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Top 3 Natural Health Boosters For Dummies

Updated on September 26, 2015
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There is a reason why we have the saying - health is wealth. You may have all the money in the world, but if you are not healthy, even all the wealth cannot fix you. The lifestyle we follow has a huge impact on our health. Follow a few simple rules to stay fit naturally and have a happy healthy life.

1. Healthy Eating Habits

Most people do not worry about their eating habits till they start facing digestive problems. While popping that anti-acidity pill may provide relief, if you find yourself taking it too often, it could be a matter of concern.

a) Take your meals at correct intervals

  • Typically, a full meal takes around 4 hours to digest completely. So 4 to 4.5 hours is the best time gap to give between 2 meals.

  • Longer time intervals lead to over-secretion of bile and gastric juices which cause acidity, gas and harm to the gall bladder. Continuous gaps or skipping meals on a regular basis can lead to stones in the gall bladder.

  • On the other hand, do not take meals at very short intervals as its exerts excess pressure on the digestive system and causes indigestion.

b) Heavy breakfast, moderate lunch and light dinner

There's an old saying - eat your breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

The central gland in our body is the pituitary gland which controls the correct functioning of all other glands. This gland is more active during the daytime and gradually becomes less active after sunset. That is the reason our metabolism is faster during the daytime and we are encouraged to take heavier breakfast and lunch, while dinner should be kept simply and light.

c) Maintain similar timings for your meals everyday

This theory originates from Pavlov's classic conditioning theory. Maintaining consistent timing for meals help our stomach get conditioned to those timings and helps in quicker digestion.

d) Well balanced diet

  • The food we take should contain sufficient amounts of proteins, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. Each of these things are needed by our body to perform different functions.

  • Meat, fish, eggs, soya and lentils are rich in proteins while milk and fruits provide us with different vitamins and minerals.

  • Green vegetables are also rich in minerals and should be taken in abundant quantities.

Food Rich in Proteins and Vitamins

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e) Fluid intake

  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water everyday. Water is crucial for our body, it keeps our digestive and excretion systems functioning properly.
  • Dehydration can cause urinary infection and results in poor blood circulation. This in turn leads to reduced performance of the brain which affects the overall bodily performance.
  • Butter milk and tender coconut water can be taken during summer to reverse harmful effects of heat exposure and allergic reactions.

f) Avoid harmful food and drinks

  • Keep your consumption of spicy, oily and rich food to a minimum. If you are a foodie and think that you will go crazy without these, do not take it more than once a week.
  • Greasy food taken over a prolonged period can lead to gall stones.
  • Carbonated water and some forms of alcohol also cause great harm to our liver. Too much carbonated water causes unwanted and unexpected weight gain.
  • Over-consumption of alcohol can lead to liver cirrhosis.
  • If you love consuming hard drinks, make sure to take restricted quantities of only those drinks that have some benefits. Beer, red wine and brandy fall under this category.
  • Beer is said to improve kidney functioning which is true. Beer is also the lightest form of alcohol. It causes less harm compared to other hard forms of alcoholic drinks like whisky, rum or gin.
  • Red wine is good for the heart when taken in a small quantity everyday after dinner.
  • A few spoons of brandy mixed with water is good for digestion.

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2. Healthy Sleeping Habits

Sleep is like a battery for the machine that is called the body. The battery gets discharged at the end of every day and sleep recharges it for the next day.

a) Get sufficient sleep every day

Our body requires complete rest for at least 7-8 hours. While children require more hours of sleep, 7 hours is said to be sufficient for adults with normal health. 8 hours is absolutely ideal but working people may not get that much time.

b) Sleep timings

  • Ensure that you go to bed by 11 PM and wake up by 6 PM. For all those night creatures out there who think that your body and mind are more active at night, please know that you are causing extreme stress to your pituitary glands by not sleeping on time.
  • Beyond 10 PM, any work that we do forces our brain to remain active beyond its best performance hours. This causes us to get up late which makes us groggy for the rest of the day. The cycle repeats and soon, we become used to sleeping late and waking late.
  • Irregular sleep routines over a long period reduces our metabolism and causes chronic headaches, intolerance to sunlight and harsh weathers, random allergic reactions and overall reduction in body immunity.
  • Staying awake at late night also causes severe hormonal imbalances in women.
  • Continuous hormonal ups and downs make women more susceptible to breast cancer and abdominal disorders.

c) Avoid afternoon siestas

Sleeping in the afternoon makes you lethargic when you wake up in the evening. It also becomes more difficult to get sleep at night. Sleeping right after a heavy meal slows down digestion and causes weight gain.

d) Improve sleep quality

  • To get better sleep, ensure that you take a light dinner.
  • Give at least an hour after dinner before going to bed.
  • Avoid frequent caffeine intake throughout the day.
  • Don't forget to answer nature's call right before going to bed, even if you may feel you don't need it :)
  • Keep the surroundings in your bedroom clean and tidy.
  • A cluttered room with accumulated dust, dirty bed-sheets or pillow covers lead to disturbed sleep.
  • Make sure that your room temperature is comfortable for you. Use a sheet or blanket to cover yourself if it's too cold. If the room is hotter than necessary, switch on the fan or open windows for good ventilation.

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3. Regular Exercise

Many people think that exercise is only meant for those who are trying to lose weight or build their bodies. Not at all! Even if you have a great figure, you still need to exercise in order to keep fit.

a) Exercise everyday

Exercise improves blood circulation and stimulates metabolism. Sweating during the exercise helps the body to throw out toxins. When toxin levels reduce, the brain is able to produce more dopamine, the feel-good hormone. This helps in eliminating anxiety and induces confidence and a general happy feeling. Ever wondered why we feel mentally refreshed even after a heavy tiring workout? It is due to the production of dopamine.

b) Choose the right exercise

Natural forms of exercise such as walking or jogging during early hours of morning is the best way to exert your body. If you do not have parks or running tracks where you live, treadmill is another good option to do this activity. Fast walking and jogging improves heart rate and helps in preventing diabetes, high blood pressure and keeps cholesterol under control.

If you are trying to lose weight fast, target the specific body area with the right exercise. For example, to tone your abdomen, perform crunches. For toned arm and shoulder muscles, do push ups and weights using dumb-bells. Make sure that you are using the right weight, trying out excess weight may lead to muscle sprain or tear.

Yoga is a good form of exercise if you don't like running or weight-lifting. Yoga mostly focuses on proper breathing and helps in improving our oxygen intake. Oxygen is the most important component of our living existence, and its increased quantity in the lungs and brain boosts our overall body performance.

Note: If not done correctly, incorrect breathing can lead to lung or heart disorders. Hence, it is best to learn yoga from a yoga expert and then practice it on our own.

c) Exercise timing

  • Perform your exercise at least 4 hours after a heavy meal. Exercising on a semi-full stomach causes damage to the abdominal organs.
  • Don't forget to empty your bladder before a workout. Physical exertion on a full bladder reduces the elasticity of the bladder.
  • Exercise at a fixed time everyday. Here again, the Pavlov's law comes into picture. Your body gets used to the timing and responds better to the workout.

d) Know your limits

  • If you are unfit or recovering from an illness or surgery, do not exercise. It will cause more harm than good. Consult your doctor before trying out any kind of exertion.
  • Heart patients also have lot of restrictions and should limit themselves to the right amount of walking. Remember, if you are unsure, ask your doctor or a subject matter expert.
  • If you are an otherwise healthy adult but feel sudden bouts of fatigue during an exercise, stop right there.

Over-exercising does not help. Body can only take so much. Know your body's limit. Start with light exercise and gradually increase your capacity over a few weeks. Let your body get used to the exertions so that it responds effectively.

© 2014 Ritu Temptor

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I sleep for 8 to 9 hours I need to be relaxed and focused eating correctly is another way of keeping fit and lees tired.

    • Sushma Webber profile image

      Sushma Webber 2 years ago from New Zealand

      You are right, healthy eating habits combined with a right diet, a good night's sleep every day and regular exercise can help keep the body in great condition. My recent researches about keeping the brain healthy also has made me understand the importance of these three habits. Great hub!! Keep up the good work.

    • sadstill22 profile image

      Poca 2 years ago from Hubpages, My World

      i sleep 8 hours per day but still feel sleppy, i think the time zone is wrong for me. I sleep at 3am and wake up at 11am, wrong, right?

    • temptor94 profile image
      Author

      Ritu Temptor 2 years ago from India

      Hi DDE, thanks for commenting. You follow the right routine, 8 to 9 hours of sleep is ideal for rest.

    • temptor94 profile image
      Author

      Ritu Temptor 2 years ago from India

      Hi Sushma, thank you for your comments. Yes you are right, these 3 habits can make or break our health.

    • temptor94 profile image
      Author

      Ritu Temptor 2 years ago from India

      Hi @sadstill22, 3 AM is quite late for sleeping :) You may not get deep sleep after that even if you were to sleep for 8 hours. That's why maybe, you feel sleepy after waking up. I too used to follow a late routine earlier, just couldn't sleep before 2 AM. It took me some difficulty to change this pattern and force myself to sleep by 11 PM. But eventually you get used to the new pattern after you try it for sometime.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Great article and I do follow the water ritual in the morning, but what you wrote about: eat your breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. I do agree, but I often eat breakfast and lunch together. We often go to bed after midnight, so when I get up around 9 or just after, water seems to fill me up while I'm doing my reading and networking from my tablet in bed. Exercises are a good point, so my intake of food needs to be balanced according to my physical activities. If I have spend many hours in front of my computer I eat less than when I have been gardening. Keep up the good work. Voted up!

    • temptor94 profile image
      Author

      Ritu Temptor 2 years ago from India

      Hi Nadine, Thank you so much for taking time to read my article and comment on it. You are right, spending lot of time with computer does decrease our movement and appetite, physical activities determine how much food we can intake. Thanks for connecting, I am glad to connect with you :)

    • profile image

      John 2 years ago

      have you tried calorie-counting? My mom is a ditebaic and needs to loose major pounds... her Dr. suggested calorie-counting (it's been three months and she has lost 40 pounds!!)... search calorie counters on google (or yahoo) and you can type in a food... and it will give you the amount of calories in that food! I would suggest cutting your calorie intake down to a maximum of 1500 calories per day... it isn't easy... but tell yourself 'this is a lifestyle choice'. also record your calories on a notebook or computer... it will help you!GOOD LUCK! Was this answer helpful?

    • temptor94 profile image
      Author

      Ritu Temptor 2 years ago from India

      Calorie counting is a healthy habit, my aunt has diabetics and she has been instructed to measure her food intake. While I don't strictly count my calories, I try to burn it out through exercise. 40 pounds is some serious weight loss indeed! Hope your mom is feeling better and healthier. Thanks for reading :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Nowadays, I go to bed at 9 but read a bit first. I think having fun and enjoying yourself is a also a help other than these useful tips.

    • temptor94 profile image
      Author

      Ritu Temptor 2 years ago from India

      That's true, enjoying oneself is important for a relaxed and happy mind. Thanks for visiting.

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 23 months ago from Orange County, CA

      I've had such a hard time keeping myself to eating 5 small meals a day (something I've heard and know is good for your health), I just seem to get bored with eating so often and consequently eat breakfast and then nothing until dinner, which I'm sure kills my metabolism. Any suggestions?

    • temptor94 profile image
      Author

      Ritu Temptor 23 months ago from India

      Thanks for visiting, Kelsey. Breakfast and then dinner is a very long gap, it wont be good for your digestive system in the long run. Sometimes, the effort to prepare healthy/elaborate meals can make eating boring or tiresome, other times, having the same type of food everyday makes eating very monotonous.

      I think you could try to have variety in the food you take. For example, if you are bored to prepare or eat lunch, order a take out of your favourite meal. It's okay to indulge our taste buds once in a while, if it can motivate you to eat meals at regular intervals :) Take care!

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 23 months ago from Orange County, CA

      Great advice--thank you for responding! Yeah it's definitely my biggest pitfall in healthy eating (not eating frequently enough). Thanks again!

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