REDISCOVER THE 5 FUNDAMENTALS OF HEALTHY LIVING

Why complicate things when the basics of healthy living are truly that simple? It’s time to get reacquainted with the essentials of what our bodies need.


BY: LINDSEY KANE, MS, RD, LDN

Often times, we overlook the most basic fundamentals to healthy living.  By doing so, we automatically place our faith in “sophisticated” and complex fads, jumping from one trend to the next.  

But how can we knock the essentials if we haven’t actually given them a chance to work their magic?

If you’ve had difficulty cultivating a healthy lifestyle that lasts, it may be time to skip the trends, get back to the basics, and stick with the tried and true. Here are the 5 areas to focus on:

1. REAL FOOD  

Real food is energizing, life-giving, disease-protecting, anti-aging, and mood-boosting – everything we need to live a long, healthy, and happy life.  Colorful fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, high quality proteins, and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olives, and avocado, these nutrient-rich whole foods are perfectly packaged with the vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and energy we need to thrive.  Yet, studies show an estimated 50% of our diet is comprised of ultra processed foods that are minimally beneficial to our health.

2. WATER

The human body is comprised of about 65-70% water, an unmistakable indicator of its importance in human health.  Water plays a critical role in supporting the function of every organ in the body, from nutrient transportation, temperature regulation, joint lubrication, energy metabolism, tissue repair, detoxification, to cognitive function.  Hydration is a necessity when it comes to optimal health, yet research estimates a striking 75% of U.S population is functioning under a chronic state of dehydration.

3. SLEEP

Sleep is our body’s only opportunity to repair, rebuild, and recharge, yet we tend to be more preoccupied about recharging a mobile device than we are about our most important device of all: our body!  When it comes to well-being, sleep is all too often underrecognized.  Studies show over one third of the U.S population is sleep deprived.  Sleep is just as important as nutrition when it comes to optimizing health.  In fact, sleep has an effect on appetite, food intake, energy expenditure, nutrient utilization, stress hormones, weight, energy level, mood, and cognitive function.

4. MOVEMENT

Our bodies were designed to move and groove, yet each year we are becoming increasingly more sedentary.  Studies estimate American adults spend an average of 13 hours sitting each day, and only 20% meet the CDC’s physical activity guidelines.  While it’s true you can’t outwork a poor diet, there’s plenty of compelling reasons to move your body.  Regular exercise promotes better sleep quality, strengthens cognitive function, improves metabolism, relieves stress, enhances physical performances, and supports healthier food choices.  

5. BREATH

It’s no secret that our population is living under chronic stress, but the truth is, the more we give to ourselves, the more we can ask of ourselves.  In fact, “unplugging” on a regular basis has been shown to improve productivity, creativity, energy, performance, health and happiness.   Whether it’s yoga, meditation, reading a book, taking a warm bath, sipping on tea, or doing a puzzle, taking time to relax and reset is critical to our health and happiness.

Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: DANIEL CUKLEV

Lindsey Kane, MS, RD, LDN is a San Francisco-based Registered Dietitian helping others live a stress-free, balanced, and thriving life. By getting to know her clients inside and out, Lindsey identifies the opportunities within their everyday lifestyle to integrate subtle changes that create lasting, impactful results. Learn more at Bite For Change!

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