Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, is a city that never sleeps. The hustle and bustle of this thriving metropolis is very apparent wherever you go, so it is not surprising that people are finding it hard to find balance while leading such busy lifestyles. Your fast-paced business lifestyle may be causing negative effects on your overall health and wellbeing. As a result, it is important to implement healthy habits in your day to day life to maintain a busy, yet healthy lifestyle.
You have probably heard the saying 'you are what you eat' and to some extent, this is true. Food is fuel for the body, in which consuming nutritious foods and maintaining a balanced diet is vital for your health.
You are probably bored of hearing it, but it is true: you should never skip breakfast. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism and is important for sustaining energy throughout the day. Without it, productivity will slowly decrease, causing tiredness and increasing the likelihood of stress.
Take away the temptation of eating out or eating unhealthy foods by cooking healthy meals in advance and bringing them with you. By making meals in advance, you are in control of the types of food you are eating, their quantity and in addition, you will also save money. You will be able to considerably improve the nutrition of your meals if you use fresh ingredients and less processed foods. Go for lean meats such as chicken and fish and increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume. Cooking most of your own meals may sound time consuming; however, designating some time on the weekends for meal preparation will positively impact your eating habits. Additionally, pack some healthy snacks so that when hunger strikes, you won't be taking a trip to the vending machine.
Restaurant food can be high in calories and fat, and low in nutritional value, so try to be more conscious when eating out. Opt for meals that are prepared in healthier ways, such as grilled, steamed, poached and roasted. Also, go for meals that contain less carbohydrates, more vegetables and lean protein. Try to avoid foods that are fried, contain lots of processed ingredients or that are high in fat.
When you are lacking much spare time, exercise tends to slip down the list of priorities. But there's no way around it – exercise is another key ingredient for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. To maintain overall health, it is important to stay active and make fitness a priority.
It is easy to avoid exercise after a long day of work when you tell yourself you are too tired to complete a workout. To avoid this, do your workout in the morning. Morning exercise is beneficial as it enhances your metabolism so that you are more attentive and focused throughout the day. Exercising in the morning also improves your physical energy and provides you with a more restful sleep.
To combat lack of motivation, keep things short and sweet. Opt for a short, high intensity workout that burns more calories and gets your heart pumping. Be efficient with your workout; ideally choose something that doesn't require much preparation – High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), running and bodyweight exercise are all great exercises when you have limited time. What is even better about short workouts is that you could fit them into your lunch break. There are many gyms and studios in Hong Kong that provide lunch-time workout classes, if you need that extra motivation.
Make small changes in your lifestyle that will keep you active throughout the day. Fitting more movement into your day will keep you more active and will cause you to burn more calories without you even realising. Try some of the following: walk instead of using public transport, take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a walk in your lunch break, and don't sit when you can stand – all these extra steps will add up! If you really need that extra kick, find yourself a gym buddy, who can be a support and hold you accountable.
Stress negatively affects your health and it is something that many people do not address. To limit the effects of stress on your body, employ quick and easy stress-relieving techniques such as breathing exercises, actively applying positive psychology, meditate, or simply take a break. Another key way to better deal with stress goes back to nutrition – a well-nourished body allows you to more easily cope with stress.
It is very important that you stay well hydrated throughout the day – the cells in your body require enough fluids to carry out all the functions of the body. Try to limit your intake of alcoholic drinks as regular consumption of alcohol can lead to a whole host of health and nutritional problems such as diabetes, increased blood pressure and poor absorption of nutrients. Swap sugary juices, sodas and smoothies for good old H2O, which will increase your energy levels and keep you more attentive.
Sleep is vital for overall health, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Sleep plays a critical role in many of our bodily functions such as the healing of damaged cells, boosting our immune system, metabolism, memory, recovery and recharging our hearts and cardiovascular systems. Without enough sleep, people tend to be irritable and drowsy, processing new information becomes difficult, our memory doesn't work as well and we begin to crave unhealthy foods – these are only a few of the negative impacts that lack of sleep causes to our health. Long-term sleep deprivation has detrimental effects to your health, affecting all of the systems in your body. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and try to maintain a stable sleeping pattern.
Stay on top of your health
As much as you try to balance all the aspects of your life to lead a healthy lifestyle, you are still susceptible to health issues out of your control. If you have medical issue while living in Hong Kong, be reassured: the city has world-class medical care readily available to you. However, such advanced healthcare is costly, and it is important that you have the necessary health insurance to cover all your medical expenses. To find out more about your insurance options, contact one of our advisers today.