General Wellness

Family Health Diary

What is wellness

It’s really quite simple, eat and move the way nature intended, keep stress levels down, don’t knowingly put toxins into your body and aim for a balance in all things. This is the recipe for a healthy lifestyle and will set you on the road to general wellness with a healthy mind and body.

Healthy nutrition

  • When you eat unprocessed whole grain food you are getting all the natural vitamins, minerals and fibre that are stripped out during the refinement process, which removes the nutrient-rich husk and germ from grains like wheat. Try and choose brown rice, bread and pasta. Porridge is also a great choice.
  • Good nutrition is more satisfying because fruit, veggies and whole grains bulk up food and take longer to digest so you feel fuller longer.
  • A health balanced diet will give you more energy; lots of fats, carbohydrates and sugar can make you feel sluggish and tired.
  • Low Glycaemic Index (GI) foods (which only gradually increase your blood sugar) help maintain stable blood sugar and insulin levels avoiding the highs followed by the lows you get after eating refined and high sugar foods (high GI). This helps reduce the risk for diabetes.
  • Eat less saturated fat and more “healthy” unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut and oily fish – this helps keep your cholesterol down and protects your arteries from clogging up.
  • Fish twice a week will protect your heart and feed your brain because it contains those wonderful and necessary omega-3 fatty acids that we all need.
  • Eating lots of fruit and vegetables regularly will provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need, many of which are powerful antioxidants. This will protect your body against harmful damage and boost your immune system to help fight disease and infection.
  • Reduce your salt intake; too much salt can give you high blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease.

The benefit of exercise

  • Exercise is good for you at any age and can keep you fit and healthy in mind and body from childhood through to old age.
  • Regular exercise helps keep your weight down.
  • Whatever exercise you do, whether you run, walk briskly or work out in the gym, it keeps your circulation pumping and reduces your risk of heart disease.
  • Exercise helps keep your cholesterol in check by improving the balance between good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol, which is good for your heart.
  • You always feel good after exercise because it boosts the levels of those wonderful natural feel-good endorphins, which are also a natural antidepressant.
  • Weight-bearing exercise, like walking and running, or resistance-based exercise using weights, keeps bones strong which is especially important as we age, and also tones and strengthens muscles.
  • The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate which means you burn kilojoules faster and this helps you keep your weight down.
  • Exercise keeps the brain active, improves cognitive function (memory and recognition) and reduces the risk of dementia.

Preventing illness

A healthy lifestyle is all about good habits for living well and prevention of avoidable diseases. It’s never too late to start.

1. Start the day right

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and will kick-start your mind and body ready for the day’s activities. If you have a nutritious breakfast including whole grains and some protein you will feel full for longer than a breakfast that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

2. Kilojoules in should equal energy out

A kilojoule is the measure of the energy used to fuel our bodies and we all need a certain amount; how much depends on our activity level, body size and age. If you consume more kilojoules that you burn, the remainder will be stored as fat. So, check the kilojoule content of the food you eat and try to balance the foods you eat with your energy needs and activity.

3. Move your body

Keep active and do something you enjoy every day to keep you moving and include some aerobic exercise (riding a bike), weight-bearing exercise (walking or running); and also try yoga or tai chi.

4. Sleep well

Sleep is nature’s way of nurturing your body and if you don’t get enough sleep your body will not be able to cope with the daily demands you make on it. Sleep also boosts your immune system, so sleep deprivation can reduce your ability to fight disease and infection.

5. Top tips for wellness

  • Eat a nutritious balanced whole food diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take regular exercise
  • Don’t smoke, it is a toxin for you and anyone near you
  • Drink plenty of water; to keep your body hydrated and your skin healthy
  • Keep positive to boost your immune system
  • Chill out, take time to slow down and try using relaxation techniques or practice meditation
  • Be happy and laugh a lot.

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