Plans for tonight? Is it going to be the usual junk food and countless cans of beer with your startup colleagues or friends in town? What about coming home late and heading early to work the next day? Can’t seem to motivate yourself to take up that gym membership you swore to sign up for?
All these questions and more can make you feel like you are slipping off the New Year Resolution bandwagon already. It is not just about sticking to your resolution, however; it’s ensuring that you stick with healthy habits throughout the year.
A good diet is a very crucial entity when it comes to a person’s health, as are physical activity and adequate rest. The diet you consume now will determine your future wellbeing, and daily physical activity and restful sleep will help you keep a sane mind. So why start late, and not as the young achiever you are now? Here are a few quick reminders to help you stay the course on the road to a healthy life:
Stay away from the sugar
Know all the sugary snacks that get passed around in the workplace? We happily consume them with the thought, “But just a spoonful of it [sugar] won’t do harm.” But guess what – it actually could. Sugar is mainly sucrose and fructose units which not only are added carbs for the body but also interfere with the normal functioning of our system. It leads to complications of obesity and diabetes, and in the worst cases, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) too. To be on the safer side, try eating complex carbohydrates.
Junk the junk
Starting your career as a bachelor/bachelorette? Too lazy to cook nutritious homemade food? Here come the handy food delivery apps to the rescue! Within a few minutes of your order, your doorbell rings, and the lip-smacking food is here! But have you wondered what all of this is going to cost you in the long run? Junk might taste good, but it is packed with calories – good and bad.
Studies show that an increase in the intake of processed foods presents a decline in brain function and memory. What about the free cafeteria goodies you munch on during coffee breaks? All these are potential cancer causes and triggers of bloating with constipation. Moreover, they are the reason your cholesterol is probably skyrocketing. These are all serious maladies, so remember: a bite of junk is certainly going to lessen your lifespan.
Forego caffeine and fizzy zero-calorie energy drinks
I am in love with my coffee mug, and so is my addiction to Caffeine. But how long is this gulping going to be beneficial/non-harmful for health? Not always. These mugs have their pros and cons. They can keep you fresh at work, and make you more restless as well. Research articles from the American Journal of Neurology show that caffeine consumers often suffer from daily headaches and are prone to a higher risk of heart diseases.
This excess caffeine doesn’t come from just coffee – energy drinks are perpetrators too. Energy drinks have large amounts of caffeine in them and are sweetened superabundantly. Even a cup of decaf coffee likely doesn’t hold as much of sugar as an energy drink can. Severe sleep problems and elevated high blood pressure in young adults are linked to the excessive consumption of energy drinks. Plus, there are other detrimental effects on mental health as well, currently under research. So think twice before you indulge in that energy drink bottle!
Exercise – every day
It is all too common for many young professionals and employees to spend hours sitting at a desk or in front of a screen while at work. Plus, when you get done with work, most complain of being too tired to do anything except go home, have dinner, and go to sleep. This lack of exercise plays havoc with your body. From messed-up metabolism to excessive weight gain to a host of other problems, not getting enough exercise is a terrible lifestyle choice.
So make it a habit to get some physical activity into your daily routine. Go for walks in the early morning before work, or before sleeping at night. Don’t spend hours just sitting in one place at work; get up and move around every couple of hours, and stretch those cramped muscles. You will feel better, and your body will thank you too!
Don’t compromise on sleep
Do you constantly feel drained and tired? Are you finding it hard to concentrate on anything at work for long periods of time? Are you constantly cranky and irritable? Well, the problem is likely a lack of adequate sleep. There is well-documented research on the need for people to get enough hours of restful sleep on a daily basis. Given the demands of the modern age on your body and mind, you need to make sure that you are giving them the rest and chance of recovery they need, every day.
Arianna Huffington, Co-founder and former CEO of The Huffington Post, is one of the most vocal and well-known proponents of adequate sleep. Her book The Sleep Revolution talks about how not getting enough sleep can wreck all aspects of our lives, including examples from her own experiences. So the next time you find yourself wondering why everything seems to be making you mad and frustrated, remember to get some good shuteye!
While the general stress of a crazy work life can take over our daily lives, it is important to remember that the best way to be successful and productive is through better lifestyle habits. So make an informed decision and stop being lazy when it comes to your health. It could be the best gift you give yourself.