“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old English proverb that basically means that eating nutritious food will make you healthier. As a result, you won’t need to go to the doctor very often. Essentially, they believed that eating fruit daily promoted good health. Seeing your doctor is definitely not a bad thing though but there are practices in our every day that can help promote a healthy lifestyle, which is a win-win for everyone.
It’s easier to stop something happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened. It is also never too late to cut down or stop unhealthy habits before they become life-threatening problems. Here are several ways that you can promote a healthier lifestyle and enjoy life to it’s fullest.
Sleep is one of the most important factors of a healthy lifestyle, just as important as nutrition and exercise. We discussed in more depth the importance and benefits of having a good routine here. It is amazing how much your body and mental health can be affected by poor sleep and is definitely a good place to start on your health journey. Try to avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoons, especially those high in sugar.
Exercise is also key to a healthy lifestyle. Keeping active doesn’t need to be strenuous and it can be fun. Aim to do 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. Moderate intensity exercise causes a noticeable increase in the depth and rate of breathing while still being able to talk comfortably. Taking walks in nature, a swim at the local pool or at the beach or simply making yourself an exercise routine which we discussed here, can make a world of difference not only physically but also for mental health. Set realistic goals and build up your training routine and remember to stay hydrated.
Diet doesn’t always mean cutting back on portions though portion control can help. It can be as simple as adding more vegetables to your diet. Eat a balanced diet. If you are unsure of how much you should be eating, take a look at the Australian Eat for Health guidelines. Talk to your GP about a referral to a nutritionist to help you in the right direction, especially if you don’t know where to start and need a diet tailored for you, rather than jumping on a fad diet. Avoiding junk food and creating healthy alternatives as well as premade meals to counter the times you are too tired to cook will help keep you on track.
Reduce alcohol consumption. Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink will also help keep the doctor. The National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines recommend adults have no more than two standard drinks on any given day and include two alcohol-free days per week. Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are under 18 years old are recommended to avoid alcohol completely.
Quit smoking. Any time is a good time to quit smoking and avoiding second hand smoke is also recommended.
Talk to your GP, they know your medical history and can help point you in the right direction.
Having a healthy lifestyle is achievable and you can start today! Why not get a friend, workmate, or family member involved to help you get started. Once you are in a good routine, prevention is much easier and cheaper than relying on a cure and can help you stay healthier for longer.