Tip 9: Daily physical activity
Regular physical activity has been linked with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and certain types of cancer. It also has a protective effect for osteoporosis, which is common in women after menopause. Moreover, physical activity significantly improves sleep quality and even enhances eating habits, considering that people tend to make healthier food choices after exercising.
It is recommended to do any kind of exercise for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis. This can either be once a day or split for example into 3 sets of 10 minutes throughout the day. Examples of simple every day physical activities could be:
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Avoid using the car for small walkable distances, like going to the grocery store or taking care of errands in your neighbourhood.
- Choose a type of physical activity that you like and enjoy.
Additionally, it is recommended to limit the time you spend seated as much as possible. It’s crucial to limit your average daily screen time (social media or watching series and movies) to less than 2 hours per day.
Tip 10: Drink enough water
Water constitutes more than 60% of your body weight and is an essential part of almost every single one of our body’s functions. It is important to consume enough water on a daily basis for our metabolism to function properly and for the regulation of our body temperature. Water also contains essential minerals, such as Calcium and Magnesium. Insufficient water intake can lead to dehydration, which can reduce our physical endurance and brain function.
Here are some easy tips to help get you started:
- In order to meet your daily goals for water intake, it can help to set reminders on your phone or smartwatch, sending you push notifications throughout the day.
- Water can also found in other beverages, such as milk, coffee, tea, chamomile and herbal infusions. Even fruits and vegetables contain more than 90% water.
- Always have a bottle of water near your bed. This way you can ensure you always have water when you need it.
Recommended daily consumption: In order to stay hydrated, it’s advised to drink a minimum 6-8 glasses of water daily (2-2.5 litres).
Disclaimer: A dietician’s perspective
In nutrition, above all else, it’s important to have a balanced diet and try to include a variety of food groups in moderation on a daily basis. There are no “forbidden” foods – everything can be a part of one’s diet. However, there are of course food products that are more nutritious, such as fruits, vegetables and legumes, which should be included in one’s diet more often. On the other side there are foods rich in saturated fat and/or added sugars and processed meat (e.g. slices of ham), that should only be consumed occasionally, and in smaller quantities. It’s crucial to mention that each individual has specific and unique dietary requirements, so it’s often better to seek advice or even get a personalised dietary plan from a registered dietician or nutritionist.
This is the last of 5 weekly articles – each containing 2 tips around healthier eating habits – in TAKINOA's Healthier Eating Habits series.