Seven Tips to Take Care & Have a Good Health
Do you know what’s more important than a health insurance? It is to live a happy and healthy life. Certainly, this is not the first time you must be hearing this advice. But, have you done something about it? A 15-minute walk everyday? 21-day challenges? 5-minute workouts? The answer would be NO for almost all of you reading this.(You wouldn’t be reading this if your answer was yes ;))
When we talk about well-being, it is not just physical but even mental well-being. In fact, in today’s world, mental health needs serious attention. COVID-19 has pushed us to face extremes of emotions, moods swings, stress and depression. Newspapers carry plenty of so called remedies for the same.
Enough of those vague advices like “Get some sunlight, eat healthy, stay happy” and much more. Of course, that’s the core idea behind taking care of ourselves. But we need some practical guidelines and list of tasks to be done to achieve the end goal. Gear up! Take your pen and paper. Let’s dive into some real-time ideas that would work out even for someone who is not self-motivated. Here is a practical work book for you.
- Kick out JUNK!
Lifestyle diseases, as the word says is caused by our lifestyles, or more precisely bad lifestyles, and this is very much prevalent among millennials. Holding a thick shake in one hand and laptop in other hand might make you look cool, or so you think. Little do you realize that doing this every week will only make you older soon. Sacrificing years to look cool for few minutes? It’s time for a re-think.
Action Plan: It is hard to avoid our favorite foods all at once. Take it slow. One by one. Choose that junk you have been eating more often. Note down the frequency. Do you consume it everyday? Every week? Whatever it is. Now take it as a challenge to reduce it by one step. If you were munching on a pizza every week, consciously reduce it to once a fortnight. When comfortable, reduce it further.
Caution: Do not try to avoid more than two foods at a time. Avoid those 100-day challenges. You will either break it or eat double the quantity on the 101st day. It does more harm than good to your body in the long run.
By jump, I mean any physical activity. We typically spend the entire day in compact office cubicles and all that we can do is stretch and jump. Make sure you are physically active throughout the day. Our nature of work has changed completely. Physical activity is almost zero nowadays as we spend all our day with laptops and in air-conditioned rooms. Even gyms are air conditioned. What a pity. Let this not stop you from going to gym. Something is better than nothing. But, if you can, also try to find an open space.
Action Plan: There are numerous options available to keep our body in movement. For exercise, use apps like Amazon fitness, NTC (Nike Training Centre), Puma’s TRAC etc. With the help of these apps, you can keep track of your progress and also try out a wide mix of exercises. If you feel you need a personal trainer, then opt for a professional gym but for God’s sake ensure that your trainer is truly a professional. One word of caution is to listen to your body while you exercise. There is a fine line between pushing ourselves to do a bit more and straining our muscles to the point of damage.
For yoga again, there are similar apps. But, if you want to keep it simple, doing Surya Namaskar everyday gives immense benefits. It only takes a video and few minutes of time to learn it. If you don’t believe me, try it out yourself, just for few days and you will fall in love with it. If not these, simply go for walks or jogging in playgrounds and parks.
- Get some sunlight!
I did mention this as a vague advice at start, but wait, be patient and read on. One of the causes of lifestyle diseases is lack of Vitamin D3 in our bodies. We do have tablets for the same. But why to take tablets when nature can help you. Standing under the sun for 15 minutes a day with your arms, legs and face exposed boosts your vitamin levels. If you are still in doubt about the power of these 15 minutes, here is a fact for you. “According to the World Health Organization (WHO), getting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face twice or thrice a week is enough to reap the vitamin D-boosting benefits of the sun. It helps strengthen the immune system. Now, start putting that to action.
- Watch your breath!
How long can you watch your breath, be aware of the inhaling and exhaling and count the number of breaths? Hardly a minute. We live in a world of distractions. We need things to happen quickly and patience level is almost null. This is one of the reasons for our stress levels and poor mental health. Instant gratification has become an addiction.
Action Plan: Meditate! No, it is not as boring or hard as you think. If it is, then you have been doing it the wrong way. Find a quiet place. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Notice your breath, how air moves in an out. If, after sometime you realize that you are no longer focusing on your breath and dreaming of something, simply be aware of it and turn your focus back to your breath. This can happen many times. Thoughts are bound to interrupt. It is very common and do no stop meditating because of that.
- Build a hobby!
Hobbies are those activities in which we get fully involved and forget the outside world. It is actually a form of meditation that helps you relax and de-stress.
Action Plan: If you already have a hobby or know what you are passionate about, well and good. Else, here is a way to develop a new hobby. Write the following list in your notebook. Gardening, painting, dancing, cooking, playing games, playing an instrument, singing, writing, reading books, blogging, cycling, travelling, exercising, listening to music, solving puzzles. This is a brief list. There are exhaustive lists available on the internet. Try these one by one for at least a week each consistently. You will surely find something that you are more inclined to. That’s how you build a hobby.
Caution: Your passion can be even the last item on the list. So, don’t get fed up and give up if you are not finding it just by trying a few times.
- Get some sleep
Our entire body cycle rejuvenates while sleeping. A sound sleep repairs the body by itself.
Action Plan: Fix a time (e.g., 10pm to 5am) and sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Do not use gadgets for at least half an hour before bed. A 10-minute meditation before sleep would be a great choice. All we need to remember is one thing. Whatever had happened in the day, it should be thrown outside bed. A bed is purely for our body and mind to relax. Nothing more, nothing less.
- Eat right!
This is the best way to stay healthy and prevent diseases. Our body is a heap of foods. A balanced diet is vital. But current food style is only filled with carbs. It gives us only energy of that time, nothing else.
Action Plan: Lessen your carbs and increase the proteins, minerals and vitamins in your diet. The proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a timeless adage. Let it not be just an apple but any fruit every single day. Drink water when your body asks for it. Do not stuff your stomach just because it is your favorite food. Overeating is as bad as an unbalanced diet.
Got some useful tasks to do? Now, read it again, the 7 sub-headings. Make sure you have one step to do today for each of these. Life is short and it makes little sense when we spend a part of it in fighting with diseases. Make a few changes to your way of life and live a happy and healthy life.
Removing junk foods from our daily diet is a slow process. It can be hard at first. Do not completely avoid it. It is okay to eat once in a while. When you plan to avoid a food. Make sure it is not even in your house. Some people tend to break the challenge only when they find it in front of them. There are various types of meditation. Some of them are transcendental meditation, mindfulness meditation, movement meditation etc. Focusing on the breath is the very basic of these and once you are comfortable doing this, you can explore other types. It is important to keep it simple and don’t try very complex forms of breath control you are not equipped for. The very essence of a challenge is to do it whatever it takes. But it is still okay when you couldn’t follow it because you fell sick or some other valid reasons. The ultimate aim is to be healthy and stress-free. If you stress yourself in doing this, it is of little use. It defeats the very purpose.
I am addicted to certain foods and I find it hard to avoid it. What can I do?
Isn’t meditation about repeating the mantra?
I feel guilty when I skip a day in the challenge. It de-motivates me. How do I deal with it?
Removing junk foods from our daily diet is a slow process. It can be hard at first. Do not completely avoid it. It is okay to eat once in a while. When you plan to avoid a food. Make sure it is not even in your house. Some people tend to break the challenge only when they find it in front of them.
There are various types of meditation. Some of them are transcendental meditation, mindfulness meditation, movement meditation etc. Focusing on the breath is the very basic of these and once you are comfortable doing this, you can explore other types. It is important to keep it simple and don’t try very complex forms of breath control you are not equipped for.
The very essence of a challenge is to do it whatever it takes. But it is still okay when you couldn’t follow it because you fell sick or some other valid reasons. The ultimate aim is to be healthy and stress-free. If you stress yourself in doing this, it is of little use. It defeats the very purpose.