Healthy living has never been more fashionable or profitable. There are so many books on healthy living, fitness products and internet websites, which all provide a bewildering amount of information on the benefits of healthy living.
There are some very simple reasons why a healthy living lifestyle should be of interest to you. These reasons range from the obvious physical benefits through to mental health benefits.
‘We are what we eat’ can be adapted in to ‘we feel what we eat’. Experts have long recognised the connection between physical well being and eating well. But recent research provides some interesting evidence of a connection between mood and nutrition.
Eating healthily can give you more energy and improve your general wellbeing. Find out how a balanced diet can help you cope with depression. Feeling down or depressed can affect both your appetite and your daily routine.
Some people don’t feel like eating when they’re depressed and are at risk of becoming underweight. Others find comfort in food and can put on excess weight. There are some really simple way’s that you can eat properly. Eat regular meals. Be sure to have three meals every day.
If you feel hungry between meals have a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit. You can stop yourself from feeling hungry all the time by eating more wholegrain cereals, fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds as these foods are rich in vitamins and minerals. Try to eat at least five portions of different fruit and vegetables every day.
Try to include some protein at every meal. Protein is essential for the growth and repair of the body and you can get it from meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, lentils and beans. Protein will make you stronger and leaner too. Of course, it is not just solid foods you need to think about but liquids too.
One of the things a lot of people forget to do is to drink enough fluid, which should include six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Even mild dehydration can affect our mood. Symptoms of dehydration include increased irritability and loss of concentration.
Drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, colas, teas and some energy drinks may have a dehydrating effect, so drink other fluids as well, such as water, herbal teas and juices.
It has long been known that regular exercise is good for our physical health. It can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. To get the most benefit from exercise, do 30 minutes a day at least five days a week, or 45 minutes to an hour at least three times a week.
In recent years, studies have shown that regular physical activity also has positive benefits for mental health. Exercise can help people recover from depression and prevent them from becoming depressed in the first place.
Exercise can improve mood, reduce anxiety and improve concentration. Exercise has an effect on certain chemicals in the brain that affect our mood and make us feel happier.
Exercise does not have to involve expensive gym memberships or subscriptions to fitness magazines. You can be as creative as you like when it comes to exercise so try to push the boat out.
You should therefore not make the mistake of selecting the first exercise regime you see. Think about what you like and dislike? Is there a sport you enjoy or have always wanted to take up?
Do you like circuit training or swimming or both? Don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit. Losing weight should be as much of an enjoyable experience as possible.
Think about the role that friends can play as a gym buddy and friendly rival. Nothing helps more than a little friendly, good natured competition. Think about the following story about a lady who conquered depression by turning exercise into a goal:
Mary used to have a gym subscription but would only go once a month. She always intended to do more exercise but hardly ever got round to it.
Then a friend of hers ran the London Marathon, so she decided she wanted to do the same thing the following year. She ended up running the London Marathon in 2006 and every autumn does the Great North Run in Newcastle!