How many of us have a habit of strewing garbage within our homes?
What about a littered office space then?
On a similar note, have you ever noticed a dirty place of worship?
The above questions would receive a collective gasp along with a vehement denial. The thought is preposterous, unthinkable, and even enraging maybe, right? At this point, I am going to be a bit in your face and say, why do we subject our bodies to such dire conditions then? Why do we adopt unhealthy habits that harm our bodies?
While you may be at a loss for words, we have just the perfect eye-opening solutions for you. In honour of World Health Day celebrated on April 07, let us take an oath to abandon the negative habits that have an adverse impact on our body and mind.
The first step to a healthy lifestyle is clean eating. Guzzling unhealthy food is akin to putting adulterated petrol or diesel in your vehicle. It can only traverse a limited journey with the contamination. Will just washing your car’s exterior or painting it brightly be enough to run it smoothly? The question seems almost laughable.
The same connotation applies to our bodies as well. Unhealthy components such as junk food, too many sweets, fatty food, too much caffeine, cigarettes, or alcohol, need to be struck off from your daily eating habits to take the first step towards an improved lifestyle. It is not only what you eat and drink, but also when you do that determines your health. Skipping breakfast, eating at odd hours, binge-eating, drinking water during or right after a meal, heavy meal at night just before hitting the bed are some of the DON’Ts, in bold letters.
After all, good skin, good hair and good health are all built majorly from within. This indicates the importance of having a timely, well-balanced diet for all meals. Include a good mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fibres, and liquids in your diet to lead an elongated and healthy life.
A sedentary lifestyle is the root cause of serious, long-winded, complicated health risks. With the demands of our professional and personal lives, most of us usually spend long hours sitting in one place. The pandemic further added to this habit with work from home and restrictions on stepping out. An inactive lifestyle leads to obesity which consequently invites other diseases and ailments. Further, an inactive body also makes the mind more inactive and hence we feel fatigued, despite no physical activities for 10 – 12 hours.
It is critical to intersperse long durations of inactivity with shorts bursts of exercises. You can climb some flight of stairs few times a day or squeeze in 10 minutes of mini-workout routines in work breaks. Some light stretching exercises will also provide much-needed relief to your neck and back. Alternatively, you can practise yogaasanas to maintain flexibility. Dedicate some me-time at the beginning, end, or during the day to stay fit. It’s highly advisable to clock 10,000 steps a day in order to live an active life.
This is often one of the most underestimated pillars of building one’s health. A myriad of studies indicates that sleeping less than 7 hours a day could lead to multiple physical and mental conditions including cardiovascular, lung-related, and depression, among others. Average human bodies require 7 – 9 hours of undisrupted sleep cycle daily, depending upon the extent of physical activities endured. Waking up fresh increases alertness, enhances working capabilities, improves focus and concentration, and provides overall additional energy for developing physical and mental strength and endurance
Another important aspect is the time of sleeping. Sleeping at late hours or during the day will not be as beneficial as sleeping and waking up early. It is indeed true that the early bird catches the worm!
About 60% of human body is made of water, with some organs containing upto 83%. Needless to say, depriving the body of the most significant component is Harakiri. Not having enough water (average of 2.5 – 3 litres every day) is not the only reason why your body may feel dehydrated. Increased caffeine and alcohol intake also dehydrates the body, as does sugary food and beverages, as well as oily and deep-fried food.
Consume fresh fruits and vegetables as they are high in water content. Freshly squeezed juices (keep the packaged beverages at an arm’s length unless they are sugar-free and organic), smoothies, milk (dairy or vegan), green tea and detox drinks are also some of the great ways to hydrate and keep yourself cool in our tropical country.
Derisory stress management
Imagine the body, all its parts and organs, and the mind as a single entity interlinked by chains. What happens if you put too much pressure on these chains? They break and start malfunctioning. This is an illustration of how stress impacts our mental and physical well-being. As they say, there is no point in stressing over what is beyond our control and even more moot to stress over what has to be done and is within our control. There are different ways of managing stress. Maintaining a positive and optimistic outlook on life, workouts, yoga (particularly pranayama), meditation, pursuing productive hobbies, spending time with loved ones, the list is endless!
As you sow, so shall you reap – Nothing embodies this proverb better than a human body. So, this World Health Day, pledge to give your body all the love and respect it deserves and it is sure to reward you 10X.