The quality of life we live is arguably measured on the surface by the good health and vitality we enjoy. And this basically boils down to what goes into our mouths and constitutes our sustenance daily.
Because your body is naturally not designed to last forever, it is always a welcome idea to take care of it in every way possible so that your ‘house’ lasts till you finally check out of this realm. When no harm of any kind comes to your body, every experience in the sun is always going to be a breath of fresh air. As is the case in the town of Ogimi on the Japanese island of Okinawa.
What are they getting right?
According to data from the World Health Organization, the little town of Ogimi has the highest number of centenarians anywhere in the world. And that’s quite a feat, considering the damage junk food has done to many a body in today’s society around the world.
Whether it’s the residents’ diets or the health-boosting power of their local god, good health is not an elusive phenomenon in the Ogimi community. And their daily choices, which constitute their lifestyles, do nothing to harm their bodies. If the opposite was the case, they would definitely have been robbed of the proud status of a town with many healthy above-seventy folks. So, do the blessed folks of Ogimi town know something that we don’t? Maybe.
It is a fact that a diet filled with fruits makes for a fortified body from the get-go. We know this; you know this, and we can go on and on about different scientifically-backed ways we can stay healthy and cut a wonderful body figure.
While the dos of any health plan sure help keep your body in top optimal condition, the don’ts of this same health plan keep your body going without fail. While you have your sights set on having a quality life with a healthy body, it’s important to be aware of certain lifestyle choices that are actually harming your body. Here are 5 common ones:
Drinking too much water
The ‘drink water regularly’ mantra is a much-repeated one. In your doctor’s office, on social media, on television, even on the street, this advice is almost gospel. But what you probably do not know is that this life-sustaining liquid is not to be consumed in excess. Why?
Sodium is an electrolyte, needed in the body to balance fluids, regulate blood pressure, and help nerves and muscles work. Hyponatremia results when there is a low level of sodium in the body. Causes of hyponatremia include sweating, diarrhoea, kidney problems, heart failure, certain medications, and too much water intake. Mild symptoms include loss of appetite, headache, fatigue, confusion, nausea, muscle weakness, etc. Severe cases lead to decreased consciousness, coma, and even death. So if you’re an athlete or avid sports enthusiast, take it easy on that water.
Unless you’re on a self-imposed fast, or a religious fast like Ramadan or Lent fast, breakfast is a must-have on a typical day. Breakfast is called ‘Breakfast’ for a very good reason: to break the fast imposed on you by the simple action of sleeping. Because sleeping and eating are obviously two mutually exclusive events, there is no intake of calories while you’re off to dreamland. But your blood glucose needs to be stable while you’re inactive. This simple matter is resolved by your very efficient liver, a glucose (glycogen) storehouse.
This organ breaks down glycogen into glucose and releases it into your bloodstream to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Till you get back from dreamland. You wake up in the morning to two body situations: you find that there’s a dip in glucose level in the blood, which needs to be stable and energy level boosted, and a dip in stored glucose, which needs to be replenished. Now, these are what the breakfast is needed for. And that is why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Side effects of skipping breakfast include high blood pressure, and of course, weight gain.
Brief phone time before bed
A quick dose of social media is good. It helps you unwind. What’s not so good is having that quick dose of social media when it’s that time of the night when you really want to ‘unwind’ in preparation for the next day. But what’s so bad about that?
Your phone screen emits blue light, which is potent enough to keep your body from shutting down for the night. This can effectively disturb your sleep by throwing your body clock, otherwise known as circadian rhythm (24-hour biological cycle), out of whack. Consequences of your little phone action right before bedtime include poor sleep, lethargy, weight gain, etc. So lose that phone when your bedtime approaches.
‘I’m so busy with work…’, ‘I bake cakes all day long…’, ‘My children are my life, no time for anything else…’, ‘Can’t seem to clear my desk…’, and so on. Oh, you are free to add yours to the above.
But no matter the time of the day, you will always have one thing or the other going on for you. You might as well schedule some time for a good old’ workout because your body needs to be in top condition to keep your other hustles going on. From cardio to resistance exercises, you can do no wrong by picking one of these and burning calories religiously.
Not taking enough fruits.
Minerals and antioxidants that keep the body healthy are surely found in healthy doses of your favourite fruits. Oranges, bananas, watermelons, grapes, you name them. Adding fruits or a smoothie to your daily meal plan is a sure, smart move.
Ripe old age is everyone’s desire. Pushing beyond age seventy, just like the blessed people of Ogimi town in Japan, is most definitely not out of reach. All you need to do is to make smart, healthy life choices and you will certainly be good.