Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t as hard as most people think. If you are not already addicted to nicotine or alcohol, then the switch will be a cakewalk for you. Sure, you can also be addicted to fast food and fizzy drinks, but if you are well fed and filled with water, the urge to intake these substances will subside.
All you need to do is take it one step at a time–once healthy habits are formed, you will not perceive them as obligations anymore. And since you will feel better, both mentally and physically, you will be even more motivated to stick to the new regimen.
Try introducing some of the following habits in your life in order to experience positive changes.
Ensure a healthy indoor environment
Everything starts in your home. If you want to bring order into your life, you need to bring order into your home. Working towards a healthier environment means ensuring proper home maintenance and hygiene.
Often, we don’t realize just how big of an impact our indoor environment and air quality has on our health, mood and mindset. We are much more likely to experience physical symptoms like allergies, fatigue and headaches as well as behavioral problems like irritability and depression when we are living with poor IAQ.
Here are some things you can do to make your home healthier:
- Clean regularly (vacuum, dust, mop, etc.).
- Open windows and doors to ensure proper ventilation, remove odours, and promote healthy indoor air quality.
- Use exhaust fans when cooking and showering.
- Reduce clutter and do not allow stuff to pile up.
- Clean your air conditioner regularly.
Note: Air conditioners are a hotspot for mold if they’re not properly maintained. What’s worse, they can spread this mold quickly, easily and literally everywhere, compromising the indoor air quality in your entire house!
Get more physical activity
If we are sitting behind our desks all day and too tired after work to do anything else, we are prone to decreased energy and weight gain. As time goes by, we become lazier and lazier. If this is you, there are ways you can change this. For example:
- Walk or ride a bike to work rather than driving (especially in cities like Ottawa and Montreal where there is easy access to bike lanes).
- When you are in the office, set an alarm to remind you to stretch or go for a walk.
- Tackle household chores like cleaning, gardening and cooking.
- Get a membership to a gym near your home and start working out before or after work. (The fact that you paid for it will motivate you to keep going.)
Change your diet
As mentioned before, the consumption of unhealthy food reflects poorly on both your body and your mind. Truth be told, fast food is not that delicious. The main reason we love it so much is because it is so quick and easy.
However, as satisfying and indulgent as junk food is, you become hungry again shortly after eating it because it is so low on actual nutritional content. Gradually, your metabolism slows down, your weight begins to pile on, and you start feeling helpless, depressed and stuck in this seemingly unbreakable cycle.
All of this can be easily avoided if you just opt for healthier alternatives like home-cooked meals, which you can then bring to work and have for lunch instead of that nasty basket of fries. You do not have to give up fast food entirely–you can still treat yourself every now and then, but just make sure that you’re not making a habit of it.
Stick to your new healthy routine
Remember, the first couple of weeks are always hard (no matter who you are!) so don’t get discouraged. Just stick to a few simple, healthy habits and you’ll start to feel a lot better because your body will be producing more energy.
And if you’re worried about the condition of your indoor environment, get your air tested for mold, asbestos, VOCs, and other allergens.