In the year 1948, World Health Organization coined the definition of health in terms of “physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. As you can see, health simply does not refer to the physical health, but also the mental and social well being. And by adopting a few good and healthy living habits, we can live a better and healthier life.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), for a healthy lifestyle, we should eat lots of fresh fruits, green vegetables, reduce fat, salt and sugar from our diet and do regular exercise. If you follow just these simple routine, there is no reason why you won’t be able to live a healthy and a happy life. In this post, we’ll be reading about these and other healthy living habits, which will nurture, not just your physical well-being, but also the inner self!
So what are the healthy living habits?
The healthy living habits are those baby steps that you have to take every day, without any miss, to enjoy a healthier and a happier life. In this era of Internet, when from shopping to ordering food is just a matter of a click, maintaining good health is not so easy.
When you go to sleep, when you wake up, what you eat and drink can affect your well being, negatively. And if you are willing to make small little changes in your daily routine and habits, you could avoid many common diseases like obesity, diabetes and other heart related diseases. Proper sleep, balanced and nutritious meals, light exercise, yoga or a simple morning walk can do wonders for you.
Healthy living habits for a healthy and happy life
Healthy living is not all that difficult, if you commit yourself. And I am all the way with you on your journey towards a healthy and happy life. Here are some of the easiest healthy living habits that can do wonders to your well being.
Starting from walking up in the morning till the time you hit the bed at night, all you do are some activities, some routine jobs, housework, office works. At times you get too busy with work and forget your lunch, at other times you delay your lunch by an hour. Healthy living habits encourage you to have a practical routine and follow it on priority. And when you give priority to your health and follow these healthy living habits, you are up for an exciting, happy and a healthy life. And here’s an ideal routine you should follow, from the morning when you wake up till you hit the bed at night.
The alarm clock ringing in full volume, reminding you that the time has come for you to wake up and get prepared for yet another long day. You find absolutely no interest to go for a morning walk or a jogging, and you tend to avoid it. This is where I will remind you that the healthy livings habits are just in front of you! In order to deal with the challenges of the day, you need to prepare yourself and waking up on time and going for a walk is your first challenge, go for it.
After coming out of the washroom, instead of having tea or coffee with sugar, have a glass of lukewarm water, add a tablespoon of honey and lemon juice in it. Sip it gradually, and get out for a walk.
If you don’t have time to go for a walk, do some free hand exercise, like sit-ups, bending sideways, squatting, or may be power yoga. Open all the windows, and this way you can do some exercise while walking and also breathing fresh air. Do you have 10 minutes left before you go to shower? Great, in these few minutes, walk up and down the stairs 20 times, without stopping. Do a set of 20-30 sit ups without halt, and then enjoy the warm cozy shower. This will rejuvenate your energy for the day.
See, your morning exercise is done!
If you are not a morning person, you may find it hard to wake up early in the morning. But it’s seriously important to sleep and get up on time.
Eat Breakfast without fail
Eating fresh and refreshing breakfast can make your day. Apart from keeping you full of energy, eating breakfast has many long term health benefits. It reduces the chances of diabetes, lowers the and cholesterol, it also starts the metabolism of your body that helps you burn extra calories. In one word, it’s magical.
So what you can do is have some light foods, like a small bowl of oat meal, fruits and nuts. Or, two toast breads, one cup of fruit juice and one boiled or scrambled egg. Eggs are a great source of energy, and this will help you toil for the day. You can avoid the oily foods and fries, and just go for some healthy yet tasty foods, fresh fruits, salads, nuts etc.
Leaving for work
While going to work, if you have to walk, walk a little faster and avoid taking lifts when possible and use stairs. It helps in digesting and increases the metabolism that ultimately burns some extra calorie. Once into the office, instead of ordering coffee, drink some normal water and get started. Continue drinking water the whole day. If you have to take some beverages, go for black tea or black coffee, avoid sugar rich soft drinks and cold water.
Lunch, Second meal of the day
Its 1.00 PM now, and that’s the perfect time for lunch. Instead of ordering the fried rice and the rich chicken dishes from the canteen, you can actually have some tasty and healthy foods. Take two chappatis, a bowl of dal, one veg curry or sabzi, salad, chicken soup. Even, you can have some steamed momos with a bowl of soup. These foods are actually better than the fast foods and the oily foods like alu parathas or other junk foods.
Drink a glass water of water 15 minutes before lunch or earlier. Delay consumption of water for another 30 minutes minimum, post lunch (every meal for that matter). If you want, then you can bring your own lunch from home too. Do not worry to have a heavy lunch, because you will be needing lots of energy to work till 7.00 pm.
Its 4.30 PM, and you are feeling little bit hungry. You want to munch something…right? Keep some digestive biscuits, or cream cracker biscuits with you, so that you can have them during this time. Having some nuts or fresh fruits like apple or banana is a great option as snack. Drink a glass of water or two, after half hour of having the evening snacks.
Its 7.00 PM, and you have reached your home after a long tiring day. You are hungry as hell, and you can eat a whole chicken fry if you are given one. Right? You are too tired to cook, and want to order some spicy and oily foods online. No, wait before you do so. You woke up in the morning, did exercises, had healthy meals the whole day, then do you want to waste all your efforts by ordering junk foods for dinner? Of course not, why will you! If you do not want to cook and you are too tired, then you can just have a bowl of rice with chicken soups. Or, you can mix vegetables and rice and prepare one dish in pressure cooker. This way, you will need less oil, less energy, and you will like to eat the foods too because you are hungry as hell!
The dinner, last meal of the day
The time to have dinner has come, and you are really hungry. Let me mention the recipes here so that you can enjoy a delicious meal. Cut all your favorite veggies like carrots, broccoli, bell papers, add some chicken pieces, add water and little bit of butter for taste. This way you can prepare one healthy yet tasty soup. You can also add the veggies and chicken with handful of brown rice, and one tablespoon of olive oil. Prepare a dish of mixed rice, and enjoy it. Do not forget to drink sufficient water. Do not watch television while having dinner, otherwise you tend to eat much more than you actually need. You can cook the foods in large quantity so that you can have it for tomorrow dinner too!
Time for bed
It’s around 9.30 PM, and you will go to bed now. Have a good night’s sleep, and see you tomorrow again after 7-9 hours. The adults require 7-9 hours of sleep for a fresh body and mind.
Another misconception we have is that, excess amount of sleep tends to increase the fat. Human body needs sleep because it does some activities throughout the day, sleep is the medicine that the body needs, and it is essential for a fresh body and mind. See the chart below (courtesy: National Sleep Foundation, taken from Wikipedia)
|Age and condition||Sleep Needs|
|Newborns (0–3 months)||14 to 17 hours|
|Infants (4–11 months)||12 to 15 hours|
|Toddlers (1–2 years)||11 to 14 hours|
|Preschoolers (3–5 years)||10 to 13 hours|
|School-age children (6–13 years)||9 to 11 hours|
|Teenagers (14–17 years)||8 to 10 hours|
|Adults (18–64 years)||7 to 9 hours|
|Older Adults (65 years and over)||7 to 8 hours|
You have read the routine now; do you think I am too strict? Do you think that the routine is something where you are told not to eat any foods? Food is essential for us, otherwise we will fall sick, but we have to eat a balanced meal, in right quantity and at right times.
Both teenagers and adults skip meals so that we can have the desired figure, but in doing so we often fail. This is because we often set some extreme routine which is not possible for us to follow. Failing to follow them, we often get depressed, and thus deviate from the goal.
The trick is to eat everything, but in measured quantity. You see, I told you to add some butter in the soup, I told you to eat one egg every day, because these are source of energy. If the quantity is in check, and you are following a healthy living routine, like proper exercise and workout, then you can reach any health goal.
Healthy living habits worth adopting
You have an insurance policy or FDs in bank, where you save money on a periodical basis, so that after few years, you can enjoy the benefits of a greater amount. The healthy living habits are similar to it; you are incorporating these habits in your daily life, so that you can enjoy the benefits in the many more years to come.
- Drink plenty of water every day. We often forget to drink water at work, so make a routine, like after reaching office, one glass and repeat that every hour or so. Buy yourself a nice water bottle and keep it handy and filled all the time, so that you can sip it quite often. Do not have to drink lots of water at a time, but go on sipping it, at every hour, like that, you get the deal, right?
- Eat all your meals. You often think that skipping meals means reducing some fat from the body, but this is not the case. Skipping meals frequently could have long term negative impacts on your health.
- Chew your food slowly before you swallow them, this helps in better digestion.
- Add lots of seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables in your diet in the form of curry, salads or in any other form.
- 30 minutes walk every day, can keep diseases at bay.
- While working in computer for long hours, sit straight on the chair. You can give rest to your eyes, by closing your eyes every 30 minutes for 1 minute. This will keep your eyes healthy even though you are working for long hours!
- Include green tea in your diet. You can have it in office; all you need is some tea bags and warm water. I do not use sugar in green tea, because I drink the honey flavored one, which is tasty, I think. You can try it too.
- Start your day with a cup of lukewarm water; add a tablespoon of honey, and lemon juice in it. Drinking this can improve your digestion.
- Do not exercise in empty stomach, having some nuts like a few almonds, apricot or whatever is available, before starting your walk/exercise is a great idea.
- Drink more water during the day, rather than the night. Also, do not drink liters of water just prior to bed at night.
- Do not keep the mobile phone in your chest pocket, as the vibrations from your mobile phone can cause heart problems.
- Always wash hands before eating, if you are on the road, then use hand sanitizer or soap papers.
- During scorching summer, do not drink freezing cold water; rather drink water in normal room temperature.
- Avoid soft drinks when you are thirsty, water is the best option over any fluids.
- Have at least some seasonal fruits every day.
- Brush your teeth twice, brushing before bed at night is helpful as it reduces the chances of gum problems.
- Walk whenever you can, use stairs instead of lift.
- While watching televisions, you can exercise too. During commercials, you can do few sit ups or such free hand exercise.
- Buy more organic foods, fruits, vegetables instead of packet foods and readymade stuffs.
- Switch to olive oil for this is healthier than mustard and vegetable oil.
- Instead of white rice, prefer brown rice and brown bread
- Oats can be a healthy meal which can control your cholesterol and it is advised if you have thyroid or diabetes.
- If you are addicted to any substance, like smoke or drink, then it is high time to control the intake gradually. Set a goal for yourself to stop these things totally.
- Reward yourself, when you achieve a health related goal, like when you quit smoking completely; reward yourself with good food, ordered from your favorite restaurant.
- If you want to improve your digestion, then it is better to avoid drinking water while you are eating your foods.
- Use pressure cooker and microwave to cook foods, as this requires less oil, and also lesser supply of gas.
- Yoga and meditation can do magic to your lifestyle. Make it a point to do some yoga/meditation every day, preferably on same time.
- If you find that you are tired, and have no time to cook your food,, then it is better that you cook your food in advance. Keep it in fridge, and while eating it you can heat it in microwave.
- Make it a point to enjoy salad with every meal. In salad do not mix some sauce or avoid the salad dressing. Replace the dressing with some essential oils like olive oil or lime juice.
- Control the intake of salts and sugar in your meals.
- Don’t bring your office work to your home. I know this is tough, but try to be at work when at work, or home when at home.
- Have at least one meal of the day with your family, if you live with your family.
- Do not go to bed immediately after having any meal! Give a gap of at least 30 minutes.
- When possible, go for a short walk after every meal, especially after dinner.
- You need 6-9 hours of sleep for a fresh body and mind.
Over to you
Living a healthier and happier life is not difficult. If you are looking to leave and healthy and happier life, all that you need to make a few little changes in what you eat and how you are living your life.
There is nothing more precious than living a happy and healthy life, without the fears of gaining weight or struggle of losing weight. Waking up early, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on time, good sound sleep and regular exercise are a few healthy living habits that can help you lead a healthy lifestyle.
Hope, you live healthier and a longer life. To your well being!!
What’s the secret of your healthy life? Do you follow this kind of routine, share your experiences.
PS: All of us have different kind of body and our body requires different kind of food and resources. The ideas and habits discussed here are good for most of us. But please take advice from doctors or dieticians and therapists for your kind of body and don’t treat these advise as a substitute
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.