What would make you happier in life? When faced with this question, most of us tend to look outwards: to think about our relationships, our jobs, or how we are perceived by others. Probably the biggest single factor in our happiness, however, is internal: our health. Making simple changes to your diet and exercise routine can have a dramatic effect on your sense of wellbeing, your energy levels, and what you feel you’re getting out of life. How can you go about this?
A healthy approach to diet
In today’s world, conversations about diet tend to revolve around weight loss. For most people, this isn’t actually helpful. There are quite a few very unhealthy weight-loss diets out there, and frequently changing weight as a result of dieting like this can also damage your body over time. Unless you face serious health risks due to obesity, it’s much better to find a diet that prioritizes your general health – if you’re happier and more active, you’ll find that you tend to shed problem weight anyway and that you do so more slowly but in a way that makes it easier for you to maintain a shape that pleases you. There’s no universal ideal diet because different people have different needs, but if you get a good balance of nutrients and reduce toxins, you’ll be most of the way there.
Healthy diet planning
Eating a healthy diet starts with getting the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat – you need a bit of all of these (yes, even the last one) to support your body properly. Generally speaking, about half to two-thirds of the calories you consume each day should come from carbohydrates. The best ones to choose are those that release energy into your body slowly, such as rice, pasta, bread, other cereal-based foods, potatoes, beans, and squashes. Healthy fats come from foods such as nuts and oily fish, and most of us can benefit from cutting down on animal fats, as well as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and salt. Often, people have no idea how many calories they consume each day in soda, without getting any useful nutrients in the process. Meanwhile, eating more fruit and vegetables – fresh if possible – ensures that we get the balance of different micronutrients needed for optimum health.
A healthy approach to exercise
Like diet, exercise is often focused on trying to change our bodies – to make them thinner or more muscular. For a wide range of quality exercise equipment, consider https://www.magmafitness.ca. Aside from the fact that most of us will never achieve our desired goals this way, it can become obsessive, actually making us less happy. All these changes if we set those goals aside to focus on having fun. Some of us can find this in the gym, but for others, there’s nothing like being in the great outdoors, or in a pool, or zooming along on a bike or playing a competitive sport alongside friends. Other people prefer activities not always thought of as exercise, such as dancing or simply walking around the neighborhood. The trick is to build exercise into your life in forms that make you happy directly.
The best form of exercise for coping with stress is aerobic exercise – any activity that makes your heart and lungs work hard – and you should aim to be physically active for at least an hour and a half every day. Activities such as walking around as you clean the house or playing with your children can contribute to this. As a rule, the more intense the exercise you do, the less time you need to spend on it. You should also try to do some stretching exercises, such as touching your toes or arching your back, to keep yourself limber, and you should do some strength-building exercises such as push-ups or squats. All of this becomes more important as you get older.
Diet, exercise and physical health
Eating well, getting plenty of exercises, and attending to other forms of bodily maintenance, such as staying well-hydrated and getting enough sleep, will help you to stay in the best possible shape throughout your life, but there’s more to this than looking good. Self-care of this sort will boost your energy levels, increasing the amount of time during the day when you feel wide awake and able to do things. You’ll get ill less often, suffer less from stiffness or soreness, and be able to take on physical tasks, from climbing stairs to lifting furniture around, with minimal difficulty. You’ll find your healthier body a lot more fun to inhabit, and if you keep up your good habits, it will stay that way.
Diet, exercise and mental health
What’s less well-known is that people who eat healthily and exercise well have much lower rates of mental illness. It’s not uncommon these days for a PMHNP-BC to recommend changes of this sort to chronic patients, and this can be every bit as important as medication or talking therapies. Exercise is great for working off stress and balancing serotonin levels while getting a good balance of nutrients and maintaining a steady blood sugar level reduces anxiety and depression. There is even some evidence that it can slow the progression of schizophrenia. It also reduces episodes of metabolic stress, which can lead to common symptoms such as nightmares and panic attacks.
Diet, exercise and lifestyle
Working out how to fit a healthy diet and exercise into your life can be a challenge. The important thing is to find a balance that works naturally for you because if you create a situation in which trying to do these things is putting you under ongoing strain, you won’t be able to keep it up. Making changes slowly is fine as long as you keep making definite gains in working towards the healthier life that you want for yourself. Bear in mind that as you do so, your energy levels should start rising, so what seems like an impossible effort now may, in time, feel quite easy.
Looking after your body creates feelings of happiness and contentment at a deep level, so you become less dependent on reinforcing those things through external factors. As you take better care of yourself, you’ll also become more aware of your own value. It’s easier to be happy when you know, deep down, that this is what you deserve.