The New Year can be such an exciting time, teeming with the promise of new beginnings and fresh start. For many of us, most of our new year’s resolutions involve improving our health and well-being.
But we know it’s not easy - we’ve been there too! Either way, that shouldn’t stop you from committing to it because believe it or not, being healthy isn’t just about exercising. It’s about eating right and being mentally active too. Not too convinced? Here’s 8 reasons why staying healthy should be your ultimate new year’s resolution in 2019!
1. Enjoy the possibility of lesser health risks
This is a great reason to WANT to stay healthy! We’re all guilty of indulging in high-calorie food most of the time because who can ever resist a good plate of Nasi Lemak, Mee Rebus or Char Kuay Teow? ? We all take pride in our culinary reputation and our local dishes are so good that even foreigners are loving them too. Unfortunately, they can be extremely bad for us when we overeat ?
As we live in a food abundant society, we always have a tendency to overeat and that will lead to a serious case of metabolic syndrome. That’s why Islam urges us to eat in moderation which means that you eat until you’re satisfied, not until you’re full! If you start feeling uncomfortable after finishing a meal, that’s caused by overeating.
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Another great way to avoid that habit is to consume something that’s high in fibre - like VITAGEN Less Sugar. With 50% less sugar, this popular cultured milk drink contains a combination of prebiotics and probiotics that improves and supports the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut!
2. Self-care is ibadah
It is narrated in the hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) once said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.” [Shu’ab al-Iman].
As Muslims, it’s so important to understand that being healthy doesn’t only benefit your physical health but it also improves your inner strength. Eating unhealthy food can actually lead to serious chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressures, high cholesterol and heart issues.
If you want to take care of yourself and your family, it all starts with a New Year resolution. Be wary of the products that you buy at the grocery stores and read the labels! Nowadays, it’s very common to come across food and drinks that claim to be healthy but in reality, they actually contain artificial sweeteners (such as sucralose and aspartame) and sugar alcohols (like maltitol and sorbitol).
And believe it or not: the more you consume these non-nutritive ingredients, the tougher it is for you to control what you eat and drink, as our palates may be conditioned to want even more unhealthy foods, leading to excess calories and unnecessary sugar intake. Plus, these ingredients are not allowed for sale at schools, so that’s enough to tell us that children shouldn’t be exposed to them too!
The best way to lead a healthy lifestyle is to start picking up nutrient-dense food and read labels. That way, you can be assured that these unhealthy ingredients will not interfere with your daily diet. Your immune system will also improve significantly, and you’ll be able to participate in physical activities! And because of that, you have about enough energy and stamina to perform more ibadah and recite the Quran.
3. Emulate the sunnah lifestyle
One of the best ways to be healthy is to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He stressed that the practice of sports is important to gain a healthy body. And that means - workout! Almost everyone can engage in at least some form of bodily exercise and that’s an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle.
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Lucky for us, there’s been an increase of fitness classes around the city such as yoga, pilates, and zumba. So why not start the new year by joining these classes around your neighbourhood and have a blast? There are even free workout programmes in malls too, so there’s no excuse not to join them! Participating in these activities with a friend or a family member ensures you to stay motivated as well.
Now that we’re talking physical health, some of the pillars of Islam also include being physically active. For example, our daily prayers involve a lot of movement and performing umrah or hajj requires good health.
4. You get a good sleep
A lot of us struggle with getting enough sleep at night and we don’t blame you, really. It’s hard to keep up with a good sleeping cycle especially when we’re occupied with work and other responsibilities. But it’s time that we change that attitude this new year and put our health first!
Did you know that poor sleep causes weight gain? Yes, we’re not kidding - short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors to obesity.
Getting enough sleep not only benefits your health, but it also improves your concentration and productivity. With a proper sleeping cycle, you can maximise your fitness performance and increase your motivation to carry about your daily life. Imagine waking up every day feeling super energised - it’s the perfect way to start the new year!
5. Staying healthy saves you money
You’ve heard the same ol’ excuse - being healthy is expensive. But that’s not really true and we’re here to tell you why. If you plan your meals and skip fast food, you can easily save a few bucks than those take-out and fast food meals. And when you cook more at home, you limit eating out and you save more money and keep your calories at bay!
When you’re mindful about your diet and choose the right food and drinks, the chances of having fewer sick days are pretty high! Why? Because your immune system is already strong.
So, you won’t have to spend so much money on medical bills! You’ll realise that staying healthy makes a difference not only to your body but your daily expenses as well. Make the right choice when you buy food and drinks for your family! For example, when choosing a cultured milk drink, opt for the ones without sugar alcohols like maltitol and intense sweeteners like sucralose. With a constant reminder to be better, you’d be able to make a huge change in your lifestyle.
6. Set a good example for kids
Parents out there, this one’s for you! Part of your responsibility is to teach your kids how to lead healthy lives. And of course, the best time to start teaching these lessons is when they’re young. So why not enter 2019 with a good intention? From the time they’re born, kids learn how to live in the world by observing and imitating those around them.
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Hence, it’s important to set a good example. By making healthy and responsible decisions around healthy lifestyle, you demonstrate positive behaviour for the kids to mimic. Pay attention to the kind of food you buy and put a limit on junk food and beverages that contain sugar alcohol like maltitol and sorbitol. Be careful of artificial sweeteners too, like acesulfame, aspartame and sucralose. These sugar substitutes are usually found in candies, soft drinks and even some other cultured milk drink that claim to be healthy.
When kids are exposed to such food and drinks that are engineered for overconsumption, they have the tendency to eat more and succumb to food addiction. The physical and mental health consequences of overeating can be devastating for them, like developing obesity at a young age. By teaching and encouraging them healthy eating habits, they will learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle until adulthood.
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But this does not deprive them for having any sweet treats! Give them VITAGEN Less Sugar instead. This popular cultured milk drink with 50% less sugar is made with real fruit juice and added Prebiotics and free from any sweeteners, so it’s definitely a good choice for them!
7. Delay effects of aging
It might be hard to believe at first but staying healthy actually helps you live longer. In a recent study by a couple of researchers for the New England Journal of Medicine, they found that people who have healthy eating habits have a higher chance of living longer because of the frequent consumption of wholesome foods.
So, what are you waiting for? Make this new year count by dropping your nasty habits and start adding in healthy foods to your diet and stepping up your health regimen! For anyone who wants to take it slow, you can start by just walking for 30 minutes and you’re already on the way to reducing health risks.
Take advantage of the neighbourhood park around you and stroll away. Remember to wake up early too so you’ll be able to catch the sunrise which is really therapeutic. Even cleaning up one meal a day seems to help! Just swap your regular red meat with healthier alternatives like nuts or legumes, and you’re good to go.
8. Healthy food can improve your overall mental health
The idea that food can affect our mood and behaviour isn’t new - multiple studies have found links between what we eat and how it affects our mental health. When it comes to confidence and self-esteem, changing your diet can reduce anxiety, boost your mood and make you feel confident about yourself.
If you have a poor diet and you’re easily stressed, this can cause your gut to slow down and lead to a poor digestive system. So as part of your 2019 resolutions, let’s start feeling good about yourself. Choose the right food and make sure your immunity stays tip-top!
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A great way to do that is with the help of Singapore’s No.1 Cultured Milk Drink - VITAGEN Less Sugar. The cultured milk drink is full of probiotics that fight harmful bacteria in the gut. Those with constipation problems can definitely count on this beneficial drink - just buy a pack at any supermarket nearby and start living a smooth and healthy lifestyle not only for yourself but also for your family!
So, are these reasons enough to get you excited to start the new year? We won’t deny that resolutions are easy to break but we believe that by making small changes in your life instead of majorly overhauling your routine can definitely achieve your goal of having a healthier lifestyle! New year, new goals, right? Let’s make it count!
This article is brought to you by VITAGEN Singapore.