A healthy lifestyle is one of balance, an essential prerequisite for wellbeing and productivity. In today’s blog post we consider 5 key things (in no particular order) to include to ensure your lifestyle is healthy and robust.
Gratitude is an attitude. The past 12-18 months and all that came with them have more than highlighted the need to be grateful. With lockdowns and various other restrictions and changes came the realisation that we had taken so many things for granted. Being grateful for even the smallest of things helps to give and nurture the perspective that we are to be thankful for and appreciative of for what we have.
Physical activity is associated with so many benefits including better sleep, better mood and reduced risk of chronic disease development, including weight gain. Current recommendations for effective physical activity are at least 30 minutes daily, on at least 5 days a week. It can be structured i.e. activity involving use of a gym/gym equipment and or trainer or lifestyle-based involving everyday activities such as using the stairs instead of the lift, brisk walking, dancing to your favourite music and even housework.
The key is an awareness to move move Whichever you choose, the key is to get moving with the aim is to get your heart beating faster. You should be ‘breathless and not speechless’ i.e. you should be out of breath but still be able to carry out a conversation. Break your 30mins into three 10-minute slots or two 15-minute slots if you choose. Gradually increase your activity time and speak with your GP first if you have been inactive for some time or have any health conditions.
Rest, relax and reflect
Creating time for the 3 Rs is linked to being productive because of the restorative effect of all of them. Rest is an opportunity to switch off; relaxation the opportunity to do something we enjoy; and reflection the opportunity for us to pause and examine what’s ‘going on inside’. The last R is especially important because whatever is going on inside will ultimately reflect on the outside. One benefit of the pandemic has been the enforced slower pace of life allowing more time and space for us to engage all three in recharging our batteries and getting fired up again. They are all forms of self-care and provide the space to affirm ourselves through the engagement with others with something you really enjoy: reading, socializing with friends, watching a funny movie.
Laughter is great medicine, so have a good laugh (even if it’s at yourself), and don’t take life too seriously.
We’ve all experienced sleep deprivation at one point or the other and can testify to how difficult it was carrying out the smallest of tasks after a lack of sleep. The odd lack of sleep here and there will not be disastrous but a sustained habit of not gteting enough sleep will bear fruit sooner rather than later. Poor quality sleep results in reduced productivity and other consequences. Invest in the best mattress you possibly can, ditch the distractions (especially smart phones and devices) and get down to the business of 8 hours of uniteruppted sleep.
Set yourself some healthy lifestyle goals and aim to achieve them bearing in mind that big doors swing on little hinges. Forming new habits can take time so you need to be persistent. Finally, realize that making small manageable changes will result in one big noticeable difference – so start your journey towards a healthier lifestyle today!