Everyone’s looking for the perfect recipe for a healthy life. With access to more information, people are more confused than ever on what to do. With all this confusion, the question still lingers; what is the magic combination to melt away extra pounds and improve overall health? The bottom line? It takes the perfect combination of doing what you have to do and what you love to do to really live a healthy life. When the scale gets tipped in either direction, your health is at risk. Strip away the complexities of today’s info blasts and get back to basics.
Here’s Our 6 Must Haves for a Healthy, Balanced Life.
HAVE TO DO
- Kick Sugar.
Eliminating sugar from your diet is the single most effective thing you can do to improve your health. Sugar leads to insulin resistance, weight gain, hormone imbalances and compromised gut health. Withdrawing from sugar produces more symptoms than required to be labeled an addictive substance according to a narrative review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Just like any other addiction, it’s time to kick sugar to the curb.
- Rest Sound.
Our lives are so hyper-stimulated people are having difficulty shutting down. The artificial light leads to an overproduction of cortisol (awake hormone) and a decrease in melatonin (sleepy hormone). This shift can leave you dragging in the morning and wide awake at night, not to mention impossible to lose weight. It’s hormonal hell. Focusing on your circadian rhythm can improve your overall health and boost your energy. It’s time to shut down at night; turn off the lights and electronics that keep your body stimulated. In your mom’s voice, “Go to bed!”
- Feast on Fiber.
It’s time to eat more vegetables. Our meals have become protein and carbohydrate focused with vegetables somewhere off to the side in the distance. Shift your thinking to fiber first, as your foundation. Vegetables provide the body with phytonutrients, micronutrients and a feast for our healthy microbiota. Focusing on fiber results in a healthy shift in weight, improvements in digestion and overall immune health.
LOVE TO DO
- Hang on to Hobbies.
The old adage “use it or lose it” still holds true. Whatever your passions are, its crucial to your health to hold onto them. If you’re a gymnast, don’t stop doing basic gymnastic moves. If you’re an artist, don’t stop painting. If you’re a dancer, don’t stop dancing. If you have a love for something, keep doing it in some form. If you’ve already let go of your old hobbies, start off with basics in working towards them again, or do them to a lesser extent in a new form. For example, if you were a dancer, pick up Yoga or Zumba. Your passions are what fulfill you and make you unique. They make living healthy worth the effort.
- Laugh Loud.
Why do we stop laughing? It’s funny how we have prioritized the very things that make us miserable. A stressful work situation takes precedence over an evening with friends. Why do we make stewing in misery our priority? It’s time to reprioritize and put fun back in the equation. Did you know there are laugh clubs that are used medicinally because of laughter’s powerful effects on the body. Of course, you have to hustle to get to the top, but its never worth it to compromise your health and relationships along the way. If your life doesn’t have room for laughter, you need to make some life adjustments.
In a world of take and all about me, flip the switch and focus on others. Social media is a false world that is a highlight reel of everyone’s best life. Don’t forget the importance of communication with people on a real level. Take time to talk with your neighbors, your coworkers and people you encounter daily. We’re so social when we’re young, and wind up locking ourselves in a bubble of confinement steeping in stress as we age. Maintain relationships that make you happy. A meta-analysis of 308,849 participants found that a lack of social interaction increased premature death from all causes by 50%. Reach out to others. It just might save you or your neighbor.
It’s important for you to think about what your have to and love to list looks like. Everyone’s list will look different. Eating healthy and exercising are just two things we have to do and therefore should be on everyone’s list; there’s no way around it. But they should be balanced by your love to list with hobbies and passions. Don’t prioritize one side over the other. Make time for both the “have to” and “love to”. Its all about the perfect balance that makes a truly healthy life.