Healthy Lifestyle Tips
There are some key aspects to keep our body toned, systems regulated and have resistance against many diseases or ability to recoup fast when fall sick.
- Diet- Eat variety of foods rich in vitamins and minerals present in vegetables, fruits, legumes and cereals. Eliminate trans-fats. Consume essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids). Adults should watch intake of carbohydrates, sugar and sodium. Limit caffeine and tannin intake. Antioxidants (green tea, citrus fruits, berries etc.) intake is crucial to reduce oxidative stress. ACE Vitamins are rich in antioxidants.
- Exercise - Must do 15-20 minutes exercise everyday or at least 20-30 minutes workout 3 days a week. Stretch exercises (Yoga, Tai chi, Pilate's, Aerobics etc.) increase muscle strength, tones and keeps the body supple. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises are important for heart health
- Body-Mind discipline/ Ashtang Yoga- Out of the eight-fold steps of Ashtang yoga, the first four parts are- Yam, Niyam, Asan and Pranayam. If one follows these alone, one can observe peace, contentment, health and happiness. Yam is about non-violence, truth & honesty, non-stealing and non-possessiveness. Niyam is purity, contentment, austerity, study of sacred scriptures and living with an awareness of divine. Asana is yoga postures and Pranayam is deep breathing to oxygenate all organs of the body.
- Avoid Stress-Stress is a natural reaction of our body to give focus and stamina to deal with a situation. But whenever there is an over-reaction due to heightened emotion, over-exposure in adverse situation, then the stress which prepares our body to fight-or-flight can cause problems. Prolonged stress of any or repetitive nature is injurious to health.
- Sleep-Relax- Eight to Nine hours of sleep is very important to relax body and mind. The brain undergoes transitions as we wake up and sleep. These state of transitions are crucially important for proper brain functioning. Sleep deprivation can affect mental performance and many other mind or brain disorders.
- Recreate-Rejuvenate-Cultivate hobbies- Specialists find hobbies stimulating for body and mind. Recreational activities allow stress release giving a break from humdrum routine. Socializing or people networking can also help reduce stress or apathy.
- Emotional Freedom- Negative emotions are the root cause of stress, depression leading to other bigger problems. Try to remain unaffected by what others say or other external influences. Try to be immune to praise or criticism.
- No Smoking/No Drugs/No Alcohol- Chewing or smoking tobacco ought to be a No-No for good health. Smoking causes many illnesses including cardio-vascular diseases, cancers and many other chronic diseases. Abstinence from alcohol is also crucial to good health.
- Laughter/Humor - Scientists say that even one minute of laughter can give the body up to 45 minutes of therapeutic relaxation, reduces heart rate, improves blood circulation, speeds healing, stimulates appetite and digestion, stabilize and regulate many body functions.
Author:Dr. Anju Dave