There's no doubt that the start of 2020 has been challenging, with us currently facing a pandemic. Health products such as masks, antiseptics, disinfectants, vitamins, and certain drugs have suddenly gone on top of our shopping list. But aside from stocking up on these necessities, remembering the motto "prevention is better than cure" is of the essence. That said, it's high time to develop these five lifestyle patterns from Indonesian author and health and wellness advocate Gobind "Heart Worker" Vashdev.
You are what you eat, they say. So our dietary patterns play a huge role in health maintenance. Oily and fried foods are great for comfort, but not necessarily good when pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Aside from being difficult to digest, oil has the tendency to cover the cell wall, which can lead to bigger health risks like heart attacks, fatty liver, and more. The same goes for excessive sugar intake. According to WHO, the ideal sugar intake should be limited to only 25 grams or about five to six teaspoons per day. With this in mind, small tweaks to your diet like replacing white rice with brown rice or whole-wheat bread and avoiding fast food to steer clear of additives can make a huge difference.
In today's digital age, people have more tendency to lead a sedentary lifestyle. While we're already aware of its potential negative effects (obesity, poor eyesight — you name it!), lack of movement hinders more than just physical strength.
Vashdev shares that healthy movement patterns are also needed to help release the toxins in our body. This is because our lymph nodes don't have an automatic pump like our heart and need movement to help it function properly. In case you don't know, overloaded toxins can lead to kidney and liver failure. This is why watching your movement patterns, like taking up a sport or at least sparing some time to stretch and walk around your desk daily, is also key in keeping your health in check. Just make sure you're well covered when doing your walks outdoors!
Night owls, hear us out. As much as staying up all night is fun and hitting that 'next episode' button is irresistible, today's current health situation should make you reconsider your sleeping patterns. Lack of sleep can affect our immune system, making us susceptible to more illnesses.
Vashdev suggests that sleeping on your side is great for preventing heartburn or acid reflux. Sleeping on your back with knee support is also ideal as this puts your spine on a neutral position, allowing for a more comfortable slumber. Make sure you also avoid hitting the hay while still feeling full or after consuming alcoholic drinks to avoid indigestion or vomiting in your sleep.
Emotional and mental patterns
Studies on the correlation between mental, emotional and physical health have been proven true and acknowledged more these past couple of years. This shows that our mental state can greatly affect our physical susceptibility to illnesses. With this, Vashdev suggests keeping one's mental and emotional patterns in check. This includes trying to manage anxiety and focusing on facts during these trying times. Observing your own coping patterns and tendencies allows you to greater assess the need for professional help if and when necessary.
Speaking of managing anxiety, watching out for your breathing patterns also helps in maintaining holistic health, says Vashdev. Aside from its calming effects, especially during a panic attack, controlled breathing patterns also help the body produce nitric oxide, which is essential for increasing stamina. Not only does it ensure stronger resistance against illness, but it also helps put you in a good state of mind to make healthier choices for the day. Make sure you're in a secured and well-sanitised area before doing your breathing exercises, though.
That said, whether there's an outbreak or not, precautions still play a major role in keeping any illness at bay. Whether they're big or small lifestyle changes, one detail can make a huge difference in your holistic health.
This story first appeared on Clozette Indonesia.