Five habits that will improve your general health and wellbeing

In the busyness of today’s world, we all are caught up in constant activity trying to make our lives and that of our loved ones better. We work from sunup to sundown in a bid to place bread on the table and enjoy life. Although we may gain the rewards of our hard work in monetary terms, often times we do not make provision for our bodies and minds to rejuvenate and be restored.

The popular saying goes-“health is wealth” and this is certainly true. To have an enjoyable and fulfilling life, it is necessary to remain healthy. Although there are aspects of our health that we have no control over, we also have the power to take deliberate steps and make decisions aimed at improving our health and general wellbeing.

These five steps are simple proven day-to-day decisions you can take to improve your health and wellbeing.

1. Eat well

Eating well means different things to different people. For some, it is having a plate full of their favorite meal, whatever that might be. For others it is making sure they have regular meals. It is not surprising that a lot of people do not take deliberate steps to ensure that they eat healthy meals.

So what does it mean to eat healthy? It means eating regular balanced diet which is basically having the correct proportion of the different food types in each meal. So, for example a meal of bread and noodles is not necessarily a balanced meal as it is made up mainly of carbohydrates but a meal of a small quantity of pounded yam, vegetable soup, fish and juice is more balanced as it contains carbohydrates, proteins, fat, and vitamins. As part of a healthy diet, one must also make sure that each food component is not excessive than the others.

2. Relax

At times when people think about relaxing they think merely about being away from the workplace. It is a good idea to rest from work but relaxation is also a state of the mind. It is when you decide to be in the present moment, to keep your mind quiet from all the hustling and bustling of the outside world and focus on yourself. There are different ways of relaxing for example spending time with the family and friends, enjoying the simple things of life like a stroll, play in park, listening to nice music or meditating. It is important to understand that for an activity to be relaxing, it has to put your mind at rest. It has to be free of worries, anger, bitterness or strife. So, make time for yourself, find an activity you enjoy and relax!

The other aspect of relaxation is sleep. Good sleep is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Some people struggle with sleep and often feel terrible as a result. The following simple measures can help you ensure that you experience refreshing sleep all the time.

  • Keep a regular sleep time
  • Make your sleeping environment comfortable
  • Cut down on caffeine which can be found in coffee, tea and energy drinks
  • Quit smoking
  • Try and relax before sleeping

3. Regular Exercise

Exercise helps to keep you active and fit. It maintains the muscles and keeps the heart healthy. It does not need to be a strenuous activity like working out in the Gym, it can very much be the day-to-day activities which we take for granted like walking or dancing. The next time you want to get into your car to drive somewhere, ask yourself, can I walk to this place?  Or do you know how to ride a bike? Why not ride to work or for fun? What about skipping rope or playing football? All these are different kinds of exercises that you can perform. Start small-30 minutes daily and build on that. You will see how well it will make you feel.

4. Reduce alcohol intake

Excessive alcohol intake can have many harmful effects on the body. One is that it can damage the liver which is the organ that helps the body clean up the blood. When the liver becomes damaged it is difficult for it to recover and this leads to buildup of toxic chemicals in the body. Excessive alcohol can also result in the buildup of unhealthy fat in the body. So what amount of alcohol intake is acceptable? It is not always easy to quantify how much alcohol is acceptable but as a general advice do not drink more than 6 big bottles of beer per week or 1 and half bottle of wine per week. Cutting down on alcohol will improve your health and would also help you sleep better.

5. Quit smoking

Smoking is one of the most damaging habits to the health that people engage in. It is the cause of many cancers, infertility, breathing problems, heart problems and strokes. If you smoke, stopping smoking would be one of the best health decisions you would be taking.

Stopping smoking will immediately improve your breathing, and your general wellbeing. In addition to that it will also save you some hard earned money. So take the steps today, stop smoking and improve your life.

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