“Healthy living” to most people means both physical and mental health is in balance or functioning well together in a person. In many instances, physical and mental health are closely linked, so that change (good or bad) in one directly affects the other. Consequently, some of the tips will include suggestions for emotional and mental “healthy living.”
1. COOK FROM SCRATCH
This is one of the most important life skills you can learn. It allows you to have complete control of what goes into your food.
2. EAT A BALANCED DIET
Aim to eat a balanced diet that contains each of the food groups in the correct proportions.
3. VARIETY IS KEY – EAT THE RAINBOW
Fill your diet with a wide range of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts, seeds, whole grains and naturally low-fat dairy foods. When it comes to fruit and veg, different colours provide your body with the different nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy – it’s not just greens that are good for you!
4. UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE EATING
Make an effort to learn about the food you’re eating – we all need to understand where food comes from and how it affects our bodies.
5. EAT NUTRITIOUS CALORIES
Make sure the majority of your energy intake comes from nutritious calories that also provide your body with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and good fats. Avoid empty calories.
6. DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST
Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and helps you to be alert and awake throughout the day. Make sure you always eat a nutritious breakfast. Make it wholesome and make it count.
7. READ THE SMALL PRINT
It’s important to read packaging correctly. Be aware of the recommended portion sizes, and the sugar, salt and saturated fat contents. Remember that not all E-numbers are bad, but too many is often a bad sign.
8. DRINK MORE WATER
Water is an essential part of your diet. Drink plenty of water and avoid empty calories from things such as fizzy drinks, energy drinks or juices with added sugar. Eat your calories don’t drink them.
9. KEEP ACTIVE
We all know about the advantages of physical activity, but most of us have neither time nor desire to exercise. Use the stairs as often as possible instead of the elevator, take a walk with your friends, walk your dog a bit longer, than usually – use any possibility to be more physically active. Researchers say, that people only need to walk up to 12 miles per week or for about 125 to 200 minutes per week to improve their heart health.
10. SLEEP WELL
Make sure you get enough sleep – it’s an essential part of being healthy and directly affects how well we can learn, grow and act in life. While we’re asleep, our bodies have that all-important time to repair.
11. MAKE SOCIAL CONNECTIONS.
It is said that lonely people are more likely to become ill and die younger. People who have no friends are more stressed, depressed and often less physically active. Moreover, experts say that how socially connected a person tends to be is one of the most important ways of predicting his health and independence in later years.
12. FIND NEW ACTIVITIES!
Pick up a new activity involving the whole family and friends such as hiking, group sports, skiing or riding a bicycle. Finding a hobby can give you the enjoyment and reduce stress. You’ll also start meeting people who have the same interests as you and may make some new friends (remember the #11 advise). Enjoy your new hobby and remember – happy people live longer!
13. LOVE YOUR LIFE!
Relax! Don’t get nervous and angry because of the trivial things. Don’t be too serious. Smile, love others, and always look on the bright side of life!
Dr Corne Smith is a firm believer in a holistic approach to a healthier lifestyle and says that “When you smile, the whole world smiles with you!” is the reason she loves her profession so much, “I only reveal the beautiful smile that has always been there.”
If you would like to have your smile unveiled, visit Corne Smith Dentistry, your Cape Town, Claremont dentist.