Live an Extra Decade with These Easy Healthy Habits

Live an Extra Decade with These Easy Healthy Habits

Here’s a sobering fact: cardiovascular disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in Australia. Now, here’s a comforting notion: a new report suggests that five, very simple habits can lead to a longer life. These are:

  1. Not drinking too much alcohol
  2. Eating a healthy diet
  3. Exercising regularly
  4. Maintaining a healthy weight
  5. Never smoking

Researchers discovered that adults who regularly practice these five habits can extended their lifespan for as much as up to 14 years. Participants of the study were 82 per cent less likely to die from cardiovascular diseases and 65 percent less likely to die of cancer. The study, which involved 34 years of data, also noted that when maintaining these lifestyle habits at age 50, men could live an extra 12.2 years and for women, another 14 years.

The global average life expectancy is at 80. For Australians, we rank 14th in the list of countries with high life expectancy rates at 82.3 years. Monaco is at number one with 89.4 years and Japan second with 85.3 years.

One medical professional has cited that never smoking is the most important factor, which may be a wake-up call for many Australians. According to the Cancer Council Australia, smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the country.

Consuming alcoholic beverages is a line people must carefully walk. There are some benefits to the occasional glass of wine, some studies show. Aside from inducing a relaxing effect, moderate drinking can reduce the risk of death by heart attacks, clot-caused strokes and other cardiovascular issues. Red wine is one particular form of alcoholic beverage that fare better than most. Red wine has a high concentration of polyphenols that can reduce blood pressure.

The downside of drinking is going from moderate to binge drinking, which leads to inflammation of the liver, increased blood pressure, heart muscle damage, and several cancers, like breast, colon, mouth and liver.

Weight loss pinjarra hillsMeanwhile, a healthy diet, as defined by the World Health Organisation, is defined as a balanced intake of energy or calories. The total fat should not exceed 30 percent of the total energy intake to avoid unhealthy weight gain. One should also decrease saturated fats and cut out trans fats. Free sugars should be limited to less than 10 percent of the total energy intake. Salt intake should be less than 5 grams per day to prevent hypertension and heart disease.

The ideal body weight is entirely individual and depends on factors such as height, gender, age, build and degree of muscular development. The body mass index (BMI) has been commonly used to measure the “healthiness” of one’s weight, but the BMI system has its flaws. The 200-year-old system does not account for age, sex, bone structure and fat distribution.

As for exercise, the Australian Heart Foundation recommends half an hour of physical activity each day, which reduces the risk of heart disease by 35 per cent. Alternatively, 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise is also recommended. For people who like to walk or who usually commute, 10,000 steps per hour a day or walking at a rate of 6 km/hour is also a great form of exercise.

The Benefits of Lemon Water

The Benefits of Lemon Water

Quenching your thirst with your favourite soft drink or some other sweet and refreshing drink can be so tempting. When jump-starting your day, you also probably prefer to make a cup of coffee, and, for your mid-afternoon boost of energy, you might reach for an energy drink or a cup of tea. There’s one drink that can see to all your thirst-quenching and energy-boosting needs and it’s simply lemon-infused water.

What’s so great about lemon water? How could it possibly beat out your favourite drinks? For one, it has zero calories. We’re always encouraged to drink more water and infusing it with lemon can make it more flavoursome. Not to mention, lemon has a multitude of health benefits. Soon, you’ll be stocking up your fridge with bottles of lemon water when you learn just how invigorating, healing and therapeutic it can be.

Consuming water alone is one of the simplest and most helpful things we can do to maintain our health. Water is a key component in every system of the body and a requirement in all bodily functions. Water flushes out toxins, delivers nutrients and supports a healthy environment for the tissues in the ear, throat and nose. If you’ve ever experienced dehydration you know how harmful it can be and this is because the systems of the body are struggling to function properly without water. The ideal amount of water to drink is based on your body weight and be calculated as 0.03 litres of water per kilogram of body weight.

Meanwhile, lemon is one of the most nutritional fruits available, being low in fat and sodium while high in folate, potassium and vitamin C. Folate is especially beneficial to women and can prevent cognitive problems, cancer, some psychiatric illnesses and cardiovascular issues. Potassium is great for building protein and muscle, while vitamin C repairs parts of the body. Lemon also has antioxidant properties, which means it can block the negative effects of cancer-causing free radicals.

Weight loss Pinjarra HillsWhen combined together, lemon and water can pack some pretty powerful benefits including aiding digestion. Lemon water has also been found to prevent constipation and is considered a gentle early morning laxative. Lemon water can also keep your breath fresh and can help neutralise the odour after eating some particularly strong-smelling foods, like garlic, onions or fish. The citric acid in lemon also decreases the risk of calcium stones. Even your skin can gain positive effects from drinking lemon water since vitamin C has been found to reduce the risk of wrinkles and dry skin.

Lemon water does come with some adverse effects, though. The citric acid in lemon can erode tooth enamel. You can protect your teeth by drinking through a straw and rinsing your mouth afterwards. Citric acid can also cause heartburn. Furthermore, lemon juice can increase urine production.

If you want to make the perfect lemon water, use filtered water and fresh and organic lemons. You can drink it either hot or cold and you can also add mint, honey and ginger for even more flavour and health benefits.

How Alcohol Affects Your Fitness Goals

How Alcohol Affects Your Fitness Goals

You may have read how a daily glass of red wine or the occasional beer can have health benefits, with claims like lowering blood pressure, preventing heart attacks and other diseases. But, what is the truth? How does drinking alcohol truly impact our health?

Like any other food and drink you consume, alcohol has an effect on your metabolism. For anyone working on losing weight, pay close attention to this. Alcohol still has calories, but also has quite the high metabolic rate compared to most foods. This means you can essentially burn more calories while drinking. When you’re drinking alcohol, your body’s reaction is to process it first and to set other foods aside. Your body’s top priority is to remove the alcohol from your body and, unless you’re a champion binge drinker, it happens quickly.

Alcohol, however, is notorious for lowering one’s inhibitions. A couple of drinks in, you’re feeling loose and relaxed, but your ability to make rational decisions can be impaired. If it becomes an excessive habit, this leads to intoxication. You may also be familiar with morning after a rough night out and the temptation to stay in bed. The dehydration and lethargy aren’t exactly great motivators.

So, what’s the verdict on alcohol? It’s not bad, but what could be bad are your drinking habits. The negative effects of alcohol can be managed, but without control, the results can go from uncomfortable to devastating.

Weight Loss Pinjarra HillsWeight gain is one adverse effect. You’ve probably heard of the term “beer belly,” which is, to an extent, true. Any alcoholic beverage can cause weight gain if consumed in excess. Alcohol in relation to heart health is also vital. Moderate drinking can have great benefits, like lowering cholesterol–but only if paired with a healthy lifestyle.

Athletes should be wary of their alcohol consumption, since alcohol affects balance, hand-eye coordination and reaction time. Alcohol also depletes your body of fluids and electrolytes, which can then lead to fatigue. Additionally, muscle growth can be reduced since alcohol impairs protein synthesis, which is a crucial part of muscle development and maintenance. Alcohol also causes inflammation, which leads to joint pain and muscle aches.

If you’re trying to lose weight, alcohol can leave your body feeling hungry. The calories alcohol contains are not nutritious at all. There’s also the habit of having junk food munchies after a long night of drinking. Worse still, excessive alcohol consumption not only excretes important nutrients, but blocks them as well. Be sure to replenish your body after alcohol. Keep yourself hydrated and nourished–with actual healthy foods, so put down the greasy pizza.

Now, for some good news. You can still drink alcohol, but limit it to one drink a day. The healthiest types of alcoholic beverages are the sugar-free kind. If you’re a wine drinker, make sure to consume sulfate-free wine since sulfates can cause liver damage. Clear liquor, like vodka or gin, are also recommended. One nutritionist suggests adding fresh herbs like rosemary, mint, or basil for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Overall, moderation is key to a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Daily Habits for Losing Weight

Daily Habits for Losing Weight

Losing weight seems like the most impossible task. Who has the time? Who has the money? Who has the willpower? You’d be surprised that making some small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. And, you don’t even have to (completely) give up your favourite foods in the process. Sounds too good to be true? Read on and you’ll be shedding weight in no time.

Always start your day with a protein-packed meal

The idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day holds true for most people. Try to carve some time to prepare and sit down for that first meal of the day. Your breakfast should be full of lean protein and rich in fibre. This will deliver you the energy you need to get the day going without slowing you down. Steer clear of sugary carbohydrates like bagels, cold cereal, and pastries. You can cook up something as simple as scrambled eggs on whole grain toast with a cup of fruit or Greek yoghurt on the side.

Put your knife and fork down after each bite

It can seem like such a trivial thing, but you’ll soon notice how putting your knife and fork down after each bite can make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. The recommended amount of time you should spend consuming a meal is 20 minutes. By setting down your knife and fork after each bite, you’re giving your stomach more time to process and allow the feeling of satiety to ‘kick in’.

Stay focused on your meal

Weight Loss Program KenmoreEating in front of a screen can seem like a great way to multitask or decompress after a long day, but this habit can actually have an effect on the way you eat. According to experts, keeping your mind busy while eating can block certain signals alerting you that you’re satiated or full. You’ve probably been staring at screens the whole day anyway, so why not take 20 minutes off to just enjoy the food you have in front of you?

Stay hydrated

Most nutritionists agree that we commonly mistake thirst for hunger. So, instead of reaching for that pack of crisps, try drinking a glass of water first. If you’re having trouble keeping track of staying hydrated, you can add flavour by making infused water with lemons, cucumbers, or berries.

Eat in

Ideally, you should be making and consuming most of your meals at home. It can be difficult to track the nutritional content of foods from restaurants. There may be more sugar, salt, or even just portions than you need.

Prep meals

If you’re having trouble figuring ways and time to cook meals at home, make a plan or else you’ll be reaching for a microwavable meal or ordering take-away.

Be mindful when eating out

If you are dining out, there are a few easy tips you should remember. Start with a salad since that can help you stay fuller for longer. Be decisive by being the first to order, since some studies have shown that a group will make similar choices to the first person to voice their order. You can even look up the menu online on your way to the restaurant and have a decision ready by the time you’re seated.

Don’t eat after 9 PM

High-energy foods like sugar and fat will not only make you gain weight but eating them late in the evening will make it harder for you to fall asleep. And, a lack of sleep has been proven to be detrimental to weight loss goals. Try to go to bed as early as possible to break that midnight snacking habit.