“To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” ~William Londen
As summer winds down and the evenings become a little cooler, it’s a perfect time to take stock of our health and focus on a lifestyle that nourishes our bodies and our souls. The term "healthy lifestyle" seems to be everywhere in the media, although many don't pay attention to what it really means. Learning its importance and how to make changes to achieve it can improve the quality and the length of your life. Leading a healthy lifestyle means that you are doing everything in your power to ensure that your body stays in as good shape as possible. Your physical and mental well-being must be taken into consideration when trying to develop a healthy lifestyle action plan. Once you understand what a healthy lifestyle encompasses, you can work toward achieving one.
Eating foods that are good for you and providing your body with high-quality nutrition are both parts of living a healthy lifestyle. Your daily diet should include low-calorie foods that provide a variety of nutrients. To do this, you have to eat a balanced diet that includes protein, vegetables from different color groups, fruits, and grains. You need no more than 2,300 mg daily of salt, so choose foods with limited or no salt added. Also limit fat and sugar consumed.
You have to exercise to keep your body in shape. Unless you are trying to lose weight, you can exercise at least five days per week for 30 minutes per day. If you are trying to lose weight, you should increase your daily exercise time to 60 to 90 minutes. Engage in aerobic and weight resistance exercise so that you can work out your cardiovascular system, burn fat and build healthy muscle tissue. Playing sports like tennis or basketball, swimming, yoga and circuit weight training are some possible exercises.
Keeping your mental health in balance is also necessary when you are living a healthy lifestyle. Avoid unnecessary stress when you can. If you are presented with situations that may cause stress, use techniques like deep breathing or imagery to reduce the stress. Depression and other mental health conditions can also work against trying to live a healthy lifestyle. If you suffer from any mental health conditions, contact a therapist, counselor or mental health professional.
Giving up unhealthy habits like drinking alcohol, using tobacco and doing drugs is also essential to living a healthy lifestyle. All these unhealthy choices can wreak havoc on your body and mind. Inpatient and outpatient programs are available if you have trouble giving up drugs or alcohol. Over-the-counter and prescription products are available to help you stop using tobacco. Additionally, support groups may help you to give up any of these unhealthy habits.
The benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle are endless; disease prevention (including cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke), increased energy, healthy weight, and good mental health are just a few of the most significant benefits.