Over the course of National Physical Activity Week 2016, we have looked at the various benefits of being physically active, as well as some of the dangers of physical inactivity. Today, we wrap up by sharing some habits that can help you live longer, healthier lives:
1. Eat the right things – If you have not already started, ensure that your diet includes servings of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables (especially dark leafy greens), whole grains, nuts for protein, superfoods, and fish. Find out more here.
2. Drink more water – The adult body is made up of approximately 60 per cent water, so it’s important that we stay hydrated at all times. According to the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water helps your body maintain a normal temperature, lubricates and cushions your joints, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and gets rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.
3. Be physically active – The benefits of physical activity range from physical to mental and social, so don’t hesitate to get moving! Physical activity and exercise help to control weight, combat adverse health conditions, strengthen bones and muscles, improve your mental state, boost your self-confidence and energy, and can help your social life.
4. Think (and speak) positively – According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. Positive thinking and speech help with stress management, and the less stressed out we are, the healthier our bodies will be. A recent study also showed that our bodies respond to the way we think, feel and act. This is often called the ‘mind/body connection.’
5. Get the right amount of sleep – Adults need between seven and nine hours sleep. Rest allows the body to repair and rejuvenate itself. For instance, the immune system requires sleep to release proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep and others that help fight infection, inflammation and the effects of stress.