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Tips on improving your health

Bad health is not an accident

Being healthy should be priority number one in life, yet most of us seem disappointed with the state of our personal and collective health. Here are seven major causes of poor health. Can you identify with them?

You are not drinking enough water

Water is the source of life. Without appropriate consumption, all our bodily functions are jeopardised. However, many people these days seem to be forgoing drinking water in favour of other liquids, notably sugary fruit or carbonated drinks.

Going overboard on macronutrients

Macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, protein) give us energy, build and repair muscles, and help with essential brain and nerve functions. That's great; however, Western society in particular has been consuming too many calories lately. Especially processed and red meats, as well as refined (white) flour products. Now is the time to step back, carefully evaluate what we eat, and recalibrate the portion sizes that make up our meals.

Not enough micronutrients

Sadly, many people ignore the importance of micronutrients (i.e. vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) for their well-being. They strengthen our immune system, assist in removing toxins from our body, and contribute to cellular repair needed for fighting diseases.

Based on the most recent nutritional science studies, we need to be eating much more fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans), nuts, and seeds to realize significant health gains.

Too much junk food

The "empty calories" generation readily demonstrates how large portions of heavily processed food contribute to major diet-related illnesses: obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Not only is junk food unhealthy, but it leaves us unsatisfied and creates a dependency not unlike those for tobacco and alcohol.

Not enough exercise

Prior to the 19th century, most of the world was dominated by agriculture, with people toiling in fields and the natural environment. Craftsmen and tradesmen had to push, pull, and regularly move around for a living.

Thanks to urbanization, increased automation and the current digital revolution, people have become sedentary both at work and at play, with a lack of daily, outdoor physical movement. Consider the video generations (1970s-present), sitting in front of their screens hour upon hour. This lack of activity leads to cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression, among other health issues.

Poor sleeping habits

On average, the vast majority of human beings require six to eight hours of restful sleep to function normally during waking hours. If you find yourself tired, irritable, and sluggish on a regular basis, review your sleep environment and habits immediately, then take appropriate action.

Too much stress

Stress has a big impact on overall health. It's easy to say that we want a stress-free lifestyle, but what are you willing to do to get it? Perhaps some parts of your regular routine are in line for review. When it comes to your health, take nothing for granted. Evaluate your relationships, job, career and/or current hobbies to identify needless stress. Then, look for creative ways to lessen or eliminate negative influences one at a time; gain self-control, balance, and mental discipline.

Life's essentials include fresh breathing air, nutritious food, clean drinking water, and plenty of physical movement. Get these four elements squared away, and then use the rest of your time to create a better world.


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