What makes a healthy lifestyle?
I'm sure that you know the basic assumptions of a healthy lifestyle which are easy to find in fitness magazines, on the Internet and those which are constantly repeated by fitness-related celebrities. 8 hours of sleep, 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 30 minutes of exercise, or 2 litres of water consumed per day. Sounds familiar? Let's have a closer look at those above mentioned as some scientists have decided to elaborate the points a bit and erase some of the misunderstandings which the assumptions might have caused.
First, the issue concerning water. Many of us still wonder how it is possible to drink 2 litres of water daily when you don't seem to be thirsty at all. Should we do it anyway or maybe we should listen to our body? No need to worry if a glass or two seems perfectly all right to you. Why? Scientists say the water they are talking about is not limited to the bottled water. They claim that the average amount of food consumed by us during a day contains a lot of water too. If you eat soups, veggies, fruit, and other 'wet' food, that should be enough to satisfy approximately 75% of your need for water. Sounds pretty fair.
Another thing is about sleep. Although the average amount of sleep we should get per night is 8 hours, it really depends on a person. Of course, they say that it's hardly possible that somebody sleeping 5hrs a day would keep doing that harmlessly to their body, however, it's highly probable that those who feel fine after 7 hrs will stay in a perfect condition. The same with those who claim that 9hrs is just the time they need to function right. Here, it should be you who decides.
Furthermore, 5 portions of vegetables and fruit. That seems to be a myth. On the basis of some research and observations of other (quite healthy) societies, scientists have reached the conclusion that it's probably not enough. It's still better than nothing but in their opinion it should be a little bit closer to 10 than to 5. It's really not so difficult as it may seem and I bet it would be tasty as well. An apple with your breakfast, a glass of orange juice a little later, a tomato on a sandwich, vegetables with your lunch and a fruit salad as a dessert, another glass of some juice, a banana as a snack, smoothie on the way home and some boiled veggies as an addition to a healthy and light supper. Yummy!
Next, we've got 30 minutes of exercise daily which, unfortunately, again seem to be not enough. This time the reason turns out to be quite simple. Our lifestyle has changed and we tend to spend more time sitting. At work, after work, on the way to work. The activities that used to be a standard part of our daily routine don't work the same way anymore. We drive to work instead of walking, we've got everything arranged in offices so that we didn't have to move too much, supermarkets are built up within up to 5 mins' walk from your door. In many cases, you don't even need to leave your house to do the shopping which are now available online. The delivery man brings your bags to your flat on the 8th floor and if by any chance you work from home, it can happen that you'll forget what your neighbourhood looks like. We are programmed by nature to be on the move. Thus, I bet 2hrs of exercise daily wouldn't be too much.
Last but not least, it seems that listening to your body is not a silly idea at all. As we are all different, sometimes it may be really difficult to apply some of the general rules so that they work for you. Try to learn to read all the signals that your body gives you and follow its advice. The results may surprise you more that you expect.