We're overwhelmed with information about how we should eat and exercise for the “perfect” healthy body. Most people know that an active lifestyle and balanced diet are essential to overall wellness, but many still don't know where to start.
I was born and raised in Sweden, and my life has always been rich with healthy foods and physical activity. A balanced life allows my body to stay full of energy and gives me the chance to enjoy life without having to worry about the latest exercise regime or fad diet.
After more than 10 years in the health and fitness industry, I know that crash diets and ridiculous amounts of exercise are only detrimental to my clients. All we need are a few simple rules that are easy to follow, makes your body feel more empowered and leaves you with a smile on your face.
Allow me to present my 10 secrets to youth and health.
1. Start the day with a cup of hot water with lemon.
I always start the day with a big cup of hot water and a slice of lemon, giving my body a slow wake up to a new day.
2. Exercise in the morning.
Doing my training in the morning gives my body that extra boost of energy and a great feeling of fulfillment that gives my face and body a glow for the rest of the day.
3. Have a raw food lunch.
By having a raw food lunch (mostly a beautiful salad) I know my body is getting all the vegetables and fruit it needs, also leaving me with a wonderful satisfied feeling for the afternoon.
4. Mix up your training with cardio, resistance training and Pilates or yoga.
Different forms of exercise benefits our bodies in different ways. Strength training is important to maintain bone density and muscles mass as we grow older, cardiovascular work is essential for a healthy cardiovascular and respiratory system, and stretching/Pilates/yoga or meditation boost our mental well-being by helping us cope with stress and anxiety.
5. Give your body a break.
I love exercising, but I also know how important it is not to overwork my body, so I make sure that every once in a while I have a rest from my normal exercise routine. Although I do still manage to include some walking or Pilates into my everyday life.
6. Eat healthy, but don’t restrict yourself.
I occasionally eat “bad” food, and I enjoy a glass of wine from time to time. Healthy eating to me means a nice mixture of vegetables, fruit, fish, chicken and grains, while avoiding processed food as much as possible. However, that doesn’t stop me from going to restaurants with my friends. Balance is a key component in a healthy way of life, and by keeping in mind the 80/20 rule (80% good, 20% not as good) your mind and body will enjoy the benefits from a healthy diet.
7. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
Sleep is when your body recovers from the day’s hard work, and we all know that terrible feeling after a bad night sleep. “Beauty sleep” is not a myth, a good night sleep will increase alertness, decrease stress, boost your metabolic system and allow you to walk out the door in the morning looking fresh, healthy and full of energy.
8. Stay in contact with family and friends.
A rich social life is one of the key ingredients of a healthy body. You can eat well, exercise and sleep well, but if you don’t have family members or friends for love and support, your body will still struggle to stay happy and healthy.
9. Let your body unwind before the day is over.
I turn off the computer and TV an hour or so before bedtime, I have a shower, do a 15-minute stretching routine and always read a book before I turn off the lights.
10. Practice MINDFULNESS.
If we can’t appreciate what we have and what is around us, we tend to live a very restless life which is healthy for neither the body nor soul.
Let me know your secret to youth (by youth I mean jumping out of bed and being able to conquer all the day’s activities without struggle) and health!