The Secret to a Healthy Balanced Lifestyle

Statistics show that Berlin employees work more hours than in the rest of Germany, with the average worker clocking up around 1,389 hours per year in 2016. Employees do enjoy a labor cost advantage of between 10 and 15%, with temporary employment agencies calculating that the advantage can be as high as 20%. Research shows, however, that in Berlin, as in other German cities, we are facing serious health issues, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Since many conditions and diseases (including heart disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome) can be prevented by adopting a healthier more balanced lifestyle, isn’t it time we made a few simple changes in exchange for a healthier, longer lifestyle?

Work vs Play notes that the amount and quality of leisure time are important for two reasons: for the direct satisfaction it brings, and our physical and mental health. When we share leisure time with others, the benefits are increased, in that our relationships, family bonds and the creation of new networks, are fostered. It is important to learn to set personal and professional limits when it comes to working. Is it really necessary to stay indoors working on your computer on the weekend? Have you been neglecting friends of late? When was the last time you planned a fun day out with the family? Everyone’s idea of leisure is different - some people relax by watching their favourite TV series, while others prefer to travel or eating out. Whatever your ‘poison’ is, make sure you get enough of it. The small things that make you happy can make a very big difference in terms of your quality of life.

Exercise vs Sedentarism

If you go to the gym two or three times a week but spend hours on end sitting at your desk, you could be doing more harm to yourself than you think! Sitting too long contributes to obesity and poses a cardiovascular risk; it can also contribute to anxiety and depression. At work, try to get out of your chair frequently, opting for the stairs instead of the lift. Every hour or so, get up and stretch or take a short walk if you can. Aim to complete a cardio workout every day for 45 hours and don’t neglect strength training as well. If you haven’t been active in a long time, consider easing into physical activity with yoga, a magnificent activity which will slowly build up your flexibility and strength, and which has been proven in countless studies to be an efficient stress-buster.

Junk vs Real Food

Sound nutrition is a key component of health and wellness. If you find that you rely on junk food and sugary items to keep your energy levels up, you are doing yourself a disservice, since this type of diet can lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes and will actually make you feel more tired. Opt for a healthy, balanced Mediterranean-style diet, shop for organic produce when you can and learn to cook quick yet healthy meals your whole family will benefit from.

We work to live, and while it is true that many of us cannot control our work hours, there is plenty we can do on a daily basis to look and feel better. By pursuing leisure activities, staying active and eating seasonal, healthy food, we can start feeling more energetic and happier than we have in the past.

By Jane Sandwood

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