Easy Lifestyle Changes To Make You Healthier

‘Health is wealth’ – a very simple yet wise saying. No matter how successful you are in your career or how big your bank balance is, none of it matters unless you are fit and healthy to reap the benefits of your hard work. While people are becoming more selective and sophisticated in their lifestyle, more often than not, it’s all about the small changes you make which give results in the short as well as long run. Here we list out some simple changes which you could try to inculcate in your daily routine.

Get your biological clock in sync

Sleep is the best repairing mechanism of the body. A full night of uninterrupted sleep can give you enough energy and freshness to last a day, boost your productivity and maintain your immunity. Each person has his/her own biological clock, according to which the sleep cycle runs. Maintaining a correct sleep cycle not only reduces your overall sleep time but also keeps away lethargy and sleepiness away which you might feel if you have irregular sleep patterns. Listen to your body and its needs, as you know what is best for yourself.

Hydrate yourself religiously

There are many myths and advice floating around related to water consumption– one common thing you will find is that all of those recommend drinking ample amount of water. Keeping yourself hydrated keeps your body fresh and mind alert. It also helps in digestion and maintains the glow in your skin. So, start your morning with lukewarm water. Mix it with honey for added help in weight loss. Although there is no hard and fast rule on the amount of water to consume, listen to your body and keep the thirst at bay.

Break a sweat

There is always debate on the different types of exercises and their positive effects on the body. While how hard you go with your exercise regime depends on your body, the main motto of exercise should be to ‘break a sweat’. You should focus on getting your heart-beat up. Exercising for at least 30 min daily should be on your agenda – choose from cardio, yoga, pranayama, hitting the gym, or even simple jogging. Exercise helps in improving blood circulation, oxygenation, and lung capacity, which has a direct effect on your mental alertness, productivity, and your quality of sleep. So make sure you include some form of exercise in your daily routine.

Eat your veggies

With more and more nutrient deficiency related diseases coming to the limelight, one cannot ignore the merits of including vegetables and fruits in the daily diet. Fresh vegetables and fruits have tons of nutrients, antioxidants, minerals and have low calories and fat, making those an ideal part of daily diet. From fibres to different vitamins there are some essential nutrients which are only found in green vegetables. They are also easy to digest and help maintain a regular bowel movement. So keep your plate green and fresh.

Cut down on sugar and include more healthy fat

Keeping in mind that not all sugar is harmful, sugar mentioned here is referred to crystalline sugar. Processed sugar does the maximum damage to the heart and hence you should try to reduce processed sugar from your diet as much as possible. Try including more natural sugar like sweet potato, fruits, jaggery, etc. Also, try adopting monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat in your diet instead of going for a low-fat diet. A balanced diet is going to give you wholesome nutrition rather than a more specific diet. So watch what you keep in your plate.

Manage your meals

While eating healthy is important, it is not enough. Apart from what you eat, when and how much you eat also has a huge impact on your body.

  • Divide your two or three big meals in five or six small snacks. Eating stomach full makes you lethargic and slows down digestion and mineral absorption in the blood.
  • Try having your last meal three hours before bed so that you have ample time to digest your food.
  • Don’t drink too much water before sleep so that you don’t have to wake up for washroom breaks and you get uninterrupted sleep.
  • Also, make sure you have a hearty breakfast so that you make up for the intake between dinner and breakfast.

Plan your leisure time

A healthy lifestyle does not revolve around what you feed your body, but what you feed your mind also matters. So instead of working your fingers on that smartphone, start reading more. Make a target to read one book of your choice every week. Reading makes your mind more open to new ideas and helps boost your productivity. You can also opt to work on a skill, hobby or anything which helps you utilize your leisure time better.

Meditation

The secret to a healthy body is a fully functional mind. Meditation is one of those precious tools whose merits are unattainable from any other means. A 30 minutes meditation every day is scientifically proven to increase the grey matter in your brain; the part which is responsible for intelligence. Meditation also has been known to control your blood pressure along with breathing pattern – this, in turn, helps you control your emotional surges and stay calmer and composed.

Keep away from bad influences

It’s an already known fact that smoking, drinking, etc. are injurious to health. But in spite of that, people become victim of these addictions. Try to stay away from addictions as well as any triggers that provoke you to get involved in these, especially if you are a recovering. It takes big willpower to control your temptations but just a moment of weakness to get plunged in it again.

Make healthy decisions

A healthy lifestyle is not just a part of your routine but is the routine itself. Apart from all the given points, a healthy lifestyle includes making healthy decisions like taking stairs over lift, choosing healthy snacks over junk food and fruit juice over a beer. Every small decision collectively makes up what you are. Remember, every choice matters!

Beyond Fitbit, There Is More To Health Management

Health management found an altogether new meaning in 2007 when Fitbit Inc set its foundation in San Francisco. A decade down the line, the world has caught up with the ‘healthy living’ trend and how! What started more as a fad has now become an integral part of people’s lives. There are people who just cannot function without their Fitbit tugging at their wrists! No, we are not exaggerating.

Fitbit came in as a revolutionary product that helped people keep track of their physical activity. It gave birth to a horde of other fitness trackers that let you track your physical/health activities ranging from calorie intake, calories burnt, steps walked, kilometres ran, water intake, sleep et al. You name it and you have a tracker for it today – be it in the form of a wearable gadget or a mobile phone application. These are all great ways to ensure that you are leading a healthy life but have you ever wondered that this is not all that health management is about?

Health management is an umbrella term and tracking physical activities and sleep is just two of the many other aspects that one needs to cater to for a having a healthy mind and body. The fad of fitness trackers and app has made people overlook the bigger picture. Managing health is not only about tracking your steps, calories, or food but also about monitoring your health at regular intervals. Monitoring health is what these apps and trackers don’t provide for. A holistic approach to health management will be tracking as well as monitoring other aspects. Let’s take a look –

Managing Personal Health Record (PHR) History:

Personal Health Record (PHR) is a tool that helps an individual to keep a track of their past and current health and medical history. Unlike the fitness apps and trackers where you live by the day, the PHR is a consolidated data about your entire health history. It helps doctors in tracking your past health record thereby felicitating better and accurate medical care. It keeps track of your diagnosis and treatments which, in turn, helps the doctors in precise analysis and treatment. There are several mobile apps available today which can help you keep track of your personal health record right from the mobile.

Healthcare Advice

Have a stomach ache? Google the symptoms and voila you have stomach cancer! Hasn’t this happened with most of us? Today, Googling about a disease has created more anxiety than the disease itself. With so much of information at our disposal, it becomes difficult to measure the accuracy of it. Reading a couple of articles on the internet cannot provide you with the healthcare advice you need. You need qualified professionals to guide you through. You need access to quality health advice from expert professionals – delivered right on your mobile phone.

Keeping in Touch with Doctors

How many times have you texted your doctor regarding some ailment or post-op follow-up? Innumerable, isn’t it? Ever wondered about how unsystematic you are being regarding such vital information? It becomes difficult not only for you but also for the doctor to keep track of your medical history. You should be able to communicate with the doctor while making your medical information available systematically. You don’t need to visit the doctor nor do you need to worry about losing track of your vital medical information. Everything should be placed systematically under your health profile.

Locating Doctors, Labs & Other Medical Facilities

Just like apps wherein you review restaurants, how about an app where you can review doctors, labs, X-ray and MRI centres etc? We seek reviews from acquaintances and friends before finalizing a doctor or accessing any other medical facility. But, what if you are stuck in a new city with no reliable acquaintance? In such situations, it helps to have an app more like an online directory that recommends and reviews doctors, hospitals, labs and other medical centres.

Good Diet & Exercise

Completing 10k steps every day on your fitness tracker doesn’t mean that you have met your exercise quota nor does consuming food with limited calorie ensures you are having a good and healthy diet. Exercise and a good diet are well beyond that. One needs to exercise for at least 30 minutes at a stretch. Walking 10k steps over the entire day doesn’t count for exercise. A good diet is imperative in maintaining health and keeping a check on calorie count doesn’t imply good diet. You need to ensure that your diet is meeting your nutrition quota for the day. A good diet should be based on the intake of nutrients more than the calorie count.

The fad of healthy life has skewed the meaning of health management. Losing weight or building muscle doesn’t mean you are fit or healthy. Being healthy is far more than just your outer body. Though it is not bad to keep a track of your day to day physical activities and eating habits, one needs to focus on the rest of the above-mentioned aspects as well in order to achieve a perfectly healthy mind and body.

 

How to Stay Healthy – Even in A Demanding Job

The changing lifestyles with increased work pressure and long working hours are many times considered to be the most used excuses by the general working class for overlooking their health. We do understand that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not easy, but it certainly isn’t an impossible task to accomplish.

A 2016 report by Optum inferred that 46% of the corporate workforce in India suffers from some form of mental or physical health issue. The report further suggested that 30% of the workforce was at high risk of diabetes or hypertension. 43% of the employees who took the survey had a skewed BMI (Body Mass Index), and out of this 43%, 30% were at high risk of hypertension and 46% were burdened with excessive stress.

Heavy pay cheques come at a heavier price – health. Stress has been touted as one of the primary culprits behind 78% human health issues across the globe. In another survey by Optum, they found out the following significant stressors of corporate India:

  • Higher salaries, higher expectations. This burdens the employee to give more than hundred percent of their ability to their employers and organisations
  • The unpredictability of professional environment. Office politics induces fear of job retention
  • Lifestyle issues like sleep disorder, poor eating habits, and lack of physical activity
  • Pressure to maintain a certain standard of living 

What Can Organisations Do?

Declining health is a pressing issue both for employers and employees. And to bring in a change in the working environment, both need to work together towards achieving this goal. Organisations can facilitate employee health by adopting these simple measures:

  1. Workout Area or Access to Exercise

Exercise is one of the best stress relievers. An able adult should workout for at least 30 minutes every day to maintain a healthy body and mind. By providing a workout area or a well-equipped gym, organisations can help in promoting healthy living. Studies have shown that easy access to the gym or a running circuit acts as an encouraging element for people to take up physical activity. 

  1. Company / Team Outings

Company outings are the best ways for the employees to unwind and rejuvenate.  Such outings not only let the employees put their hair down and enjoy but also allow them to open up on various interpersonal issues thereby creating a friendly bond amongst the colleagues.

  1. Recreational or Quiet Space

Most jobs demand some space, especially creative ones. Organisations can help employees by creating a designated quiet chamber for them to unwind and think clearly. Recreational spaces are more about engaging employees with the availability of games like chess, carom, etc. As per the demand of the nature of the work, employers can provide for such spaces inside the office campuses.

What Can Employees do?

Employers can only encourage healthy living by providing means for achieving a healthy lifestyle, but it is ultimately the employee who needs to avail and utilise the available resources. Besides that, inculcating some simple healthy habits can help you in leading a good and healthy lifestyle. Adopt these simple changes in your routine and see your health improve.

  1. Healthy Eating Habits

As clichéd as it may sound, but your body is what you feed it. Long working hours can be tiresome but it does not provide you with an excuse to overlook what you are feeding to your body. Follow these simple changes to see a difference:

  • Supplement your snack time with nuts and protein bars instead of eating junk food during break hours.
  • Cut down on your soda and processed juices. If you need refreshment, opt for fresh juices or lemon juice.
  • Drink, drink, and drink as much water as you can throughout the day.
  • Start your day with a glass of water.
  1. Sleep Cycle

Cut down on your recreational activities if they demand to compromise on your sleeping hours. There’s no medicine as good as a sound 8 hours sleep. The body organs and mind undergoes reparation when the body is at rest during night hours. You need to provide it ample time for this process. Lack of sleep and sleep disorders have become a household name in today’s time. Learn to cut out from the world and invest in sleep.

  1. Increase Movement

Long sitting hours have played a major role in deteriorating health of the employees. Sitting is considered as dangerous as smoking these days. You are putting your body at more than one health risk if you are sitting continuously for long hours. Doing so increases belly fat which in return puts you at high risk of diabetes and various heart-related issues. Take breaks at regular intervals of 30-40 mins. Just walk to the water cooler to refill your bottle. Make sure to maintain correct posture by keeping your spine and shoulders straight. Dropping shoulders and slouching spine results in back pains, cold shoulders, and stiff neck.

The adage ‘Health is wealth’ makes more sense than ever. In a quest to achieve your career goals, don’t neglect your health. A man is what he is only until he has a fit and able body. An unhealthy mind and body will be of no service either to you or your family. Maintaining good health is as important as earning your bread and butter. Don’t ignore the former for the latter. With these simple and easy steps, you can lead a healthy life.

You Have Just Started Working Out – How Should Your Diet Change?

Joining a gym or exercising more often/regularly is the most common New Year’s resolution across the globe. The fitness brands’ sales surge in the last fortnight of December when everyone starts gearing up for the New Year. However, people forget that exercising is not the only way of getting fitter. You need to eat right as well. And, by eating right we don’t mean simply replacing sugar with honey. You need to back your workout regime with a healthy and nutritious diet.

Effect of Food Choices on Your Workout 

The right kinds of food can help you in many ways. Your stamina, weight loss, muscle building et al. depend upon the type of food you eat. There are pre and post workout foods that provide thorough support to your body. Start your day with a food high in protein like nuts and almonds. A handful of it soon after you move out of your bed will keep you energized through the day. Adding healthy foods in the right proportion and consuming them at the right hour of the day can be beneficial.

Pre and Post Workout Foods

Every food has some nutritious value and it is good to know/learn about it. If you are a novice, don’t rely on anyone but a certified nutritionist. Balancing the nutrient intake is quintessential for the body. Here are some foods that you can include in your routine:

Pre Workout Meal

If you’re starting your day with a workout, never do it on an empty stomach. An empty stomach workout will force your body to store fat to keep itself fed and, in turn, makes you lose lesser calories. Ensure that you have a balanced combination of simple and complex carbs so that the release of energy is slow throughout your workout. You can imbibe these pre-workout meals in your regime and make sure to consume these at least half an hour to forty minutes before hitting the floor.

  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Hardboiled Eggs
  • Nuts and Almonds
  • Yogurt
  • Granola
  • Fibrous Fruits
  • Fruit Smoothies
  • Whole wheat toast with sliced bananas
  • Smoothies with berries

Post Workout Meal

After the workout wear and tear, the body needs replenishment. Rather than depending upon artificial foods, consume food that naturally replenishes the body. Get the right nutrients after your exercise to help your body rebuild the muscle proteins and glycogen stores.

  • Muesli
  • Fresh Orange Juice
  • Boiled Eggs or Omelette
  • Paneer in any form
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Fruit Salad
  • Wholegrain Bread
  • Spinach Soup
  • Chocolate milk
  • Sweet potato

Supplements vs. Food

The first and biggest mistake the beginners commit is adding supplements to their routine as soon as they begin working out. Remember, not everyone requires external supplements. If you are working out for 30 minutes to one hour and having a balanced diet, you may not need any external supplements at all. Always consult a certified nutritionist or your physician before adding any supplementary food or drink to your diet.

You can always rely on natural resources for your nutrition requirement and here are some foods to ditch those supplements:

Vitamin C

  • Citrus fruits like orange, mosambi and kiwi
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon juice
  • Guava
  • Papaya
  • Green and Red pepper

Calcium

  • Chia seeds
  • Yogurt
  • Broccoli
  • Watercress
  • Water Chestnut
  • Kale

Vitamin E

  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potato
  • Avocado

 Iron

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Cashew
  • Soy

Protein

  • Seafood
  • Whole Eggs
  • Chicken Breast
  • Quinoa
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans 

Good Fat vs. Bad Fat

Shunning out fat completely from your body is not going to help you lose weight, build muscle or stay fitter. For your body to absorb vitamins and nutrients, fat is needed. Not all fat that you consume is harmful for the body. One needs to know the difference between good and bad fat. Imbibe good fat and get rid of bad fat from your diet. Here’s a list of foods with good and bad fat:

Good Fat

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Whole Eggs
  • Full Fat Yogurt
  • Red Meat
  • Ghee
  • Cheese

Bad Fat

  • Butter
  • Beef and Pork
  • Dark Chicken Meat
  • Fried Foods
  • Processed Food
  • Bakery Products like cakes, pastries and cookies

Dietary needs vary for every individual. Each body has a different requirement. No two people can have same or similar results with same dietary habits. Nutrients are essential for a healthy body but overconsumption of anything can have adverse effects on the body. Working out is just the tip of the iceberg. It won’t bear fruits without a healthy and adequate nutrient supply to the body.

Traditional Medicine Turned into A Modern-Day Party Beverage – Tea

Did you now? The history of tea is infused with a blend of myth, facts, spirituality, and science. According to the Chinese legends, the history of tea dates back to 2737 B.C Emperor Shen Nong accidentally discovered tea. The Indian history attributes the discovery of tea to Prince Bodhidharma, the saint who founded the Zen school of Buddhism. It was not until the Tang dynasty (618-907) that the consumption of tea became widespread and it was in the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) that tea was prepared by the whole leaves in the water like it is done today.

Traders, missionaries, and explorers traveling back and forth between Europe and the Orient took the drink with them in their travels and got it home in the 17th century. By the early 1700s, the British East India Company established itself as the dominant trading power and monopolized the tea trade with China. The history of tea traverses various paths across the world, tracing the history of rulers, political struggles and such alongside.

Today, tea is the world’s most popular beverage after water. It is not just a refreshing and tasty beverage that can be served hot or cold, but it is loved by people for its various health benefits too. Let’s look at some of them here:

Tea is rich in antioxidants

Green tea is rich in polyphenols such as catechin that helps fight the free radicals in your system, reverses aging, and heals your body. Non-herbal teas also have antioxidants but green tea is richer in antioxidants because it is the least processed. The antioxidant properties of tea help boost your immune system. Tea is also rumored to help battle cancer as antioxidants destroy free-radicals that are generated during chemotherapy and radiation.

Tea has less caffeine than coffee

Non-herbal regular tea has 50% less caffeine than that in coffee, whereas your herbal teas have no caffeine. This means that non-herbal tea will be less addictive than coffee and won’t harm your nervous system either. Herbal tea can be consumed with no side effects at all! Tea, contrary to the common beliefs, tea, in fact, hydrates. So you don’t have to worry about having a few cups of tea in a day!

Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke

Research says a cup of green tea a day lowers the risk of stroke and four or more cups of green tea a day reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the system, thus reducing the risk of a heart attack. The antioxidants in team reduce the risk stroke. Also, the flavonoids can prevent the artery walls from narrowing, and thus, can also reduce the chances of having a stroke. Who knew a simple beverage could help you so much? If you don’t love tea already, it is time to go make friends with this awesome drink.

Tea is for better mental health

Studies show that the amino acid L-theanine found in the tea plant can help you relax and better concentrate. In fact, some studies also show that Black team can help in reducing the stress hormones in the body! Red Tea, an herbal tea from Africa, helps in reducing headaches, irritability and tensions. The caffeine in tea also helps in giving a boost to improve your short-term memory.

Tea prevents cavities

Tea changes the pH in your mouth, thus, preventing cavities and also does not erode tooth enamel like many other beverages. The fluoride and tannins contents in team can help in reducing plaque buildup and tooth decay. The compounds in tea also suppress bacteria and slow down tooth decay and prevent gum diseases. Who would have thought! But, of course, don’t add sugar to your tea.

Tea soothes your digestive system

Herbal tea, particularly, chamomile tea can soothe your tummy. It is antispasmodic and can be good for those with an irritable bowel syndrome. Ginger tea calms nausea. Orange flavored tea also helps in case of nausea. When you have an upset tummy, tea, brewed without milk helps soothe that. Mildly brewed tea, with a dash of honey and lime, is great for your tummy in a hot and humid weather.

One simple drink packs a ton of punch! It’s no wonder that this incredible beverage has been a part of our culture for ages and is loved by many around the world.  Treat yourself to a cup of soothing, yummy tea. You will relish it even more than usual now you know how beneficial it is for your system.