Most people would say that the sole condition for being healthy is exercising and hitting the gym, but adopting a healthy lifestyle goes well beyond that. It’s not just about being physically fit, it’s also about being fit emotionally and mentally. Your lifestyle should be about being healthy overall. Choosing this kind of life can prevent long-term diseases and chronic illnesses. If you’re looking to maintain your self-esteem and self-image, then you have to give a lot of importance to you taking care of your health and feeling good about yourself.
Why You Need to Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
We’ve all been told throughout our lives that avoiding harmful substances, working out, eating well and so on are great habits to adopt. But have you ever thought about the reason behind that? What’s considered a healthy habit is essentially any practice that benefits the emotional, mental, and physical health of the person. They lead to an improvement in your mood and well-being.
It’s not easy adapting a new healthy habit. It would usually require you to change your whole mindset. All it takes is enough willpower to make the necessary sacrifices in order to improve your health. And you’ll notice a significant change that involves various aspects of your life. This doe not depend on your sex, age or physical attributes. Anyone can go through this and come out of the other end a better person with a healthy lifestyle. And here are five reasons why you should do so:
A Healthy Lifestyle Can Help You Control Your Weight
The mayo Clinic insists on the importance of physical activity in the process of losing weight. But it doesn’t have to be exclusively about losing weight. Physical exercise is also beneficial for the cardiovascular system, immune system, and the body’s energy levels.
You should fit 150 minutes of moderate workout at the very least in your weekly schedule. If you happen to be in a situation that does not allow that, find other ways to increase your physical activity during the day. So, go to work on foot instead of taking a vehicle if you can. Choose the stairs instead of taking the elevator, etc.
But working out is only half the story when it comes to reaching that healthy lifestyle goal. You must also think about the healthy diet that you must live by. Your meals must be balanced and your calorie intake must be monitored. Eat a healthy breakfast to stop yourself from craving something before lunch and exceed the recommended calorie levels.
Besides that, the fat storage rate and blood pressure levels increase significantly in those who skip breakfast in the morning.
If you’re looking to shed some pounds away, then we can’t insist enough on dieting with vegetables and fruit. They’re low-calorie foods that are high in nutrients and your body needs that kind of intake. Also, cut back on drinking fruit juices, sodas, and other sugary beverages.
A Healthy Lifestyle Improves One’s Mood
Treating your body well does not only benefit the body but the mind also. Physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
What are endorphins?
Well, they’re brain chemicals that create a feeling of happiness and relaxation, a characteristic of a healthy lifestyle. Here’s what happens. When you work out and adopt a healthy diet, you’ll end up with a better physique, health, strength, and appearance. You’ll feel good about how you look, causing your self-esteem and confidence to increase significantly. Other benefits of physical exercise in the short term are improvement in cognitive function and a decrease in stress.
But your overall mood can be improved by other means as well. Another healthy aspect of a healthy lifestyle that keeps your mental health strong is maintaining social connections. You can do this in various ways: communal activities, going to the cinema, being part of a club or volunteering and so on. By doing similar activities, you can maintain balanced serotonin levels and keep your head active. Avoid being alone, regularly meet up with friends and family. Even if they’re too far, pick up the phone and give them a call.
Going Healthy Will Enhance Your Immune System
You can rest assured knowing that a healthy lifestyle decreases the chances of conditions like high blood pressure, strokes and heart diseases. Your blood pressure and cholesterol will remain at normal levels, decreasing the chances of cardiovascular conditions.
You can also improve numerous medical problems such as:
- Certain cancer cases
- Metabolic syndrome
It’s recommended that you go for a physical exam on a yearly basis. You’ll get your blood pressure, heartbeat and weight checked as well as a blood and urine sample taken. You can find out a lot about your body through this. You need to stay in touch with your doctor and follow any advice they give to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Going Healthy Boosts Energy
Some of us feel a lack of energy all day long. That can be partially due to a very unhealthy diet. If you opt for more balanced food choices, you’ll provide your body with the needed fuel for managing the levels of energy.
Here’s what you need to have in your diet:
- Low-fat dairy products
- Whole grains
Of course, another way of boosting energy levels is working out. It does so by improving endurance and muscle strength, as per Mayo Clinic. The delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the body’s tissue is improved by physical exercise, the same goes for the cardiovascular system. This gives you all the energy that you’ll need to go through the day. You also get better sleep with exercise. You fall asleep much quicker and get deeper sleep, which will result in an energy boost.
If you go through the day without enough sleep, you may suffer from several issues. Lack of sleep leads to feeling tired, moody and quite irritable. Heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure may also be the results of having too little sleep. In addition to that, it may also be a factor in reducing life expectancy.
To keep it short, a healthy lifestyle includes a healthy sleeping habit. Set a sleeping schedule and stick to it, both when you go to bed and when you wake up. Cut the amount of caffeine you take and reduce napping. Sleep in a comfortable environment at a cool temperature and turn off all the lights and distractions.
A Healthy Lifestyle Improves Longevity
The American Council on Exercise’s eight-year study of 13,000 people shows that a healthy lifestyle can increase life expectancy. Compared to people who exercise irregularly, the people who participated in the study that walked daily for 30 minutes had a significant decrease in premature death risks. Start steady with 5-minute walks and increase it slowly to reach the 30-minute mark.
12 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Eat a variety of foods
We need a variety of different nutrients to sustain good health. Unfortunately, there isn’t one food or meal that can provide everything we need. That’s why you need to have a balanced diet made up of different things. So, if you’re going with a lunch that’s high in fat, the dinner should be on the lower end of fat intake.
2. Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates
A healthy lifestyle diet should include a lot of carbohydrate-rich foods. We’re talking about things like bread, pasta, rice, and cereals. These are good choices to have with each meal. Your fiber intake will increase with wholegrain foods such as cereals, pasta, and wholegrain bread.
3. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables
Looking for fibers, minerals, and vitamins?
Of course you are; they’re a necessity in a healthy lifestyle. Where can you get them from? Well fruits and vegetables, of course. Get yourself 5 servings of them at least every day.
4. Reduce salt and sugar intake
High blood pressure and cardiovascular issues can be the result of too much salt intake. You can reduce salt in many ways. Go for products with low sodium when you go shopping. Substitute salt with spices when you’re cooking to get a richer flavor. And it also helps not having salt at the table when eating and not adding it until you’ve tasted the food.
Sugary foods are too appealing to be completely ignored, they’re tasty and pack a lot of energy. Have sugar in moderation. Go for fruits instead.
5. Eat regularly and control the portion size
You should have a rich diet, but you should also have a regulated diet. Don’t skip meals like breakfast, because that results in a strong food crave. To keep your hunger in check, consider maybe snacking between meals. The snack should be healthy options. We’re talking about unsalted nuts, carrots, dried or fresh fruit, yogurt, etc.
Make sure to maintain a reasonable portion so that we don’t go crazy with the amount of food that we take in on a daily basis.
6. Drink plenty of fluids for a healthy lifestyle
As an adult, you’ll have to drink up to 1.5 liters of fluid a day. That’s not counting the hot days and the days when you do excessive physical exercise. You can drink whatever type of fluids you like, from juice to water, ordinary, sparkling and flavored.
7. Maintain a healthy body weight
There isn’t a standardized weight for everyone. It depends on your height, age, gender and so on. You’ll also increase your chances of getting cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.
Your body gains weight from eating more calories than it needed to operate. Those calories can be stored as fat, no matter their origin (protein, alcohol, carbohydrates). To negate that effect, workout. Burn all the unneeded calories, stop yourself from gaining weight and rock that healthy lifestyle.
It doesn’t require you to hit the gym daily for hours. You just have to work out within your limits. Just make sure that you persist and not give up even if the results aren’t showing any changes at first.
8. Get on the move, and make it a habit!
We can’t stress enough on the importance of physical activity. It keeps your weight in check, strengthens your heart and circulatory system and increases life expectancy. It also maintains a good muscle mass and decreases the risk of a number of medical issues. No one is asking you to turn yourself into an Olympic athlete. Use stairs instead of elevators, walk around during lunch breaks and visit family and friends on foot during the weekend. Start slow but steady and maintain a good exercising habit. That’s what a healthy lifestyle is all about.
Here are some easy, beginner-friendly exercises that you can try at home:
9. Drink Water Before Meals
Many people are under the impression that drinking water before meals is a bad idea.
However, this belief is misleading and far from the truth. Water, or scientifically called H2O, is essential to our bodies’ function. And according to medical experts, water is by far the best cure for many health problems.
Furthermore, drinking water before meals is a great way to keep your body hydrated and fight off dehydration. Because you probably know already that dehydration leads to numerous health problems like constipation, diarrhea, stomach cramps, headaches, and other diseases.
Another reason why drinking water before meals is beneficial to your body is that it helps your digestive system to digest foods easily. The digestion process plays an integral part in our body to avoid certain diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
10. Regular Intake of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is essential to immune system functioning, and it aids in eliminating infections from the body.
Furthermore, Vitamin D 3 plays a role in inflammation, intestinal health, and preventing muscle wasting.
Vitamin D3 deficiency is associated with increased chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, kidney and prostate diseases, diabetes mellitus, and osteoporosis (3,4).
Research shows that Vitamin D 3 is also helpful in decreasing risk for breast cancer, liver cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and dementia.
11. Stop Smoking
Firstly, smoking damages the lungs, weakening their ability to absorb oxygen.
Secondly, tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that raise risks for cancer and other illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Finally, since tobacco is addictive, you’ll continue smoking even if you want to quit. To quit smoking can be difficult because it seems counter-intuitive to try to stop smoking and not smoke the next day.
However, by switching from cigarettes to alternative and nicotine-free smoking alternatives, people are much more likely to achieve their goal of getting healthy and stop smoking.
Additionally, there are many benefits of quitting smoking such as fewer trips to the doctor, fewer allergies, less breath, and back pain, better sexual health, fewer hangovers, fewer teeth grinding, less fatigue, a lower blood pressure, and blood sugar, less heart disease, a lower cholesterol level, fewer dental cavities, and less bad breath.
If you really want to quit smoking, you need to realize that it is easier said than done. There are many reasons why people fail to quit smoking, but the most common reason is the urge to smoke.
People tend to have this urge to smoke as soon as they notice they are experiencing cravings. This is normal, but many people are unable to break this habit.
The key to turning your back on smoking is to realize the benefits of quitting smoking… You will feel a lot better about yourself and your life.
12. Start your healthy lifestyle journey now! And keep changing gradually.
Persistence is key. You shouldn’t try to give your life a major overhaul just to give up after a day or two. Start things comfortably and gradually test that limit of comfort to change things even further for the better and adopt healthier habits for a healthier lifestyle. Take note of what you’re doing every day, from food that you eat to exercise to find the spots which you can improve. If you’re skipping breakfast, then maybe try out some muesli or some fruit to try and change that bad habit. Are you not active enough? Go take a walk on the stairs and use them daily to work those legs out to burn some unnecessary body weight. Change gradually so that you’ll notice the change when you look back on things.
It will be a long journey. Getting rid of old bad habits for new ones isn’t exactly an easy thing to do. But if you do it the right way, if you take it slowly but commit to it and be persistent to make some change in your life, then you are going to see that change. You’ll be stronger, feel better mentally, look better physically and you’ll have a lot of energy and little risk of disease. A healthy lifestyle isn’t easy to achieve, but it’s definitely worth the sweat.