This guest post was submitted to me just earlier this week, and I just loved the simplicity and practicality of the message. Without further ado, I’ll hand the floor over to Ana Brady:
How to Live Healthily in a 24-hour Day
A few years ago there was an anecdote cruising the Internet, about what we should do to live healthily. All pieces of advice seemed to have equal importance, and had to be done every day, if we want our new healthy regime to have any impact. Some of the suggestions were:
- eating an apple a day
- drinking two glasses of water as soon as we wake up, 45 min. before breakfast
- eating fruits before breakfast
- not skipping breakfast
- showering in the morning (for health, as well as mood)
- exercising at least half an hour a day
- taking long walks in the evening
- not eating sugars
There were at least 20 more “suggestions”. The conclusion of the anecdote is that, in order to live healthily by the above mentioned rules, we’d have to have a day that lasts at least 30 hours, and we’d have to do several things simultaneously, for example: drink those two glasses of water while showering (keeping our mouths open), eat while exercising, etc.
Three “Tools” Needed for Success: Motivation, Discipline, Optimism
Obviously, we can’t only think about healthy lifestyles throughout the day; we have work to do! So, how do we blend these two important aspects of our lives: working for a living, and preserving our health? How do we work at least 8 hours a day and have time to prepare a proper meal, go to the doctor regularly, spend quality time with our friends and family, do fun things in order to stay sane?
1. You have to be motivated. In order to be motivated, you need to do a little research about the consequences of unhealthy lifestyles, eating too much sugar, not getting enough sleep, not getting any exercise, etc.
2. You have to be disciplined. Once you realize you want to have a healthy body and a healthy mind for as long as you can, you’ll need discipline in order to stay away from junk food and lazy evenings in front of TV. In the beginning you’ll make yourself eat the certain way, but eventually it will become a natural thing.
3. You have to be an optimist. That doesn’t mean you have no right to be depressed once a while, or see things negatively. But you need a generally positive outlook towards your new regime in order to persist. Exercise will definitely help you feel uplifted.
So, what CAN we do for ourselves in 24 hours?
Be realistic, start small:
- Acknowledge fruits and vegetables as kings of healthy nutrition, and accept that eating pizza, chips, sweets, etc. has to go down the drain. No time to cook? That’s OK, cutting peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mixing it with tuna will take you no more than 5 minutes; you can do this at work as well. You can even eat it with a slice of bread; look at the healthy nutrition pyramid to remind yourself how much carbs you should eat. There are many ways to prepare healthy food in less than 15 minutes.
- If you don’t have time to go to the gym, swimming pool, dancing lessons, or any of the activities that would be great for your body, go for walks. That something you do have time for. Going grocery shopping? Go on foot. Going anywhere that’s within walking distance? Walk. Kids are finally asleep? Go for a 30-45 min walk with your partner before you go to bed.
- Use weekends as best you can. Try to organize an activity (possibly outside) every weekend. Go hiking, swimming, try a new adventure. In the evenings drink wine with friends, play boardgames with your family, read. Make your own blog about things you do to enrich and prolong your life.
These are simple things most of you probably know, but the purpose of repeating things is to motivate you to finally make that first step.
Ana Brady is a happy mother and wife, and a writer who recently quit her “day” job to work on a project on pre-printed labels. When she’s not working, she’s inventing new ways to enjoy life.