Healthy body, healthy mind

In March 2020, the world was turned upside down. Working from home, restricted options to exercise and closed schools became the norm. Continuing working, while simultaneously teaching your child long-forgotten knowledge – even the most patient parents reached their limits. However, particularly during such turbulent times, it is vital to look after ourselves and still pursue a healthy lifestyle, despite all the difficulties of everyday life. This includes sufficient exercise, as well as relaxation and a balanced diet. We want to actively support you with a holistic approach, and therefore have recipes for many sweet delicacies, all which do without sugar. In addition, we have compiled tips on the topics of diet, exercise and relaxation.

Diet

A healthy diet makes a significant contribution to long-term health. But what does a healthy diet mean anyway?

Over time, many diets have evolved, including sugar-free, low-carb and ketogenic diets. However, eating healthy foods is not to be confused for a diet. In the long-term, we should take care to ensure a balance. We do not need to constantly practise abstinence, but ensure we consume the right amount of nutrients, vitamins and fluids.

According to textbooks, a balanced diet should be made up of 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 15 to 20 percent proteins and 25 to 30 percent fats. However, each person has different calorie requirements, with age, size, weight and daily physical activities all impacting the amount of energy we burn each day. 

A couple of simple basics can help you follow a healthier diet:
 
  • • A couple of simple basics can help you follow a healthier diet:
  • • Cook for yourself as often as possible.
  • • Use fresh and seasonal ingredients.
  • • Avoid frozen products.
  • • Avoid deep-fried foods.
  • • Reduce your sugar consumption.
  • • Avoid fruit juices and soft drinks.
  • • Drink two to three litres of water a day.
  • • Favour complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain products, potatoes and grains.
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And because food should be enjoyable: we have compiled a myriad of delicious recipes which avoid sugar. Have fun trying them out!

Exercise

Exercise is vital for metabolism, for the muscles and even for a good mood. And it is easy to integrate more movement into your day. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Get off a stop early and walk the rest of the way home. Or take a short walk during your midday break.  

Even though our lives are ever more digital, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to sit in front of a screen. Quite the opposite; there are many excellent offers to help us exercise. The internet has no limits when it comes to exercise, with apps available with individual workout programs, countless workout videos or yoga lessons on YouTube. Geraldine Antoinette, a yogi teacher in Zurich, has given us all access to a training session. It takes just 20 minutes to work up a sweat, and as the program is so short, it can be easily completed in the afternoon or evening. → To the video 
 

Relaxation

If we think about what constitutes healthy living, we often underestimate the impact of the mind. However, our general well-being and quality of life are strongly dependent on what is going on in our heads. In order to aid relaxation, you should always remember to take breaks. There are many methods of conscious relaxation, with yoga, pilates, qigong or meditation all helping to relax. Just ten to twenty minutes of relaxation a day are sufficient. Sleep is also vital for our body, as we process the day’s occurrences while asleep. The burden on our spine is relieved, while metabolism and digestion also actively take place.  
Sleep problems can have different impacts on our bodies. In the event of problems, we secrete less of the hormone leptin, which aids metabolism. If our blood contains large amounts of this hormone, our brain lets our body know that we don’t need any food at the moment. However, if we suffer from sleep problems, the production of ghrelin increases. This is also a metabolism hormone and has the opposite effect to leptin, telling our bodies: we haven’t eaten enough! Sleep problems therefore cause hunger and we eat more than we need. In the long term, this can result in weight gains.

Humans need between seven and nine hours of sleep. Our own bodies determine just how many hours we need. Our own disposition also determines when we need sleep. Some of us are morning people and have no problem getting up at 5 a.m. Others are night owls, being most productive at 10 p.m.  
Regardless of the length of sleep, we should all aim to have calm and restful sleep. In order to achieve this, here are some tips.
 
  • • Stick to a schedule when going to bed and waking up.
  • • Ensure a comfortable environment for sleep: fresh air, no warmer than 18 °C.
  • • Carefully choose your mattress and pillow.
  • • Do not eat a rich meal late at night.
  • • Do not drink too much alcohol.
  • • Do not perform any extreme physical activities before going to bed. Instead, take a walk.
  • • Avoid excitement of all kinds. Watching a horror film before going to bed is not a good idea.
As difficult as it seems when everything around you is a whirlwind: only by taking care of yourself will you be able to weather the storm. Therefore, you should always take the time to check whether you take enough time for yourself. By adhering to a healthy diet, exercising and a relaxing a bit, you can succeed! Stay healthy!