The World Health Organization, psychologists, fitness instructors, doctors, nutritionists and wellness experts give us many recommendations to live a healthy life. So here we go with the bases and tips to work in our habits with a holistic vision, to feel better and live a healthy happy life. Health is defined as a state of well-being not only physical but also mental and social.
1. GOOD REST : Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per day helps us to control hunger and allows our body to detoxify and repair while we sleep. We rest better with a lower temperature and if we eat at least 3 hours before going to sleep, so we finished digestion. In a natural environment we should wake up at dawn and have finished dinner and prepare to rest at dusk. Our organism, like all living beings, has processes that depends on the cycle of light and dark. We should sleep in a space without light and without sounds to have a better rest, not expose ourselves to the light of the television and cell phone at bedtime. In addition, we depend on sunlight to process vitamin D which is essential to maintain a healthy life, 20 minutes of sun per day is the recommended timing.
2. 12 HS FASTING TO SUPPORT AUTOPHAGY: In 2016, the Japanese biologist scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize for his research on the mechanisms of autophagy. Autophagy is a natural process generated at a cellular level, through this process waste, viruses, bacteria, old, damaged or abnormal cells that do not work well are destroyed, transforming them into energy. In other words, our body has the ability to eliminate, absorb what is useless and use that energy to renew cells. Ideally, between dinner and breakfast we should wait 12 hours to stimulate this mechanism (within those 12 hours we can drink tea, coffee or water without sugar or milk). This 12-hour daily fast helps us to have a longer life, a better physical condition and less probability of contracting diseases. Our cells regenerate and heal themselves, they attack oxidized cells. Autophagy works naturally in our body, but the lack of energy generated in moments of fasting, stimulates its functioning, the body seeks to create energy by degrading everything that does not serve. In this way, cells regenerate and aging is delayed.
3. BALANCED EATING: Eating correctly will help us to have a healthy body, less susceptible to different types of diseases. It is advisable to base our diet on a diversity of natural foods including all the categories of the nutritional pyramid:
1. Water & Carbohydrates: Water is the base of the pyramid, our body is 70% made of water. We need it for our organs to function properly. The WHO recommends drinking between 2 and 2.5 liters of water per day for adult women and between 2.5 and 3 liters per day for adult men.
The activity that we carry out along the day and our caloric consumption will determinate the amount of carbohydrates that we must consume. Carbohydrates are present in: potatoes, rice, pasta, legumes, brea and cereals. If they are whole it’s better because they will also provide us fibers and minerals.
2. Fibers : fruits and vegetables of different colors will cover our vitamins and minerals needs.
3. Proteins: They are present in milk products, white poultry meat without skin, fish, shellfish, legumes, eggs & nuts. In a reduced quantity, at this level of the pyramid are also the red meats, processed food and sausages .
4. Sweets, pastries, fats and salty snacks : We must minimize the amount of unnatural processed foods that we eat. We should prepare at home with natural ingredients all the recipes and combinations that we want. If possible, we must reduce the consumption of preserves, flour, sweets, salt, fats, butter and cream. Regarding on cooking methods, it’s better to steam or boil than to fry our food.
4. ELIMINATE TOXIC HABITS : Another challenge that must be met in order to have a healthy life is to eliminate tobacco, drug use and limit alcohol consumption. The equivalent of a glass of wine or beer a day is fine, but we should not abuse. Today, environmental pollution is also considered a risk factor for health. If we live in big cities, it is recommended to spend our free time in green spaces, be in contact with nature to detoxify and oxygenate our body.
5. INTESTINAL HEALTH : The first line of defense of our immune system depends on a our own good bacteria that are living 80% in our intestines. We also have beneficial bacteria in our respiratory system, our skin, genitals and ears. Intestinal health is vital to have high defenses and avoid getting sick, and its proper functioning depends on the quality of our rest and our diet. The indiscriminate use of antibiotics, the excessive hygiene and the abusive consumption of processed foods also kill those microorganisms so useful for our health. To maintain our intestinal health we must keep a good diet rich in fiber, consuming fermented foods and probiotics, ideally on an empty stomach (yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha).
6. EXERCISE : Aerobic exercises and strength exercises helps us to maintain an active metabolism, consume calories and stay in shape. It is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day to eliminate excessive calories, strengthen muscles and bones. Many times what we can do to move more is to use the bicycle instead of the car, go walking more often, clean vigorously and use the stairs instead of choosing the elevator.
The high intensity interval training (HIIT) is also very positive for our health. In these sessions you make exercises at the maximum of our capacity (repeating the series several times).
7. HEALTHY MIND : A healthy state of mind is necessary to carry out all the challenges of our life. Like our body, our mind also needs stimulation to stay in shape, that’s why it’s essential to do cognitive activities such as reading, learning new things, doing crosswords, solving problems. Older people especially should do those activities to keep them alert. On the other hand, to have a healthy mind we must learn to manage stress. A certain level of stress is positive to keep us alert and active, but in excess it is harmful so we can control it with relaxation techniques, breathing, tai-chi, Pilates, yoga.
8. HYGIENE : Good personal hygiene, taking care of your teeth and cleaning your home are very important steps to prevent diseases. Likewise, living in organized and clean spaces helps us to clear our minds and feel better.
9. SOCIAL LIFE : We are social beings and we need to relate to other humans to feel good. It is even proved that social isolation leads to the deterioration of mental and physical capacities and even dementia. We must organize encounters with family and friends, a good communication and healthy relationships are keys of our social health.
We believe that it is essential to prioritize our health, achieve healthy lifestyle habits, learn to relate positively to our environment and take care of our body, which is the only one that we have. It’s entirely up to us, so let’s work on that!