What is healthy living? Healthy living means many things to different people. It is known as a state of wellness in all areas of an individual’s life, be it emotional, mental, spiritual, physical even  monetary.

Here are some tips that can help you cultivate habits that can bring you closer to a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Love yourself: This can never be overemphasized. This means accepting the person you are, not comparing yourself to others, working on yourself to reach your goals, immersing yourself in learning skills that will build you and just living your life in the best way you can.

2. Get enough sleep: It is recommended to get at least 8 hours of sleep per day. Honestly, this is easier said than done and we all know that, but that does not mean we should give that up. Try to get a good number of  hours of sleep, it helps to wake refreshed and ready to take on the day.

3. Go on walks: This is actually a form of exercise and it burns calories too. The recommended daily step is 10,000. To some this is a lot but let me give you some tips:

– If your phone doesn’t have a pedometer, download the app. My favorite is Pacer Pedometer: Walking step and Calorie tracker.

– Prepare a playlist of your favorite songs and it can also be dependent on your mood.

– Go on walks in the morning or evening especially if you’re shy to be seen out and also because of the heat the midday brings.

–  You can also go on walks with a friend, this helps because you get to chat and it makes it easier.

With these few tips  you can complete your steps and even go beyond.

4. Limit alcohol intake: if you’re one who indulges in alcohol reduce it because liver cirrhosis is actually a thing. If you can give it up, all well and good.

5. Drink your water: Intake of water has various benefits from a healthier skin to preventing constipation and aiding digestion. It is recommended to take at least 2.5 liters of water daily which is about 8 glasses of water though this varies from one individual to another. This helps to reduce the intake of unhealthy drinks and If you’re not one to enjoy drinking water, you can switch it up by adding your fruits into it.

6. Go on dates: Go have fun with your friends, significant other, even with yourself. Do not stay cooped in your nest. Go on food dates, reading dates, movie dates, gym dates etc. Enjoy the beauty of friendship, partnership and self-discovery. Live a little, love.

7. Eat your veggies, wholegrains and fruits: Most individuals avoid eating veggies because they feel it’s tasteless and boring and their excuse for also avoiding fruit is that “it’s too expensive.” Eating fruits and veggies is just as important as getting your daily dose of carbs and protein. Veggies especially your leafy greens are a very important for easy digestion and can be filling thereby reducing the number of calories taken in especially when eaten with foods rich in carbohydrates.

Best ways to eat your veggies, wholegrains and fruits.

  • Look up recipes on different ways of making interesting salads.
  • Add them to your smoothies and milkshakes.
  • Prepare parfaits with fruits and wholegrains.

8. Invest in capacity building skills and books: Sign up for that online course, register for that skill, invest in books, get recommendations from mentors, colleagues and friends, attend that training. As the saying goes “no knowledge is lost.”

9. Exercise:  A lot of individuals dread this word because they equate exercise to pain but I call this pain, beautiful and by the way your body will get used to it after overtime. You do not need to go overboard.

Start small:

  • 20 minutes of cardio is a good way to start, the little you do will go a long way.
  • You could get a gym membership or hire a certified personal trainer.
  • Find yourself a gym bro because most times having a partner can help in your fitness journey.
  • If you feel your workout routine is boring, opt for dance workouts or Yoga. My favorite dance workouts are Hip-hop Tabata, Zumba, Soca and Afrobeats. You can checkout channels on YouTube for dance workout and Yoga routines. There’s nothing wrong with twerking it out a little, bubba.

10. Get a journal: It is very relieving to write down your feelings when you are not in your happy place or when you have a bad day. You could also pen things down in any mood! It could be a simple letter to yourself or funny/memorable events that happened which you could go back to on those “twisted” days. Basically, I recommend having a journal. You would thank you me later.

In everything, balance it out, take that ice-cream, eat your pizza, bury your face in your favorite “junk”.   It is all about self and portion control, so you do not go over board and end up feeling guilty. I stopped believing in cheat days because one can always eat one’s favorite dessert per day but in a controlled manner than picking a particular day to go overboard with junks. It is best to consult your physician and your dietitian before embarking on your fitness journey especially if you have any health condition. In all, enjoy your healthy lifestyle journey and remember, do not compare your journey to others. Love and light.

Oluwayomi Akinkuebi

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