Although the USA spends most of its money on Healthcare, the nation still has the lowest life expectancy among developed nations.
Physical fitness is not the sole basis of being healthy; being healthy means being mentally and emotionally fit.
Being healthy should be part of your overall lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. Feeling good about yourself and taking care of your health is important for your self-esteem and self-image. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by doing what is right for your body.
Let’s take a deep dive into the guide which explains how a Healthy Lifestyle, should be and how one can achieve it…
What is a Healthy Lifestyle?
Do you wonder about the state of your health or search for tips to live a healthy lifestyle? You are healthy if you achieve a state of physical, emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing. Thus, you have to make smart choices and act accordingly if you want to have a healthy life.
How Modern Life Affects Our Health?
The modern way of living has had many adverse effects on people’s health.
- People have become more dependent on processed or ready-to-eat foods filled with saturated fat, trans (unsaturated) fat, or refined sugar. Over time, the consumption of such elements can cause various health problems.
- It is possible to cure or control many illnesses with advancements in the field of medical science. However, the misuse or abuse of medicines has led to new health problems.
- You can complete daily tasks or travel from one place to another easily and quickly with advancements in the field of technology.
However, this leads to a more sedentary lifestyle causing various illnesses in people of all ages. Advancements in satellite (internet) communication also contribute to this unhealthy sedentary lifestyle.
According to a survey from the American Psychological Association on ‘Stress in America in 2017,
The percentage of adults using social media increased (from 7% to 65%) between 2005 and 2015.
Recent research conducted by the ‘AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research on teenagers found,
What are the Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle?
- Increases Life expectancy
- Gives you a positive outlook on life
- Boosts Energy
- Prevents Diseases
- It is Good for the Environment
Increases Life Expectancy
The quality of your life improves once you start eating nutritious food and stay physically active. Consumption of nutritious food and following healthy habits (exercising, getting adequate rest, or practicing meditation) will boost your immunity.
Thus, you live longer if you follow a healthy routine. You will notice an increase in confidence and a reduction of stress and anxiety once you focus on physical and mental wellbeing, you will have glowing skin and a fit body as a result of following healthy habits.
Gives You a Positive Outlook on Life
It is important to have a positive outlook on life which is reflected through your actions or speech. You can achieve it by following healthy habits. You will feel energetic and satisfied once you have a healthy body and relaxed state of mind.
Thus, your mental and physical wellbeing enables you to have a positive outlook on life. Your positive energy will uplift many people around you.
You will notice a boost in energy level once you follow a healthy routine which consists of,
- Healthy Diet: A balanced diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats will boost your energy level. They work as a source of fuel for your body.
- Regular Exercise: You will have improved muscle strength and endurance level leading to higher energy levels. Your cardiovascular system will work better and tissues will receive more oxygen leading to improved energy levels. You will fall asleep faster and sleep restfully. Thus, you will feel energetic after waking up.
- Sufficient Sleep: When you get enough sleep (6-8 hours at night), you feel energetic and are in a good mood. This decreases the risk of developing some health conditions, such as high blood pressure, cardiac disease, and diabetes, if you have sufficient sleep at night.
You can keep many diseases at bay if you follow a healthy routine.
- The adult participants of a research study had reduced risk of cardiovascular disease after being on a standard American diet (plenty of vegetables and fruits) for 8 weeks.
- According to medical research conducted in 2020, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes is reduced by 25% if someone includes 66 grams of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. The possibility of developing type-2 diabetes is lower when refined grains are replaced by whole grains.
- The following facts were found after reviewing 45 research studies: Adults consuming three 30-gram servings (total 90 grams) of whole grains every day have,
- In terms of physical activities, people doing moderate-to-intense exercise for 11 minutes daily are found to live longer in comparison to those who exercise for 2 minutes every day. Follow a healthy routine if you want to prevent diseases and live longer.
Follow a healthy routine if you want to prevent diseases and live longer.
It is Good for the Environment
The manufacturing of ultra-processed foods (containing refined grains and additives to change color/taste/texture) leads to deforestation, higher greenhouse gas emissions, more plastic waste, scarcity of water, and a decrease in biodiversity.
Raising livestock for dairy and meat also causes increased greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, replacing ultra-processed foods and meat with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains benefits the environment and the people in it.
Bicycling is one type of intense exercise that is good for health and nature since bicycling leaves no carbon footprint, unlike a vehicle or motorbike. Thus, following a healthy lifestyle benefits people and nature.
Three Pillars of a Healthy Lifestyle
- Mental Health
Your digestive system will be under excessive pressure when you ingest unhealthy foods. Thus, it is important to eat healthily and have three meals per day. You may include fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables in your diet instead of including red meat for nutrition.
Regular exercise for 30-45 minutes can keep you fit and healthy. You may practice low or medium-intensity exercise if your body feels over-stressed after doing high-intensity exercise. Walking, Yoga and Pilates are a few examples of low-to-medium intensity exercise that is beneficial to health. Gardening is another example of healthy physical activity.
You can be happy and have less stress in your life if you love what you do. Therefore, it is important to have an objective in your life. It may change over the course of your life. However, it is important to follow an objective for at least a year if you want to improve your mental health. Maintaining positive social relationships is equally important for your mental wellbeing.
8 Signs You are a Victim Positive Toxicity
Which Habits are Part of a Healthy Lifestyle?
- Eat Healthy throughout the day
- Manage Stress
- Don’t Forget to Drink Water
- Make Meditation a Part of Your Daily Routine
- Exercise & Yoga Regularly
- Get Your Sleep
- Maintain Your Brain
- Think Positive
- Make Time for Relationships
- Maintain a Routine
Eat Healthy Throughout the Day
It is important to maintain healthy eating habits if you want to be healthier and live longer.
- Consume larger portions of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and avoid consuming fried food or sugary drinks. Fruits, nuts, or vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Include fatty fish (salmon/mackerel/lake-trout/herring/sardines/albacore tuna) in your diet at least twice a week. These species of fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Eat food in smaller portions throughout the day instead of having three large meals.
- Chew your food properly.
- A mouthful of food becomes digestible after being chewed 20-30 times.
- You will consume at least 10% fewer calories if you chew slowly.
- It takes around 20 minutes for the brain to receive the signal that the stomach is full.
- Avoid consuming artificial sweeteners
The possibility of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, or cardiac disease increases with their consumption.
You cannot go through life without feeling stressed. Short-term stress has been found to improve cognitive skills and the immune system. However, you will experience a lack of sleep leading to poor immunity and health if you frequently experience stress for a long period of time.
Therefore, it is important to learn how to manage your stress levels.
- Engage in activities that calm your mind (prayer, meditation, yoga, tai-chi, or deep breathing exercise) if the stress level is mild.
- Do any type of exercise involving your legs if the stress level is high. It enables you to effectively release stress since the legs have the highest muscle mass. Thus, you may opt for brisk walking, jogging, or bicycling if the stress level is high.
Don’t Forget to Drink Water
The human body is made of 60% water. Thus, you will notice the following benefits when drinking plenty of water throughout the day:
- Your body’s fluid balance is maintained.
- Nutrients are properly transported throughout the body.
- You do not mistake thirst for hunger and avoid overeating.
- Your muscles won’t lose water or feel tired after vigorous physical activities.
Make Meditation a Part of Your Daily Routine
Meditation enables you to improve your focus and mental strength alongside empowering you to control anxiety and depression. You can recondition the brain through meditation and may notice the following benefits:
- Better sleep quality
- Decelerated cognitive loss due to aging
- Being able to process information more effectively
- Stronger immune system
- Having more control over the brain’s response to pain
Exercise & Yoga Regularly
In the USA, around 260,000 people die every year due to lack of physical activity leading to various health conditions. You will notice the following benefits when you exercise regularly:
- Bodyweight stays under control
- Bones, muscles, and joints stay healthy
- Reduced risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, or cardiac disease
You can do any type of exercise in order to stay healthy,
- Brisk walking and gardening are low-intensity physical activities
- Climbing the stairs for a stretch of time, cycling, and swimming are high-intensity exercises.
- Use household furnishings as exercise equipment for push-ups, crunches, or sit-ups.
- Practice yoga poses and meditation for holistic benefits:
- To improve physical strength and stamina, posture, focus, and patience
- To strengthen bones and keep joints flexible
- To connect to your inner-self, achieve mental peace, and control unhealthy emotions
Get Your Sleep
Lack of sleep may cause fatigue, drowsiness, forgetfulness, and difficulty in focusing. It has been found in research-based studies that glial cells control a brain’s functions, provide support to the neurons, and look after the brain’s health in different ways.
These cells may become overactive due to not receiving 6-8 hours of sleep every day, and the brain may start destroying itself. Therefore, it is essential to get adequate sleep if you want to have a healthy brain that functions properly and lets you have a healthy life.
Maintain Your Brain
You have to follow these tips if you want to preserve the brain’s cognitive function despite aging.
- Sleep for 6-8 hours at night.
- Engage in activities that empower the brain cells, such as: Solving puzzles like jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, numerical puzzles, etc.
- Playing chess
- Going on trips, hiking, or walking in the park or garden
- Including plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet
- Participating in social activities or staying connected to others via social media
If you are a positive thinker, then your optimism will be reflected through your work and words. There will be ups and downs in life. However, you can overcome many obstacles with positive thoughts.
- When you are thankful for what you have in your life, you feel less stressed out, have more self-esteem, and stay strong and resilient through difficult times of your life.
- When you start the day doing or thinking about something positive or uplifting, you stay enthusiastic, confident, and relaxed throughout the day. Your work will reflect the positive vibes.
- When you focus on good things, no negative thoughts can disturb your mind. for example,
Focus on what you have achieved or how much progress you have made instead of worrying about what you could not achieve or thinking about what you lost.
Make Time for Relationships
It may be difficult to make time for your friends, family members, or relatives amid hectic work schedules. However, spending time with your loved ones can improve your mood and energy level. Thus, it is important to maintain a balance between your personal and professional lives.
- You will feel less stressed out and depressed after spending time with the people you love.
- Engaging in conversation with others is stimulating for the brain. Thus, socializing enlightens you while also lifting the mood.
- If you have friends, family members, or relatives who prioritize fitness and health, then you may involve them in your health or fitness-oriented activities. They can keep you on track if you get off course.
Maintain a Routine
Following a healthy routine is as important as making it. For example, you may create a healthy routine of waking up early, exercising regularly, eating nutritious food, drinking plenty of fluid, or sleeping for 6-8 hours at night.
However, this routine is not beneficial if you cannot follow it. Thus, it is important to create a healthy routine based upon your unique needs since it is easier to follow a routine that does not significantly alter your current lifestyle.
Why is Changing to a Healthier Lifestyle So Hard?
- Lack of Awareness
- Time Constraints
- Lack of Know_How
Not being able to afford organic food or gym membership may stop you from following a healthy lifestyle. However, there are solutions to this problem.
- If you have a backyard or front yard, then you may use this space to grow fruits or vegetables. If this option is unavailable, then it is prudent to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- You can stay fit and in shape despite having no gym membership. For example,
- Climb up and down the stairs multiple times for a stretch of time.
- Go to the park for jogging or practice ‘spot jogging’.
- Use the furnishings for sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, or squatting exercises.
- Ride a bicycle to strengthen thigh muscles.
Lack of Awareness
The inability to predict the effect of your present lifestyle choices on your health in the future may stop you from following a healthy lifestyle. Thus, you have to prioritize your physical and emotional wellbeing over everything else if you want to have a healthy life.
The temptations to snack on processed food (fried food), ready-to-cook food, or desserts (ice-cream, brownie, cake, chocolate, etc.) between meals may prevent you from following a healthy routine.
You may give in to your temptations once in a while when going to a party, get-together, or picnic. However, you cannot let it become a habit if you want to prioritize your health.
You may lack the time to exercise or to cook healthy meals due to having hectic work schedules. You may not have time to relax, socialize, or exercise if you don’t work hard to maintain a balance between your personal and professional life.
In this scenario, you may become dependent on ready-to-cook meals or processed food. However, you can make smart choices (snacking on fruits or baked items) despite having busy schedules if you prioritize your health.
Lack of Know-How
The lack of proper guidance may prevent you from following a healthy lifestyle. You cannot create and follow a healthy routine if you do not know how to, when to, or why to pursue particular activities.
So, Here We are Done! Over to You…
These tips can be your guide if you want to know how to live a healthy lifestyle. You have to plan for the daily routine and divide your time into slots for different types of activities (cooking healthy meals, work, exercise, socializing, sleep) if you want to stay healthy.