Sometimes, it can be challenging to determine elements of a helthy lifestyle. Does it mean to wake up at 5 am and go for a run or to sleep till 9 am and exercise in the evening? Eat in the morning or skip a breakfast? Be more social or spend more time meditating?
Of course, there is general rules, usually backed up by research, about what our body and mind needs for functioning properly and staying healthy. However, every person is unique in her/his preferences and needs. For example, one person feels energetic after waking up at 5 am. At the same time, another person will benefit much more from waking up at 9 am. The best way to approach a healthy lifestyle is to adapt general rules for your personal unique requirements.
A healthy lifestyle is not about specific methods or activities. Thus, to lead a healthy life is to make daily choices that enhance and maintain YOUR physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. In the end, only you know what is best for you. If you look at a healthy lifestyle from this perspective, it is easier to grasp what specific actions you can take. Your daily choices regarding different areas of you life define your lifestyle. For example, you can choose go to sleep on time and feel rested in the morning. You also can stay late and feel tired next day. The first choice leads to maintaining your physical well-being. The second one causes distress for your body.
Your daily choices that enhance your well-being might include:
1. To be physically active every day (or be active at least 2.5 hour a week)
If you have a sedentary job, there are many options for bringing more physical activity in your life. You can do walking, jogging, household tasks, gardening, yoga, group fitness classes, home/gym workout, participation in recreational sports, dancing, cycling, and so on.
If you are physically active at your job, you might still need to do some specific exercises. It will help to prevent overuse injuries, muscle imbalance, and decreased joint mobility.
2. To eat balanced food and be mindful about hunger/satiety level
To keep diet balanced in nutrients, eat variety of foods. Also, make sure that you follow signals from your body about hunger and satiety. In other words, start eating when you are moderately hungry and stop eating when you are moderately full. If you lost this skill of understanding your body signals, you can re-learn it. You just need to practice. It is possible to regain an ability to rely more on your body than on external rules (e.g. portion size, frequency of eating).
3. To have enough sleep (8 hours) and care about your body in other ways
Examples of caring for your physical health are regular check ups with dentist and other doctors, enough relaxation time, stretching, enough water intake. Often, to improve care for your body (and for your life in general), you need to change your habits. This process can be challenging. However, it is definitely possible to transform your habits and form a healthy lifestyle.
Make sure that you also pay attention to your decisions in the areas of social, mental, and spiritual well-being.
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