Our lifestyle habits, day to day activities, work, stress, food, exercises, sleep ……. everything, greatly impacts our health. If the stats are to be believed, Indians get hit by the Heart Diseases and Diabetes, almost 10-15 years earlier than their western counterparts. WHO projects that India would be home to about 80 mn diabetics by 2030, largest across the globe. Also, According to an ASSOCHAM survey, in 2013, 42% of our working force in the private sector, was affected by lifestyle diseases, 38% suffered from chronic diseases and 15% had an acute ailment. And do you know as per studies, as many as 78% corporate employees, fight sleeping disorders.
So, this shows that Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes, Obesity, Strokes, Hypertension etc, have actually made inroads into the young Indian League and the credit goes to sedentary jobs, lack of physical activity, more of alcohol and tobacco intake, incessant eating, junk food, irregular sleep and personal and professional work pressures.
Do you know that by making some minor amendments to our living styles and by inculcating some good lifestyle habits, we can very effectively reduce the risk of these fatal diseases and ensure physical and mental well being. All we need to do is :
- Take care of WHAT WE EAT
- And ensure A ROUTINED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, on a daily basis
By altering our diet and including exercises into our everyday routine, we can ensure a better health. There are many benefits of healthy lifestyle habits like:
1) Helps Fighting against Diseases
A balanced diet, accompanied with regular exercises, helps you fight various serious medical conditions like cardiovascular diseases, strokes, Diabetes etc. Even a Brisk walk (the simples….ssst form of exercise) of 30-45 minutes daily, helps you to get blood Pressure, cholesterol and weight under control and tones your body too. It also acts as an anxiety reliever. Thus, reducing the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
The combo of diet and exercises is very Mood Elevating too. You feel good about yourself, more confident, active, energetic and happy.
Fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate, fish, tea, legumes, whole grains (Carbohydrate rich food) are rich sources of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B1, Iron and Folic acid, that promote production of serotonin and dopamine, that boost your mood.
Similar is the effect of regular exercises that lead to the production of Endorphines, Serotonins, Dopamine and Adrenaline, that make you feel good.
3) Increased Immunity
A diet that offers you Vitamins (A, B2, B6, C, D, E) and Minerals (Selenium, Iron and Zinc) helps strengthening your Immune System by fighting against bacterial, viral infections and aging. Also, they assist in new cell production and repairing DNA.
Exercises done in moderation, strengthen heart and increase lung capacity and immunity enhancing Immunoglobulins.
Regular exercises help in the production of a protein called BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) in your brain, that is responsible for the growth of brain cells that regulate memory, learning and help fight stress. So it is suggested that moderate intensity workouts should be done 5 days a week for 30-45 minutes, to stimulate the specific regions of the brain that produce BDNF.
Foods like nuts, fruits and green leafy vegetables, fish, green tea, dark chocolates, beans etc that are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, anti oxidants, vitamin-B, caffeine etc., also help with improving your memory and concentration.
Regulated Sleep is highly recommended for a healthy lifestyle because it helps in memory consolidation and improving concentration, attention along with boosting immunity, combating stress and fighting lifestyle diseases. Normally, 6-8 hours of sleep is recommended for every individual.
5) Increased Energy and helps Fight Fatigue
Exercises stimulate the body cells to produce more energy, thus reducing fatigue and making you feel more active and energetic. The Body cells contain mitochondria, the tiny power houses that burn carbohydrates and fatty acids to produce ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which stores the energy that our body needs for any x-y-z task. So, exercises lead to more mitochondria generation that means more ATP, thus, more energy.
A balanced diet with the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats is a great energy booster. Thus, its important to include foods like nuts, berries, fruits, fish, green veggies etc into our diet.
Another healthy lifestyle habit that we must follow is drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day since our body is primarily water and when we are dehydrated, various body functions slow down, thus making us feel tired and fatigued. Water flushes out toxins from the body and helps in maintaining weight. Its good for hair and helps with headaches and migraines. Also, it elevates your mood.
6) Better Psychologically
There’s no doubt that a balanced diet with regular exercises is a healthful concoction for your mind, body and soul. But at the same time we should try to imbibe some behavioural traits, as part of a healthy lifestyle, in our day to day lives, that promote psychological wellbeing like :
Starting everyday with a smile can create wonders to your lifestyle. It’s kind of contagious. Like exercise, It helps you de-stress and when it transforms into a laughter, the blood flow increases, throughout the body, thus reducing the danger of cardiovascular diseases and boosting immune system.
Its very essential to spend quality time with your family and friends. Its a great way to reduce stress and depression,increase happiness and improve memory and concentration.
It’s all in the attitude. Right!!! Studies have shown higher rates of depression in pessimistic people where as optimists are self motivated. Being positive helps in improving mood, self esteem and performance.
# Be Grateful and Thankful and Forgive and Forget
This induces a feeling of satisfaction and promotes a cordial environment among people thus facilitating your mental health.