It can feel like there's a constant battle to improve our habits and lead a healthier life. Yet no matter how hard some of us may try, we just can’t seem to stick to the strict rules that are apparently tied to building a healthy lifestyle. At Pravan Clinic in Puerto Rico we work every day to help improve the quality of life of hundreds of patients who have decided to join our membership program and live healthier lifestyles. Below are our top 5 healthy lifestyle tips, and surprisingly, some of them are extremely simple to commit to.
A Balanced Diet
This is likely the most obvious, but arguably the most important tip. Eating a balanced diet is also where many people try, try again, and then fail. Why? Because there is a false narrative that comes with the idea of eating a balanced diet. First, let’s just say that it’s perfectly normal to treat yourself from time to time. Deprivation is never sustainable, and in reality, nearly everything is ok in moderation.
What is essential is that you continue to include a healthy combination of proteins, fats, carbohydrates (focus on fiber!), vitamins and minerals in your diet. It’s also important to note that a balance of the above doesn’t need to be in every single meal, but rather, in general over time. There are, of course, obvious things to be aware of, such as minimizing your salt and sugar intake, as well as the consumption of highly processed foods.
And let's not forget about hydration. Water supports so many of the body's basic functions, yet is often neglected. On average, the global population doesn’t drink anywhere near the necessary amount of water each day, and many wrongly assume that sugary sodas and alcohol are a suitable substitute. The recommended amount is an average of 1.5 liters a day, but one's needs increase with high temperatures and when participating in exercise. Sticking within the parameters of what is considered a balanced diet will not only support your improved physical health, but can also better your mental state as well.
When in doubt, working with a qualified nutritionist is always a good idea. Pravan Clinic in San Juan is one the most advanced medical centers in the nation, offering medical concierge services that include unlimited nutritionist coaching and regular physician visits, all with no waiting time.
Following with the second most obvious healthy lifestyle tip, we have included regular exercise. Everybody knows that exercise is good for our bodies; we hear about it, read about it, and are reminded of it at nearly every doctor’s appointment. Yet there is, of course, the reasoning behind this. Beyond the obvious physical benefits, it has been proven that exercise helps to keep our minds healthy and raises our energy levels. Have you ever felt lethargic all day even if you haven’t done much? If the answer is yes, then exercise could be the key to moving past this issue.
Consuming a balanced diet, while good for us, will only go so far. Regular exercise goes hand in hand with what we put into our bodies in terms of food and drink. By participating in routine physical activity, our blood circulation is improved, our internal organs are kept healthy, and those extra calories consumed are offset. It must be said that regular exercise doesn’t have to mean long, intense gym sessions every day. It can be as easy as going for a walk, swim, or even cycling to work.
Now we are reaching the less apparent advice. The typically high temperatures in Puerto Rico mean that we tend to be within an air conditioned environment most of the time, and that the air quality is not always optimal. Often, when people look at their daily routines, they find that very little time is spent outdoors in the fresh air. So many of our days are spent cooped up inside a home or workplace, with maybe a quick dash to the car, and then back inside again. Sitting around in stuffy air all day isn’t the ideal way to spend your time, but naturally, jobs and commitments can cause this to become a regular and somewhat permanent occurrence.
Getting a decent amount of fresh air each day can do wonders for your health, and is beneficial for your mental state as well. Taking the time to enjoy a walk on the beach, have a coffee outside or even exercise outdoors instead of at the gym is a great way to breathe some fresh air, clear your head and release everyday stress.
One seriously overlooked aspect of living a healthy lifestyle is taking the time to concentrate on you. So many people spend so much time caring for others that they forget to care for themselves, which can make them feel exhausted, isolated, and depressed. It's pretty amazing to see what can be achieved by devoting a bit of time to self-care. Whether it’s having a massage, going to the chiropractor, yoga, relaxing on the couch or giving yourself a bit of a pamper, taking some time out for yourself can really help to banish those worries.
So, grab the candles, pick a podcast, and treat yourself. And if you're not looking for solo time, spending time with friends and loved ones is another wonderful way to unwind.
Sleep, Glorious, Sleep
We’ve all been there, that dreaded moment that the alarm goes off and it feels as though we’ve only had about 30 minutes of sleep. Well, that’s when things need to change. Research and studies show that lack of sleep is extremely damaging to our health. Additionally, a lack of sleep can cause our skin to age more rapidly as well. On the other hand, too much sleep also has adverse effects, especially on our mental health.
It is suggested that for most people eight hours of sleep a night is a healthy amount, and so naturally, it contributes to a healthy lifestyle. So, after taking some ‘you time’ make sure to set aside some more for a good night’s sleep, and then stick to your schedule as much as possible. Realistically, this is probably the easiest tip to stick with, and you may even save yourself some money on anti-wrinkle cream along the way!
As you can see, leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t always have to be difficult or overly disciplined. In fact, you will probably find that you love following some of our advice (eight hours sleep, yes please!), but with all jokes aside, more emphasis needs to be placed on personal care, and steps need to be followed to optimize your health and wellbeing.
There’s no fast pass to staying healthy, and there are many more tips for a healthy lifestyle other than the ones mentioned above. Having said this, a healthy picnic outside among friends and family is definitely a good place to start. And leading a healthy lifestyle can be completely enjoyable!