In the busyness of our daily schedules, we know how difficult it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Whether it's because of work or personal relationships, we let the stress get to us far too easily and end up getting carried away by our emotions - which eventually lead to *sudden* cravings. Even though it's okay to de-stress or pamper yourself with sweet treats and junk food every once in a while as you deal with those urgent deadlines or go out with friends, making a habit of it is what ruins your health - much sooner than you can imagine!
But there's one way to avoid this guilt on such 'cheat' days. All you need to do is maintain a regular, health-boosting routine! Or at least start by indulging in one healthy habit once a day. You'll be surprised to know how one small step goes a long way in providing you with the best of results. And if you think that by exerting yourself to the point where you're exhausted AF or going on crazy, starvation diets will help you reach your 'fitness goals', that's exactly where you're wrong.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is far easier than you think. And can be achieved without much pain or sacrifice! It just takes your determination to stay fit by following a certain regime earnestly and some self-control on your unhealthy cravings by replacing them with smarter options. But a healthy lifestyle means different things for different people. So, you need to figure out one that works for you perfectly and stick to it. To give you a sense of direction, our POPxo team just revealed their own personal tips and tricks on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I’m not a fan of the gym but a healthy body does demand some form of exercise. I prefer a 40-minute walk before going to bed. Sometimes, I pair it up with a nice conversation with my sister or otherwise, I just make peace with my earphones. It makes me feel tired enough to get a good night's sleep. Even a 7-10 minute walk can do wonders when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Working out for at least an hour every day will make sure you look good and feel great. Exercising helps you de-stress, sleep better and lose weight. Even if you can't include high-intensity cardio into your routine, do something as simple as going for a walk. Try to put yourself in a pleasant environment like a beach or even a park and see how good you feel afterwards! It also helps if you find yourself some company to exercise with daily to keep yourself motivated enough.
I firmly believe that everything in small doses is great. Want to munch on a Kit Kat? Have one. But don’t go overboard with filling your stomach with processed sugar and junk food. Choose healthier alternatives like fruits to fulfil your sweet cravings. Make sure you work out extra on the day you’ve eaten a heavy meal and balance it out. Focus on your mental health by taking out time to introspect and understand because it’s just as important. On days when everything feels a bit too overwhelming, go for a walk - even if it's just for 10 minutes. It can do wonders!
No matter how busy work keeps me, I try to drink at least 8-9 glasses of water every day. It’s a small step to a healthier version of ‘me’. If you find the taste of water boring, you can try to find other alternatives such as - lemonade, watermelon juice, basil and mint flavoured water, cucumber slices, coconut water or green tea.
I personally do not believe in resisting my cravings. Cravings are natural (they make you human!) and giving into them is equally human - as long as you practice portion control and eat everything in moderation. A balanced diet ALWAYS goes a long way. This is why I try to inculcate as many fruits and salads in my diet as possible. So, I don’t bother worrying if I crave for a cheesecake someday - just one long walk is enough to burn it off. Easy peasy!
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while balancing work, family and married life as well as social obligations and everything in between can be pretty damn challenging. I try my best to work out a few times a week, even if it's just a 20-minute cardio session but I don’t end up doing so as often as I like. To make up for this, I avoid eating out and try my best to limit the amount of junk food I eat on weekdays - because let's face it, we all deserve a treat on weekends, of course. Along with this, I make it a point to ensure that my food is cooked with less oil and try to stay away from fried food as much as I can.
Look, it’s impossible to avoid junk food completely - who doesn’t love wine and pizza at the end of a long day? But binge eating one day and going on a diet the next one is terrible for your physical and mental health. Cutting off junk food from your diet completely sounds ideal, but isn’t realistic - you’ll only end up craving it more. So the trick is to eat whatever you want but in reasonable portions. Besides that, I try to throw in some fun physical activities like swimming, three times a week. And don’t forget to hydrate!
It is imperative for you to eat healthy food and keep yourself hydrated. It is also important to control the urge to scroll through your Instagram feed at night or binge watch TV shows and instead, get proper sleep. Our body and mind both need enough rest to function well. You need at least 8-9 hours of sleep on a daily basis to feel more refreshed for the next day. This will even help you become more productive!
Although I believe that a balanced diet along with some exercise, is the key mantra for staying healthy - there is this one habit that I adopted a year ago that has really helped me stay fit. I have been having smoothies for breakfast regularly, and trust me, I don't feel the morning blues anymore! Cool smoothies made with fresh fruits not only boost your mood, but they are also very tasty, nutritious and wholesome. They give me enough energy to keep going all day long and even help me curb my cravings for junk food. I don't add any yoghurt/milk to my smoothies. They just comprise of a seasonal fruit blend. So go, experiment with different flavours and sip away to glory!
To me, fitness means both physical and mental health. Regardless of how busy I am, I make sure to do at least one activity that makes me happy, every day. This can be as simple as cooking dinner, reading a book, going out for a walk or just listening to some music. The idea is to fully enjoy whatever it is that I am doing. This helps me de-stress and calm down after a long and tiring day. You see, if you are healthy mentally, it will naturally show on your physical health too.
I’m a fitness fanatic. I make sure to attend the gym after office for at least an hour and include a mix of cardio and weight training in my routine. But, mostly, I focus on eating clean and avoid junk food as much as possible. To reduce my cravings, I opt for smarter, healthier snacks. I also include a lot of fresh fruits and salad in my meals. Plus, I keep myself hydrated by drinking 9-10 glasses of water every day.
I believe in creating a balance that’s of utmost importance for both one’s physical and mental well-being by taking out the time to do things that you love, whatever they may be. If it’s not too hot in Delhi, I prefer walking short distances rather than opting for any other form of activity. I grew up in the hills with an inclination for outdoors. And running a marathon is something I picked up and absolutely love till date! So, an outdoor run is something I try to include in my daily routine, no matter what. For me, it’s the best way to beat stress and keep me healthy at the same time.
So, go ahead and take a step forward. A healthier and 'happier' life awaits you!
Cover Image Source: Instagram
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