HOW HEALTHY IS YOUR LIFESTYLE?
We have grown up listening to the proverb "a healthy mind lives in a healthy body." But how many of us actually believe in it and if we do believe, do we practice it? A healthy and fit body is possible not just by eating good and enriched food but also combining it with exercise. Our lifestyle choices make/break our bodies.
With information explosion across the internet, books, and magazines, it is difficult to know what to follow and what not to. There are new fads in diets and exercises that keep coming and going. Some are branded as myths and some as facts. Yet some are popularized by celebrities and the ever-increasing "before and after stories" marketing. Not to forget a section of people who believe in eating mini-meals every two hours.
With so much information available how would you decide on healthy lifestyle practices? It is simple. Stick to the basics, which is to "Eat healthy and exercise daily." Three balanced meals a day. Another significant proverb in this regard is, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper" by famous American nutritionist Adelle Davis. This proverb pretty much sums it all up.
The wisdom to a healthy present lies in our past. History of human evolution establishes a link between physical well-being and psychological well-being.
What are good eating habits and what is good food?
As per the Michigan Good Food Charter, good food is "food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable." Most people conceive good food as plenty of fruits and vegetables. They forget the importance of grains, meat, and dairy. Eating good food gives good nutrition leading to the healthy development of the body.
Let us outline some good eating habits before discussing the importance of fitness. Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meals. Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season and make the most of them.
Foods low in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats are undoubtedly the right choice. Sugar leads to multiple health issues, the primary being diabetes. It is also known to slow down brain function. Excessive sugar impairs self-control as well as cognitive skills in human beings. Saturated fats are culprits for high cholesterol and blocked blood vessels. This ultimately leads to heart diseases and stroke. High sodium is also detrimental to good health as it increases blood pressure.
Coming to grains, whole grains along with lean sources of protein are a good bet. Dairy products are also important in a balanced meal. Whole grains have three layers the nutritious outer layer, the nutrient-rich embryo and the endosperm that is high in starchy carbohydrates. Whole grains have all the three layers intact. They are high in magnesium, iron, phosphorus, selenium, manganese, vitamin B, and dietary fiber.
What about Fitness? Is it necessary?
The famous Yoga guru B.K.S, Iyengar stated, "Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind, and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open."
Good health is not just about being disease-free; it is a daily choice, a lifestyle choice that leads to a disease-free and fit body with a healthy mind. A three-month, 10-week program, etc are temporary. The goal should be a routine healthy lifestyle, a lifestyle packed with good eating habits, daily exercise, and mental stimulation.
While good food provides nutrients to our body, exercise helps keep our muscles and bones strong. Regular exercise is known to improve overall health. Staying active reduces the risk of many ailments such as diabetes, cardiovascular, obesity, stress-related diseases, to name some.
Since stress levels are higher in comparison to previous decades, it is all the more important to make physical activity a daily habit. Aerobic exercises tremendously help in reducing stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) by producing endorphins. The endorphins are often referred to as the natural painkillers and mood elevators.
Just eating good food and not exercising will not lead us to our goal of a healthy mind in a healthy body. The importance of fitness cannot be stressed enough. Depending upon the age, there are various forms of fitness to incorporate in daily life, be it walking, running, swimming, gym, aerobics, dance forms, or the all-round development with yoga. Yoga takes care of the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects, all encompassed.
Some Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle:
Daily Exercise: At least 20 minutes of exercise a day is a must. It keeps your body moving, much like a machine that is used regularly for smooth running. If you stop using it, the parts rust.
Be Curious: Always be open to exploring new thoughts and ideas. Be curious to know more. It stimulates the brain. Also, maintain the creativity streak within you. Do things differently, challenge yourself to be more creative with even mundane tasks. This not only enhances your positive outlook and feel-good factor but again, stimulates the brain.
Be Social: With digitization across the globe, people across all ages are glued to their mobile and engrossed in the virtual world. It is good to break free from such addictions and interact with human beings around us. It is far more rewarding to do so. There are ample studies proving that people with good friends and community networks, a good social system, are healthier and more lively and positive in their outlook towards all aspects of life. They are less likely to be depressed.
Live a healthy and joyous life by making the right lifestyle choices. To know more, get in touch with us at Mother's Rice to take up a new healthy routine!