The quality and overall health of our life is something we should be consistently focusing on and improving. Creating a healthy lifestyle greatly depends on the areas of your life that you find yourself avoiding or neglecting. At some point in time we realize that if we do not look after our health and find balance, as we age we will pay the price of the decisions that we make. As we decide to grow into a healthier version of ourselves we may focus on growing our confidence, creating healthier habits, strengthening our relationships, altering our outlook on life or reducing our stress level.
There are various crucial areas in our life that should be of major focus when attmpting to improve our quality of life and our lifestyle.
Adequate nutrition properly fuels your body with the correct balance of macronutrients and micronutrients that ensures the optimal function of your body. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which provide different materials your body needs to perform various functions.
“Properly fueling our bodies allows us the macronutrients and micronutrients needed to support optimal physical and brain function” – Johanna Godinez
Carbohydrates, popularly known as carbs, are the main source of energy for your body. Proteins are needed for crucial processes in the body: such as development, growth and maintenance of all the cells, muscles and tissues in your body. Fats provide structure to your body’s cells, cushions membranes to help prevent damage and comprises 60% fat of our brain.
Incorporate Physical Activity
It has been proven that physical activity or any activity where you move your body, elevate your heart rate and activate your metabolism can improve mental health, lower the risk for depression reduce CHD, lower blood pressure and decrease cholesterol.
Improve Your Lean Muscle Mass
Cardiovascular exercise increases your heart rate and causes your body to burn calories during the activity, however a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, showed that in a one hour strength-training workout, women burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours following the workout compared to those women who did one hour of cardio alone. Muscle is denser than fat, which means that it has more weight and less mass. Your body tightens up as you gain muscle mass and the additional muscle has to burn more calories at rest.
And by the way… men lose weight quicker than women because men have a higher percentage of lean mass. The more lean mass a persons body has, the more fat they body can burn. This is the answer to the age old question of why men lose weight faster than women; when we realize that men have an average 40% more muscle it becomes easy to understand the reason why!
Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and therefore is crucial in order for your body to function properly. Your body maintains its homeostasis (or remains stable) through water. Every tissue, organ and cell in your body depends on adequate amounts of water to survive. Water is used by your body to get rid of wastes through perspiration, urination and bowel movements, it serves as a lubricant or cushion for your joints and serves as protection for sensitive tissues and organs.
Even mild dehydration can dry your skin and lips, drain your energy and make you feel a lack of focus. Every day you use and lose water, you must replenish it by consuming beverages and foods that contain water throughout your day. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from the foods that you eat and the rest from the drinks you ingest.
Scheduling tasks is time managements and accountabilities best friend. As you organize yourself and plan your actions, you increase the chances of completing your goals. Use detail when planning your daily schedule, your workouts, your meal menus and your rest and leisure time.
Track Your Success
Tracking is how you are able to measure your results and how you properly maintain your path for towards the ultimate goal. First determine your starting line, benchmarks, timelines and desired finish line. Remember to celebrate your progress along the way
Last, but certainly not least, is the importance of creating and maintaining balance in your life.
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create” – Jana Kingsford
We think of balance as a state of health in all areas of your life. Your physical health, your spiritual connection, your career, your ability to spend time helping others, your finances, your emotional state and your mental attitude are all aspects of what we consider health. Yoga is an amazing practice that you can incorporate to help you create balance way beyond the ability of your body and into the state of your mind, thoughts and emotions.
As we find ways of improving our lifestyle, we should take then time to reflect on these factors in order to get a clear picture where we are and determine if that is where we want to be or if we have areas we can improve on.