Blog Homepage > A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean an unhealthy obsession!
Does it ever feel like every time you open a magazine or check your Facebook there is some new fitness fad or dietary regime “that you just have to try”? Is your Instagram feed littered with pictures of fitness gurus telling you that you can look just like them in a mere ten weeks?
Whether it’s Bikram Yoga, Paleo diets or CrossFit personal bests; the current zeitgeist is one of obsession with healthy living. At times even trying to stay up to date with what’s "on fleek" (sorry!) in this new halcyon world of health and fitness can be stressful.
Of course we are all for healthy living but perhaps the best policy is to maintain your healthy lifestyle your way. Studies have shown time and time again that the best exercise is not running or rock climbing or wake boarding. Simply put, the best exercise is the one that you are most likely to do! And you can apply the same simple logic to all aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Naturally it is important to try to exercise every day or at least as often as you can manage. For a healthy adult the recommendation is for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week. Aerobic exercise is commonly known as cardio - that is anything that works the cardiovascular system, such as running or cycling. But running laps or swimming lengths is not for everyone. If you would prefer to hike up a mountain or dance the cha-cha for two and a half hours a week – then do! It is just as valid as any other type of cardio exercise and probably a whole lot more fun.
Remember also to supplement your exercise regime by incorporating a bit more physical activity into your average day. Yes, taking the stairs or walking part of your commute can greatly contribute to your overall fitness.
Much the same as your 150 minutes of exercise a week, your five-a-day is a suggested recommended minimum serving of fruit and vegetables. It is not a target that should only be met when you are feeling exceptionally motivated to eat well!
Dietary fibre or roughage is something that people often do not get enough of and it is one of the important contributors to keeping your whole digestive system operating smoothly. But let’s face it you probably don’t find superfood recipes like guava and kale smoothies all that easy to make or, indeed, all that tasty! So instead of eating ‘in vogue’ fruit and vegetables from the far corners of the globe, eat the ones you like. The only thing you have to remember is to eat plenty of them.
Letting off steam in whatever form you choose is a healthy thing to do. Many would argue that it is an integral part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately for many of us, letting off steam includes consuming alcohol. Like most enjoyable things, alcohol is best taken in moderation. If unwinding after a long week at work involves enough alcohol to ensure you are too hungover to unwind for the rest of your weekend - you can safely assume that it is not contributing to your overall health and wellbeing.
Always make sure you drink plenty of water when drinking alcohol. And if you are having a midweek glass of wine with a meal, remember you can always put the cork back in the bottle.
Quiet the mind
A healthy lifestyle is as much about the mind as it is about the body. You have probably noticed that practices like Yoga and Mindfulness have catapulted with enormous velocity from relative obscurity into the public consciousness and common lexicon in recent years. What you may or may not have considered is that this has happened for good reason.
We now live in a world of 24/7 connectivity. We are never far from a screen with videos, flashing images or an advertising message. By virtue of the fact that you are reading this means that you are looking at a screen right now. Ask yourself, when was the last time you consciously tried to empty your mind of everything?
Yoga uses exercise to trigger inward examination, while mindfulness focuses the mind on one action such as breathing. These practices (and many others like them) are forms of meditation, essential to the balance of a healthy mind. Try them out, decide what works best for you and incorporate a little time for a blank mind into your weekly regime.
Planning for the unexpected
No matter how healthy and balanced your lifestyle is, health is not a guarantee. The strongest and fittest among us can from time to time become ill. While this is something you can never predict, it is something you can plan for. Income Protection provides you with vital financial protection in the event that you are unwell due to an accident or illness, and find yourself unable to work as a result.
Enjoy the security and peace of mind that Income Protection provides. Join your Union/Employer's Income Protection Scheme today! Terms and conditions apply. For more information click here or call us on (01) 420 0997.