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Health is a precious gift. Our body and its various functions are genuinely extraordinary, they are favors that need to be preserved. Being sick and short life span is indeed a provision from the Almighty. But we have been ordered to endeavor, maintaining health is one form of thanksgiving, love our bodies, do not be damaged by unhealthy lifestyles.
Summarized from various sources, including Book “Healthy Without a Doctor” by Mehmet C.Oz, M.D. and Michael F.Roizen, M.D., “Healthy is Cheap” by Dr. Handrawan Nadesul, various articles on the internet such as Kompas Health, Detik Health, Republika Online, and Hidayatullah Web as well as several programs on health on BBC Knowledge, National Geographic, etc.
This article is aimed primarily at the people closest to me, as one of the guidelines for a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, with God’s permission, through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle like what science has achieved today, we can avoid dangerous diseases, life more quality, and long life, amen.
Here are 18 tips on living healthy and fit physically and mentally:
1. Don’t eat before Hungry and Stop Before Satiety
Limiting the calories consumed by not eating before being hungry, and not overeating by stopping before being full has been recognized by the world of modern medicine as a great healthy lifestyle. Even in some literature, limiting the calories consumed is said to have the potential to make a longer life. In an episode of “Don’t Die Young” on BBC Knowledge, it was shown that some parameters on the results of health tests of people who limit their daily calories are better than those of people who don’t restrict their daily calories.
Daily body calorie needs vary depending on gender and activity. In general, men need 2,500 – 3,000 calories per day, and women 2,000 – 2,500 calories per day.
Based on the type, calorie needs should be fulfilled 45-60% of carbohydrates (preferably complex carbohydrates), 15-20% of protein (can be vegetable or animal), and 25-35% of fat (mainly unsaturated fats).
Based on the mealtime, breakfast should be a little more than lunch, while dinner is sufficient in smaller portions, it can also be interspersed with small pieces of food between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner (preferably fruit). Especially at night, we should not consume anything else about three hours before going to bed, because the body needs time to digest food. Sleeping immediately after eating causes the food to not be appropriately digested and causes accumulation of abdominal fat. Otherwise, it can push back acid into the esophagus.
2. Weight Control and Waist Circumference
In line with eating in moderation, the weight is always sought in an ideal condition. Calculated by Body Mass Index = weight (Kg) divided by the square of height (meters). The ideal BMI is between 18.5 to 24.
It also needs to be maintained waist circumference, which shows a pile of fat that is not good for health, for men a good waist circumference below 90 cm while for women under 80 cm.
Various studies have shown fat around the stomach is closely related to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and colon cancer. (Kompas Health Aug 10 and Sep 14, 2010)
It is better if we provide weight scales at home and measuring the circumference of the abdomen (at the center a tailor can be used) so that it can be used routinely as a control device.
3. Keep Blood Vessels Clean So That Blood Flowing Smoothly
There are so many diseases that are caused by blocked blood vessels if the blocked blood vessels to the heart are caused by heart disease. The blocked blood vessels in the brain can cause strokes, erectile dysfunction for men is also one of them caused by not smooth blood circulation. Therefore it is crucial to keep blood vessels clean so that blood can flow smoothly.
Types of foods that are not good for the health of blood vessels are foods with high LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), triglycerides, saturated fats, and trans fats. These kinds of food are widely available, among others, in quail eggs, beef brain, organ meats, lard, coconut milk, butter, egg yolks, squid, and shrimp. Foods that are fried with oil that are used repeatedly are also high in saturated fat.
Also, avoid foods with high sugar content such as granulated sugar (including artificial sweetener fructose), white bread, pastry, syrup, etc.
Types of foods that are good for blood vessel health include unsaturated fat contained as in (oil) marine fish, olive oil, and vegetable fats like those contained in avocados. Also, nuts and fibrous foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, etc.).
This type of food can increase levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) – good cholesterol, which is to clean LDL – bad cholesterol.
In addition to food, the following things also affect the health of blood vessels, among others: enough exercise (not excessive) and routine, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.
4. Eat Lots of Fiber, Fruits, and Vegetables
There are two types of fiber, which are the fiber that insoluble in water and the fiber that soluble in water. Insoluble-fiber is good for digestion (contained in oranges, grapes, raisins, sweet potatoes, whole grain bread). While soluble-fiber regulates metabolism and stabilizes blood sugar (much found in seeds and nuts such as oats, peas, almonds, soybeans, beans, and some cereals).
Fiber is generally not digestible and contains no calories, but fiber makes full, good for digestion and can reduce cholesterol (especially water-soluble fiber). The most important thing is that fiber helps keep digested food large and soft so that food can pass through the intestine easily.
Fruits are also very good for health, besides containing fiber, it also contains various vitamins that the body needs. No need to be expensive, Papaya, for example, this fruit is among the best fruits that are relatively inexpensive, have high fiber content, and vitamin C content is higher than oranges. Other fruits such as watermelon, orange banana, apple, etc. can be varied to always be available at home.
Besides, always complete the menu with vegetables, it is better to eat raw as fresh vegetables or cooked briefly over low heat, in vegetables containing living substances (bioactive), vitamins, and chlorophyll, which can be lost when cooked.
Most tribes in the world who live long and stay young eat more tubers, beans, and raw vegetables.
5. Drink Enough Water
The keyword is pure-water (not soft-drinks, energy-drinks, syrup, etc.) and a sufficient amount. It’s mean that it is not deficient that causes dehydration, constipation, and can cause kidney stones to form, and not too excessive because it can overload kidney work.
Also, be careful with the water in plastic containers, on the way up to our hands, may have been exposed to heat, which can cause the plastic particles to dissolve in water, thus endangering health.
6. Avoid Excessive Sugar and Salt
What is meant by sugar is not just sugar, all sweet foods, such as processed carbohydrate foods from flour, cakes, soft drinks, etc. generally contain sugar. Excess sugar weighs the work of the pancreas in producing insulin, and is at risk of diabetes, besides that excess sugar by the body will be piled up into fat.
Reducing sugar consumption, good for health. (including dietary sugar from fructose or corn). Sugar that is mixed for tea or coffee, for example, if we usually use two spoons of sugar per cup, try gradually reducing it to eventually become one spoonful or less. Over time the tongue will get used and instead will not like foods that are too sweet.
Excess salt will increase blood pressure that is not good for blood vessels. Actually, without adding salt, the body also has enough sodium from vegetables and staple foods. So use just enough salt, especially for gifted hypertension.
7. Choose Foods With a Low Glycemic Index
The glycemic index shows how quickly food is processed by the body into sugar. The higher the glycemic index of means, the faster the food is converted to sugar, and the faster the body produces insulin. And in the end, the quicker the body hoards fat.
Certain types of food such as cereals, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, bananas, tubers, vegetables have a low glycemic index. These types of foods are processed by the body slowly so that the insulin response does not immediately jump and produce a feeling of full length.
Conversely, white rice, white bread, processed foods made from flour, corn, cakes, sweets, syrups, and anything sweet and sweet generally have a high glycemic index. These types of foods are processed more quickly, high insulin response stimulates fat and body formation more get hungry fast.
8. Eat More Fish
Fish (especially sea fish), contains lots of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, this type of fat is perfect for the heart and arteries.
Research on Greenland natives shows that despite consuming a lot of fatty menus, death caused by coronary heart disease is very low, it turns out this is because local residents consume a lot of sea fish.
9. Choose Foods That Are Natural Rather Than Processed
Compared to processed foods such as instant noodles, canned food, sausages, nuggets, potato chips, etc. which can be sure to contain chemicals and preservatives, it is far better to eat fresh and natural food such as fresh fish, fresh meat, chicken, fresh vegetables, local fruits, and other natural foods.
10. Food Variations
There are no truly perfect foods. Some types of food are better to eat more often than some other types, but to get a variety of nutrients needed by various body functions is better by eating a variety of foods.
Of course, junk food is categorized as a fast-food fried chicken which is high in fat and salt, fried potatoes, fried foods on the side of the road, soft drinks and the like are not included in the list of variations of food that we need.
11. No Smoking
Lots of research on the dangers of smoking. Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 kinds of poisons, smoking is equal to poisoning the body, damaging the body slowly, or more extreme, it can be said that smoking is a deliberate suicide attempt.
Various diseases that can be caused by smoking include lung cancer, heart disease, vascular disorders, impotence, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, bronchitis, etc.
Love our bodies, when already smoking, stop immediately. The results of studies published in the British medical journal concluded, the body will repair the damage caused by chemicals in tobacco smoke immediately after smoking is stopped. (Hidayatulah.com Jan 27, 2010)
12. Have Enough Sports and Routine
For workers who use more physical activity or fieldwork and housewives who choose not to have a helper, they do not need special sports anymore because their daily exercise activities can be said to be sufficient. But for office workers who spend more sitting in front of the computer all day they need to take the time to exercise physically to keep the body in shape.
The keyword here is enough (not lacking and not excessive), and the important thing is routine & consistent. The ideal duration is in the range of 20 to 30 minutes per exercise with a frequency of three times a week. Excessive exercise (overtraining) will actually increase free radicals that are harmful to health.
This type of sport can be chosen, lucky if you have a community that can be invited to sports that are games like tennis or volleyball. Sports like this have a double impact, in addition to physical exercise, as well as a means of socializing. Pleasure in playing, satisfaction when successfully returning a difficult ball or when successfully smashing is another positive side effect, besides sports like this can usually be more routine, because it will invite each other.
If you do not have time to play games, if you have more funds, you can use your own sports equipment at home such as treadmills and the like. or just walk around the house complex with family can also be chosen. Some studies show walking (rather quickly) is better than running (like jogging or marathon).
13. Have Enough Sleep
The body needs adequate sleep, the results of studies show that optimal sleep ranges from six to eight hours per day. Adequate sleep, among others, can reduce the risk of arterial and heart damage.
14. Periodic Medical Check
Although not sick, regular health checks (once or twice a year) are important, especially parameters such as blood sugar levels, total cholesterol levels, HDL and LDL levels, triglyceride levels, glucose and protein levels in urine, dental examinations and so on. So if something abnormal is detected immediately, prevention is certainly better and cheaper than treatment.
15. Managing Stress
People who are stressed produce a lot of the hormone cortisol, a recent Dutch study (Kompas, Sep 14, 2010) found people who had high cortisol levels had a five-fold risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. High cortisol levels accelerate atherosclerosis (fat that collects in artery walls).
Stress will always come up to anyone, it can be said that no one has never had a problem that causes stress, but let’s manage stress well, don’t drag on. Always think positive, get closer to God, sure after difficulties will come easiness, thankfulness, having good social relations are things that can reduce stress.
16. Build Relationships With Legitimate Spouses (Families)
Talking about a legal life partner, involves two things that are equally important, namely biological and psychological relationships.
For those who are married, the quality of biological relationships with a legitimate partner (therefore stress free and does not involve stress) is healthy. All research shows that this kind of relationship can make you stay young, relieve stress and reduce the process of cardiovascular aging.
Psychologically, a harmonious relationship with a partner increases the peace of feeling of having friends, a place to share, and this is good for stress management.
Gratitude for those who have been blessed with children, pleasure in caring for children, increased sense of responsibility in making a living, and things like this are very good for mental health.
17. Establish Hospitality, Friendship and Social Relations
In one of his hadiths, the Prophet stated: “Anyone who is happy to be sustained fortune, and end his death (extended age) then he should connect the cord of friendship”. (H.R. Bukhari).
Friendship, good friendships and social relations, can really be healthy and prolong life. Researchers from the University of Exeter and Queensland Australia stated that the quality of a person’s social life has a greater influence on a person’s health and well-being than diet and exercise.
Being a member of a social group such as a sports club, book club or volunteer club can give us a social identity, this is important for mental and physical health, engaging in social activities such as that can prevent stroke, dementia and even the common cold (Hidayatullah.com Sep 18, 2009)
Other research conducted by The Crown Street Resource Center in Australia proves that friendship can make someone live longer and spend it happily (dutamasyarakat.com Sep 15, 2010).
Let us establish and intensify our social relations, relationships with extended families, relationships with neighbors, religious lectures group around the house, office friends, old friends, and so on.
Social relations, in this case, is a real friendship, not just through social networks on the internet, which, if excessive and not managed properly, can even lead to social diseases such as narcissism and or arrogance. And too absorbed in the virtual world that ignores the warmth of relationships in the real world.
18. Enhancing Faith and Devotion
Faith in the Almighty makes the heart peaceful and peaceful, religion makes life calm and more purposeful. Many studies show a strong relationship between faith and mental and physical health.
The results of research by David B Larson and his team from The American National Health Research Center found that comparisons between devout Americans and those who were not religious have shown astonishing results. For example, compared to those who have little or no religious beliefs, religious people suffer from heart disease 60% less, suicide rates are 100% lower, suffer from high blood pressure at a much lower rate.
In a study published in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, it was reported that people who claimed that they did not believe in religion became more often sick and had a shorter life span. According to the results of the study, those who had no religion were twice as likely to suffer from the gastrointestinal disease than those who had a religion, and their death rate due to respiratory disease was 66% higher than those who had a religion (Erwinagus-Myopera.com/blog)
The results of research conducted by Dr. Andrew Newberg, Professor of Radiology from the University of Philadelphia, USA, concluded that belief in God is a basic design (design inbuilt) that already exists in the brain. Other studies on cancer cases prove that feelings of hopelessness and stress cause an acceleration of the spread of cancer. In contrast, faith and “Ridho” on God’s decision cause self-treatment in some cases of cancer recovery. (sunnatullah.com).
In the rituals of worship that we do also contain extraordinary health wisdom, Allah SWT as the creator, of course, knows better the nature of the human body He created. Without intending worship for health, many scientific studies that show the benefits of ablution, prayer movements, fasting, zakat, zikr, and so forth for physical and mental health. Just to quote one of them: Research conducted by Prof. Leopold Werner von Ehrenfels, a psychiatrist and neurologist from Austria. He found something amazing in ablution because it can stimulate the nerve center in the human body. Because of the harmony of water with ablution and nerve points, the condition of the body will always be healthy. This is where he finally embraced Islam and changed his name to Baron Omar Rolf Ehrenfels. (Republika Online Sep 6, 2010)
Let’s increase our faith and devotion to Allah so that the heart becomes calm and peaceful.
Those who have believed and whose hearths are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearths are assured (Quran Surah Ar-Raad  : 28)
Hopefully, this article is useful to you.