I watched an online video outlining several factors that are key to living an active, healthy life. One of the points was to compare the effects of sitting for long hours to the effects of smoking.

This issue got me thinking seriously about my daily schedule. Because of my work and online studies, I have to sit at a desk for long periods of time. I wanted to change that, so I decided to set a goal to lessen my sedentary hours.

I downloaded a program to convert my reading material to audio files that I could listen to on my phone while taking a vigorous walk in the fresh air and nature.1

Since implementing this routine, I’ve lost weight and feel more energetic than before, which enables me to focus better on my tasks throughout the day.

Another topic was the detrimental effects of refined sugar. As an experiment, I decided to adopt a sugar-free diet for a month by cutting out all sugar, honey, jams, and other sweet treats.

By chance, I happened to start this experiment during the dry season, when sandstorms are frequent and cold winds blow in, covering the city in a fine layer of dust. Every year during this period, due to all the dust particles in the air, I usually end up with a severe cold and sore throat.

This year, though, was different. Throughout the entire dry season, I never caught a cold. It felt great to be able to exercise outside on my balcony in the cool breeze and not be hampered by coughing or sneezing spells. I think that benefit was in large part due to the changes in my diet and exercise plan.

Since the results were good, I decided to keep it up, and I’ve rarely had a cold since. (I do sometimes enjoy dessert for a birthday or another special occasion, but my appetite has changed, and for the most part, I no longer have a desire to eat sugary foods.)

I’ve now challenged myself to continue to make these small resolutions and changes in my life and to monitor the effects on my health in order to build lifelong healthy habits.

  1. Editor’s note: Several such free programs are listed here: https://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-free-text-to-speech-software