When we talk about a healthy lifestyle, it has been previously understood that a healthy lifestyle is the result of not over indulging in too much calorie dense food and getting a few gym sessions in per week. In essence, this may help to contribute towards a healthy lifestyle, however it doesn’t stop there ; calories are not created equal but this is another topic in itself. A healthy lifestyle has a number of different components which make up the foundations. Making sure we are eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise in, ensuring we are sleeping between 7-9 hours per night, taking time each day to look after our mental health, removing ourselves from toxic relationships and managing your stress levels are all key components to creating a healthy lifestyle.
We all know we should be eating more fruits and vegetables, less processed foods and making sure we’re hydrated, but as mentioned above, these are only a part of the picture.
Taking care of our mental health is another pivotal component of a healthy lifestyle and one which is so often overlooked. We should be carving out a minimum of 5 minutes per day to look after our mental health and to sit in the silence. Contemplation and sitting with ourselves is important to help you manage stress, understand your emotions much more clearly and can improve your relationships with others as well as yourself. Starting the day with a 5 minute journal exercise is a great way to tune in first thing in the morning as well as clear your head.
Movement is another essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity whether it be walking, running, swimming is so important for your mental and physical health. It helps with stress, fitness levels, confidence and feels good! Making sure you are moving your body for at least 20 minutes per day to start to feel the benefits.
Your relationships and the people you surround yourself with also have an impact on your health. Toxic relationships cause anxiety, stress, unhappiness and can negatively impact your physical and mental health by creating a toxic internal environment. Taking a look at the people you surround yourself with and how they are impacting you is another vital component to be aware of for better health.
We all know how important sleep is, but do you prioritise this as a part of your lifestyle? Waking and sleeping at the same time everyday helps to set your circadian rythmn, improves the quality of your sleep and helps with energy levels throughout the day. Trying to ensure you are eating your last meal at least 2 hours before bed helps to improve your sleep as your body is able to fully rest rather than having to work hard to digest your food. Another way to improve your sleep is to switch off from your electronic devices at least 1.5 hours before bed or if you are using them, switch them onto night mode or wear blue block glasses to protect yourself from the blue light which they omit – blue light from devices really messes with our bodies natural clock and can disturb your sleep/wake pattern, making your body feel like its still midday even when it’s 11pm. Sleep is a vital part of living a healthy lifestyle. If we are sleeping well, we are better equipped to deal with stress, reduce overeating and improve our energy levels. Try to aim for between 7-9 hours of sleep a night and work on sleeping and waking at the same time everyday to start to improve your sleep and your overall health.