7 Ways to Get Healthier This World Health Day

by Karishma Sharma Follow @kaysharmaa

Happy World Health Day! Staying healthy is obviously important, but it is also difficult to make a complete lifestyle change in one swing. In light of this, here are seven different ways you can incorporate healthy habits into your everyday life that are doable, easy to follow, and manageable.

We take it a little further than “eating an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” so read closely.

1. Walk when you can

A lot of people don’t see it this way, but walking is cardio! If you can walk to one destination instead of driving or Uber-ing at least once a day, it will make all the difference. If work is a 20-minute walk and it’s a nice day out, try walking there. Instead of taking the campus bus, take the scenic route to class while listening to your favorite jams and walking at a comfortable pace. Take the stairs when you can, versus the elevator. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, take several breaks, even every hour, to walk a lap around the office or take a walk outside. Getting moving makes all the difference. It doesn’t have to be a run, a cardio class, or the elliptical – just a simple walk!

2. Drink more fluids: water and herbal tea are essentials!

Hydration can truly make all the difference. Not only does drinking 8 glasses of water a day reduce headaches, increase immunity, and make you feel more alert, but it makes you lose weight, as well. A good way to trick your body into drinking more water is drinking delicious herbal teas – in the summer, add some ice and lime or lemon, and in the winter, drink warm water. In addition, herbal teas are truly amazing for you, such as green tea, chamomile tea, lemon zinger, you name it. This will also prolong your fullness and help you portion control and limit snacking.

[Read Related: 5 Quick 1-Minute Workouts to do While you Make Dinner]

3. Eat one low or no carb meal: fill up ½ plate with greens, ¼ carbs, and ¼ protein

 It’s extremely difficult to suddenly go on a no carb diet. In fact, it’s almost impossible. To completely stop consuming rice, pasta, bread, etc. is a daunting task. In lieu of this, have a no or low carb lunch. A good way to measure this would be to fill ½ of your plate with greens and any vegetables you like, ¼ with a carb, such as a piece of toast, a handful of rice, or a little bit of pasta, and ¼ protein, so any meat, or if you are vegetarian, tofu or beans. These proportions, or cutting out carbs for one meal a day, is a doable lifestyle and will make a change.

4. Portion control

 While this may seem like the same underlying concept as number 3, it slightly differs. While also eating low or no carb meals, challenge yourself to actually measure your food according to serving sizes. For example, a box of pasta is 8 servings, yet people eat half a box in one sitting. In addition, often times when people go out to eat, they end up over-indulging in large restaurant portions. Instead, try eating half your Chipotle and a fruit, or half your restaurant entrée and save the rest for tomorrow’s lunch. That alone will do wonders!

5. Start a new workout regime (something you’ve been wanting to try!)

Is there a new workout craze you have been wanting to try? Whether it’s dance fitness (i.e. BollyX, Zumba, Zoanee, Barre, the list goes on…), boxing, Spin and Soul Cycle, or even just a new machine at the gym – start it now. Find time; make time. There is always time for hobbies, and when working out becomes one, it’s a lot easier to hit the gym and/or take a class more frequently!

[Read Related: Finally, a Week-Long Fitness Challenge We Can Do]

6. Get off the couch more – even if it’s to go out for dinner and a movie

Sometimes, when it’s winter, it can be hard to want to do anything after work or class. Usually, my weeknights consist of my couch, my dinner, and my favorite TV shows. Instead, try going outside for a breath of fresh air. Go for a walk, a run, or even out to dinner or happy hour with friends. Catch a late movie with your significant other. It’s important to get out of the house when you can and do activities other than couch-potato time.

7. Take care of your mental health too

While this may be a given, you may be shocked to know how many people go about their day-to-day not taking time for their mental health. Feeling stressed? Get a massage. Feeling exhausted? Get some extra rest. Your mental health is just as important, if not more important, than your physical health. On this World Health Day, make sure you are doing things for your mental health, too.

If you incorporate these seven things in your daily life, whenever you can, you will be surprised at how much more energy you have, how much better you feel, and even your figure will surprise you! Do comment with any other tips and suggestions you may have to start a healthier lifestyle this World Health Day!

Karishma is a Bollywood Dance Fitness Instructor based in Minneapolis, MN. Her biggest hobby, her passion, and her dedication are all to fitness. She is also a dancer and is passionate about spreading her culture to those who may not be familiar. She aspires to keep her love of fitness alive each day in everything she does!

By Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a … Read more ›

The Futility of Trying to be ‘That Girl’

Social media has stretched a number of news headlines:

“Social media rots kids’ brains.”

“Social media is polarizing.”

Yet those most affected by social media ideals are the teenage users. Apps like Instagram and TikTok perpetuate an image of perfection that is captured in pictures and 30-second videos. As a result, many young women chase this expectation endlessly. “Her” personifies this perfection in an unattainable figure the narrator has always wished to be. These ideals deteriorate mental health, create body dysmorphia, promote a lack of self-esteem, and much more. Even so, social media is plagued by filters and editing—much of what we hope to achieve isn’t even real. Therefore, young women, much like the narrator of “Her,” strive for a reality that doesn’t even exist.

[Read Related: The Emotional Roller Coaster of Getting Your Legs Waxed for the First Time]


When she walked into my life
Her smile took up two pages of description
In a YA novel.
My arms could wrap around her waist twice
If she ever let anyone get that close
Her hair whipped winds with effortless beach waves
And a hint of natural coconut
Clothing brands were created around her
“One Size Fits All” one size to fit the girl who has it all
With comments swarning in hourglasses
But when sharp teeth nip at her collar,
She could bite back biting back
And simply smirked with juicy apple lips
Red hearts and sympathy masking condescension
“My body doesn’t take away from the beauty of yours”
“We are all equal, we are all beautiful”
A sword she wields expertly
Snipping, changing,
Aphrodite in consistent perfection
Cutting remarks with sickly sweet syrup
And an innocent, lethal wink
When she walked into my life
She led my life.
My wardrobe winter trees
Barren, chopped in half
Unsuited for the holidays
Mirrors were refracted under in my gaze
Misaligned glass was the only explanation
For unsymmetrical features
And broken hands
Still I taped them fixed
Over and over
Poking, prodding
Hoping to mold stomach fat like wet clay
Defy gravity,
Move it upward
To chest
Instead of sagging beneath a belt on the last hole
In the spring
She would stir me awake at 2 AM
“You need to be me”
Lies spilled from her tongue but
Solidified, crystallized
Fabrication spelled dichotomy
And I drifted farther out to sea
When she walked out of my life,
I was drowning.
Reliance had me capsized
Others witnessed
Furrowed brows and glances away
Like spectators of a shark attack
They can watch but the damage is done
They clung to my mangled pieces
Gravestones spelled
But I was mourning too
Today I looked back at my mirror
But glass turned into prism
Broken pieces rainbow
Colors coating clothes
She didn’t pick
Perception changing
She wasn’t perfect
Just lost at sea

[Read Related: Finding Freedom from Gender Roles Through Poetry]

The opinions expressed by the guest writer/blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any employee thereof. Brown Girl Magazine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer/bloggers. This work is the opinion of the blogger. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.
By Kashvi Ramani

Kashvi Ramani is a writer, actress, songwriter, and singer from Northern Virginia. She has been writing songs, poetry, scripts, and … Read more ›

Keeping our Friendships Strong as we Get Older

I organize play dates for my children. They’re friendships remind me of when I was younger when Fridays were consistently set aside for my friends. Now, it seems play is indeed meant for childhood and work is for aging adults. We often can’t find time for ourselves, let alone our friends, who are busy working mothers like ourselves. Or we moved into unreachable corners of this globe, far away from any means of physical communication. It’s fair to say, it’s hard to stay close to friends like when we were in college. Nowadays, it’s easier to travel, but more difficult to bond with others. “My Friend” asserts that we should not end let our friendships fall by the wayside. Even with physical distance and conflicting schedules, we keep our friendships close with kind words on phone calls, regular FaceTime calls, or even encouraging social media comments. Friendship doesn’t end once we become adults.

[Read Related: Connecting my Stories With Those of my mom and Grandma]

My Friend

The turbulent sea of a ticking clock,
A constant chime of chores
Unfolded laundry, unpaid bills.
For unplanned surprises, Life’s infinite stores

An achy neck, a heavy head,
A forever strong of burdens
Fleeting as they may be
Yet as real as my scribbling pens

In this world of lonely battles
Filled with competing souls
It’s you, my friend
Your comforting words, long strolls

Your phone calls, your laughter,
You listening when I’m remiss,
Your steady support,
The source of all my bliss.

[Read Related: 4 Brown Girls Who Write-U.K. Asian Sisterhood Changing the Dynamics of Poetry]

The opinions expressed by the guest writer/blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any employee thereof. Brown Girl Magazine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer/bloggers. This work is the opinion of the blogger. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.
By Mars D. Gill

Mars D. Gill is the author of "House of Milk and Cheese" and "Letters from the Queen". She writes mainstream … Read more ›

Book Review: The Freelance Mindset by Joy Batra

“What you do is not who you are. Our capitalist society spends a lot of time trying to convince us that we are our work, but we don’t have to fall for it.” 

When I first met Joy Batra, she wasn’t an author. She was a multi-hyphenated individual who floored me with her charm and her aura. Joy not only had gone to business school and law school at one of the most prestigious universities in America, but she also valued her hobbies and her passions that were completely extraneous to her working persona. Her nontraditional career path was one that, at first glance, confused me. “I’m a dancer and freelancer,” she had said, and I batted my eyes as if she was talking in a foreign language. What’s a freelancer? Why and how did she come to identify herself as a dancer, when her degrees all point to business and law? 

[ Read Related: Indra Nooyi Talks ‘My Life in Full’ and her Journey to Becoming PepsiCo’s CEO ]

Joy Batra’s therapeutic and timely book “Freelance Mindset” provides relevant stories, guidelines, and motivation to take ownership of your career and financial well-being. Particularly, the book is centered around the pros and cons of life as a freelancer and practical advice for how to get started as one. At its core, the “Freelance Mindset” encourages diving deep into the relationship between career and identity, and how the balance of both relate back to your life view.

In the words of Batra:

“Freelancing is a way to scratch a creative itch that is completely unrelated to their day jobs…Freelancing harnesses that independent streak and turns it into a long- term advantage.” 

Batra’s older sister’s advice is written with forthright humbleness and glaring humility. Batra leads us through the fear of facing our existential fears about careers, productivity, and creativity. She leans into the psychological aspects of how we develop our careers, and reminds us to approach work not just with serious compassion but also with childhood play: 

“You are naturally curious and passionate. As a child, before you needed to think deeply about money, you probably played games, had imaginary friends, and competed in sports. Those instincts might get buried as we grow up, but they don’t disappear altogether.”

[ Read Related: Learning How To Freelance in a Cutthroat Industry ]

Batra also provides us with a diverse cast of inspirational freelancers who provide their honest perspectives across a wide range of domains from being a professional clown to actors to writers. Especially noticeable is the attention paid to South Asian women through notable interviews with Vyjayanthi Vadrevu, Saumya Dave, and more. On social media, it’s easy to find these women and immediately applaud their success, but behind the scenes, it takes a lot of grit, persistence, and determination to reach the successful level of freelancing that you see. Batra encourages a spiritual way of thinking that is marked by rational needs (ex. Maslow’s hierarchy): not to seek immediate gratification and corporate climbing, but rather to view life as a “jungle gym” as coined by Patricia Sellers. Taking risks is part of life, and just like entrepreneurship, freelancing is just as ambitious and off-the-beaten path, despite stigmatization.

“One of the strange paradoxes of the working world is that entrepreneurship is fetishized and freelancing is stigmatized.”

I recommend the “Freelance Mindset” to anyone who is starting out their career in these economically uncertain times, as well as seasoned workers who are looking for inspiration or a shift in their career life. Whether or not you are considering becoming a freelancer in a certain domain, this book is the practical wake-up call that workers and employees need in order to reorient their purpose and poise themselves for a mindset of success. I view this book as a “lifer,” one to read every few years to ground myself and think critically about the choices I make and where I devote my time. 

I leave you with this quote:

“We can adopt the new belief that no single job will meet all our financial, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical needs…We have one self, and we must figure out how to integrate it into the various situations we find ourselves in.“

You can purchase a copy of the Freelance Mindset here. Follow Joy Batra on Twitter and Instagram for more content!

By Anushree Sreedhar

Raised in Edison, NJ Anushree is an avid reader, imaginative creative writer, dramatic storyteller, obsessive shopper, experimental yogi, and a … Read more ›