What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a healthy body? Do you imagine him muscular? Most people associate a healthy body with a well-trained one. And many think that for a healthy body, not only do you have to spend several hours in the gym every day, but also follow a strict diet that is so low in calories that it would probably not be suitable for an adult.
However, the path to being and staying healthy is not as linear as the one described above – this is the first lesson. And that’s also the main reason so many people give up getting healthier before they even start. But there is another way. There are ways to make the path less bumpy – facts that seem very obvious to some of us, and elements that are quickly and often overlooked. We’ll cover 5 of them below.
1. Get enough sleep
One of the best things you can do for your body to stay healthy and get fitter faster is getting enough sleep. When tired, the brain and body cannot function as they should. This can lead to mistakes in work or injuries while exercising. Your body also needs sleep to recover from the stress of the day.
Everyone has a different need for sleep; for adults this is usually between 7 and 9 hours. To create a healthy and restful sleep routine, there are a few things to keep in mind: Try to go to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual and avoid electronic devices in bed. If you’re not ready to sleep just yet, grab a book. It entertains without suppressing melatonin and delaying REM sleep.
2. Drink enough
The human body consists of around 60% water. So it should come as no surprise that drinking enough is essential to our health and performance. Even a little dehydration can have a significant impact on mood, well-being and functionality.
It should be noted, however, that optimal hydration is not only closely related to fluid intake, but also to salt intake.
Adequate salt intake ensures that our cells can store fluid and stay hydrated. However, if you drink too much water (as many do), salt is flushed out of our cells and (along with the water) excreted in the urine. This can help maintain a constant cycle of dehydration.
It is best to ensure that you are consuming enough salt and listening to your body – this means drinking when you are thirsty, hot or after exercise. And don’t forget that many foods are also high in water, which contributes to overall fluid intake.
3. Move around in between
The modern lifestyle has an enormous impact on our health. Sitting at a desk all day can be harmful to the body. Sitting for long periods of time not only reduces overall physical activity, but can also lead to poor posture, movement disorders, and pain.
Try to get up at least once an hour. Once you’ve made this a habit, take a short walk around the office or do some light stretching. Once you get used to these exercise snacks, find more options to get you moving throughout the day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car a little further away and walk the rest of the way or arrange short walking meetings with your colleagues.
The aim is to loosen the muscles and get the circulation going. You will find that you feel much better physically throughout the day and that you can concentrate better on your work.
4. Breathe in and out deeply
We take breathing for granted and only notice it during times of exertion or stress. With every breath we take in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
This process must remain in perfect balance – after all, it is a fundamental aspect of our survival. It is important to understand that it is not the amount of oxygen we ingest that affects our health – it is the levels of carbon dioxide in our bodies that drive the oxygen consumption of our cells. Hence, it is important to maintain healthy levels of carbon dioxide. This can be achieved by breathing deeper throughout the day.
5. Eat a wholesome diet
A balanced diet is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Try to eat whole foods as often as possible. By whole foods, we mean foods that are not processed and packaged. Eat lots of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables – the more colors, the better.
Your body gets most of its nutrients from the foods you eat. Hence, it is important to eat a wide variety of foods to get all of the nutritional benefits. If you don’t have the ability to prepare your own meals, find restaurants that offer healthy dishes.