The wonder-pill for good health

It is widely promoted that individuals should consume five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. However, in recent times, the ‘five a day’ has come to represent five pharmaceuticals per day. This is largely due to the fact that when people begin taking certain medications, they are often prescribed other pills to counteract the negative side effects of the original pill.

What if I was to tell you that there is a wonder-pill that has multiple positive effects and improves your health with no adverse side effects? This pill could eliminate your need for all other forms of medication. Does it sound too good to be true?

This magic pill is simply following a healthy lifestyle. The base of this involves following a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis. It also includes improving health via natural supplements, meditation, maintaining an active sex life, regularly socialising and ensuring adequate sleep. If you can truly master your health via these mains, you will reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity and many other life-threatening diseases.

Exercising for at least 30 minutes for five days per week is a surefire way to improve your health. Exercise alone helps to prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, muscular atrophy and the onset of type 2 diabetes. It also provides numerous psychological effects including improved mood, greater energy levels and better stress management. Please see this post for a more detailed explanation.

To function most efficiently as a human being, your diet must be made up of whole, natural foods. It should consist of a wide variety of vitamin and mineral-rich vegetables and fruits. Limit your consumption of processed foods, particularly sugar. Read this post for more information about how to structure an ideal diet in terms of calories and macronutrients.

The best natural supplements to consume are a multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and a Greens product. See this post for a detailed description of the benefits of each of the aforementioned.

Meditation provides a host of physical and mental benefits, including treating anxiety, depression, chronic pain, high blood pressure and an improved immune system. It also increases personal insight and sharpens concentration and focus.

Sex boosts your immune system by reducing stress levels and depression. Having an orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin, which can lessen or even completely eradicate pain associated with arthritis, headaches and menstrual cramps. Sex also doubles as an enjoyable form of exercise!

Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy social life is just as important as exercising in terms of longevity. Maintaining at least a few strong friendships will increase the quality and duration of your life. Numerous studies have shown that married people are likely to live longer and less likely to develop diseases such as Alzheimer’s than their non-married counterparts. People who are lonely or socially isolated often show signs of suppressed immunity.

Sleep is precious, and most people are short-changing themselves by not getting enough. Insufficient sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. People who sleep for less than seven hours per night are three times as likely to develop symptoms of the common cold, as their immune system is compromised. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

Ensure your life is rich with the above wonder-pills to prevent reverting to a five a day pharmaceutical habit down the track!

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Making your resolutions stick

As we enter a new year, many people use the opportunity to start afresh. They resolve to be better and to conduct themselves differently in the new year. This often translates to undertaking a new fitness regime or super strict diet designed to melt away the pounds.

However, it is estimated that only 10 per cent of people are successful in keeping their new year’s resolutions. In fact, the average person will only last two weeks on their new regime. Read on to find out how you can stick to your exercise and diet-related resolutions, and achieve the fitness level of your dreams!

  1. Do not go to extremes: It is tempting to throw yourself into an intensive diet and exercise regime in the hopes that you will get the best results. However, if this routine is far removed from your previous habits, you are only setting yourself up for failure. If you currently do not exercise at all, promising yourself that you will work out for an hour every single day will not work.Instead, start small and work your way up. Start off with one or two sessions per week and aim to gradually increase that. The same goes for diet – do not hope that a quick fix fad diet will solve your problems. If your diet currently consists of lots of fast food, do not attempt a week-long juice fast. Start with basic habits such as eating protein with every meal, eating every three to four hours, cutting back on processed food, and eating a serve of vegetables with each meal.
  2. Lose the all-or-nothing mentality: It is tempting to think that you should throw in the towel if you make one small slip-up. However, it is important to be realistic. Life will throw you setbacks and the difference between succeeding and failing is how you manage them. Create an action plan in case you have to miss a workout, or if you have to eat an off-plan meal. It is one day in the grand scheme of things, and it will not reverse your progress. Get right back on track and remind yourself of why you resolved to do things differently this time around.
  3. Change your thinking: Do not think of your new endeavour as a temporary diet or short-term intensive exercise regime. This is a complete lifestyle change you are undertaking. The idea is to stick to this way of living for the rest of your life, which is again why we don’t want it to be too restrictive. There is no point in putting in a great deal of hard work for a short time only – the second you go back to eating ‘normally’, you will undo all the positive changes you’ve made.
  4. Make sure your goals are SMART: It can be easy to come up with , and subsequently abandon, vague goals. Ensure your goals are measurable and have specific steps to be reached. In the same note, do not make too many resolutions at once. Stick to one or two new habits you would like to create, and focus all of your attention on them. You can only realistically change one behaviour at a time.
  5. Create a support network: Tell your close friends and family about your goals, especially if they have set similar resolutions for themselves. Having someone to hold you accountable greatly increases your chances of sticking to the resolution. At the very least, if you  do not feel like making your goals public, write your goals down and keep them in a place you will regularly see them.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?