Meaning of total lifestyle change and where to start as an African woman
Have you heard of the phrase total lifestyle change for so long yet you have no clue what it really means to you as an African woman? This article is for you.
One of the things that inspired me to start African Woman 101 is my health as an African woman and I knew my experience/research would benefit many fellow women (and men). With the emergence of many lifestyle diseases, every woman is now concerned about her health yet many of us do not know exactly where to start. It is this confusion that made me delve into the Internet to understand what total lifestyle change meant and what I really needed to do.
To my surprise though, I hardly got any content developed with an African woman in mind. Almost all writings were for the western world so I had to customize this information to what fitted me and this is what I gladly share with you. Remember, I am not a doctor but one African woman ready to go an extra mile to inspire myself and others willing to become better women to live a life of abundance not only in their health but in many aspects of their lives as tackled in www.africanwoman101.com.
So what is total lifestyle change? It is adopting a healthy lifestyle with a lifelong effect. It is changing one’s ways of living to become a healthier you. Total lifestyle change is mostly associated with (but not limited to) the following: Proper dieting, physical exercise, proper sleeping patterns, personal hygiene, absence of addictions, safe environment, weight management, reduced stress, love and support from loved ones as well as enjoying healthy relationships.
Here are 10 simple habits/lifestyle changes you can adopt to make significant progress towards becoming a healthier you:
- Start your day with a glass of warm lemon water: Simply squeeze half fresh lemon juice into a cup/glass, add warm water and drink first thing in the morning. Wait for about 20-30 minutes before eating anything else. Lemon has many health benefits such as boosting your immune system, has antioxidants which prevent cancer, helps in digestion among others.
- Eat more of natural foods and less of processed foods: Whole and unprocessed foods score high in vitamins, amino acids, fibre, fatty acids, etc. For example for your breakfast replace white bread with boiled cassava, corn or sweet potatoes.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits: Start adding more vegetables to your food every day until you reach your daily target of two and half cups. A good plate should have half vegetables, quarter proteins and quarter carbohydrates.
- Reduce on animal proteins especially red meat: Eat more of plant proteins such as beans, peas, green grams, nuts, etc. Eat fish, chicken, low-fat dairy and eggs moderately while you reduce on red meat which is associated with cancer.
- Drink lots of water daily: I know hardly a third of women meet their daily intake of water. Start increasing your daily intake until you go past the 8 glasses a day. Also taking a glass of water before meals reduces your hunger making you eat less.
- Take a 5-minute walk after one hour of sitting/Start exercising small: For those who have to sit for 8 hours a day at work, this point is key. Also start exercising small e.g. by walking 20 minutes a day then increase your exercises as you go on. Physical activity strengthens one’s heart and leads to long life.
- Sleep for at least 7 hours daily: Good sleep helps in repairing your heart and blood vessels. Continuous lack of sleep can increase risks of heart and kidney diseases, etc.
- Laugh more, relax, reduce stress: Involve yourself in an activity that will make you laugh more or relax e.g. having a girl talk, watching comedy, reading a book, etc. Do not be too hard on yourself, worrying solves nothing.
- Love and spend quality time with loved ones: This is self explanatory, value those who matter most to you. Also, having sex often with your partner is a proven happiness boost.
- Go for at least one medical check up annually: When was the last time you had a medical check up? Do you do home mini-check-ups on yourself every month? Do you know your family’s medical history? If your answers are no, take immediate action.
- An added bonus – Meditate and pray: Taking time to meditate helps you to take stock of where you are at and what you need to work on. Prayer gives you courage to make these changes.
I could go on and on with this list but the above points are more than enough to start you off. If you have not been practising any of the above, be sure to start by setting small SMART healthy goals, make little changes daily and keep at it. I too am not yet there but by reading this article again and again, putting into practice what I have written, I am certain I will get there.
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