The last eighteen months have been rough. With many of us being stuck indoors for a large portion of 2020, the daily formula became: grab the nearest bag of chips, a coke, get Netflix started, series binging at maximum level. Fun for a little while, but seriously detrimental to health.
Now that summer’s essentially over and the world is starting its familiar turn, it’s time to put health back to its deserved prime position. These 4 tips will help you achieve improved health and overall wellbeing.
Keto, South Beach, the Zone, Weight Watchers, Raw Food, 5:2; there’s a new diet every day. And hey, we’re not saying some of these don’t work. But if you’re the average person, there’s no need to jump on fad diets. Some can be dangerous, whilst most are short-lived bandaids on bigger problems.
The counter to going fad is opting for simple. It’s not the Hollywood solution, but it works. Eating a well-balanced diet is also easier to achieve. This is how you can do it:
- Eat lots of vegetables. Your plate should have a mound of veggies on it every time you eat. The more color, the better.
- Avoid processed snacks. Oreos, Doritos, Twinkies often have more calories than a full meal. Skip them and you’ll notice a difference.
- Limit fats and oils. Opt for unsaturated vegetable oils, including olive, corn, and sunflower oil. Avoid butter, lard, and ghee.
- Less salt. It’s very easy to consume too much salt. Processed foods are full of it. Look at nutritional information and cook from scratch where possible.
- Say bye to soft drinks. They’re just far too unhealthy. The sugar in coke alone is almost a criminal offense.
That never-ending day? It was actually a week. Working from home has led to a serious decline in personal hygiene for many of us. This can not only lead to those who live with us easily adhering to the six feet rule, but it can also translate to a bunch of health issues.
But that doesn’t mean you should go back to showering daily. Excessive showering can remove essential oils, lead to dry skin (and exacerbate conditions such as psoriasis), and it’s also just a waste of water. In fact, it’s probably better for you to limit that to every other day. Your hair? It can go a few days without a wash, no problem.
Instead, give yourself a refresh every few days. When you shower, don’t wash your hair each time. If you need a pick-me-up, apply a little conditioner and rinse your hair thoroughly.
Special mention also goes to oral hygiene. It’s far more than bad breath. Having poor oral health can translate to endocarditis, pneumonia, and cardiovascular disease. Scary, huh? In short, keeping your teeth and gums healthy should be part of your daily routine.
Brush twice a day, floss daily, use mouthwash (but not after brushing!), and replace worn toothbrushes every three months. And feel free to check up on the cosmetic dentistry options; they not only improve your smile aesthetics, but can also improve your overall oral health. For e.g., reshaping teeth to match each other, not only gives good looks, but it also keeps you safe from the hidden accumulation of bacteria.
Bad news: sugar is bad for you. Yes, you already knew that. But seriously, it’s really, really bad for you. It needs to be emphasized because most people don’t quite realize just how much they’re consuming. Research is increasingly showing that we should cut out almost all sugar in our diets. Even the fake stuff (ouch, Diet Coke fans).
The CDC says that Americans are eating far too much of it, leading to an obesity crisis, while we are also seeing a significant uptick in type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The solution is simple, but it’s hard to achieve.
This simple formula should help you: you should consume a maximum of 10% of your calories as sugar. That’s roughly 12 teaspoons in a 2k calorie diet. Sounds easy, but you’d be surprised how much sugar is in products you consume daily.
Lack of sleep is a modern problem, affecting at least 1 in 3 adults. It leads to obvious issues, such as low energy, feeling a tad grumpy, and your mood also takes a knock. But sleeping less than 8 hours a day doesn’t just mean feeling a little below par the next day, but it can also lead to some very serious health problems.
For instance, issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart issues have all been associated with lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation can also lead to insomnia and sleep apnea.
Not getting enough shuteye also affects your concentration and attention span, which in turn affects your ability to learn new skills and absorb information. There’s evidence that it can also lead to long-term cognitive decline, as well as dementia.
Of course, not everyone needs 8 hours a night. Some get away with far less than that. But don’t assume that’s you in an attempt to up your productivity. The hustle culture isn’t necessarily healthy. Listen to your body, get the rest you need, and put an emphasis on a solid nighttime routine.
The mistake most people make when attempting to put health first is going far too extreme. It’s just unsustainable. And if they don’t stick to the rigid plan, they feel guilty and give up. Back to square one.
Instead, take it day by day. Step by step. Just making small changes can have a profound impact on your health.
Theodora is a passionate blogger from Sydney and she simply loves life and nature. That is why she loves writing about gardening, staying healthy and taking care of your well being. Besides that, she loves martial arts and enjoys being an IT nerd.