If you constantly set yourself goals that are hard to achieve, you’re always likely to be disappointed and disheartened. That feeling does no-one any good. So, instead of making a radical change in lifestyle, try taking baby steps. Make one small change at a time. For example, if your goal is to eat more healthily, instead of setting yourself up for failure with an all-or-nothing attitude, try getting up just 15 minutes earlier to eat a healthy breakfast or pack a good lunch for yourself.
If you need to get more exercise, try taking a walk around the block – or further – at lunchtime. Your digestion will thank you, and your cardiovascular health will receive a boost. The thing about small changes is that they’re easy to fit into your routine. No massive change is required, minimizing the likelihood that you will fail to reach your goal.
As we age, and even sometimes earlier on, the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses becomes greater. The problem with these conditions is that they seem to creep up on you, adversely affecting your health a little more each day. These conditions are often called ‘silent killers,’ and for a good reason. The changes that come with conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and diabetes can be undetectable. So much so that it’s easy to develop something like high blood pressure and be completely asymptomatic.
And unless you fracture a bone, you’re unlikely to know if you have osteoporosis. The answer is to have regular medical check-ups and screenings. If you are conscientious about your health, you’re more likely to catch problems early, making them more likely to be solvable. If you do develop a chronic condition, always take your medication according to your doctor’s instructions.
If your life is all about work and chores, listen up. For your mental well-being, and a consequently happier, healthier life, choosing a healthy hobby can’t be beaten. There’s something about making something with your own two hands that has an extremely positive effect on self-esteem, mood, and overall well-being. Hobbies are great for relieving stress, and they get your mind active. They can also get you interacting with others interested in the same activity or hobby as you. That’s also good news for living a longer life.
If you live in a city or commute to one for work, you’re probably breathing in a lot of pollution. A 2013 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that airborne pollution in China might have reduced the lives of 500 million people by 2.5 billion years. The study found that participants who had had lifelong exposure to 100 micrograms of ‘total suspended particulates’ (tiny particles in the air, e.g. pollutants) per meter of air cubed will reduce a person’s lifespan by 3 years.
Although our respiratory system is designed to deal with these tiny particles, some pollutants can get through the body’s defense systems and cause inflammation in the lungs. This could cause breathing problems, make existing conditions worse, and even lead to death. Other substances to avoid include processed foods. Science shows that these foods are drenched in chemicals that are often harmful to our health.