Your Daily Do’s For Vibrant Health
Sometimes we dive so deeply into the details of wellness that the simple stuff flies over our heads. You might find yourself thinking your daily schedule is flawed if it doesn’t include aerial yoga and kale at every meal. What happened to the good old days, when being healthy meant eating your veggies and getting some fresh air?
Let’s just take a deep breath out for a sec.
Being healthy can be simple. It can be ordinary. It can be easy to maintain. Or not. It can be wild, inventive and full of endless experimentation too. The choice, though, is yours.
Getting the fundamental principles of healthy living down is all you really need to thrive. Having them all on one page makes life a little easier too. Once you’ve got your grip on the essentials, you can choose to keep it simple or expand as you please.
We thought we’d help bring some calm amidst the swarm of never-ending health knowledge thrown at you. Here are our top daily do’s – in no particular order – that we believe create healthier lives:
Police those portions
Although your total caloric needs depend on your activity level, gender, age, and weight etc., a general good measure to go by is your plate. Fill half of your plate with veggies and fruit, one-quarter with protein and the other quarter with grains. If you want seconds, try (we know it’s hard!) to stick to this same ratio.
Refined carbs and added sugar sneak their way into meals on the regular. A conscious effort to limit these and rather take in a healthy balance of complex, low GI whole carbs – think starchy veggies, brown rice and oats – will remove a lot of the dead weight in your diet that typically ends up being stored as fat.
Your body was made to move! There is simply no alternative to exercising, and you generally feel wonderful when you do. In our opinion, doing things you love adds hugely to the enjoyment factor. Do you adore being around people, moving outdoors or trying out novel stuff? Tailor your workouts accordingly.
Try HIIT for quick results
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most efficient way to blast fat and tone up – and who doesn’t want that? This means shorter workouts including challenging, explosive sets of resistance or cardiovascular training back-to-back, with short – sometimes active – rests. If you like your exercise quick and to the point, this is the way to do it.
Eat those veggies
If this is the one change you make to your diet, it may be the only one you need. That old veggie quota of roughly 4-5 helpings is almost never met. Focus less on what to take out your diet, and more on reaching this quota. You’ll be surprised how little space is left once you cram all those veggies in! Try adding a fruit and veggie (or two) to every meal.
Plant-based is better
You’ll find that this is the foundation of most research-backed, sustainable healthy diets advised by dietitians. Plants are rich sources of so many nutrients we need, like unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein; it makes sense to eat a lot of them. If you’re a meat-eater, think more veggies and small amounts of lean meats and reduced-fat dairy products.
Sleep is essential
Sleep regulates every process in the body – dieting and exercising simply can’t be maximised without it! Make sure you’re getting over 7 hours of sleep each night – experts say following a bedtime routine is a powerful way to increase your sleep quality.
Supplements are so named because that should be their purpose – to supplement, not replace. You can add real nutritional clout to a normal diet with a high quality multivitamin, an Omega 3, calcium for the ladies and a superfood powder (yes, we’re biased, but ours is made from whole fruits and veggies, which makes them a powder version of the real thing).
Identify your excess
Most times, the things we do repeatedly or in excess are to blame for dieting downfalls. Do you have several cups of tea daily with a few sugars in each cup? Are you getting dramatically less than the weekly recommended minutes of exercise? Do most weekends include a big night out with handfuls of drinks? Take some time to identify any routine offenders bringing you down.
Be persistent (and consistent)
Forget the all-or-nothing approach! Go 80/20 instead. Generally sticking to a sensible training and eating schedule will serve you far better than going flat out for a few weeks then throwing in the towel for long stretches in between. Healthy habits are built slowly and steadily – deprivation is always short-lived.
Keep it interesting
That body of yours adapts quickly. It’s essential to keep it guessing by varying your workouts and eating as much as possible. This breaks through fitness and weight-loss plateaus – and keeps you interested and motivated as well.
Think before you drink
We’re the only creatures that drink liquids other than water and milk at birth – so stick to water where possible. Low-fat, unsweetened dairy and preservative-free fruit and veggie juices can cover some of the recommended food categories, but it’s far easier to take in excess sugar and calories this way. Sugary juice, fizzy drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcohol all need to be drank in strict moderation.
Have we left anything out? What are your favourite daily habits to build a vibrantly healthy life?