Staying active and healthy is important to your overall wellbeing. Not only will your state of mind be better, but you will also reduce your chance of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, cancer and other debilitating diseases. Many of us work from a desk all day keeping our metabolism in a relatively low state. It is important to do things that will elevate our heart rate and remove ourselves from the inactive state.
Regular physical activity reduces our illness risks, increases our physical and mental capacity, increases our life longevity, and keeps us looking young. There are many things we can do throughout our day to stay active without consuming a lot of time and having to do something we do not enjoy. Some people like to run, lift weights, do yoga, meditate, etc. However, there are few things that you should follow to stay active throughout the day.
Meditate Daily – Morning & Evening
“A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes by Mahatma Gandhi“. Positive thinking will keep you happy & energetic while negative thinking will make you sad & shrink your energy. Practicing meditation, at least, half an hour in the morning and evening on a daily basis will train your mind to wander less, stops negative thinking and eventually help you to live with peace & happiness.
Meditation is a technique used to transform your wandering mind into present state. Meditation helps you to “see things as they really are”, achieve peace of mind and lead a happy life. It is important to learn the right meditation method so that you benefit from it. You can take a 10-day Vipassana retreat to learn the “correct” way to meditate. I have taken multiple retreats at Dhamma Thali and each time experience was different, soothing & rejuvenating. If I were to tell anyone to do one important thing in his lifetime, it would be to take a Vipassana meditation retreat.
Do Yoga Regularly – Morning
Yoga is a light exercise that is very effective to keep your body flexible, smooth and ill-free. Yoga is doing specific asanas (poses) for overall health and relaxation. It does not require any equipment as such you don’t need to go to gym or workout station; however it requires knowledge of adopting right postures. You should avoid doing some yoga poses if you’re suffering from specific conditions. You can also do power yoga, that is doing yoga poses little quicker if your body and stamina allow it. It is important that you do yoga postures correctly rather than doing it fast.
Yoga also involves breathing techniques known as Pranayama, which helps to relax the mind and increase the flow of positive energy. It is best to do yoga poses first and then Pranayama, early in the morning. In case you do Yoga or Pranayama in the evening then only do it on an empty stomach at least 3 to 4 hours before or after eating.
Eat & Drink Healthy
There is a saying in India “Jaisa Ann, Waisa Mann” which means “what you eat is what your mind becomes”. With the emergence of processed food and tight schedule, it’s no doubt that what we are eating from those sealed food packets & bottles is not as healthy as organic vegetables, fruits, grains and natural drinks. Even after being aware of foods that are bad for our health, we still cannot resist eating them. Once you stop eating fast/processed food, soft drinks; you will be at less risk for obesity, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Another problem is that we keep stuffing our stomach with more than what we need, eventually increasing the chances of getting diseases & growing fat. It is important to have light breakfast, heavy lunch, and again light dinner with regular water intakes in between.
More than 60% of the adult body is made up of water. Drinking 2 litres of water a day will increase metabolism and removes toxins from our body. It is also essential when one should drink water, hold & cold beverages, and soups. Drinking 2-3 glass of water immediately after waking up will help bowel movements. One should drink a glass of water half an hour before the meal and avoid for an hour after the meal. If you often drink alcohol, then it is good idea to drink lemon water immediately after alcohol consumption to avoid its side-effects.
Take Breaks & Power Naps
Most of us work from our desk – sitting, drinking & thinking. It is essential to give our eye, brain & mind regular breaks to energize ourselves. However, breaks should not be taken as a cigarette break but as a power nap break.
Power naps are a great way to recharge if you are running low on energy. By taking 10 to 20 minutes of power nap, you become less sleepy during the work and it improves your ability to focus. However, power nap lasting more than 30 minutes could put you into a deep sleep hampering the effects of a nap; so it is recommended to set a 20-minute alarm before you take a power nap. Also, having a cup of coffee before your nap ensures the process of waking up a bit easier as it takes 10 minutes for caffeine to kick in.
Early-to-Bed & Early-to-Rise
The early bird gets the worm; the night owl gets the fat. Research suggests that those individuals that stay up late and sleep in are more likely to become obese. Individuals who wake up early and start their day are more likely to be active throughout the day. Therefore, if you are diligent enough to go to bed at a decent time then you are more likely to get up at 5:00 am when the alarm goes off to get to yoga.
Benjamin Franklin is quoted having said “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Some of the benefits of going to bed early and waking up early include having time for your workout, breakfast, time to enjoy the quiet before your day begins, and time to enjoy fewer distractions also ensuring you get your physical activity in for the day, and every morning sets the tone for your day. How you start your day is how you will end your day.
A healthy body has a healthy mind. If you have dreams and want to achieve it; then it is very important that you get your body & mind toned up. Having a positive mind & healthy body will help you stay active throughout the day.