Monday, July 22, 2019


Overhauling Your Health: Changes You Can Make Today.

June 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Health, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.com) Are you guilty of taking your health for granted, or have you decided that it’s high time you started taking better care of yourself? Some diseases and conditions cannot be avoided, but the choices you make have a major bearing on your health and wellbeing. Looking after your health can lower the risk of serious problems and make you look and feel better. If you’re ready to overhaul your health, here are some changes you can make today.

Improving your diet

Your body relies on your diet to provide nourishment, yet too many of us are focused on the link between eating and the scale. While obesity is a significant problem, losing weight is not the only reason we should be taking a closer look at what we eat. When you adopt a healthy eating plan, your main aim may be to shift those extra pounds, but you’ll also benefit from improved nutrition. If you want to make positive changes to your diet, look into plans that promote nutrition and provide meals that are packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s really important to prioritize long-term lifestyle changes over fads like diets that encourage rapid weight loss. If you cut out entire food groups, you might find that you lose a lot of weight in a short space of time, but the results will not be sustainable, and you might also find that you get cravings you can’t resist. It’s much better for you to adjust to a balanced, healthy diet that will enable you to lose weight gradually and keep it off.

If you don’t know much about nutrition, it’s useful to download an app that enables you to keep a food diary. This will show you how many calories you’re consuming per day, but also, more importantly, what kinds of nutrients the foods you eat are providing you with. You may find that your diet is lacking in protein or fiber, for example, or that you’re missing targets for vitamins or minerals on a daily basis. When you’ve got graphs and tables in front of you, you can make changes that will benefit your body. You can increase your iron, vitamin C or fiber intake, for example, simply by switching out foods that don’t have nutritional value and replacing them with fruit, vegetables, pulses, seeds, nuts, lean meats and fish, and wholegrain foods. We’re not all blessed with culinary skills, but you don’t have to be a maestro in the kitchen to rustle up healthy dishes. There’s a plethora of simple, quick, nutritious recipes available online, and you can also buy recipe books.

If you’re one of those people that struggles to stick to a healthy diet, it’s crucial to understand the importance of balance. Adopting healthier eating habits doesn’t mean that you have to give up pizza or ice cream for life. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a treat from time to time.

Kicking unhealthy habits

Some people believe in the power of healing crystals to help kick unhealthy habits. To see if it works for you try visiting a healing crystal shop and explore which crystals match your needs. Do you smoke, or do you drink more than you should? Smoking and drinking too much alcohol can put you at risk of health complications.

Many people who smoke want to cut down or give up, but this is a task that is easier said than done. If you’re used to smoking, it’s difficult to get out of the habit of lighting up a cigarette when you leave the house, or joining colleagues for a break at lunch time. The good news is that there are ways of kicking the habit for good. Vaping has become an increasingly popular alternative to smoking, and you can buy portable pod system vaporizers that enable you to vape on the go. With this option, you can cut down gradually by reducing your intake of nicotine, and you can also lower the risk of health problems by eliminating exposure to many of the harmful chemicals and substances found in cigarettes. There are also nicotine replacement options you can try, for example, patches and sprays, and seeing a stop smoking adviser can also help. Changing your routine may also be beneficial. Smokers tend to get into the habit of smoking at certain times of the day, and switching your schedule around and keeping your distance from other smokers for a period of time may prove beneficial.

It’s also useful to think about why you want to quit. Perhaps you want to protect your health, or you want to give up for your children or your partner. If you’re struggling, and you’re tempted to have a cigarette, go back to the reasons you wanted to give up in the first place and hang on in there. Research suggests that if you can give up for 28 days, the chances of quitting for good are very high.  

Alcohol is another common problem, and often, people drink too much without even realizing. Studies show that even a relatively small amount of alcohol can put you at risk of health issues, for example, liver cirrhosis. If you open a bottle of wine every night with dinner, or you regularly go for a few beers after work, you might find that you’re unwittingly exceeding the recommended intake. If you are worried that you are drinking too much, keep a diary. If the numbers are higher than you expected in terms of your average weekly consumption, try different social activities that don’t involve drinking, set yourself a limit of one beer or one glass of wine after work, and alternate alcohol and soft drinks. If you’re struggling to cut down, and you think alcohol may have become a problem you can no longer control, seek advice from your doctor.

Moving your body

Inactivity is one of the most potent health threats in modern society. The nature of the work we do as a society means that most of us are not active enough. If you have a desk job, for example, it can be very difficult to find the time to exercise on a regular basis, but the CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

Exercise is valuable for so many reasons. Being active makes your body stronger, it increases your fitness and endurance, and it reduces the risk of a host of life-threatening illnesses, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. In addition, physical activity also offers incredible benefits for your mind. When you move, your body releases endorphins, also known as happy hormones, and the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain increase. You’ll also feel less stressed and anxious, and exercise can also help to improve self-esteem. If you’ve ever pushed yourself in the gym or been for a run or a bike ride, you’ll know that even if you feel dreadful and your legs are like jelly during the workout, you’ll feel amazing once your heart rate has stabilized and you’ve caught your breath.

If you’re not an active person, a goal of 150 minutes of exercise may seem ambitious, but this time period doesn’t have to be made up of gym sessions or intense spin classes. You can include everything from walking the dog and shopping to gardening and doing yoga. There are also some really simple changes you can make to your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of choosing the elevator or the escalator every time, go for a walk and stretch your legs during your lunch break, and walk short distances rather than taking the car out. You can also break yourself in gently by trying activities like beginners’ exercise classes, jogging, walking, swimming, and cycling. As you begin to build your fitness, you can explore all kinds of other active pursuits like kayaking, tennis, spinning, trampolining, Pilates, Zumba classes and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) sessions.

If time is an issue for you, try and adjust your daily routine to make time for exercise. Get up half an hour earlier, and make the most of the minutes you do have. A HIIT session, for example, which lasts 20 minutes, will burn off as many calories as a 1-hour run. You could also consider working out at home to save on travel time and enable you to fit exercise in around your schedule. You could invest in home gym equipment or simply follow online workouts or fitness DVD classes. This is also a great option for people who aren’t confident enough to join classes or to work out at a gym in front of others.

Many of us are guilty of taking our health for granted, and sometimes, this means neglecting our minds and bodies and making choices that could have negative consequences. If you’ve decided that now is the time to make changes, there are some very simple ways of improving your health and wellbeing. Focus on adopting a diet that has nutritional value, nourish your body and steer clear of fad diets. Move your body, get used to exercising on a regular basis, and try and have fun when you work out. Exercising has phenomenal benefits for your overall health, and it can also make you more confident and increase your energy levels. Take a look at the lifestyle choices you make and try to address harmful habits. Make use of help that is available to you, and think about why you want to give up smoking or reduce alcohol consumption.

Staff Writer; Fred Jackson


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