September 15, 2014

11 Healthy Habits for a Long Life


The past few weeks have been exhausting. Between moving, trying to get used to my new life as a grad school student, and NYFW, I haven't had a second to rest. But––as it usually happens––my body is now asking me for a break, and decided to get a cold to force me to spend a whole day in bed and get some rest!

Although I hate being sick, I did appreciate a lot having some time to finally rest. I spent most of the day yesterday just lying in bed, reading, and drinking tea. I also had the time to re-evaluate what my life became, and to understand that, even though I want to take the best out of my time in New York, I don't really want to stop living in the healthy way I used to live before I came here.< So I decided that it's time for me to go back to health. That probably means I'll be starting to do yoga again on a regular basis soon –because we all know how much I love yoga– and that I'll start eating more veggies more frequently. But other than that, I need to reassume all the healthy habits I used to have in my life. These are my top 10 healthy habits for a long life:

1. Sleep at least 7 hours a day

Sleeping is amazing, not only because of the beauty of it, but because it is when all the necessary processes in your body take place. As a student, I particularly value sleeping because it's when my brain actually learns the information it received during the day. But sleeping is also good for digestion, vitamin absorption and , among thousands of other benefits.

2. Eat––or drink, I guess––at least 5 different fruits or vegetables every day

Fruits and vegetables contain lots of the daily nutrients we should intake on a daily basis, as well as fabric –which aids digestion. It has always been my rule of thumb to eat a total of 5 or more different fruits and vegetables every day––starting with a daily dose of orange juice in the morning––in order to feel healthy and happy.

3. Drink water

Water makes over 70% of our bodies, which means that it is super important for us to drink the appropriate amount of water every day. Having enough water in your body will not only make you feel energised all day long, but it will also aid your digestion and help you fight that belly fat––if it is something that worries you. However, keep in mind that drinking too much water might be harmful for your body, so don't exaggerate your intake of this elixir of life.

4. Morning yoga

I think it's pretty clear that I love yoga. I particularly love doing yoga first thing in the morning because it helps my body wake up and gain consciousness in a slow way, which will then leave me active for the rest of the day!

5. Eat whole foods

This habit was imposed on me after I got a very painful stomach illness when I was a teenager, and I had to stop eating white, processed grains. Ever since I switched to whole foods, I've started feeling much better, my belly stopped hurting, and my digestion has improved. Who wants to join me?

6. Limit your intake of dairy products

Dairy products are delicious––starting with ice cream, for example––but they have a lot of fat and are very heavy for the stomach. If you tend to suffer from allergies––as I normally do––they will probably increase your propensity. So replacing dairy milk for almond/soymilk, butter to almond butter, and trying to control the amount of cheese and yogurt you consume daily will probably make you feel better.

7. Walk

I know we don't always have time to walk to work, or spend a few minutes just walking around our neighbourhood, but it is essential for our body to move. I have the fortune of living in New York, which normally requires a lot of walking, so I do this almost unconsciously on a daily basis. But I really think it is very important for my body to move, especially after spending a long time working on my desk.

If you have enough time and energy, I would also recommend going for a short run or doing some active exercise at some point of the day, just to make sure your body feels great.

8. Read

With the invasion of technology in our lives, we spend too much time browsing the internet and texting friends, and tend to forget the importance of reading. Even if you only manage to read 5 pages of the latest book you bought every night before going to bed, this is an amazingly healthy habit you should work on.

9. Don't starve

There's nothing more harmful for our digestion than spending long periods of time without eating. So you should try to eat small snacks––by small I mean 12 almonds, an apple, or a few baby carrots, but nothing more than that––every 2-3 hours, in-between meals. This will help your body stay active and have a better digestion, but it will also make you feel more energised throughout the day.

10. Have your daily cup of Tea

I am definitely a tea addict –to a point where I have to ask myself if it is still healthy. But having a cup (or a couple) of tea every day is an excellent habit, due to the incredible benefits this legendary drink has.

11. Smile!

This sounds like a cliché –and it might be– but I feel healthier when I'm happy and when I take enough time to have fun with the people I love. Even when I know I have lots of work to do or hundreds of pages to read, I always try to take breaks from time to time to make sure I am happy and I still remember how to smile.


Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio