There are four modern lifestyles activities that are bad for our health, these are:
- Sitting behind a desk for long periods during the working day
- Several hours spent driving or sitting in traffic
- Evenings spent immersed in television viewing
- Mealtimes consisting of unhealthy foods
These activities can lead to unwanted weight gain, poor concentration, memory loss, painful joints, heart disease and diabetes, especially as we age.
It is therefore crucial, if we are to maintain a long and fulfilling life, that we try to stay active and healthy. We can do this through regular exercise and being vigilant about our eating and drinking habits.
Eating For Health
Rushing to and from work can see many of us skipping breakfast in the morning and depending on quick fixes in the evening. We end up opting for salty takeaways, tv dinners, comfort foods and unhealthy snacks, followed by sweet sugary drinks.
We are subjecting our bodies to excess salt, sugars and bad fats. These raise our cholesterol and make our bodies work hard to process the food.
A meal plan can help to ensure that the right ingredients are available for the meals we prepare. Another consideration is calorie intake. A careful measure of this can prevent overeating of the wrong foods. Instead, we can fill our plates with healthier foods and reach for nutritious snacks.
Ideally, a menu should consist of meals that take very little time to prepare, especially if you are busy or tired. They should also be tasty and nutritional. A nutritional diet should largely consist of the following:
- Fresh fruits
- Leafy green and bright colour vegetables like, spinach, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers etc
- Legumes, bean, pulses and sprouted shoots
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat pasta and bread
- Nuts & seeds rich in omega 3,6,9
- Lean protein fish or chicken
- Red meat in moderation
- Good fats found in olive oil and avocado
- Fresh Spices: turmeric, ginger, basil and other herbs
- Porridge oats which helps to lower cholesterol
- At least 2 litres of water daily to flush out any toxins out of the body and to remain hydrated and focused
Exercises That Maintain Fitness And Stamina
Engaging in regular daily exercises does not have to mean getting a gym membership. Research has shown that exercises done on a regular basis can significantly improve your health and wellbeing. With the exception of one or two exercises listed below, most of these can be done in and around the home and are virtually cost free.
- Washing the car
- Stretching & strengthening exercises
- Walking the dog
- Taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
Check out this great video on staying fit at 50 plus:
All of these are great exercises that are gentle on the body and joints. They have the added benefit of burning calories, improving balance and movement, and enabling us to remain supple.
When you start stretching and doing strengthening exercises, make use of an exercise mat and light bearing weights. Some people are happy to use cans of beans or small bottles of water as weights. These exercises do not produce bulky muscles, instead they assist in helping to tone existing muscles. As we get older we lose muscle mass, especially if we dont exercise.
For anything more strenuous, use wrist straps.
As an aging society we are living much longer than our ancestors. As such, it is important to adopt positive lifestyle changes as soon as possible, in order to maintain a better way of living and being. With these simple changes, many of us could be living a long and healthy lives, free from lifestyle ailments and diseases.