Last year, healthy eating has started to be on top of people’s goals. Thanks to the explosion of healthy foods and tutorials on social media, it’s highlighting the health as one of the keys to enjoying life. But before the lobby for healthier options, heart problems, diabetes and obesity are still some of the problems that continue to take lives. Let’s take a moment to digest the information presented to us by the World Health Organization.
- Cardiovascular diseases caused 31% of deaths globally
- Diabetes is among the top 10 leading causes of death and disability globally
The numbers might not mean anything to you right now until you’ve had your own experience with any of these diseases. While these statistics could have been impossible decades ago, today’s eating habits, addiction to technology, and food processing systems make it easy to acquire these diseases. It is not far off that it can happen to you too, especially if you aren’t confident with your health perspectives.
The Model Demographic
On the other hand, a particular demographic is going the opposite direction. There has never been a demographic that has been more concerned with their health than this group. If there is something that these groups are known for, it is their outlook on health.
According to a Godlman Sachs survey, millennials view healthy as not just the absence of sickness but a daily commitment. Right eating habits and exercise are the key to this commitment. Compared to their predecessors, health is a priority over other things.
On another note, food is not just the things that you stuff in your body. Somehow millennials have found a new way of looking at food. Now, it is a form of expression and a commitment to the new adage of “you are what you eat”. Millennials have done so well in thinking out-of-the-box, enabling them to enjoy food more than anything.
If this new attitude allows us to see food in a new, more positive light, then it is something that we can emulate as part of our journey to a healthy lifestyle.
Towards a Healthy Lifestyle
Taking that first step is the most difficult. But if you think baby steps, surely you can create a significant difference in your lifestyle– leaning towards a positive path. Let’s look at these suggestions to help you start.
- What is your goal? Whatever you do, always start with a goal. Do the same when it comes to healthy habits. To convince yourself to do a drastic change upon yourself, what would be the most compelling reason for you to lead a healthy lifestyle?
- Revisit eating habits. Habits are key to sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Transitioning might be a bit easier, but sustaining it will be the defining factor. If you’re used to snacking at midnight, then it might something that you should ditch, but munching on fruits instead of chocolate bars might be better. Identify the bad and good ones. Stack good habits on top of another, it makes a routine to help with your objectives. Moreover, when you’ve found your good habits, this becomes a lifelong activity.
- Choose what you eat. You will find out that the physiological discomforts that you experience all boils down to what you eat. Healthy homemade snacks made from fresh produce are the best and incomparable to fast food or processed ones. Source out fresh produce from your local farmer and find out if they use any kind of pesticides on their harvest. By buying from your local farmers, you prevent unethical planting practices as well. Plus, if you pay attention to processed or chemical manufactured crops versus organic harvest, you will know that there is a huge difference in flavor. Take the millennials, for example, they digest food information to have better options to what they eat.
- Exercise. You might not like exercising, but like food, there is more than one way to enjoy this and include it in your routine. Everybody knows exercise is important, but all have the excuses not to do it. A trip to the gym in the winter might not be the most exciting, but this does not mean you can only keep fit when inside the gym. Again, create your own experience. There are a lot of workout types, there must be something that you can enjoy. Moreover, make the activity even easier for yourself to lose weight and keep fit if you have healthy post-workout snacks. Most workout plans fail because people forget about the before and after processes and are often taken for granted.
- Don’t underestimate the power of snacking. You might have prepared yourself for the main meals, but are you prepared for short trips to the coffee shop that smells wonderfully of cakes baking? It’s not a bad idea to munch on something provided these are healthy. But most would give in to temptation because these are just too hard to resist. Snacking has its negative effects, but you can also make it work for you. If you have healthy snacks at work that taste great, wouldn’t it be more enticing to eat them and lessen your cravings during meal times? Many of us don’t like bars that taste of sawdust and are tasteless most of the time. But today’s snacks are no longer a punishment but more of a rewarding experience. Some of the really good snacks are fresh, there are also those that are manufactured ethically, without any compromise to nutrients and flavor.
- Think of a seemingly impossible physical feat, then achieve it! Some people join the marathon, others swim the Pacific. While we don’t recommend something as drastic as these, there are physical goals that seem impossible for you to achieve. Think of these, and work hard to achieve it. It might be a longer running track, higher mountain to trek, increase exercise hours, or heavier weight, whatever it is, you must be willing to work for it and enjoy the process. This is the reason why so many are into running and biking, things are spontaneous. Take the same principle and apply it to a physical activity that you will enjoy. It does not have to be running or cycling. The key is to get you moving.
- Study food cravings. Research says, cravings come from mental imagery, where the more vivid one imagines, the greater the cravings. Those who have cravings cannot focus, thus takes an amount of brain power to keep the imagination alive. Knowing this, experts say you can take advantage of cravings by reversing or creating an opposite effect. For example, when you crave for a chocolate cake, think of common sights instead such as a farm landscape; and for smell, the smell of grass after a rain, and so forth. Practice makes perfect.
- Cook more. When you cook more at home, you lessen your trips to the fast food establishments. Plus, the chances of getting more nutrients from your cooking is greater than having to eat preserved foods from dining out. Cooking allows you to plan your meals, choose the ingredients, and cook the ingredients to ideal duration and preparation to obtain nutrients. If you don’t cook, maybe it is time to learn to do so. The advantages of knowing how to cook outweighs the inconveniences that many refer to when it comes to cooking. Additionally, some of the best meals aren’t even cooked but prepared fresh such as vegetable and fruits. With so many video tutorials on cooking out there, you’ll be cooking your own meals in no time!
- Switch to water. Aside from chocolates, sweetened beverages are among the addictions of kids and adults. Many take it for granted and believe all the hype about nutritious drinks. For one, our kidneys need water to function, as do cells and other organs. Other types of liquid such as juices or those with caffeine are diuretic making you lose more water than retaining them. Kidneys take the brunt when we don’t drink water. When there are not enough water, waste and excess fluids for balance stay in the body which then results in urinary tract infections (UTI), kidney stones, and other chronic kidney problems.
Health Industry Issues and What We Can Do
Despite the move for a better health outlook, there are events around us that either make changing into a healthy lifestyle more difficult or easier. In this year’s survey by PwC, the health industry is facing a shift. Depending on how you see this change in health care, it does not change the fact that we need to take better care of ourselves. In an uncertain industry, experts are focusing on nutrition as a way to prevent the need for hospitalization that are now more complicated than ever. Whatever happens to the industry, we cannot wait for a resolution that will always be in our favor. The only shift that will be in our favor is the change to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s never been more imperative.
- 5 Healthy Habits That Will Actually Change Your Life
- 8 Healthy Habits to Adopt Now
- Do One Thing To Improve Your Health Today!
- The Craving Brain
- 10 facts on the state of global health
- Top health industry issues of 2017: A year of uncertainty and opportunity
- The Millennial Obsession With Self-Care
- Why Is Drinking Water Important?