Health needs to top every one of our resolutions this year, hands down. For we all have survived the worst – a global pandemic. New year or not; our eyes need to be focussed on the ball- good health. This said the dawn of a brand-new year rings in positivity, focus, and deep-rooted motivation that can push us toward health goals.
So, should good health be considered the number one resolution? Without a doubt. What do healthy goals fetch in return?
1) The obvious. Keeping away from seasonal and lifestyle diseases.
2) The strength to perform better in our lives, personally and at work.
3) Most importantly, a fulfilled and peaceful mindset.
One can be sure to discover a lot more benefits with a healthy lifestyle. Even otherwise are not the three solid incentives mentioned above enough, is it not? Yes, a plate of sugar-soaked jalebis and a pastry slathered with buttercream after a hearty meal can be a fitting finish to the evening. Pausing for a bit and not indulging will do a world of good in the long run. Just getting started with baby steps can set the ball rolling in the right direction.
Now, how do you make well-defined, sustainable achievable health goals?
1) Simplest step one- Weigh yourself.
How many of us weigh ourselves periodically? One doesn’t have to obsessively keep checking weight every day or after every meal. But once every fortnight should do. Keep a track of your weight and religiously make note of it in a small notebook. Let us slowly make this into a health journal as time passes. But begin. Seeing numbers go up or down on the scale gives a sense of reality.
2) Note down what you eat- include everything.
Systematically note down whatever you consume. Be it a full-fledged meal, a snack, additional cups of beverages, or just everything that you eat. This may seem silly and you may be tempted to skip some steps but stick to this tradition. Carry around that little notebook and religiously jot it down. This is reality check number 2. The best way there is to knock sense into oneself is by seeing what is written in black and white.
3) Begin consuming a lot of water consciously.
Wherever you are and whatever you do, indoors or outdoors. Begin drinking a lot of water, especially throughout the day. Always carry a measured bottle with you, set up an alarm, and drink up. Most of us confuse thirst with hunger and do not hesitate to reach out to junk when the throat dries up. Have a swig of water and still if you feel hungry have a bite. It may sound funny, but it is the truth. Water plays a significant role in metabolism and helps have a clean bowel movement. It keeps the skin hydrated and reduces unnecessary aches and spasms.
Steps 1 to 3 are a primer to set the pace of your health and fitness goals. Keep at it. Let us move this up a notch
4) Focus on your notes in the little book- refresh your basics.
With a clear understanding of how the numbers and the calories look. We can work up a diet plan. If you are really alarmed, consult a dietician. Otherwise, begin with these small changes that work for everybody, something you can easily stick to. Reduce processed foods, cut down your intake of refined sugar and oils, limit eating out and try to cook your meals. Chew your food very well, many of us have forgotten to do that. Breathe well, inhale and exhale properly in between chores. Now set an ideal weight target spread over a quarter. Choose an exercise, outdoors or indoors at a fixed time of the day. Exercise at least 5 days a week.
5) Include a substantial amount of fiber and protein in your diet.
Now 80% percent of weight reduction lies in the diet. Consume more greens, sprouts, and fresh fruits. Proteins help burn fat and aids in the process of digestion. Consciously consume the ideal and required amount of proteins per day. Such a diet will also help in keeping you satiated for a longer time. You will gradually lose the craving to consume carbs and unnecessary sugar.
6) Track how many calories you burn.
It is simple math, to lose weight you need to burn more than what you eat. It is here the notes help, for you will now have a fair idea of what you eat per day; figure out the type of exercise that helps you burn more. Remember this is a gradual process and it cannot be achieved overnight. Even otherwise, move around more. Use a step-tracker. Just be up and about as much as possible. All of this will help increase your basal metabolism rate.
How do you define “good health”?
There is a deep connection between the physical and mental state of the body. One influences the other without a doubt. To balance the connection between the two, it is first essential to nurture a positive state of mind to keep oneself constantly motivated. Never allow the mind to slack off with health targets. Likewise, staying active, and having fresh and nourishing meals can make one keep happy and have an optimistic outlook. Heavy and greasy meals can make one sluggish and slow down the mental process. Eat right, exercise regularly, and develop all the right lifestyle habits; for each of them heavily influences the other.
It is also important to note here; the weighing scale is not an indicator of good or bad health. Occasionally indulging in a dessert is not a crime. Over exercising to burn away the additional calories the very next day itself is also not advisable. Each body is a different machine and therefore barring some fundamental habits, there is no standard template to achieve a defined target.
There is no “ideal size” or a “body type”. It is perfectly okay to be off the perfect score by one kg or two. Your intake needs to make you feel good. Stick to natural foods; also start buying organic pesticide-free grains and supplies for your cooking. Exercising releases all “happy” hormones into your body; learn to enjoy the experience. Keeping good health is a journey, not a destination. The changes you wish to make need to be ingrained and slowly become a part of you. Brace yourself for the long haul.
One resolution for 2023 is working towards keeping good health. Allow us to leave you with this thought- is there any other resolution you can possibly achieve without good health?