All the regulars at MABH know me by now as someone who does reviews on mainly drugstore products. Let me tell you a little more about myself. I am a 30 year old stay at home mommy of a 4 year old boy. I am a housewife out of my own choice and gave up a job in the publishing industry. I wanted to be around 24*7 365(6) days for my home. :) However, as a result of this my life became pretty sedentary especially after the birth of my baby and things around the waistline and on my fitness levels took a beating. I knew I had to do something but laziness and fatigue got the better of me until there came a point when I just HAD to do something. So, that got me started on some simple changes that I made to my lifestyle that helped me in getting things back on track.
Most of us if not all at some point of time have at least once felt the need to break away from making compromises with our body and health. Here, I just want to emphasise on some of the areas that struck me which could be easily worked on. These changes are not life altering ones but definitely life changing ones as I personally did benefit from them. So read on if you find them interesting enough and do let me know about your comments and suggestions if any that I have overlooked.
The one meal that fuels us for the entire day is the breakfast. Make it a point to eat approximately one hour after waking. It could even be a glass of milk, few almonds or even a banana if preparing an elaborate meal takes time. A combination of carbs, proten, fiber and a little amount of good fat packs big health benefits and can leave you feeling full for hours giving you the energy to start your day. Make your breakfast, your healthy meal of the day.
Early to Bed and Early to Rise
Early to bed and early to rise does make a man/woman healthy, wealthy and wise. We all know that 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night is what is optimally needed for our body, and that too preferably; the earlier the better. But with the working in shifts scenario these days, this has become practically impossible but nevertheless do try to get in maximum sleep at night and as early as possible. Avoid high drama television at night. Some light reading would be ideal. A good night’s sleep ensures a healthy heart and mind and also a good metabolism. Proper amounts of sleep help reduce stress, makes you more alert during the day, bolsters your memory and reduces your risk for depression. You will feel better, think better, and look better with a good night’s sleep.
Get Going and Move Around
That is exactly what I would call exercise is all about. Because when we call it exercise, it weighs down on our minds as a strict routine that has to be religiously followed and then we stay away from it. However, ensure 30 to 40 min of aerobic movement of the body in and around your house or vicinity. It could be anything from jumping jacks for a few minutes, doing household chores at a decent pace or simple making a few rounds of the stairs. Keep changing the routines so that it does not get mundane. It is well known that a few minutes of such movements releases the feel good hormone and gets us all upbeat. One can also break up the routine into smaller 10 minutes ones and enjoy the same benefits. These are easy, doable activities that won’t disrupt your routine too much.
Color on the Plate
That is what we must aim at these days. Somehow, I feel that we Indians basically eat a healthy meal unless it is not home cooked. Any day food from outside will never be as healthy as home cooked stuff. So as much as possible pack lunches from home and avoid fast food. And if you must, then choose wisely as to what goes onto your plate also keeping in mind the time of the day.
Its always wise to have a fruit filling before heading out for a meal. In that way we would not be very hungry and wont end up piling our plates with all that unhealthy yumminess :) Try low fat yoghurt and smoothies. They are super filling and yummy too. Incorporate more fruits, vegetables (color on the plate) and dry fruits too. Eat colorful natural foods essential for brain health and good metabolism. Have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day; and stop eating 2 hours before you go to sleep at night.
Drinking water keeps you hydrated and flushes toxins from your body. It brings on life to your skin, hair etc. It also keeps your metabolism in check and thereby ensuring an overall healthy you. Also, the lesser the caffeine intake the better. It is a diuretic and especially in summers only aggravates the situation when our body needs more liquids. If you must, then restrict yourself to a few cups. However stay away from it hours before bedtime as it can interfere with your sleep patterns.
Have a Banana
The potassium banana contains can lower blood pressure. One per day is all one needs. Banana boosts up our enery. Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness in pregnant women. High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
Spend Time With Your Family
Family time is the best time spent wasting. Nothing can replace the warmth, belonging one can get by spending time with parents, spouse, siblings, children. Taking time out for this will only reap benefits as bonds become closer, issues if any get resolved and moreover aren’t they our backbone in this tumultuous world where everyone is actually a stranger in one way or the other. Family support is the spine of a happy you. Stay away from PC during family time. Preferably hang around inside the house or go for walks. I would say to avoid public places. That would take away the privacy :)
Enough and more has been written and spoken about the benefits of having a hobby. I do not have one in particular but thanks to my husband, his fish keeping has rubbed onto me. He has a huge collection of them, and though taking care of them is pretty tedious it gives him real joy after a tiring day. Hobby is something that one can relate to easily and unwind. Reading too is a great hobby that I have. I feel it is the most ideal way of relaxing. Television is a big no for me unless it is a comedy and those too these days come with their own double entendres which I feel is sickening. I love to read, from newspapers to thrillers but all depending on the time of the day. Read to relax.
Smile, look at the blessings in life, sharing and volunteering to help a needy especially at old age homes, take a break once in a while from the monotony of life and rewind and unwind, take random walks, nice shower before bed etc are all things one can easily incorporate into our lifestyle and benefit greatly from them.
I am not a professional therapist or dietician or whatever. I have also not delved too much into the scientific part of each topic discussed. I just highlighted these changes that helped me in getting a hold over my own hectic and crazy lifestyle. It is not picture perfect now but I am happy that I am at least trying to get it fixed. I hope that at least some of you found this article useful.