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Keeping yourself healthy

You wake up feeling like a zombie and drag yourself to work in a train packed full with people. You regret staying up late to re-watch The Game of Thrones on HBO as you chow down your ham sandwich and wash it down with your first cup of kopi of the day. You sit at your desk all-day unless it’s lunchtime or when you heed the call of nature. After work, you head to the hawker centre for your favourite char kway teow.

If this is how you spend your usual day, it might be time to work in some changes because no matter how hectic and stressful lifestyles we Singaporeans lead, the adage health is wealth never gets old. Here are 3 ways to keep healthy.

1. Have adequate sleep

Having adequate sleep is one of the most difficult things to achieve in our stressful society, but the importance of having sufficient rest can never be overstated.

For adults, the recommended number of hours is 7-9 hours (Source ). Some sensible tips you can employ to ensure you have adequate and a restful sleep include: using the hour before bedtime for quiet time (no, Netflix binging doesn’t count), cutting down on nicotine and caffeine, and avoiding consuming heavy meals within a couple of hours of bedtime (Source ).

2. Cut down processed foods

Processed foods are convenient, but they usually pack a whole punch of badness. High in sodium, sugar, nitrates, refined carbohydrates, artificial ingredients, the list goes on. Having too much processed foods could result in fibre and magnesium deficiency, just to name a couple of consequences, also you can try a Paleo secret 30-day challenge if your goal is to lose weight. Instead of having ham sandwiches or sausages for breakfast, you can try healthier options which can be prepared the night before such as overnight oats. If overnight oats are not your thing, you can try these healthy breakfast ideas for busy mornings.

3. Exercise more, preferably outdoors

We work too much, and work out too little. Exercise not only improves our health (Source ); it improves our mood. Also, a 9-5 job means there’s not much time to exercise while Mr. Sun is still out. If you’re not able to rest properly, you could actually have a Vitamin D deficiency, which makes it all the more crucial to slot in exercise, especially on your off-days. You don’t need to have an elaborate exercise plan or get an expensive gym membership. It could be as simple as taking a 20 to 30-minute walk thrice a week, spending some outdoor time with friends and family or picking up a dance fitness class such as Zumba at your nearest community club.

Good health is a blessing we should never take for granted. Whatever we do and put into our bodies have impact on our health. The key is balance and moderation. A sensible diet – through natural foods or supplements – complemented with a suitable amount of exercise and a healthy lifestyle should ensure that we stay in tiptop condition!

5 tips for a good health

More and more research is showing that the key to lifelong good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine” — making simple changes in diet, exercise, and stress management. To help you turn that knowledge into results, we’ve put together this manageable list of health and wellness suggestions.

We asked three experts — a naturopathic physician, a dietitian, and a personal trainer — to tell us the top five simple-but-significant lifestyle-medicine changes they recommend.

Besides giving you three different takes on how to pick your health battles, this list gives you choices you can make without being whisked off to a reality-show fat farm — or buying a second freezer for those calorie-controlled, pre-portioned frozen meals.

1. THINK POSITIVE AND FOCUS ON GRATITUDE
Research shows a healthy positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system and boosts overall health. Your body believes what you think, so focus on the positive.

2. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES
Shoot for five servings of vegetables a day — raw, steamed, or stir-fried. A diet high in vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of developing cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, stomach, bladder, pancreas, and ovaries, so is really important for you to take care of your diet, you can even find a special diet reading these Nutrisystem reviews online. And many of the most powerful phytonutrients are the ones with the boldest colors — such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, and leafy greens.

3. SET A “5-MEAL IDEAL”
What, when, and how much you eat can keep both your metabolism and your energy levels steadily elevated, so you’ll have more all-day energy. A “5 meal ideal” will help you manage your weight, keep your cool, maintain your focus, and avoid cravings.

4. EXERCISE DAILY
Did you know that daily exercise can reduce all of the biomarkers of aging? This includes improving eyesight, normalizing blood pressure, improving lean muscle, lowering cholesterol, and improving bone density. If you want to live well and live longer, you must exercise! Studies show that even ten minutes of exercise makes a difference — so do something! Crank the stereo and dance in your living room. Sign up for swing dancing or ballroom dancing lessons. Walk to the park with your kids or a neighbor you’d like to catch up with. Jump rope or play hopscotch. Spin a hula hoop. Play water volleyball. Bike to work. Jump on a trampoline. Go for a hike.

5. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Or eat a small bedtime snack of foods shown to help shift the body and mind into sleep mode: whole grain cereal with milk, oatmeal, cherries, or chamomile tea. Darken your room more and turn your clock away from you. Write down worries or stressful thoughts to get them out of your head and onto the page. This will help you put them into perspective so you can quit worrying about them.