Are You Stuck In A Lifestyle That’s Killing You?
I know I know, every few weeks it seems that someone out there releases a study that says DON’T. The World Health Organisation is especially great at that.
Sitting down is killing you, drinking alcohol is killing you, watching TV is killing you. When is a girl supposed to have some fun?
Okay, we hear you and we get it. You want to live a long and happy life, I mean, there’s SO much you still want to see and do, but you want to enjoy it as well.
So, let’s make that our plan. Let’s take a squiz at how you’re living your life and see if we can make sure we give you some tantalising choices so you get the most out of your lifestyle and actually want more of the good stuff!
One thing we really want to get out nice and big at the start of this is: You Do Have Time To Be Healthy.
I know it might seem like it’s something worth pushing to the bottom of your to do list when you have work deadlines, business meetings, kids to feed and meals to plan, but getting your health right is actually going to save you so much time, energy and money. Trust me, an unhealthy lifestyle is going to catch up to you, which is why we’d like to give you an opportunity right now to really think about what those little sacrifices during the day are adding up to.
Honestly, how will your deadlines, your meetings, your kids and your life look if you’re laid out in bed?
Has been linked to: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, dementia and cancer. It also effects our self-esteem, plus lethargy increases guilt and frustration, which ironically has us turning to even more inactivity to try to feel better.
The only way to shake the stagnation blues is to start moving. Just like the spiral of inactivity, the spiral of activity is easy to see and feel. As soon as you take on regular exercise you will have more energy, more awareness, more positivity, and you will keep those chronic health problems away.
The latest lifestyle killer is sitting down. Be careful though, that doesn’t mean stand up all day or walk eight hours on the treadmill, these are also not good for you.
Balance and variety are the key to getting a healthy lifestyle going, so let’s start here. If you have a stand-up desk, remember to sit down and take a break every hour or 90 minutes and keep moving.
Stretch, jump, flex. Standing on its own is not enough. If you don’t have a standing desk and you do have a job where you sit down a lot, make sure nothing is in easy reach. We tend to circle ourselves with all the items we need so we don’t need to break. Let’s just force ourselves to break by getting up to get that phone, or yoghurt or planner.
Take the stairs, set a reminder on your calendar to stand up and stretch every hour to 90 minutes. It’s so important that you start moving through your day.
At first you might have to be quite forceful, but you’ll be able to see and feel a difference in your energy, mood and posture in only a few weeks so keep at it. Think of getting up for something as an opportunity to exercise.
If you’d like some motivation, a fitness tracker that calculates your steps and movement can really bring some fun and let you know when you are having a sluggish week. Challenge yourself and get creative about how you spend your movement time.
One really great rule to live by is to take all personal phone calls standing up. While you chat, take that time to move, it will not only improve your health but also the conversation. No really, give it a go!
People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, right? I’m just as busy as you and I know how hard it is to stay active when I’m tired and ready for a break. What keeps me moving is knowing how good I’ll feel in the long run.
Want some added incentive? Regular exercise will:
- Increase your lifespan to the tune of 4 years
- Help fight heart disease, cancer and give you stronger bones and muscle condition
- Strengthen your mind through promoting brain chemicals. That means better memory and a greater capacity to learn
- Help you feel positive and creative
- Control your weight and speed up your metabolism for added flexibility, energy and physical ability
And no, you don’t need to spend all morning in the gym, 30 minutes brisk walking five days a week and some muscle toning exercises twice a week is plenty.
Has been linked to: high blood pressure as well as chronic health issues like heart problems, arthritis, and stroke. That’s the long-term possibilities. More immediate is the increased likelihood of depression, insomnia, headaches, increased frequency and severity of colds, digestion troubles, aches and pains, ulcers, excessive smoking and drinking as well as gaining or losing weight.
Working long hours, taking on too much, worrying about the future, dwelling in past mistakes, spending outside your means or having relationships without boundaries (that’s all relationships, romantic, work, family and friends) causes stress.
A little bit of stress is okay, but too much stress over a long period of time really can kill you!
Please don’t stress out about that though, there are very doable solutions and turning it around is possible right now. Find the ones that work for you and adopt them into your lifestyle to live a long a happy life.
Consistency is the real way to knock stress off your lifestyle calendar. It’s not enough just to adopt one of these items when you’re in burn out and crashing. Actually factor this into your routine and start enjoying life.
First things first. Be in the moment. The here and now is all you have so live that. Too much time ahead in worry or in the regrets of the past will never solve anything (no really, it just isn’t going to help).
Fast Things to Fight Stress
- Set work hours and stick to them. That might mean communicating to staff, your boss or your partner, this is what I’m doing, this is when I’m doing it. Saying it out loud holds you to your promise and will help get you out the door on time.
- Have a day off and do whatever you want – no excuses. If you can’t afford a whole day to yourself every week, have an evening that is just yours once a week and set up a day that’s yours every month.
- Interact with great people. Spending time with other positive people is perfect for reducing stress levels, giving your fears and problems a reality check, and finding some fun.
- Find things that make you laugh. Aim for 5-8 minutes in a day of laughter, it doesn’t have to be continuous, broken up is fine!
- Play with your kids.
- Get enough sleep – 7-8 hours a night.
- Do what you love doing, that might mean allowing time for a hobby or learning something new.
- Have an orgasm. Having regular sex and orgasms helps reduce stress and anxiety. It increases estrogen and gives you a high oxytocin buzz. This is great for your whole body, not just your femininity, and not having partner is certainly not an excuse. All you need is to give yourself permission, a nice space, and a locked door.
You Are What You Eat
Poor nutrition is linked to: In the short term, stress, fatigue and inability to focus. In the long term there is increased risk of being overweight or obese, tooth decay, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, some cancers, depression and eating disorders.
Not everything we put into our bodies passes out. We are kind of given that impression as children, it goes in, it gets used, it comes out. It’s actually far more complicated than that. If we are eating a natural diet that is mostly the case but our modern lifestyles give us access to a lot of things we wouldn’t normally contemplate digesting or consuming (like E-2112, what is that exactly?). What that means is there are a lot of toxins and products our body just doesn’t know how to handle and it gets stored until a solution becomes available.
It’s not just what we eat, it’s also how we eat it.
Too much of the bad things and not enough of the good causes serious trouble all through our system. Weight gain puts an amazing amount of strain on our circulatory system and heart.
Snacking when we aren’t hungry is something to get conscious of. When we graze without being consciously aware of it our body stops sending us hunger signals such as ‘I’m full’ and this causes all sorts of strife with overeating, malabsorption, slow metabolism and even water retention.
It doesn’t only mean snacks either. Eating while working or watching TV dulls your body’s sensors to what you are eating and how much. When you eat, be sure to do so as soon as your stomach registers that it’s hungry. Too soon or too late causes internal stress. Know what your body needs. Not everyone does well on three square meals. You might find you perform better on six small ones. Listen to your body and pay attention when you eat. This will also give your body a chance to recognise and register foods that don’t sit well.
You’ll feel better and look better for it as well.
If you don’t let your body know it’s okay to power up it will run on survival mode only. That’s internal stress your body just doesn’t need. That means slow metabolism, high storage and cravings. If you are not a breakfast person find something that is okay to break that fast. Maybe a small handful of nuts or a home-made smoothie, especially if you exercise in the morning. Having breakfast will mean your body will use the protein you consume, not your own muscle.
Note Enough Weight
Staying super thin is hard work and is not always a sustainable goal. Harsh diets cause long term pain, it’s not just about getting the right amount of nutrients to sustain energy through the day, it’s also about having the protein and calcium for muscle and bone strength, you’ll need these as you get older. Not enough food has been linked with osteoporosis, anaemia and a lowered immune system.
There are so many reasons not to drink alcohol, firstly, it’s just sugar, it is responsible for weight gain. If we go deeper than that though, ladies who regularly consume two or more drinks a day have an increased risk of liver damage, cancers (ie liver, mouth), depression and high blood pressure. If you are more sensitive to alcohol there is an added risk of brittle bones, memory loss and heart disease.
Limit your drinking to special occasions. Be aware of how much you drink and be mindful of cocktails which are potent and packed with sugar (okay, yes they are fun). The goal is to drink in moderation. It makes it more rewarding and far healthier than part of your wind down routine.
If you have used alcohol to wind down, find something healthy to replace it. What would really help you relax and get settled? It’s really interesting to note that while it might seem like alcohol relaxes you, all it does is switch off stress signals, you are still stressed, now even more so because your mind and body are not functioning effectively, only you have no idea! Find a healthy option. There are plenty, go for a walk, make a cup of tea have a bath – hey, remember that orgasm?
You don’t need me to tell you these things are dangerous, everyone’s wised up on how bad cigarettes are. There is so much in these that just doesn’t come out of your body again once you inhale it.
Only knowing that might not be enough to stop you.
If you don’t smoke, congratulations, if you do, consider why. There are so many options and everyone is unique. How to stop means getting to the source of the problem. Maybe you think it looks good, it’s more social, it’s calming or maybe the way you feel when you don’t smoke feels so disgusting you go running back each time.
In some cases, it’s simply an old feeling of belonging to a tribe when you were back in high school. The best way to bust a smoking habit is to replace it with something else, find why you do it, and get an adequate replacement. You don’t have to go cold turkey, replace one cigarette a day with something healthy that gives you that same buzz and before you know it you’re addicted to cycling or wearing hats.
Taking painkillers is great for getting by every now and again but in no way should it become a regular habit. You might think it feels good, but actually there is a problem that will persist until you get treatment. So save time and energy and seek treatment now!
Over an extended period of time taking pain relief can increase your risk of ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. If it’s sleeping pills, or drugs that calm you, there is a chance that abuse of these will cause confusion, clumsiness and falls.
It you are having ongoing problems with headaches, migraines, muscle pain, inflammation or arthritis don’t mask it, see a professional. There are plenty of great effective solutions that can actually heal your body. It might be a change in diet, some added vitamins, a break in routine or some posture correction. Talk to your preferred healthcare professional about what possible causes and solutions maybe. If in doubt, get a second opinion.
Remember, you are beautiful.