Jan 25, 2016

{Back to Basics}: Jump Start the Journey to Good Health

Hey there health buffs, couch potatoes and the in-betweeners!

The first month of this year, 2016 is almost through!  I'm sure that most of us have already gotten over the long holidays (or getting there, somehow) and have now acclimated to the normal life routines.  Like most people, you may have already written down those resolutions, intent and committed to achieving those. I just hope you haven't thrown out your list of goals this early.  If you don't have goals, now is the best time to think about it.  I myself have set some goals for this year, and it will not be complete without the health goals. 

Here's the thing.  Last year, I have joined only one organized fun run and I don't do my regular weekly runs after that.  I regressed, so to speak.  I don't know.  Maybe I got tired of running around lol! Naturally, I gained weight...and bulges uggghhh!  But you know, having started this health blog some years ago, I wasn't really so much into the body image thing.  I was mostly concerned about my overall health. Being slimmer is just a desirable by-product of a healthier lifestyle.  


So, instead of being too hard on myself, throwing a fit of tantrums and pulling out all my hair in exasperation, I decided to continue my health journeys from where I left off.

Reboot...start-up again.  Everyday is always a fresh start, right?

So how do we jump start our journey to health? I have always been a firm believer in doing the basics.  That's always a good place to start, and a good habit to develop. When I first started my health journeys, I didn't drastically deprive myself of food and I didn't run a marathon right away (and I have no plans of doing so as of the moment).  I started with these very basic things, that to me are quite workable:

1. Proper DIET
To begin with, observe what's normally on your plate.  Is it mostly red meat or white meat? Are there some fruits and veggies maybe? How is the food cooked? Is it slobbered with grease, too salty, too sweet perhaps?  You see, the power of observation does wonders.  It helps you classify the type of food you eat on a regular basis. Once you've done that, take note of the portion size.  How much of what's on your plate do you eat?

I've done this exercise before, and now is a good time for me to re-evaluate.  What I concluded from this exercise in the past is that, when it comes to portion sizes, plant-based foods should dominate the animal-based food on a per plate basis.  That means, more fruits, veggies, grains, and nuts over beef, pork, chicken, fish, etc. And then depending on your health conditions, there may be some things you need to cut back on.  In my case, it's grease and salt, the staples of fast food.

I've discussed these things in detail in my past articles, and if you're interested to dig deeper into your plate, check these out:


2. Regular EXERCISE
If you're already in the habit of doing daily exercise, good for you!  Keep it up, or maybe, amp it up. Challenge your body to do harder or complicated stuff, provided your body can handle the physical effort.  You know your health and your own body.  Just don't do too much because that's well, basically showing off, lol!  Remember that you do it for health, first and foremost.

If you're not yet in the habit of daily exercise, the best thing I can say is to simply START...and try to stick to it on a regular routine. You could probably start with basic stretching, like those exercise you do in school. Basically that.  For cardio exercise, start with walking for a few minutes. If you're into statistics and like to count, walking 6,000 steps daily is the minimum for good health and if you want to lose weight, do 10,000 steps per day.  Think walking is too slow for you now? Try running or swimming or any other sports. Do remember that if you have health conditions, then consult your doctor first before you engage in strenuous activities.

Something to consider...

We all know that eating healthy foods and exercising daily would normally be sufficient to maintain good health.  But sometimes, we don't always get the recommended daily allowance for vitamins and minerals.  And when we engage in sports, we need more energy as well.  When I am low on energy, I take Vitamin B complex with Vitamin C such as Enervon.  That gives me extra energy to do the stuff I like to do.  Although I don't take it on a a daily regular basis, I do so when I needed a boost to help keep me going.
Enervon Tablet (image from Unilab site)

3. Get enough SLEEP and REST
Sleep is my cheap therapy from stress.  Some experts suggest certain hours of sleep, but you know your body better.  By experience, 7-8 hrs of sleep is good for me. I can thrive with just 5 or 6 hours, but I am groggy and almost stoned when I sleep over 8 hours.  One thing you have to also check is your sleeping pattern.  Do you wake up feeling refreshed or feeling tired?  Do you sleep peacefully with minimal disturbances or do you find yourself waking up frequently during the night?  These are the things you need to check and maybe consult a doctor if you have sleep problems.


There you go!  Let's not make getting healthy too complicated.  With all the plethora of health fads around, it can really get confusing.  But we just have to get down to the basic ones, start from there and then build up on them as we go on with our health journeys.

Are you with me?  Then let's get right on the journey to good health!


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