Good health is on everyone’s wish list however what does healthy mean? Whilst the obvious answer is to be free of disease, to me being healthy is also about being physically, mentally and emotionally able to do the things that make us feel better.
When we feel healthy our body supports and allows us to participate fully in life. When we have it we tend to take it for granted and when we don’t, it’s only then that we realise how valuable it is. Our bodies are amazing however we must nourish and nurture them appropriately if we’re to maintain our health.
Good health is available to everyone when you make conscious lifestyle choices and is not difficult to achieve when you follow this simple MORE and LESS approach. Choose to follow the following 8 simple steps and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to optimise your health and how great you will feel.
So here’s how simple it easy to be healthy:
- DRINK MORE WATER
Aim for 2 litres a day to hydrate your body and flush toxins from your systems. Have a 1 litre water bottle at home and another at work and drink both completely each day: when it’s conveniently located, you’ll manage 2 litres easily.
- EAT MORE PLANT FOODS
Fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains are nutrient dense, packed full with fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to nourish, heal and energise your body. Plant foods are easily processed by your body allowing it to access the nutrients and regular consumption will help you to prevent chronic disease.
Eat at least 7-9 serves of a variety of fresh vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day to give your body the range of nutrients it requires to function optimally.
- SLEEP MORE
Sleep plays a critical role in our body’s immune function, metabolism, growth, healing, memory, and learning. A good night’s sleep allows you to function mentally and physically whilst a reduced and/or poor quality sleep impact on our ability to function mentally and physically.
Aim for 8 hours as much as possible. This means going to bed at 10am to wake the next day at 6am. The occasional shorter sleep (I’m talking 6-7 hours) won’t cause you too much harm, however a regular practice of 6 hours or less of sleep each day will.
- MOVE MORE
You’ve heard the phrase: use it or lose it. Your physical fitness disappears quickly when you don’t exercise your body regularly.
Aim for an hour of exercise and/or walk 10000 steps every. Break it up into smaller chunks of time to make it more achievable. Walk part of the way to work: get off the bus or train or park the car 15 – 30 mins from your workplace then walk the remaining distance.
Get up from your desk and outside out at lunchtime in the fresh air and away from technology to get some vitamin D and some clear head space – you’ll be amazed how much more effectively you’ll work when you return to work.
- CONNECT WITH PEOPLE MORE
Spend physical time with family, friends and colleagues. Share thoughts, feelings and experiences; touch, hug and kiss the people you love and care about. Physical human connection is essential to our emotional well-being and releases those lovely feel good endorphins.
- EAT LESS SUGAR AND PROCESSED FOODS
When you make sugar and processed foods a regular part of your diet you overload your digestive and immune systems and impair your overall health. Sugar and processed foods are calorie dense, lack nutrients, are laden with chemicals and additives, cause toxicity and inflammation in your body and are linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancers.
Reduce the amount of sugar and processed food in your diet with the aim to remove it from your diet altogether.
- EAT LESS MEAT AND DAIRY
Consider not eating meat and dairy for at least one day a week to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes and cancer.
Every year, millions of animals are killed to provide meat for humans consumption so eating less meat will help your own health, as well as benefit animals. The environment will benefit too as raising livestock is a major cause of deforestation, high water usage and greenhouse gas production around the globe.
- USE TECHNOLOGY LESS
Technology and social media interferes and often takes over from person to person contact that is essential to bonding with others. Set time limits for technology use and make ‘no tech times’ so that family members can share, interact and enjoy being a family.
Additionally, the light emitted from technology items (phones, tablets, laptops, tv, game consoles etc) interferes with our body’s natural circadian rhythms and sleep cycles reducing the quality and quantity of the sleep that is necessary for our bodies to recharge every night. Turn off all technology 1 hour before going to bed and don’t make them the first thing you grab when the alarm goes off.
Until next time, wishing you a delicious day filled with love, laughter, happiness AND health!