Having a healthy lifestyle will help you to achieve a complete state of physical, mental and social well – being. Incorporating healthy habits into your life, whether in diet, physical activity, health prevention, relationship with the environment, social activity or even at work, will allow you to avoid illness, improve your quality of life and probably ski more and better.
What are healthy habits in the lifestyles
A habit is a custom and when we talk about healthy lifestyles, we refer to the habitual practice if a person aimed at living longer and better, in the absence of illnesses and injuries.
Without further delay, we explain our little book of healthy habits.
The main principal habits of a healthy life are:
- Balanced diet.
- Practice physical activity on a regular basis.
- Maintain an adequate body mass index.
- Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol.
- Carry out a medical check – up at least one a year as a tool for the prevention and detection of pathologies.
- Visit the dentist frequently to avoid periodontal diseases and maintain good oral health.
- Sleep well (adults should sleep around 8 hours a day and children between 10 and 12 hours depending on their age)
- Take care of emotional health.
What are healthy lifestyle habits
Healthy lifestyle habits OMS are defined by the World Health Organization as the “General way of life based on the interaction between living conditions in a broad sense and individual patterns of behaviour determined by socio – cultural factors and personal characteristics”.
We define it as:
<<HEALTHY LIFESTYLE HABITS ARE THE RECURRING CUSTOMS OF A HUMAN BEING, WHICH INCREASE THEIR QUALITY AND LIFE EXPECTANCY>>
And inside of these customs, we include physical activity and sports and of course, the practice of winter sports such as snowboarding, alpine skiing, cross country skiing or telemark.
Regardless of age or gender, where you live and your socio – economic situation, healthy lifestyle habits will allow you to increase your quality of life. Evidently, the premature acceptance of these habits simplifies the work. For example, it should be noted that incorporating healthy habits for children from an early age will help the entire family to lead a healthier life.
If you have a hard time explaining to the little ones in the house why healthy habits are important, you should know that there are many attractive audio-visual resources. Some are aimed at implanting healthy habits in young children, such as Profe Carbajal, Aula chachi or Groovy el Marciano, which incorporate very useful advice through children’s songs. For the older ones, there are also educational videos that facilitate the incorporation of healthy habits in adolescents, such as BrightBrenda, Caminos de Éxito or Andrés Olivera, among others.
Now yes, without further delay, we are going to list the main healthy habits that will make you reduce morbidity and mortality factors, in addition to improving your level of quality of life in your day to day life.
Life healthy habits to ski better
Balance diet as part of yout healthy habits
As Hippocrates said “let your food be your food and the food your medicine”. Surely you know that eating a healthy diet is essential to enjoy good health and maintain the proper functioning of the body. There are a series of healthy habits for the digestive system that will make you feel better every day since eating well will help you prevent diseases that can become chronic (overweight, obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cancer…). If you want to improve your eating habits, you must pay special attention to your conscious behaviours that lead you to select, consume and use certain foods based on certain social and cultural influences.
“EATING IS A NECESSITY, BUT HEALTHY EATING IS AN ART”
Incorporate healthy eating habits into your daily menu with foods with large amounts of fiber, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, white meat, fish, legumes, whole grains, olive oil…
Avoid excessive consumption of calories, refined carbohydrates, animal fats, foods with a high content of sugars and carbonated drinks that represent one of the main causes of mortality and morbidity in developed countries.
“IT’S NEVER TOO LATE. YOU CAN EAT HEALTHILY SINCE IT IS A HABIT THAT IS LEARNED: IT IS EDUCABLE AND MODIFIABLE»
By the way, if you agree with the values of I LOVE SKI try to consume local, proximity and seasonal products. In this way, you will be favoring the sustainable economy and you will be doing planet Earth a favor. If you are also in a ski resort, you will be supporting the local economy, creating wealth in the territory and at the same time fighting against the depopulation of mountain areas.
Tips for acquiring healthy eating habits
- Try not to go shopping on an empty stomach: it will help you not to include products that are harmful to your health in your shopping cart.
- Plan the shopping list and try to follow the following order: non-food products, non-perishable food, refrigerated, and frozen last, so that the cold chain is not broken.
- Avoid the consumption of trans and saturated fats, replacing them with polyunsaturated fats.
- Always read the labels to know the nutritional composition, the ingredients, the presence or absence of additives and the expiration date.
- Buy local products, promoting short circuits and the local economy.
- Steam vegetables to maintain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Try not to add salt to food: according to WHO healthy habits, daily sodium intake should be less than 2 g, not exceeding 5 grams of salt per day. If you also incorporate the consumption of potassium in your diet (fresh fruits and vegetables) you will avoid the dreaded high blood pressure.
- Limit the consumption of free sugars, since they favor obesity and overweight, having a direct influence on blood pressure and serum lipids.
- Avoid frying food, use the oven instead.
- Include colourful salads in your menus.
- Gradually incorporate vegetable proteins into your menus: tofu, tempeh, soy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans…
Practice physical activity on a regular basis is a healthy habit
If you don’t know exactly what this term means, we will use another one that is sure to be understood by all « move » readers. Incorporating physical activity into your daily life is the best antidote to reduce the probability of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, various types of cancer and diabetes.
Physical activity and sports will help you regulate your percentage of body fat, strengthen your neuromuscular system and increase bone density, but it will also help you control blood pressure, sleep better, eliminate stress… and you will also reduce fatigue as well as risk of injury and will keep your cardiovascular and muscular system active, making it easier for you to enjoy skiing more.
“TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY: IT IS THE ONLY PLACE YOU REALLY LIVE”
Incorporating healthy lifestyle habits will help you enjoy the ski slopes more, but if you want to improve your performance, you will need to incorporate specific sports routines that help you strengthen your aerobic system and your muscle tone.
Some advices? Avoid a sedentary lifestyle, follow an exercise routine that includes aerobic and strength training. Whenever you can, avoid taking the car: get around on foot, by bicycle, e-bike or by public transport. Try to take between 7,000 and 8,000 steps a day. Take the stairs instead of taking the elevator. By following these simple tips, you will improve your quality of life and enjoy your experience in the snow more.
Maintain an adequate body mass index
The BMI or body mass index is an indicator aimed at assessing your weight in relation to your height. The specific formula that applies is:
Weight (kg) % Height² (m)
There are more accurate methods to calculate body fat, but they are more complex and expensive: skinfold thickness measurement, underwater weighing, bioelectrical impedance, dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), isotopic dilution, …
“BEING OVERWEIGHT WILL NOT GO AWAY UNTIL YOU LEARN WHAT IT HAS COME TO TEACH YOU”
A low or high BMI can indicate an unhealthy body fat percentage. Actually, BMI is used as a screening tool, but it does not diagnose body fat or health of an individual. To determine if being overweight is a health risk, you’ll need to see a doctor and do other evaluations, such as skinfold measurements, eating habits, physical activity levels, and family history.
Here is a table in which you can see the relationship between BMI and weight level:
|Below 18.5||Under weight|
|18.5 – 24.9||Normal|
|25.0 – 29.9||Overweight|
|30.0 or more||Obesity|
Lowering the BMI will make us feel lighter, more agile and will prevent our joints from having to mobilize a greater body mass while skiing. As you know, alpine skiing and snowboarding are two sports disciplines that are demanding on the joints of the lower body. The hips and knees participate actively throughout the technical gesture and if we reduce our percentage of fat, we will be facilitating the performance of turns, flexion-extension and favoring mobility on the skis.
Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs to be healthy
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are known by science to be harmful to health. Among these harmful substances, you will find arsenic, benzene, ammonia, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. Finally, you should know that smoking damages every organ and organ system in the body, being the cause of many cancers and cardiopulmonary diseases.
Drinking alcohol ages, you and makes you gain weight easily since it is high in calories. It also dehydrates, interferes with rest, is depressant, generates anxiety and generates cardiovascular, physical and psychological problems.
“DO NOT DO ANYTHING TODAY THAT WILL COMPROMISE YOUR TOMORROW”
Drug use generates addiction, cardiovascular accidents, psychosis, depression, sleep problems or impotence. Substances of habitual abuse such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, GHB or hallucinogens can alter reasoning, value judgment and harm health.
Consuming drugs and alcohol in ski resorts generates accidents every season. Do not endanger your physical integrity or that of others. It’s simple, don’t use drugs: you will gain in health, reduce the risk of an accident and avoid being sanctioned.
Carry out a medical check up every year
Health prevention is key to detect anomalies and alleviate the onset of the disease, reduce risk factors, stop its progress and mitigate its consequences.
Carrying out at least one medical check-up a year is also essential for healthy people -through primary care- given that the measures may be aimed at eliminating or reducing the person’s exposure to factors that are harmful to their health.
“HEALTH IS NOT EVERYTHING BUT WITHOUT IT, EVERYTHING ELSE IS NOTHING” – A. SCHOPENHAUER
On the other hand, secondary prevention is aimed at detecting possible diseases in the early stages and acting as soon as possible to alleviate or delay the progress of the disease. In this case, the measures are aimed at the detection, diagnosis and early treatment of the disease (colon cancer, breast cancer…).
Finally, there would be the one that must always be avoided: tertiary prevention. In this phase the pathology is already present and the objective is to reduce complications or sequelae as well as incorporate rehabilitation once the disease is overcome.
The most advisable thing is to carry out at least one medical check-up a year to detect possible pathologies at their earliest stage. As you know, ski resorts are usually far from urban centres that have medical services with advanced resources. Always try to carry a travel first aid kit, prioritizing basic medicines and those that are necessary if you suffer from chronic illnesses. It will also be useful to include in the kit a piece of paper with indications -address and telephone number- about nearby hospitals and health centres. Finally, if you are going to ski at a ski resort in the European Economic Area, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, do not forget to always carry your European Health Card (TSE). If you have private insurance, notify your company and make sure you know the procedure in the event of illness or accident.
Go to the dentist is another healthy habit
They say that “time heals everything…except cavities that are cured by the dentist.” Oral problems can lead to multiple health problems. From bad breath, to gum infections, stains, cavities, canker sores, periodontal diseases, dental sensitivity, malocclusion, bruxism, or even oral cancer.
Maintaining an oral hygiene routine and regular visits to the dentist will go a long way in maintaining oral hygiene. You should also be aware that being a skier, you rise in altitude abruptly through the ski lifts and that you will be exposed to the cold.
“YOU DON’T NEED TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH, ONLY THOSE THAT YOU WANT TO CONTINUE KEEPING”
The combination of both factors means that a skier must include oral hygiene in their healthy habits and thus avoid problems on the ski slopes. Going to your trusted dentist is the most recommended and is also usually close to your home or workplace. However, it is difficult to find a dentist in the ski resorts and you will have to descend to the valley or to a large urban center to be treated by an emergency dentist who does not know your history.
Sleep well as another habit for our healthy life
They say that “the secret to good health is for the body to be agitated and the mind to be at rest.” And it is that we all like to sleep well to be energized the next day but perhaps you do not know that the benefits of sleep for health are multiple. Therefore, one of the healthiest habits that we can find is to enjoy a restful sleep.
“THE SECRET TO GOOD HEALTH IS FOR THE BODY TO BE AGITATED AND THE MIND TO REST”
And it is that letting yourself be easily fooled by the arms of Morpheus helps on a cognitive, physical and psychological level. The health benefits of rest are extensive, given that it is a physiological necessity.
Sleeping and resting helps regenerate the immune system, protects the heart, improves physical resistance, helps reduce the risk of diabetes, lowers BMI, improves memory, work and academic performance, and even allows us to look healthier and more attractive.
For these reasons, you should bear in mind that if you like après-ski and sleep little, the next day you will not perform physically on the ski slopes. You will also have a greater chance of falling, having muscle discomfort and suffering injuries.
Take care of emotional health
Disassociating healthy habits from body and mind is a chimera, since there is an interconnection between the physical and psychological dimensions. Although human knowledge about emotional and psychological health is limited, we know that stress facilitates inflammation, through the exponential release of hormones and neurotransmitters into the bloodstream and the nervous system, respectively. We also know that bad psychological habits generate insomnia problems, acting to the detriment of the repair provided by rest and generating irritability.
Therefore, if we want a healthy body, we must try to have a healthy mind. As you know, emotional health is what is linked to the mental state that allows us to live with sufficient calm, motivation and efficiency. To achieve emotional well -being we must find the balance between our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual being. Easy to say, sometimes hard to do.
“IF WE WANT A HEALTHY BODY, WE MUST TRY TO HAVE A HEALTHY MIND”
Feeling bad, sad, fearful, restless, nervous or worried is part of our human nature and managing these feelings requires that we have order, internal balance and healthy habits to face each day with conviction, security and courage.
Emotional health allows us to control our emotions: it helps us to know how to deal with stress, anxiety and problems by being aware of one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Experts argue that one of the keys to emotional well-being is reinforcing positive emotions and reducing negative ones. If we take the example of skiing, it would be like overcoming the fear of skiing in a very wild, icy or off-piste area. Smile as much as you can and if possible, with your partner, family and friends.