

      “Happy people are 35 percent more likely to outlive unhappy people.” – Andrew Steptoe and Jane Wardle

      Being happy can mean something different for each individual. What is certain though is that enjoying your time while you can undoubtedly lead to happiness.

      Try out new hobbies and explore your options. There are so many things you can try out; you can even make a challenge to try out as much as possible.

      Find inspirations of hobbies you can try here:

      This List of 50 Low-cost Hobbies Will Excite You

      Or if you’re still wondering what to try, this can help you:

      How to Find One That Fits Your Personality

      21. Cheat day!

      Many people associate cheat day with people who are too weak to maintain their healthy lifestyle diet.

      One of the reasons to implement a cheat day in your diet is solely based on the improvement of your mood and motivation to keep going with the diet.

      Stick to a healthy lifestyle diet 6 days a week and choose 1 cheat day (usually a day on the weekend).

      You will be tempted throughout the week but here’s the solution; write everything down you are tempted by.

      If you feel like eating Oreo’s on Tuesday but Saturday is your cheat day; write it down so you can buy it on your cheat day and eat yourself to death (not literally).

      There are a couple of rules if you want to turn this into a healthy habit:

      1. Minimize the insulin spike by ensuring that your first meal (total should be 300-500 calories) of the day is not a cheat meal but a high-protein (at least 30 grams) and high-fiber meal. Before the second meal (which can be a cheat meal) you should consume a small amount of fructose like grapefruit juice. You should also supplement with Policosanol, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Green Tea Extract and Garlic (PAGG). And consume citric juices throughout the day in the form of lemon juice in water or food or any other way.
      2. Increase the digestion speed by consuming caffeine and a combination of theobromine (found in dark chocolate) and theophylline (found in green tea).
      3. Last but not least, contract your muscles briefly throughout the day. It’s weird but doing exercises like air squats, wall presses and chest pulls (with bands) for 60-90 seconds a few minutes before eating and 90 minutes after eating transfers glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT-4) to the surface of muscle cells which causes calories to be absorbed by the muscles instead of transformed into fat.

      Make sure you follow these rules on your cheat day, and you will not have the feel guilty about it!

      22. Lose fat

      The last tip to lead the healthy lifestyle you want is about fat loss. The number of obese and overweight people worldwide is increasing.[20] This means that more and more people need simple principles to follow to lose fat.

      Here are the basic principles of fat loss:

      1. Avoid white carbohydrates like all bread, rice (also brown rice), cereal, potatoes, pasta tortillas and fried food with breading. Avoid white carbohydrates and you’re good to go.
      2. You should also avoid eating all fruits except for avocado and tomato (except for after 30 minutes of finishing a resistance-training workout, this also counts for white carbohydrates).
      3. Eat the same meals over and over again, this makes it easier to sustain the diet. Create 3-4 go to meals and stick with them. Choose per meal one main protein source (egg whites with whole eggs, chicken breast, beef, fish, pork or any vegan replacement), legumes (lentils or black/red/borlotti/soya beans) and vegetables (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, etc.).
      4. Don’t drink your calories. Instead; drink water and red wine (max. 2 glasses per day).
      5. Take one day off the diet. Have a cheat day! See tip 20 for information on how to implement a cheat day in your diet.

      Before you leave, there’s something else…

      Before you move on to read the next article to live the healthy lifestyle your body deserves you should commit to applying at least 1 tip of the 21 tips above to see how you feel about living the healthy lifestyle.

      If you like it, apply more of the tips to your life.

      To conclude this article; here are some other recommendations to live the healthy lifestyle your body deserves:

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      Reference

      [1] EJCN: Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration
      [2] Mail Online: Only 12% of people wash their hands before eating – despite them being more unhygienic than a park bench or escalator rail
      [3] Water Tower Dental Care: Can You Floss Too Much?
      [4] Business Insider: 19 Successful People Who Barely Sleep
      [5] Business Insider: Bizarre sleeping habits of successful people
      [6] Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA; and Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA: Sitting Time and Mortality from All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer
      [7] Jennifer A. Linde, Robert W. JefferySimone A. FrenchNicolaas P. PronkRaymond G. Boyle: Self-weighing in weight gain prevention and weight loss trials
      [8] Julius Ohrnbergera, Eleonora Ficherab, Matt Suttona: The relationship between physical and mental health: A mediation analysis
      [9] NCBI: Marital behavior, oxytocin, vasopressin, and wound healing.
      [10] The Royal Society: Social vocalizations can release oxytocin in humans
      [11] Sugar Science: How Much Is Too Much?
      [12] Medical News Today: Everyone needs salt for fluid balance and muscle and nerve function. But too much salt is bad for us, we hear. So how much do we need?
      [13] American Heart Association: Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health
      [14] Health Line: Top 9 Reasons to Avoid Sugar
      [15] Taylor & Francis Online: The Effects of High Protein Diets on Thermogenesis, Satiety and Weight Loss: A Critical Review
      [16] Joanne L. Slavin Ph.D., R.D.: Dietary Fiber and Body Weight
      [17] D.P Burkitt, A.R.P Walker, N.S Painter: Effect of dietary fibre on stools and transit-times, and its role in the causation of disease
      [18] the bmj: Dietary fibres, fibre analogues, and glucose tolerance: importance of viscosity.
      [19] The Journal of Nutrition: Phytochemicals from Cruciferous Plants Protect against Cancer by Modulating Carcinogen Metabolism
      [20] The Lancet: Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013

      More by this author

      Marnix Buijs

      Marnix is a health and fitness blogger. While he walks his own journey, he shares his experiences and knowledge to help others.

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      Last Updated on September 28, 2020

      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

      At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

      Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

      One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

      When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

      So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

      Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

      This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

      Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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      When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

      Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

      One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

      Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

      An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

      When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

      Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

      Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

      We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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      By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

      Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

      While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

      I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

      You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

      Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

      When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

      Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

      Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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      Con #2: Less Human Interaction

      One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

      Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

      Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

      This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

      While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

      Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

      Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

      This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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      For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

      Con #4: Unique Distractions

      Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

      For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

      To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

      Final Thoughts

      Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

      We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

      More About Working From Home

      Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

      Reference

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