by Victoria Freyssinier and Thomas Tschanz
Despite the fact that society has prolonged its life expectancy, there have been health-related problems caused by lifestyles in today’s modern world. Scientists have since integrated this aspect and indicate that the average life expectancy will, in fact, decline in the upcoming years. Rapid population growth and urbanization have led to a higher concentration of people dwelling in city centers. It has been forecasted that by 2030, there would be two billion new urban dwellers, mainly in Asia and developing countries. Currently, New York City including its boroughs, with 22,4 million inhabitants, is considered to be the second largest after Tokyo, Japan, with 35,2 million multiple dimension hierarchy (MDH) and Mexico City, Mexico, being listed third in the world, with its inhabitants of 23,4 million in 2015 alone. In the aforementioned cities, there has been a decline in physical activities, due to their increased disconnection from “natural” environments.
In general, inhabitants of big cities consume larger quantities of food with poor nutritional content and with chemical substances that directly impact people’s health and the environmental system. Such phenomena are known to lead to sickness, the so-called lifestyle diseases, which gained notoriety to the point of becoming public health and environmental issues.
However, some measures to reverse this trend have been discovered over time. Below are 5 easy steps for achieving better health through a sustainable lifestyle:
1. Don’t just eat, eat right.
Eat and hydrate at regular intervals. The theory is this: if babies are fed every two and a half or three hours, then as adults we ought to do the same. Professional athletes have been known to eat at much regular intervals, up to six times a day. It is healthier to consume small amounts of food about four or five times a day, in comparison to two or three heavy meals. Moreover, fresh is always better, processed foods are not as healthy. Also, the importance of hydration cannot be emphasized enough. An excellent tip for this is to drink two glasses of water upon going to bed and two more upon waking up. This way, you would have had a liter of water during the most vital hours for hydration.
2. Move your body every day.
Make sure that you have adequate exercise and move your body enough, every day. Without exercise and physical movement, we don’t gain enough oxygen nor adequately burn fat and consumed calories. Physical movement is an intrinsic part of our humanity. Dieting can only achieve so much. It often deprives the body of necessary nutrients and decreases one’s energy level. Weight loss may be achieved, albeit temporarily, as it does not contribute to overall well-being and a healthy body. Consuming a low-calorie diet may cause a temporary setback and even worse, the occurrence of metabolic syndrome, which could slow down the burning of fat and hinder weight management. Exercising is the way to create balance: its importance cannot be reiterated enough and how it contributes to one’s general wellbeing and happiness.
3. Tired? Then go to bed!
To sleep is to rest and resting is essential. On average, a person ought to spend about 24 years of his life being asleep. It is due to the fact that the production of myelin, a protein that repairs the brain, occurs when we are snoozing. During deep sleep, myelin is generated in the brain. When one does not sleep appropriately, this insulating material that lubricates and protects the circuits of the brain is not produced correctly. Therefore cells would not be able to renew themselves and simply perish. It is essential to have a good night sleep, for it is during this time that the benefits of brain cell regenerations extend to muscle fibers and physiological systems.
We’ve been going over prevention and planning, which are central points in these recommendations. This isn’t about a specific diet (its quality, quantity, time it’s consumed) or a particular exercise, but rather the selection of our food, its preparation and our own plan on how we are consuming it.
5. Have an attitude of sustainability towards yourself and the world.
By practicing the above steps, not only the improvement of one’s health shall be achieved, but one’s attitude towards the world. One can be sure that by changing one’s lifestyle, eating right, exercising, having enough rest and avoiding environmental stresses we are contributing to a better health for the planet. Not only would we feel better, we would perform better at our jobs, look better physically, improve our interpersonal relationships and overall, all living things around us and on the planet.
About The Authors
Thomas Tschanz is an economist specialized in energy efficiency, graduated from the University of Bern in Switzerland. He co-founded a non-profit organization called Suissetainable were he gives consultations and does research on topics related to sustainability. He has work experience in several countries in Europe and the Americas and is fluent in six languages.
Victoria Freyssinier is an economist with a Master’s in Sustainability Management of Columbia University. She has been working with sustainability and communities for several years. Victoria has a strong interest in the impact of people’s lifestyles in the modern society. She works as a consultant for the MTA/NYCT in sustainability projects and also she is one of the co-founders of Suissetainable, organization that connects sustainability with communities. Facebook // Twitter
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