Artikels, Tips&Tricks

Lifestyle as a medicine

Can lifestyle adjustments help you to be less susceptible to the coronavirus? Scientific research shows the positive impact of lifestyle on our health and immune system. In addition to improved immunity, it provides more resilience, fewer mood swings and a beneficial effect on cell ageing, expression, fewer stress hormones and less chronic inflammation.

The following ingredients of your new lifestyle impacts your health and immune system: Have a qualitative sleep, move more, reduce your stress, eat healthy, have sufficient social contacts, take care of your environment and think about your sense in life.

So, what is holding you to change your lifestyle now?

  1. Movement
  2. Stress
    • Inform yourself and ensure “virus-free time”.
    • Give your mind rest. Meditation helps you to live in the NOW and not constantly worry.
    • Give and be grateful. Gratitude improves your well-being.
    • Me-time. Do things you love alone.
  3. Nutrition 
    • Avoid comfort food, excessive alcohol consumption, sugary food and smoking.
    • Drink water. 3 times your bodyweight/100 indicates the liters.
    • Drink green tea and coffee in moderation (as it dehydrates).
    • Eat 400 g of fruit and vegetables every day.
    • Eat nuts, beans and berries.
    • Eat the wholegrain variant (wholemeal bread, rice and pasta).
    • Limit the amount of meat (especially processed red meat).
    • Preferably eat local and seasonal products.
  4. Social contacts 
    • Social isolation equals smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
    • Be kind to each other and show some compassion.
    • Stay digitally connected with friends, family and colleagues.
    • Organise a Quarantini or Corontini (a virtual meeting with own drinks).
    • Send friendly messages and virtual hugs. Discover the power of giving.
  5. Sleep
    • Sleep deprivation is a stressor for body and mind. It makes us more irritated and more anxious.
    • Sleep more than 5 hours as it affects your immune system.
    • Sleep rituals. Go to bed on a fixed hour and read a book before  bedtime to change your mind.
    • Avoid blue light from screens (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, TV, LED lights) at least one hour before bedtime.
    • Avoid coffee and heavy meals in the evening.
    • Avoid sleeping aids like alcohol, drugs and pills.
    • Provide strong outside light in the morning.
    • Install a morning routine (eg.meditation, short outside walk, exercise, coffee, newspaper, …)
  6. Environment 
    • Ventilate your home properly (daily 30 minutes).
    • Clean door handles and wash (bed) clothes regularly.
    • Work in a noise and stress free room with natural light.
    • Install a red bike light at your home office door when busy.
  7. Meaning (sense):
    • Supporting and helping others has a more beneficial effect on your health than pursuing one’s own happiness.
    • Do some volunteer work for neighbours, caretakers, family or elderly people.
    • Enjoy your free time with creativity (like arts), faith and spirituality.
    • Try to replace every negative thought with three positive ones.
    • Connect with positive people.

If all the above is too hard for you, then start focusing on sleep, nutrition and movement first.

It takes 3 weeks to change a habit and 3 months to change a lifestyle.

This article is based on ‘Je levensstijl als medicijn. Zo word en blijf je gezond’ from Reginald Deschepper.

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