Tips and tricks for a healthier and longer life

Tips and Tricks for a healthier and longer life

A healthy lifestyle is fundamental to both physical and mental health. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, adequate rest, and stress management help prevent chronic diseases, improve mood and energy levels, and increase longevity. In a fast-paced world, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the key to better quality of life and well-being.

Our vision is to improve the quality of life and extend life for the Norwegian people, so that they can enjoy valuable moments longer with the ones they love, therefore we have written down a few tips and tricks for a healthier lifestyle based on our experiences and opinions .

Part 1: Ice bathing - Cold as medicine

Ice bathing, is the practice of bathing in water with extremely low temperatures, often close to freezing. It is a form of physical therapy or a recreational activity that has become popular in many cultures, especially in northern countries such as Norway, Russia and Finland.

Here are some key points about ice bathing:

  • Method: Ice bathing usually involves sitting or lying in a natural water source such as lakes, rivers, or even ice that has been specifically carved out of ice-covered water. Some people also use ice baths or cold showers as an alternative.
  • Temperature: The water in an ice bath is typically very cold, often below 5 degrees Celsius. This gives the body a shocking experience.

  • Health benefits: Many claim that ice bathing offers a number of health benefits, including improved circulation, reduced muscle inflammation and pain, increased energy levels and improved mental acuity. It is also claimed to improve the immune system and contribute to mental well-being, as a form of stress management.

    1. Improved blood circulation: The cold causes blood vessels to constrict and then dilate, which improves blood circulation.
    2. Reduced muscle inflammation and pain: Cold water reduces inflammation and relieves pain in the muscles.
    3. Increased energy level: The shock of cold water increases adrenaline and energy levels.
    4. Strengthened immune system: Regular ice bathing can increase the production of white blood cells.

  • Psychological effect: In addition to the physical benefits, many believe that ice bathing contributes to several mental health benefits.

    1. Mental toughness: Ice bathing challenges and strengthens mental strength and endurance.
    2. Increased resistance to stress: Regular exposure to cold water helps to better manage stress.
    3. Mental acuity: Cold exposure improves focus and clarity of thought.
    4. Improved quality of life: Ice bathing provides a sense of achievement, mastery and well-being, which improves the overall quality of life.

  • How to get started: To get started with ice bathing, start gradually by first taking short, cold showers. As you become more comfortable, move to natural water sources, such as lakes or rivers, and begin with short sessions in the cold water. Eventually, it will all become like a game where you want to challenge yourself with longer intervals and try to beat personal records.
  • Safety: It's important to approach ice bathing with caution, especially for beginners. Being in cold water for too long can lead to hypothermia. It is recommended to have a heated environment available after bathing, e.g. sauna or warm clothes, here I strongly recommend the sauna myself. It is also important to listen to your body's signals.

 

Finally, I would like to share some exciting articles that deal with ice bathing and its effects:
1. Heat meets cold - Live Longer
2. Ice bath benefits: Science-backed reasons to take the cold plunge

3. 6 cold shower benefits to consider

Part 2: Sauna - From Finnish tradition to global well-being tax

Sauna, an ancient tradition with Finnish roots, has become a global symbol of relaxation and well-being. This practice involves staying in a specially built room or house where dry or wet heat promotes intense sweating. This practice involves regular sessions in a sauna, where the high heat and sweat that follows helps to promote relaxation, relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, and support the body's natural detoxification processes.

Here are some key points about sauna therapy:

  • Method: Sauna therapy involves sitting or lying in a heated room, usually between 70-100 degrees. This can be dry heat or wet heat, it depends on the type of sauna. We recommend wet heat for beginners. A typical sauna session lasts between 5-20 minutes followed by a cooling down period (Cold shower, ice bath, or fresh air). The process can be repeated several times for maximum effect. We recommend a session of 5-10 intervals, but here you have to base yourself on what you can do.

  • Health benefits: Saunas are known for a number of health benefits, we have chosen to list the most important points in our opinion.
  1. Improved immune system: Regular use can strengthen the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells.
    2. Reduced muscle tension: The heat relieves tension and stiffness in the muscles.
    3. Improved blood circulation: The heat expands the blood vessels and increases blood circulation.
    4. Detoxification: Increased sweating helps the body get rid of toxins.
    5. Improved sleep quality: The relaxation effect contributes to deeper and more restorative sleep.
    6. Improving respiratory health: Warm air can ease breathing, especially for those with asthma or bronchitis.
  • Psychological effect: Sauna therapy offers several psychological benefits, but we have listed some of the most notable.
  1. Stress reduction: The heat in a sauna can help lower the body's stress levels. It gives a feeling of relaxation and can reduce the production of stress hormones.
  2. Improved mood: Regular use of a sauna can increase the production of endorphins, the body's natural "feel-good" chemicals, which improve mood and provide a sense of well-being.
  3. Better sleep: Many report improved sleep quality after sauna use. The relaxing effect of the heat can help calm the mind and body, leading to deeper and more restorative sleep.
  4. Mental clarity: After a sauna session, many people feel more mentally clear and focused. This may be due to the relaxing effect that reduces mental "noise" and promotes clearer thinking.
  5. Social interaction: In many cultures, saunas are also used as social gathering places, which can contribute to feelings of togetherness and improved social well-being.
  6. Mindfulness and meditation: The heat and isolated environment of a sauna can create an ideal environment for mindfulness or meditation, which can contribute to better mental balance and inner peace.

Incorporating sauna use into your wellness routine can be an enriching experience that promotes both physical and mental relaxation. Remember to adapt the sessions to your personal needs and health conditions.

Finally, there are a couple of informative articles about taking a sauna:
1. Heat meets cold - Live Longer
2. Clinical effects of regular dry sauna bathing: A systematic review
3. Are saunas good for you? Understanding the benefits vs. the risks

Part 3: Exercise - The Key to Vitality

Exercise is an essential element in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and plays a critical role in both physical and mental well-being. We recommend exercising at least 2-4 times a week to reap maximum health benefits.

What is exercise? Exercise involves physical activity performed to improve health, fitness and general well-being. This can vary from light aerobic exercise, such as walking up and down stairs - to more intense strength and endurance exercises.

Health benefits: It's no secret that physical exercise is the best thing you can do to promote your own health. We have made a list of the benefits we believe are the most important to promote by working out.

  1. Improved heart health: Regular cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and improves circulation.
  2. Muscle strength and endurance: Strength training builds muscle mass and improves physical strength.
  3. Better flexibility and balance: Exercises such as yoga and pilates increase flexibility and improve balance.
  4. Weight control: Exercise helps burn calories and regulate body weight.
  5. Increased energy levels: Regular physical activity can increase energy levels and improve endurance.

Psychological effects: Physical exercise not only promotes physical health benefits, but it is very important for your mental health as well. Here are some of the most important points.

  1. Stress reduction: Physical activity helps to reduce the body's stress reactions.
  2. Self-satisfaction and self-esteem: Achieving fitness goals can increase self-confidence and a sense of personal accomplishment.
  3. Social interaction: Group training or sports activities promote social interaction and cohesion.
  4. Mental clarity and focus: Regular exercise improves cognitive function and contributes to clearer thinking.
  5. Improved mental health: Exercise releases endorphins that improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

To get started:

  1. Set realistic goals: Start with realistic expectations and gradually increase the intensity.
  2. Varied training plan: Include a mix of cardiovascular training, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
  3. Safety first: Pay attention to your body's signals to avoid injury.
  4. Consistency is key: Maintain a regular routine for best results.

Regular exercise is not only essential for physical health, but also for mental and emotional well-being. By integrating physical activity into your daily routine, you can experience improvements in overall health, well-being, and quality of life.

Read our article " Find your optimal training protocol and optimize it! " to get started with a simple and effective training plan.


Part 4: Healthy diet/eating habits - The basis for good health

A healthy diet and good eating habits are the very foundation for good health and well-being. It not only gives the body energy and strength for daily activities, but also plays a decisive role in the prevention of diseases and the maintenance of a healthy weight. A balanced diet consisting of varied nutrients supports everything from mental clarity to physical endurance and can even extend life.

The importance of a balanced diet

A balanced diet contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to function optimally. It includes a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. By eating a varied diet, you ensure that you get everything the body needs to maintain health, strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. It can also be beneficial to supplement with various nutritional supplements, read more about our top 5 picks for nutritional supplements.

Nutritious foods

To achieve a healthy diet, the focus should be on the following foods:

  • Fruit and Vegetables: Rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. They help to fight inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.
  • Whole Grains: Sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber and B vitamins that support healthy digestion and provide long-lasting energy.
  • Lean Proteins: Important for muscle building and repair. Good sources include fish, poultry, beans, lentils, and nuts.
  • Fats: Avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds contain heart-healthy fats that can help regulate cholesterol levels.

Eating tips

  • Meal planning: Set aside time each week to plan meals. This not only helps save time and money, but also ensures that you have healthy options available.
  • Portion control: Learn what constitutes a serving size to avoid overeating. Use smaller plates to help visually control portion sizes.
  • Avoid unhealthy snacking: Always have healthy snacks available, such as fruit, vegetable sticks with hummus, or a small handful of nuts, to avoid the temptation to resort to unhealthy options.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting, or intermittent fasting, has grown in popularity as an approach to weight loss, improved health and lifestyle simplicity. This method involves cycles of fasting and eating, dividing the day or week into fasting and eating windows. Research suggests that intermittent fasting can contribute to a number of health benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, weight loss, and even increased longevity as it can help increase NAD+ levels .

If you want to learn more about intermittent fasting and how this can be done, we recommend you read our article " Fasting for better health: A complete guide " .

Conclusion

Taking the step towards a healthier diet is an investment in your long-term health. By focusing on nutritious foods and adopting healthy eating habits, one can experience significant improvements in both physical and mental well-being. Remember that small changes over time can lead to big results. Let's be inspired by the many success stories out there, where simple adjustments to the diet have led to improved health and well-being.

Call to action

I encourage you to set personal goals for your health and start your journey towards a healthier diet today. Whether it's integrating more vegetables into your meals, reducing your sugar intake, or planning your meals better, every small change counts. Let's take steps together towards a healthier and longer life.

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