One of my main goals this year is to focus on my health and fitness. I consistently practiced yoga and other workouts during the first few weeks of the year. I felt happy because I couldn't do it regularly last year. However, the time came when I felt overwhelmed by exercising every day. I also started sleeping late at night, not eating on time, and indulging in sweet foods. I stayed at home most days, and I didn't go outside. I only had meetings online.
I thought I couldn't be productive because I wasn't managing my time well. I wanted to do many different things but couldn't focus on them. I knew I had other responsibilities at work, with family, and with my personal projects. That's when I started neglecting my health and fitness goals because I focused too much on doing other things.
We all know a healthy lifestyle is essential for our overall well-being. When I exercise, I feel good about myself. A healthy lifestyle could bring other benefits, so let's explore them together.
A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that promotes good physical, mental, and social health. It involves several essential factors in getting the benefits for our physical, mental, and social health.
I. Physical Health
A. Eating a balanced diet
A balanced diet provides the body with the necessary nutrients to function correctly. It includes carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Eating a well-balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk of chronic diseases, and boost your energy levels.
I usually cook at home and keep food stocks in my refrigerator or freezer. Because I don't follow a strict diet, I constantly mix foods based on what I enjoy eating. I include fruits and vegetables in my daily meals, for example. Drinking more water is also essential for staying hydrated throughout the day. Eating a balanced diet will, of course, be determined by your dietary requirements. But try not to be too hard on yourself.
Maintaining good physical health requires regular physical activity. Exercise can help you improve your cardiovascular health, lower your risk of chronic diseases, and improve your mental health. It is recommended that you engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.
What helped me become consistent with exercising is trying to do it daily. I created a simple calendar of activities that I could do every week. Instead of doing yoga plus strength exercises daily, I decided to do them on separate days. I want to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Making it short and simple makes it easier for me to show up. Wearing workout attire is also helpful in reminding me that I'm setting a time to exercise. When I only wore my regular home clothes when I worked out, it didn't separate me from my activities at home.
There are different types of exercise that you can do depending on your body type and fitness goals. The important thing is that you do it regularly and you find joy in exercising.
A good night's sleep is essential for physical health. Sleep aids in the repair and restoration of the body and can help improve cognitive function and mental health. It is recommended that you get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Getting proper sleep every night is essential, especially if you want to start your day early. It's important to note that adjusting your sleep a bit earlier can ensure that you get enough sleep, and you can get up early too. Although this can be challenging for night owls like me, who feel more productive when working at night. Too much screen time can disrupt our attention and affect our sleeping routine. To face this issue, I decided to turn off my computer screens earlier at night and try not to work late. It also means spending less time on social media at night.
II. Mental Health
A. Stress management
Stress can be harmful to both your mental and physical health. Stress management can improve your overall well-being and lower the risk of chronic diseases. Some ways to manage stress include exercise, meditation, and deep breathing.
Meditating as soon as I wake up in the morning has become helpful for me in clearing my mind and setting my intentions for the day. I also do it when I have a lot of thoughts in my head and want to quiet them down. It doesn't need to be an hour-long meditation. I follow a guided meditation online for 10 minutes, and I'm good. Practicing yoga has been helpful for me, too, in keeping myself grounded.
B. Positive thinking
Positive thinking can have a significant impact on mental health. It can help to alleviate stress and anxiety, improve mood, and boost self-esteem. Positive thinking techniques include gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, and practicing mindfulness.
It's helpful to train ourselves to be grateful for every little thing in our lives. We can be thankful for many things, like being healthy and safe, having supportive people around us, and having the resources we need to survive. Journaling is also a way for me to observe my thoughts and feelings. If I'm in a difficult situation, I always try to look at the positive side of things and remind myself that every problem has a solution. It's good to be open about the growth mindset and incorporate it into your daily life.
III. Social Health
A. Building and maintaining relationships
A strong social network has been shown to benefit mental and physical health. Studies have found that individuals with a more extensive social network have a reduced risk of depression and anxiety. In addition, social support has been linked to lower blood pressure and a more robust immune system. Here are some tips for building and maintaining relationships:
Be present: Be present at the moment when spending time with others. Put your phone down and pay attention to what the other person says. Participate in the discussion and show interest in what others have to say by asking questions or sharing your own experiences. Be honest about yourself as well.
Show appreciation: Let your loved ones know that you appreciate them. You can thank anyone for the small things they did that impacted your life. A simple "thank you" or "I love you" can go a long way.
Be supportive: Show support and encouragement for the people in your life. It can be as simple as attending a friend's event or sending a thoughtful message when they are having a tough time. Be genuine in letting them know you're there for them if they need help.
B. Having a support system
A support system is a group of individuals who provide emotional, practical, and/or financial support. A support system can give a sense of belonging, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem. Here are some ways to build a support system:
Join a group: Consider joining a group or organization that aligns with your interests. It could be a sports team, book club, or volunteering group. Think about the things you are passionate about and find people with the same interest.
Connect with others: Make an effort to connect with the people around you. Strike up a conversation with a co-worker or neighbor. It could also be saying a simple Hi to someone you see while walking in a park.
Ask for help: Be bold and ask for help when needed. Getting the proper support is very important because it can help you in many ways. Reach out to a friend or family member and tell them how they can support you. You can also get a coach or a mentor in the areas you want to improve. They can be really helpful when you have a vision or goals that you want to achieve.
A healthy lifestyle is essential for our overall health. You can improve your health and quality of life by incorporating various habits that promote physical, mental, and social well-being. It's also important to remember to avoid bad habits. Small changes can make a big difference, and taking the first step toward a healthier lifestyle is the best way to move forward. It's also a good idea to start immediately and enjoy the journey.