Nowadays everyone agrees that having a healthy lifestyle is the key to longer life. This is backed up by an increasing amount of medical research, which has further increased people’s awareness on health and wellness.
People attempt the latest fad diets or exercise occasionally and feel that they are making significant progress to healthy living. Some take the extra mile and stop bad habits like smoking and drinking. But are these activities enough? How do you know that you are truly healthy? Are you living a healthy lifestyle?
What Is A Healthy Lifestyle?
Before diving in the world of having a healthy lifestyle, let’s look at what it really means. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not simply just the absence of disease. For lifestyle, Merriam-Webster defines it as the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture.
To sum it up, having a healthy lifestyle requires a conscious effort to live life with the complete physical, mental, and social well-being in mind. It involves making responsible decisions to ensure that the various aspects of our life are in good health.
It sounds like a lot of time and effort but some simple tips are provided below to help you get on your way to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
How To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Our guide on how to how to maintain a healthy lifestyle based on physical wellness, emotional - mental wellness, social wellness and spiritual wellness.
1. Physical Wellness
Physical wellness is the first level of the road to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can achieve it by following below steps.
- Have a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Proper nutrition is necessary to have a well-functioning healthy body. You need various types of food to provide the protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats that your body needs. Each food type has a specific purpose like whether it is to promote cell growth and renewal or increase the body’s immune system so a balanced diet is the key.
Everyday diet should contain whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products as much as possible.
- Drink More Water
Water facilitates a lot of important body functions like biochemical balance, waste removal, and distribution of oxygen and nutrients among others. We lose water each time we perspire, urinate, and conduct bowel movement so it is important to replenish our water intake daily.
How much water do you need to drink daily? It could vary depending on your health condition, the amount of activity that you’ve done, and weather condition but in general 8 glasses a day still holds true.
- Cut Down on Processed Food
Processed food have lesser health benefits in general because most of the nutrients are lost in the preparation and they usually contain a lot of preservatives to increase shelf-life. Some preservatives are even reported to be carcinogens so it’s better to avoid processed food as much as possible. When preparing meals, use fresh ingredients as much as possible.
- Exercise Daily
Exercising and having an active lifestyle, like sports or fitness activities, have a lot of positive physical benefits. They can help maintain optimal weight by minimizing excess calories in the body.
Certain exercises like aerobics can help improve blood circulation and avoid cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. Pick exercises or fitness activities that you enjoy so that you can keep the daily habit and engage other muscle groups.
- Get Adequate Sleep
There are a lot of health benefits from getting enough sleep aside from feeling good in general and getting rid of unsightly under-eye circles. Memory, creativity, and learning new things improve after a good night’s sleep. Blood pressure is stabilized and inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging, is avoided.
Weight is also better managed because you are less hungry when you get enough sleep. Cell rejuvenation and the body’s self-repair occurs while sleeping. Sleep is also a natural way to reduce stress and depression. How much is enough sleep? For adults the range is at 7-9 hours according to the National Sleep Foundation.
- Stop Smoking and Reduce Alcohol Intake
Smoking is found to increase the risk of lung cancer, kidney cancer, esophageal cancer, heart attack, and more. Aside from that, second hand smoke is also detrimental to the people that inhale it, exposing them to the same risk as the smokers themselves.
Alcohol intake in the meantime, is found to impair the proper functioning of our brain, liver, lungs, and other major organs when done excessively. While drinking moderately reduces the risk, there is no guarantee that the same goes with smoking.
What’s even worst is that done together, smoking and drinking alcohol dramatically increases mortality rate. To have a healthier life, it’s best to avoid both or at least reduce alcohol intake.
2.Emotional - Mental Wellness
- Have a Positive Self-Image
Having a positive self-image is having pride and value in your self-esteem and loving yourself. When you feel good about yourself it reflects in your everyday actions and helps drive positive habits and attitudes.
- Employ Positive Stress Management
Stress can drive a lot of negative habits like smoking, excessive drinking, overworking, overeating, and negative interactions with other people. Manage stress by getting to the root of the problem and by doing some breathing and relaxing exercises.
- Harbor Positive Thoughts
Negative thoughts are poison to the soul and can remove enjoyment out of activities and daily life. By focusing on positive thoughts all tasks are achievable, positive habits are reinforced, and self-value is increased.
- Surround Yourself with Positive People
Having positive people around you reduces stress and other causes of negative emotions. Positive people also provide the appropriate encouragement especially for activities that improve your health and lifestyle.
- Cultivate Good Relations with Family & Friends
Stress and negative emotions are also reduced when you have the comfort of knowing that you have family and friends to lean on too. Bad relations cause anxiety and loneliness that can lead to depression and inflammation. It can also cause bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking.
- Have a Reliable Support Group
A support group can be accountability partners or people who enjoy the same positive lifestyles or fitness activities. Sometimes it is not easy to enforce a new diet or start that new exercise routine. Having a group of people perform the same activities with you can help you sustain the habit and help you further enjoy them since you’re doing it with like-minded individuals.
Meditation relieves stress and induces a calmness that comes from looking deep within yourself and exploring your innermost thoughts and emotions. Through meditation, you can have a deeper sense of self-awareness, acceptance, and positive emotions. These will help you sustain the changes you are making towards a healthier lifestyle.
- Have a Life Purpose
By having a vision and a life purpose, you develop a greater drive for self-improvement and overall well-being. When you start to perceive yourself as part of a bigger purpose, your existence will have greater meaning and you’ll find a deeper meaning to the idea of having a healthy lifestyle and prolonging your life.
Why Is A Healthy Lifestyle Important?
A healthy lifestyle is a simple way to lessen the incidence and reduce the impact of health problems. It is crucial for overall recovery, a wonderful way to cope with life stressors, and to improve the overall quality of life.
Our lifestyle is a huge part of how healthy or unhealthy we are based on what we eat and drink daily, on whether we exercise or are mostly sedentary or whether we have lifestyle vices like smoking, excessive drinking or taking recreational drugs.
These activities play a huge factor on our life expectancy or the future incidence of chronic diseases. The best part about it is that our lifestyle is completely in our control so many health problems can be prevented or delayed by having a healthy lifestyle.
We all have busy lives and prefer everything that comes with convenience. Because of that, no aspect of our lives suffer more than our health. Years from now, we may look back at the times when we are at the peak of our physical condition and wonder where did it all go wrong?
So as challenging as it may seem, there’s no better time than the present to start having a healthy lifestyle. And with the tips given above, you are now equipped with the means to start, sustain, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.