Being healthy and fit is not just about eating well and exercising. It has been established that creating a healthy lifestyle and maintaining it goes beyond these two factors.
For instance, Emmanuel Mahoro, a Kigali-based psychologist, says making healthy living a lifestyle is also about being able to keep a positive attitude, having strong mental health, and healthy self-image.
One of the ways of achieving a healthy lifestyle, she says, from a psychological point of view, is to stay away from anything that tends to interfere with your mental health.
For instance, she notes that one doesn’t need negativity around them and that letting go of all negative thoughts within oneself is important.
She adds that staying in a positive state of mind and cutting out unhealthy habits is crucial.
Celestine Karangwa, a physiotherapist at TCM Technology Clinic in Remera-Kigali, says making healthy living a lifestyle also means drinking plenty of water. He says many people find it hard to drink water on a daily basis despite being aware of the health benefits.
He explains that water is absolutely necessary for our bodily functions, like removing waste, and transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
Since water is expelled every day through urination, bowel movements, perspiration, and breathing, he says we need to replenish the amount of water in our bodies constantly.
“The amount of water we need depends on a variety of factors, but generally, an average adult needs two to three litres a day, and a good way to tell if you are getting enough water is by your urine, which should be either colourless or pale yellow,” he says.
Making healthy living a lifestyle, Dr Andrew E Ivang, from the Department of Clinical Biology-Huye Campus, says can’t be complete without learning how to incorporate exercise within your daily routine.
In fact, he mentions that it’s not just a few times a week, but one should make physical exercise part of their everyday activities.
He explains that moving your body in some way for 30 minutes a day has been established to lower risk of disease, create higher bone density and potentially increase life span. Therefore, making this part of your lifestyle is part of healthy living.
Also, Dr Ivang says, adopt the culture of consuming fruits and vegetables. This is because they carry vitamins and minerals, components essential to your health, and that one should consume five servings of fruits and vegetables per day to maintain health.
According to health experts, stay away from processed foods, they are simply not good for you. This is so because most nutritional value is lost in the making of processed foods and the added preservatives are bad for our health.
Besides, these foods also contain a high amount of salt, which leads to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Karangwa adds that it’s also ideal to adopt the culture of making meals at home. This, he says, is very important when it comes to making healthy living a lifestyle.
He explains that this is so because when one prepares meals by themselves, they tend to control what they eat. “This makes it easier to make the right choices for one’s body,” he says.