12 Simple Health Rules for a Better Life that Anyone can Follow
Staying healthy in the modern day world is tougher than ever before. Work pressures, long hours, varying schedules, unhealthy diets, inadequate sleep and diseases are just a handful of the large number of factors that prevent us from being fit and living better. Other than these external factors, one also has to contend with one’s own mental barriers such as willingness to stay fit, making time to focus on health and taking the effort to make subtle changes to one’s routine.
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
While admittedly a tough task, it is not really impossible to turn your life around and transform into physically and mentally healthy individuals. In this post, we have listed 12 simple health rules for a better and happier life. With a little control and determination, following them should be quite a walk in the park!
12 Health Rules to Live by:
1 Become a morning person
The dreaded sound of the alarm in the morning induces a loud groan, doesn’t it? However, studies have shown that those who wake up early in the morning are thinner with better BMI (Body Mass Index), more alert & proactive and perform better at workplaces and schools. Best Health magazine by Reader’s Digest has given 6 simple steps to become a morning person. You can read about it here.
2 Have a heavy breakfast
While a lot of us are in the habit of skipping breakfasts, it actually is one of the most important meals of the day. Studies have shown that having a high-calorie breakfast with a gradual reduction of calories from lunch to dinner can help you lose weight and maintain lower blood sugar levels. So don’t shy away from a large bite in the morning the next time!
3 Replace coffee with green tea
Coffee contains almost 3 times the amount of caffeine as green tea. In moderation, coffee can provide several health benefits including reducing risk of several types of cancers such as liver cancer, protection from strokes and fighting depression. However, higher consumption may lead to insomnia, nervousness, faster heartbeat and increase risk of low birth weight babies during pregnancy. Switching to green tea can provide numerous benefits including stronger bones and teeth, cancer-fighting antioxidants, fat loss, improved brain functioning and a longer lifespan.
4 Pedal and walk more
Cycling and walking are two simple ways of improving overall health and fitness. By burning those extra calories, the risk of several heart diseases and strokes are reduced. Further, they are also a great way of building strength and stamina while being less strenuous than most other forms of exercise.
5 Say yes to whole-grain bread
Whole grains are rich in nutrients including protein, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Eating whole grain bread can lead to a healthy digestive system and protect against heart diseases, strokes and obesity. It is recommended that adults eat 6-8 slices of whole grain bread every day.
6 Sleep for 7-8 hours daily
Sleep is one of the most important factors for a healthy living. A complete sleep of 7-8 hours every day strengthens the immune system, improves metabolism, lowers stress levels and improves cognitive performance thereby leading to better physical and mental fitness levels. Children are recommended to sleep longer- about 10 hours a day.
7 Eat fresh fruits & veggies instead of processed food
This one’s tough for a lot of us. While processed food items are well-preserved and easily available, they have lower nutrient levels, may cause gastrointestinal disorders and promote ageing. On the other hand, whole foods such as fruits and vegetables provide valuable nutrients such as fiber, vitamin and minerals with low fat. These nutrients help in reducing cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar and maintaining your weight among many others.
8 Gap between dinner and sleep
A lot of us have the tendency to sleep right after dinner. However, research suggests that one must eat at least 2 hours before sleeping. Eating too close to bedtime can affect the quality of sleep and lead to gastrointestinal problems. Further, a late meal can make you less hungry in the morning, causing you to skip breakfast and have an unhealthy diet.
9 Avoid sugar-rich beverages and juices
Beverages such as cold drinks and sodas are very high in sugar, which can lead to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and liver damage. Furthermore, they can cause excess weight gain as well as reduced bone strength and tooth decay. Contrary to popular belief, even packaged juices aren’t quite healthy. While they do contain some of the nutrients of a whole fruit, they lack other vital nutrients such as fiber and like soda beverages, are high in sugar and calories.
10 More water = better health
Our body contains about 70% water and hence, water is a vital element to stay healthy. Remaining hydrated significantly impacts health as water helps keep body fluid balance, flush out waste, control calories and maintain proper functioning of kidneys and bowels. The absence of adequate water intake can lead to dehydration, kidney stones, urinary tract infections and constipation among many other illnesses.
11 Exercise whenever possible
The benefits of exercising are well-known. However, not all of us have the time to spare for a complete body workout. But we can afford 10-minute breaks in our work and academic routines. Using these breaks to perform simple freehand exercises such as pushups, dips, race-walking and knee bends can improve the functioning of the circulatory system, enhance metabolism & body strength and lower stress.
12 Call up an old friend
Staying healthy involves not just physical well-being, but mental well-being as well. After the packed routine of the day, it is essential to loosen up and relax to lower stress levels. Spending time with your family, catching up with friends and indulging in hobbies are great stress busters that can improve mental health and happiness.