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The six most important health habits

To attain a state of magnificent health and boundless energy, you’ll need to address six important facets of lifestyle.  These include thought management, sleep quality, breathing patterns, hydration, diet and exercise.  Let’s run through them all briefly, so you can get a sense of what issues need to be addressed under each ‘pillar’.


Stick to real food, in the appropriate ratios of carbohydrates, proteins and fats for your unique biochemical make-up.  Eat frequently enough to remain feeling energised throughout the day.


Drink clean, filtered water appropriate to your body weight and level of physical activity.  Multiply your weight by 0.033 to work out your base-level intake, outside of moderate to high intensity exercise.  Eg. 60kg X 0.033 = 1.98L daily.


Make sure your pre-sleep activities (i.e. up to 2 hours prior to bedtime) are low-key.  Use dimmer switches, lamps or candles; avoid computer and TV exposure; engage in relaxing activities; listen to relaxing music.  Keep your room cool and dark.  Unplug electrical appliances, especially those within 2 metres of your bed.  Try to wake naturally with the sun.


Don’t over-train; stay in touch with the messages your body gives you energy and injury-wise.  Engage in activities that result in energy conservation (activities you could do on a full stomach) as well as energy utilisation (those you can’t).  Don’t under-train; be sure to move your body every day in some way and preferably throughout the day.


Most people use their secondary breathing muscles (the chest), instead of their primary ones (the diaphragm).  On inhalation, your belly should relax and expand outwards (like a balloon filling).  Your ribcage should expand outwards, as opposed to upwards.  This allows for more potent oxygen and nutrient absorption into the cells.


It is indisputable that what you think can affect your state of being.  Do you start your day positively or negatively?  Do you visualise yourself securing your ideal job, or would you never dream it possible?  Our brain cannot distinguish between real, dreamt or imagined experience, so what we think very quickly becomes what and who we are.

Habits are hard to break and so for people caught up in negative thinking, becoming more positive is arguably one of the hardest things to achieve.  Although it may sound false at first, simply change your language to reflect what it is you’d like to believe.  So, even if you start your day feeling sluggish and down, tell yourself you feel outstanding!  It may take some time, but by consistent repetition, you will believe it.

You can apply this technique to any aspect of your life, whether it relates to body shape, finances, job position or relationships.  Positivity is an energy and so will draw like energy to it. So you see, there are some pretty simple (if not easy) steps to take to become outstandingly healthy.  Strive for small changes consistently and before you know if, you’ll be bushy-tailed, bright-eyed and bouncing out of bed in the mornings!

Tanya Wyatt, Happy Valley pond

Tanya Wyatt

Tanya has written regularly for various health and fitness magazines such as Men’s Health, Marie-Claire, Cosmopolitan and Shape (she also served on the advisory board for Shape), as well as for local South Africa newspaper publications. In 2004, Tanya wrote two internationally released health and fitness-related books, both  published by New Holland. She recently wrote her third book, currently submitted to publishers for consideration.


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2021 Tanya Wyatt / The Happy Body