There used to be a saying our parents told us: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” As children, we thought it was about eating that apple to be healthy. As adults, we may realize our parents were also telling us about the importance of sticking to a routine!
Regimens are essential for everybody. They are daily habitual actions we do to a schedule. They make us feel in control of life. They also reduce the stress of feeling overwhelmed by the many things we have to do, as part of our roles and responsibilities in life.
For healthcare, especially, regular practices are extremely important. According to Jun Kohyama, in a paper in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, good daily habits formed during the early stages of life determine health throughout life. But it’s never too late to start being structured.
If you’ve always thought of planned days as unwavering strict self-discipline, you are wrong. Being consistent can be enjoyable and fulfilling if you plan your days with some rigor. You’ll have some wonderful health benefits, too. Read on for more ideas.
Apart from helping the smooth and easy flow of your general life, there are many angles to the health benefits that fixed procedures can give you. Here are the top five reasons to have disciplined days:
Imagine how pleasant your life rhythm would be if you had clear times of day for eating, exercise, sleep, family, work, or hobbies. Life would feel easier to handle when you are anchored and not always tossed around.
Not only does regularity moor your life, but it also allows you to know what you need to shed from your life, or what to add, to allow for newness to enter your life. Growth is just as crucial for our sense of well-being as stability.
For starters, our periodic must-do lists should include regular general medical checkups at frequencies prescribed by our doctors. Our daily to-do lists should also include strict times of day when we take our given medications.
Further, according to Mark Meeker, Vice President of Community Medicine for OSF HealthCare, “The more you regularly communicate with your doctors and let them know how you’re feeling and taking care of your body, the better chance they have of identifying and helping you avoid health issues.”
If we have ailments like obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension – along with other hereditary factors – these can all have a multiplicative effect on the heart. So, it’s essential to stay in touch with our doctors regarding high sugar level symptoms, signs of high blood pressure, signs and symptoms of hypertension, and the best way to reduce cholesterol.
Constant ad-hocism in life activities can be highly stressful. Contrarily, when you have a prioritized plan, you know exactly what needs to be done at the minimum to keep life on track – and stress at bay. Also, you can include daily time for stress relaxation, which is just as important as any other activity.
Sleep quality and quantity are both important, too. In sleep, our bodies and minds get time for stress elimination, repair, and restoration. We can’t fall asleep or wake up by willpower… so when we make sleeping time and waking time a habit, our bodies will be able to develop a sleep-wake cycle.
How often do we find that, despite our good intentions to eat healthful food, we have not routinized our food shopping or planned enough time for home cooking? We grab what’s available in the fridge, or order in food deliveries, because we are running behind time on other things. Maintaining a healthy diet is imperative, but it can be fun, too, if we have time to research and try new recipes.
Likewise, the time you exercise daily is as important as how much you exercise. According to Jasmin Theard, ACSM HFS, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center, “Working out first thing helps you experience the benefits right away. Exercise leads to the secretion of neurotransmitters that promote mental clarity and an improved attention span. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as rejuvenated and recharged.”
Two types of mental health patients need consistency to be brought into their lives as quickly as possible:
For addiction-recovery patients, planning a busy schedule can help ward off boredom. Lack of engagement is often the cause of relapse.
For bipolar disorder patients, regulation of daily rhythms is pivotal as they are often found to have more sensitive circadian clocks. This is according to a study by the American Psychological Association.
Making changes to your daily life can be a bit hard. But you don’t have to be perfect. Aim to be orderly most of the time. Here are a few tips to help you establish healthy patterns in your life:
According to Katherine R. Arlinghaus, MS, RD, et al., in their paper in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, “Routines take time to establish. Adding too many changes to a day will likely be difficult for you to sustain and may result in ‘behavior relapse.’ Aim to add one or two changes at a time. Make the choices that will help you be healthier and get the most out of your time.”
The order of any organizing principle is this: Set your most motivating goals first. Then, build a plan on how to achieve them. Finally, construct a daily-weekly-monthly calendar and timings to implement those plans. If you have a list of activities but don’t know your “compelling why” behind them, you won’t be able to sustain your enthusiasm to follow your regimens.
There will be a few things most crucial to your health that must be done willy-nilly. There may be other slightly less important things that could get a go-by if you’re short of time. You have to aim to complete the most critical 20% of your daily list, which gives you 80% of the best health results. Concentrate on those items.
If you choose activities you like doing, you will naturally find it easier to stick to your plans. Don’t try to follow practices that go against the grain. You are unique, your tastes and preferences are very personal, and your way of doing things gives you your mojo. So, make your way of life your friend.
As Murphy’s Law proves, what can go wrong will go wrong. Take life easy as it comes. Timing-based plans are guidelines for maintaining some regularity in life. Neither can you hurry up the process of getting into a newly regulated life, nor can you easily shrug off old habits. So, gradually ease into the discipline you’d love to have to be happy, healthy, and grateful for a beautiful life.
Plan your daily action-rhythms to match your energy levels’ natural ebb and flow. You’ll get more done by focusing on what’s valuable to health. Good health is the foundation of all energy and verve to achieve many other things. Build a routine to your heart’s desire. Stay heart-healthy. Be a Zinda Dil.