10 Healthy Routines to regain balance and generate healthy habits
The holidays are here and with them comes (for many) disconnection. But we also know that many times we have to deal with that kind of Stockholm syndrome, which traps us and does not allow us to fully enjoy ourselves. This means that we don’t take advantage of free time, we can’t let go of the mobile phone, the Tablet and we continue to await the chaos.
That is why today we bring you some routines that we hope can help you regain balance and generate healthy habits.
1. Wake up early every day
Waking up at a decent hour is essential for optimal health. The human body and brain have evolved to follow a circadian rhythm that helps regulate sleep and wake patterns set by our natural environment, specifically the rising and setting of the sun.
This natural circadian rhythm also corresponds to the body’s natural cortisol levels . As we know, this is a hormone well known for its role in our metabolism and response to stress and energy levels. In a balanced state, cortisol levels begin to rise 2-3 hours after sleep onset and continue to rise until early morning, helping us wake up.
The circadian rhythm is related to cortisol levels.
Cortisol levels in the body will peak around 8:30 – 9:00 am and continue to gradually decline as the day progresses. Therefore, following the body’s natural circadian rhythm and cortisol levels is a simple way to maximize energy levels, productivity and overall health.
Sleep disorders are approaching epidemic levels worldwide, affecting an estimated 70 million people in the United States alone. In some countries, the direct and indirect costs of sleep-related problems are believed to be close to 1% of gross domestic product.https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/29.3.299
2. Stay hydrated
Even mild dehydration (when we “forget” to drink fluids throughout the day) can lead to lowered mood and decreased concentration.
Water is essential for life as we know it, that is, carbon-based life. The hydrogen and oxygen atoms that make up water tend to combine very well with carbon atoms, but there is more to it. Liquid water, when combined with carbon, adds physicochemical properties that make this compound-solvent pair the most common in the universe. Liquid water, needless to say, is essential for the most important biotic reactions.
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to stay hydrated. Being thirsty is a sign of dehydration.
According to an announcement from the Harvard University School of Public Health, drinking enough water every day is crucial for many reasons:
- Helps regulate body temperature
- Keeps joints lubricated
- Prevent infections
- Means of transport of nutrients to cells
- It keeps the organs working properly.
- And if we are relating to the aforementioned point, being well hydrated also improves the quality of sleep.
Experts recommend drinking approximately 10 glasses of water per day on average. And not all of that liquid has to come from tap water; Other drinks such as coffee or tea also count in this amount.
According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, it is advisable to try not to consume sugary drinks when trying to stay hydrated, since these could be associated with an increased genetic predisposition to obesity. DOI: 10.1056
3. Make time to move
Human beings are designed to move, it’s in our genes, but as we created more sedentary lifestyles , exercise became less and less. Many of us work seated, travel seated, relax seated, so it’s becoming increasingly important that we can create ways to move while performing routine tasks.
Lack of physical activity is a known but modifiable risk factor contributing to lifestyle-related diseases, including many preventable causes of death.
Current public health recommendations recognize regular exercise and physical activity as a cornerstone in the prevention, control, and treatment of numerous chronic conditions, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, obesity, type II diabetes, and sarcopenia. DOI: 10.1161
Perform daily exercise as much as possible to improve your healthy habits.
Aerobic and resistance exercise represent the extreme points of exercise and elicit markedly different training responses that are mediated by a complex interplay between different signaling pathways between neurons.
Exercise has enormous health benefits for both body and mind, and there are many different ways to create movement throughout the day. Whether you enjoy biking, swimming, dancing, or going to the gym, it’s imperative that you find some form of movement that you enjoy and make time for it every day.
4. Get enough rest
When establishing a routine, it can be easy to forget the most important activity: rest. Human beings are simply not built to work all day, every day without a break.
If you do not consider this in your routine, there is a danger of the so-called “burnout”. According to the currently most accepted description, this syndrome is characterized by exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced performance satisfaction.
Due to its etiopathogenesis, exhaustion is today considered mainly as the result of chronic stress that has not been successfully treated.
Breaks, even if they are brief cessations of work, physical effort or emotional stress, promote:
- Mental health
- They boost creativity
- Increase productivity
- promote well-being
- reduce stress
- They improve the mood
- Strengthen relationships
5. Become a yogi for a day
The practice of yoga is a tradition with more than 3000 years of antiquity. The origin of the word is from Sanskrit and refers to the idea of union. According to those who practice it regularly, yoga promotes strength, stamina, flexibility, and facilitates the characteristics of kindness, compassion, and greater self-control, while cultivating a sense of calm and well-being . Sustained practice also leads to important results such as changes in outlook on life, self-awareness, and a better sense of energy to live life fully and with genuine enjoyment.
The practice of yoga produces a physiological state opposite to that of the flight or fight response and with that interruption of stress, a sense of balance and union between mind and body can be achieved.
The practice of yoga also generates a balanced energy that is vital for the functioning of the immune system and leads to an inhibition of the sympathetic area of the hypothalamus. This inhibition optimizes the body’s responses to stressful stimuli and restores the autonomic regulatory reflex mechanisms associated with stress. DOI: 10.4103 / 0973-6131.43541
In addition to the above, the practice of yoga inhibits the areas responsible for fear, aggression and anger, and stimulates the rewarding pleasure centers in the mid-forebrain and other areas that lead to a state of bliss and pleasure. This inhibition results in decreased anxiety, reduced heart and respiratory rates, decreased blood pressure, and cardiac output. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2005.08.013
Given the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence and countless benefits, we only advise you: become a yogi for a day.
6. Spend time breathing fresh air
Getting fresh air on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to improve your overall health. Sun exposure allows the body to produce vitamin D , which has been shown to have many essential functions in the body. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to fatigue,weakened immune system, low mood and depression.
The release of serotonin is affected by the concentration of oxygen present in the blood. Serotonin promotes feelings of happiness and well-being , so the more fresh air you breathe, your mood will improve significantly.
Oxygen-rich air helps synthesize serotonin.
The knowledge about the beneficial biological activity of ions in the air, especially those with negative charges and in atmospheres with an oxygen-rich composition, has been the subject of extensive analysis. Some studies of the so-called green and blue spaces have also been key in the possible relationship between fresh air and the prevention of mental health diseases through indirect routes.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.06.004
On the other hand, hot and dry winds are known to cause controversial symptoms such as depression, malaise, headaches, irritability and exacerbation of respiratory ailments. This disorder is known as Sharav syndrome , due to the winds with these characteristics in the town of the same name in Israel.
Urinalysis combined with the study of the complaints of two hundred weather-sensitive patients suffering from Sharav, have shown that there are at least three different patterns of reaction to this type of weather: serotonin hypersecretion causing a general irritation syndrome, catecholamine deficiency resulting in wasting syndrome, and ultimately histamine and creatinine overproduction combined with clinical hyperthyroidism.https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01440676
7. Take the time to cook your food
Learning to cook is one of the simplest healthy daily habits you can make and one of the greatest gifts you can give your health. Although cooking is often considered a chore, it is a basic human skill that is required to satisfy another basic human need, food.
Cooking not only helps control the quality of the food you eat, but it also helps create more appreciation for, and a more intimate connection to, your food . If you’re just reheating food in the oven every night or ordering takeout, you’ll have a harder time paying mindful attention to your eating habits and food.
Cooking is a simple form of self-care that you can practice every day, making it one of the most beneficial healthy daily habits.
According to one study, frequent consumption of home-cooked meals was associated with greater adherence to the DASH diet, a greater likelihood of having a body mass index within normal parameters, and a better percentage of body fat. DOI:10.1186 / s12966-017-0567-y
8. The gigantic feeling of being aware
Mindfulness is a general term that is used to characterize a large number of practices, processes and characteristics, broadly defined in relation to the capacities of attention, awareness, memory, acceptance and discernment. Although the term has its historical basis in Buddhism, it has achieved wide popularity in psychology, psychiatry, medicine, and the neurosciences, which seem to be its best ally.
It was initially known for its role in mindfulness-based stress reduction, but the story took a turn when it was introduced as a complementary therapy for people with medical illnesses in the late 1970s.
Mindfulness is the ally to combat stress.
Over the past few years, the practice of mindfulness has gone from being a somewhat hippie topic to being an occasional replacement for psychotherapy, a widely implemented corporate wellness tool, and educational practice. According to the World Health Organization, the cost of stress to US businesses alone reaches $300 billion annually, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75 percent of all that spending on Medical care is devoted to chronic diseases that can be prevented .
If you have to put more flavor to the matter, a study published in the prestigious journal Nature suggests that the practice of mindfulness would reduce anxiety, depression, stress and improve the regulation of emotions due to the modulation of the activity in the neural substrates, while activating altruistic behaviors.https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62652-1
9. Put away your phone
Storing your phone (tablet or computer) may seem like a simple challenge, but it’s not.
Being connected 24/7 can have many negative side effects on our health.
The average person has at least four social media accounts and spends at least 2 hours and 24 minutes checking their phone every day. This constant digital connection can increase perceived stress , and constant exposure to blue light has been shown to suppress the body’s production of natural melatonin , which is essential for regulating the body’s natural circadian rhythm and sleep patterns.
In one study, thirty-eight participants were told to avoid using their mobile phone thirty minutes before bed. The result was that with this restriction, sleep latency was reduced, while sleep duration and memory increased.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228756
So instead of surfing the web until the wee hours of the morning, turn off your phone at least an hour before bed and allow yourself to relax and unwind without the digital stress .
10. Take up recreational reading
Reading has benefits for both your physical and mental health, and those benefits can last a lifetime. Reading can not only stimulate intellectual growth, but it can also help reduce stress, prevent age-related cognitive decline, and promote a good night’s rest .
Reading is exercise for your mental health and, in the same way that you take care of your body, it is important to take care of your brain.
In 2012, the Education Standards Research Team (ESARD) in the UK, compiled the Pleasure Reading Research Evidence Report. It found that reading for pleasure has educational benefits -both in children and adults-, supports personal development and has a positive impact, which includes a significant increase in writing ability, improvement in text comprehension and grammar, considerable expansion of the vocabulary and regulates a fine balance in emotions, with correlative improvements in social relationships
Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to do a 180-degree turn or make radical changes all at once. In fact, it’s the opposite. If you focus on small healthy daily habits and create ones you really enjoy, you’re more likely to stick with them for the long haul.
Developing healthy daily habits will take time, dedication, and determination, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be achieved . Remember, you are not in a race. Avoid extreme solutions, take your time, and work on individual healthy habits to help ensure that your health and success last.
Thank you for having come this far with this reading. We really hope this article has been useful to you and tell us what habits you have adopted to improve your life and focus on the path of well-being.
We’ll see you soon with another article from the ENRGIA blog . See you soon!