Unfortunately, taking care of one’s health has over the years become associated with all manner un-fun activities, such as starvation diets and overly strenuous gym workouts. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case, or more to the point, should never be the case. After all, too much of a good thing isn’t all that good any longer either – or so they say.
Keeping your health intact can consist of a lot of small changes, many of which will not even prove noticeable right now, but 20 years down the line can make a big difference to your quality of life.
Regardless of how you decide to get moving, it needs to be something that appeals to you. If you love running, good for you – run to your heart’s content. However, if you don’t love running, don’t force yourself to do it. Many people don’t, and some shouldn’t run because of bad knees or other health issues.
Some people enjoy spending time at the gym, although it is important to remember that just spending time there will do very little for your health – you actually need to work out for it to make any difference. Just looking the part and watching others work out is not quite what you need.
Team sports can also be a great workout, so join a touch rugby team, a football team, a netball team… the list goes on.
It doesn’t even have to be an organised activity – anything that gets you moving will do, whether it is a stroll on the beach or a couple of laps in the condo swimming pool. Maybe take the dog for a walk. If you don’t have a dog, borrow the neighbour’s dog (just remember to ask him first) – the dog will appreciate it, and you’ll get moving.
For most of us, it is the two evils of too little activity combined with too much food. The problems related to obesity are well documented, and even though weight gain may be difficult to control, it is at least easy to spot. However, for some, the problem isn’t too much food overall (although it usually is), but too much of something in our diets.
Salt is a big culprit, as it is found in everything we eat, and in such overabundance that it is very difficult to stay within the suggested daily allowance unless you avoid all pre-prepared food and processed products. And it’s the hidden salt that lurks in unexpected places that can really cause problems – too much salt, and you face issues like high blood pressure and related heart disease.
Sugar is a problem as well – the more refined it is the worse it gets. Once again it is in everything we eat, even in products that claim to be healthy. Especially for those with a predisposition, too much sugar and other simple carbohydrates in the diet can lead to rapid weight gain and issues like diabetes.
If you want to avoid food with too much sugar or salt, just start reading food labels. It might not be the most entertaining reading you’ll ever do, but it should rate right up there in terms of its impact on your life.
Have more fun
Now although this might occasionally come into conflict with my previous point, one of the biggest problems many people face today is stress. And apart from moving to a tropical island paradise, which we have all already done, there is little one can do to escape it during the regular work week. However, having fun by participating in sport, spending time on the beach or engaging in a hobby can help alleviate that stress and in so doing help ward off a myriad of health issues compounded by stress. So find something you enjoy – whether it be fishing, listening to music or reading a good book – and make time for it.
Just spending some quality time with friends and family can make a big difference as well, and if you can combine being active, spending time with friends and having fun, you are well on your way to building a foundation for future health.