A sedentary lifestyle in the mode “9-10 hours at the computer – half an hour by car – two hours on the couch” does not dispose to health and vitality – this is a fact. The negative consequences are known to all: poor posture, excess weight, blurred vision, loss of muscle mass, sexual dysfunction, problems with digestion and blood circulation; and, finally, “the icing on the cake” – low energy level, lethargy, decreased concentration. But to give up and succumb to the stereotype that a person working at a computer must necessarily be pale, lethargic and loose is the last thing. If you get down to business wisely, it is quite possible to maintain health and improve physical fitness. But how?
How do you navigate the chaos of healthy lifestyle recommendations? Personally, I am terrified of people who remember by heart the glycemic index and the vitamin E content in carrots, who do not forget to keep track of the number of steps taken per day, and who understand sports nutrition better than any trainer. That is, becoming a specialist in a healthy lifestyle in our time, when information lies on the surface, of course, is possible, but, firstly, you need to put a huge amount of time and effort on it, and secondly, the goal is not to get a “black belt” for healthy lifestyle, but simply to be in good shape.
In its complex form, the simple goal “to be in good shape” represents several related directions of movement:
• Maintain health, prevent a serious deterioration in well-being. • Be in good physical shape, including appearance and stamina.
• Have enough energy for work, hobbies, personal life. And, what is important – to spend a minimum of effort and precious time on all this. Important: when we talk about a minimum of effort and time, we do not mean some kind of “deception of the system” or miraculous methods, we are talking about a rational approach, planning, effective time management.
The first step of the strategy is to identify the most influential risk factors, which, in turn, are amenable to adjustment. For example, heredity is an influential factor, but we cannot correct it, just take it into account, but in the case of fitness, which also has a huge impact on health, we can just take the initiative – and effectively. The second step of the strategy is to come up with a list of simple, clear and, again, effective rules that are designed to help us neutralize risk factors and add points to our health asset. For example, volumes of scientific papers have been written on the topic of healthy eating and thousands of tables have been compiled, but in reality, in order to improve your diet, it is enough to observe no more than five or seven intelligible rules. The third step of the strategy is to collect all healthy lifestyle rules into one harmonious system that is easy to remember and follow. And then – it’s up to you.
Why does it work?
The main advantage of an integrated system for maintaining health and tone is its simplicity, few rules and time saving. You do not need to keep in your head hundreds of recommendations from experts on a healthy lifestyle, make long lists of measures, fuss, perform some complex rituals, be driven by indicators, calculations, in general, spend your intellectual resources on the invention of the bicycle. All you need to do is to incorporate the following rules into your daily routine and monitor their implementation. Healthy lifestyle organizer Basic rules corresponding to risk factors, following which, you significantly reduce the likelihood of developing diseases and disorders, maintain your body in good physical shape. Alcohol Influence of a factor on health. Acetaldehyde, formed during the oxidation of ethanol, has a negative effect on the entire body, but especially on the liver; alcohol contributes to the development of stomach ulcers, depresses the cardiovascular system, in fact, gradually kills your brain and nervous system, disrupts potency and fertility in both sexes. Alcohol is always in the top of the most influential and deadly risk factors – and it would be a mistake to think that this is true only for alcoholics: it is enough to drink more or less constantly and in excess of the maximum allowable dose for alcohol to undermine your health.
What to do? Do not drink – or drink rarely and in moderation. Moreover, the measure is determined not by personal preferences, but by the established framework. The maximum allowable dose for a single drinking is 30 ml of ethanol (for men) and 20 ml of ethanol (for women). For a man, this is about 75 ml of vodka, 250-300 ml of wine or 500 ml of beer. Smoking The influence of the factor on health. More than 5 million people die every year from smoking worldwide. No wonder: smoking poisons your body with carcinogens and tar, causing lung and throat cancer, not to mention chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular disease. And the control shot: the risk of developing erectile dysfunction in smokers jumps by as much as 40%.
What to do? Do not smoke, and if you already smoke, quit immediately. An additional incentive, in addition to harm to health, can be the crusade organized by the ministries of health of all civilized countries against nicotine: smoking in our time is expensive and extremely inconvenient in every sense. Nutrition Influence of the factor on health. The most frequent negative consequences of malnutrition: obesity, atherosclerosis – and, consequently, a whole bunch of cardiovascular diseases, imbalance in the water-salt balance, diabetes mellitus, caries, hypertension, etc. The essence of unhealthy nutrition can be summed up in a few words: cholesterol, fast food, sweets, overeating – and all this destroys your health every single day, with every meal.
What to do? Do not overeat, eat only when hungry, do not skip meals, eat natural products – and observe the five golden rules of a healthy diet: • Eat more vegetables (at least 300-400 g per day) and fruits (at least 200-300 g in a day). Some fruits and vegetables should be eaten fresh. • Instead of baking, eat enough whole grain products – bran grain bread, porridge, durum wheat pasta – at least 6-8 servings per day (one serving is about half a cup of ready-made porridge or 50-60 g of bread). • There is less red meat (in which there is an excess of cholesterol) – no more than 170 g per day, meat semi-finished products (sausages, sausages) and more – fish. The norm of fish is at least 300 g per week. Fish is the preferred source of animal protein, as it contains omega 3 acids, especially for fatty varieties (salmon, trout, mackerel). • Limit salt intake: eat no more than 4 – 5 g per day (1 level teaspoon). Important: Consider the salt content of finished products – from ordinary bread to cheese and all kinds of convenience foods. • Limit sugar intake. The daily sugar intake for men is 9 teaspoons, for women – 6 teaspoons. You should also take into account the sugar contained in finished products. Avoid sugary soda. Weight and waist circumference Influence of factor on health. Excess weight, especially significant, is not only an aesthetic problem: it is among the top 5 deadly risk factors, causing diabetes in 45% of cases, and also increasing the risk of coronary heart disease by 24%, exacerbating diseases such as hypertension. hemorrhoids, malignant tumors. Waist circumference is one of the factors that are often overlooked, but in vain: with a significant volume in the abdomen, we are talking about abdominal obesity, which significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus.
What to do? Keep your weight normal by tracking it with an indicator such as BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI = weight (in kg) / height * height (in m). Normal BMI = 18.5 to 25. With a lower BMI, a deficiency in body weight is diagnosed, with a higher BMI, overweight (25-29) and obesity (over 29). Watch your waist. With a girth of more than 94 cm (for men) and 80 cm (for women), it’s time to sound the alarm: take care of your weight, try to lose weight. Physical activity Influence of the factor on health. Every year more than 3 million people in the world die from diseases provoked by physical inactivity: according to statistics, up to 50% of adults move very little, which significantly harm their health. How? Physical inactivity causes diseases of the cardiovascular system, impairs blood circulation, promotes the formation of blood clots, and disrupts the functioning of the whole organism. The result is lethargy, low body tone, illness. What to do? The minimum movement for a healthy adult is 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 minutes per week of high intensity physical activity.
You can choose the type and frequency of training yourself. It is highly desirable that the total time of your physical activity per week exceeds the suggested minimum. So, let’s highlight the most important thing and make a convenient reminder: Healthy lifestyle organizer: light version Alcohol: The maximum allowable dose of ethanol: for men – 30 ml per day, for women – 20 ml per day. Smoking: No smoking, including hookah, cigars, pipe. Nutrition: • More vegetables (400 g per day) and fruits (300 g per day). • Instead of white baked goods – whole grains. • Less meat (no more than 170 g per day) – more fish (no less than 300 g per week). • Salt – no more than 1 teaspoon per day. • Sugar – no more than 9 teaspoons (for men) and 6 teaspoons (for women). Weight and Waist: Track your weight by BMI. The norm of BMI is from 18.5 to 25. Keep track of the waist. The norm is up to 94 cm (for men) and up to 80 cm (for women). Physical Activity: At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week.