A healthy lifestyle is a person’s behavior and habits that help him maintain and improve his health. Taking care of physical and mental health, a person can prevent various diseases, better cope with problems, stress, and enjoy life.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is critical for everyone as it ensures wellness. Find out how this choice will affect your life.
Why is it important
Many state and public organizations actively promote a healthy lifestyle, noting and proving its benefits based on the study of critical health indicators, including weight, glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure.
People who lead healthy lifestyles are much less at risk of developing disease and less likely to die prematurely from cancer or cardiovascular disease than people with bad habits.
Studies involving more than 600,000 participants found that more than half of human premature deaths were caused by unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking. To protect the body from the influence of negative factors, it is necessary to study the elements of a healthy lifestyle that lead to good health and longevity.
What does a healthy lifestyle consist of?
A healthy lifestyle includes a person’s physical health and emotional (or mental) health that function well together. As the saying goes: “A healthy mind in a healthy body. ” The main components of a healthy lifestyle include:
No bad habits
Getting rid of bad habits is the first and most important thing that a person can do for his health and increase his life expectancy. For example, smoking is very harmful to your health, increasing your risk of lung, kidney, esophageal, and other diseases.
According to the National Cancer Institute in the United States, tobacco smoking is the most common cause of premature death. It takes about 15 years without smoking to reach a “normal” level of risk of heart disease in smokers. Therefore, it is better to quit smoking right now and avoid secondhand smoke.
Eating a healthy diet is another important part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet involves consuming healthy foods (unprocessed foods, fiber, nuts, whole grains, unsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, low-fat dairy products), and limiting the amount of fat, salt, and sugar consumed.
The main part of the diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, as fruits contain many vitamins and minerals. Consuming healthy food strengthens the immune system, reduces the risk of many diseases, and helps in the treatment of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, and diabetes.
Exercise is a major contributor to a healthy lifestyle, as movement is the key to a successful life. Exercise for 30 minutes daily not only improves body shape, but also helps prevent coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and musculoskeletal diseases by building muscle and increasing bone strength.
Exercise also stimulates the production of happiness hormones “endorphins”, which relieves stress, reduces symptoms of anxiety, depression, improves self-esteem, and improves mood and overall mental health.
The correct weight for each person depends on factors such as gender, height, age, and genes. Healthy body mass, defined as normal body mass should be between 18.5 and 24.9. Being overweight increases your risk for a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that a 5-10% reduction in total body weight can help normalize cholesterol, blood sugar, and lower blood pressure. Control weight gain, and people with obesity – to drop extra weight, regular exercise helps.
The way a person feels physically has a big impact on his state of mind. Likewise, stress decreases physical health and energy levels. Therefore, it is important to relax after emotional stress in an effective way (exercise, sleep, walk) to prevent depression and anxiety. Research has shown that people who take time to relax are more resilient to stressful situations.
To maintain efficiency and productivity, the body needs adequate rest and healthy sleep. Lack of sleep and chronic fatigue can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Prolonged sleep deprivation reduces immunity and the body’s ability to resist colds and flu. A person needs 7-9 hours to get adequate sleep. Physical activity also contributes to healthy sleep. Just 10 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, cycling, walking in the fresh air) significantly improves sleep quality.
Scientists have found that one component of a healthy lifestyle already increases the life expectancy of people by 2 years. Therefore, the more healthy habits people have, the longer they live.
Where to begin
Many factors affect health. Some of them are beyond your control, including genetics or age. But you can make lifestyle changes to improve your health and extend your life. Start with the following steps
Enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle
For motivation, imagine the desired outcome of a healthy lifestyle, including an improvement in appearance, inner state. These positive changes should get you on the right track.
Make an action plan
Consistency is critical in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so it is necessary to build a model of behavior over a long period. For example, create a daily routine and try to stick to it at all times.
Get rid of anything that negatively affects your physical and mental well-being. Quitting bad habits is difficult, as many of them are addictive. But if you don’t, your efforts and successes in other areas of healthy eating may be in vain.
Change your bad habits to good ones
Beneficial actions, as well as harmful ones, with regular repetition, also become a habit. If you accustom your body to the right food, you will hardly be left with the desire to eat fast food, knowing all the disadvantages of this food.
It’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle. But the more you experience it, the greater the effect. Therefore, start right now, so that later you will not regret not having done this earlier.
A healthy lifestyle includes a whole range of actions that are individual for each person. The number of actions required for a healthy lifestyle varies depending on the characteristics of the lifestyle (the presence of bad habits, occupation, amount of free time). But based on the main components of a healthy lifestyle, the main tips can be distinguished:
Eat healthy foods
Eat healthy foods. The World Health Organization recommends consuming fruits and vegetables as a regular part of the diet to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. They are high in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) to help strengthen the immune system and fight disease-causing toxins.
For a healthy diet, reduce your intake of sugar, salt, increase your protein intake, switch from saturated to unsaturated fats, and opt for complex carbohydrates over simple ones.
The human body is 55-78% water. The natural liquid has moisturizing, nourishing, and well-being properties. Water removes toxins from the body, improves brain function, supplies muscles, controls weight gain, and balances temperature. A person is recommended to drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day.
Be physically active
Physical activity is good for everyone. You can start training at any age with the help of different types of exercises (walking, running, swimming, dancing, aerobics, yoga). The American Heart Association recommends exercising at least 2.5 hours per week.
Avoid excessive sun exposure
Avoid sun exposure by using hats, skin protective sunscreens. By protecting your face and body from sun exposure, you can prevent melanoma and other types of skin cancer, as well as maintain youthfulness by preventing wrinkles.
Get pleasant emotions
Mental health is the foundation of the general health of the body and a prerequisite for enjoying life. Find sources of good emotions, inspiration, and refer to them regularly. Recognition of one’s own achievements, doing what you love, communicating with loved ones, walking with pets, etc., have a beneficial effect on the state of mind.
Don’t overdo it
Create a routine for yourself in which you will be comfortable living a healthy lifestyle for your whole life. Do not overdo it with physical activity and dietary restrictions. You shouldn’t feel a lot of psychological pressure. A healthy lifestyle should be fun, but with discipline.
These tips will help you avoid health problems and significantly improve your body condition. There are other useful tips for a healthy lifestyle that eliminate risky forms of human behavior.
A healthy lifestyle is a way to change life for the better, available to everyone. This is a long-term, but most effective process that helps a person improve physical, mental health.