Aside from occasionally going off the track, many people think that they do a fair job when it comes to living a healthy life. From maintaining eating habits to doing exercise and staying hydrated, there are several practices that people associate with healthy living and follow in compliance to elevate their quality of life.
But did you know? Statistical analyses reveal that only 12.2% of Americans are metabolically healthy. In fact, if you dig deep into data, only 3% of the American adults fit the ideal living standards of health. This study, named Archives of Internal Medicine, published recently, graded Americans against four primary criteria of healthy living.
So, where exactly are we wrong? To find out, let’s have a look at what exactly is healthy living and some tips for you to maintain a healthy living.
What is Healthy Living?
Contrary to popular belief, the term healthy living concerns a lot more than just the physical aspects of your health. It refers to a lifestyle that ensures a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Such a lifestyle is surrounded by specific living standards that help you maintain overall positive health, increasing your life expectancy with an enhanced quality of your life.
Healthy living also lowers your risk of contracting illnesses and chronic diseases. Adopting healthy lifestyles can help you avoid several health conditions like coronary heart diseases and lung cancers, which contribute to a large proportion of deaths every year. Scientific studies reveal that certain types of behaviors and lifestyles, generally deemed as unhealthy, contribute to early deaths and the development of several non-communicable diseases. Leading a healthy life also helps you foster and adopt better self-esteem and self-image.
Tips for Leading A Healthy Lifestyle
Practices that improve, support, maintain, or enhance health are all you need for leading a healthy lifestyle. Keeping your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual facet of health, we have articulated five primary tips you need for a healthy living.
Be Mindful of Your Diet & Nutrition
While we all need food for healthy growth and maintenance, our nutritional needs are different throughout all stages and ages of our lives. For instance, the nutrition needs of a child are different from what an adult would need. Dietary needs vary from age to age, which further gets specific because of health and medical conditions.
Hence, for healthy living, it is incredibly essential to know your personalized dietary needs and fulfill them. Have a look at some general tips below to be mindful of your diet and nutrition:
- Regularly take meals three times a day; make sure to keep your dinner light to prevent unhealthy weight gain and gastroesophageal reflux.
- Cut back your junk food intake and eat healthy foods like fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
- For a balanced and nutritious diet, incorporate fish, beans, eggs, lean meats, and nuts in your regular diet.
- Avoid excess of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sugars, and salt.
- Avoid undereating or overeating.
- Do not reward your kids with sugary snacks as a norm. It may lead to unhealthy lifelong habits.
- Do not eat undercooked meats of any kind.
- Do not fry your foods in grease.
If you have medical conditions, seek medical advice regarding your diet.
Keep a Check on Your Mental Health
As stated earlier, healthy living is equally inclusive of your mental well-being as it is of your physical health. The following are some ways to maintain and enhance your overall mental state.
- Regularly destress yourself by doing things you love.
- Get ample sleep every day. Studies reveal lack of sleep can negatively impact one’s mental health, making one aggressive and irritable.
- Go for morning or evening walks regularly to connect with nature. Reflect on your sight and hearing several times a week.
- Experiment and explore new avenues of your life. From diet to routes to places and activities, fresh experiences positively impact mental health.
- Practice brain workout to keep your mind healthy. Some examples of brain exercising include puzzles, chess, and reading.
- After a hectic day or activity, remember to do something refreshing such as a walk, exercise, or a short nap.
- Spend regular time with your loved ones, and let there be no room for toxicity in your life.
- Actively pursue your hobbies.
- Make your life vibrant and fun by going out on trips and vacations.
- Practice saying no to help you avoid stressful and unwanted situations.
- Reward yourself for your achievements.
- Immediately seek medical assistance if you have suicidal or self-harm thoughts or any depressive episodes.
- If you take prescription medications, do not stop or mix them with other medicines until your doctor allows you to.
Exercise Regularly & Take Care of your Physical Health
Increased physical activity or exercise is linked with great physical fitness and several health benefits such as enhanced blood circulation, increased flexibility, improved balance and endurance, more muscle mass, elevated mental health, and a physically fit body. Not only does exercise bestow valuable health benefits, but it also helps prevent several medical conditions like obesity, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, weakness, and osteoporosis. The following are some tips to help you incorporate physical activities and exercises for healthy living:
- If you suffer from conditions like chronic arthritis, exercise on alternate days of the week. It will help you perform everyday activities like driving and climbing stairs better.
- Try exercising for 30-60 minutes every day. You can also do it at least 3-5 days per week.
- Break your exercise sessions into smaller segments. We recommend 10-minute segments.
- If you’re new to exercising, always take a slow start. Progress gradually toward vigorous physical activity to prevent injury or excessive muscle fatigue.
- There is no appropriate or inappropriate age for exercising. Even if you’re a senior citizen aged 70-90 years old, exercise can help you achieve improved stability and strength. However, we recommend starting slow.
- No matter what type, all exercises are helpful for your physical well-being.
- Children need to exercise too. One way of letting them do is by allowing them to play outside.
- Avoid overdoing one kind of exercise. It is because this can harm the parts of your body in action.
- Stop exercising if you experience pain. See your doctor for discovering the pain source.
- Warm-up your body before vigorous exercises to prevent injuries.
Practice Avoidance Behaviour
Another key to healthy living is practicing avoidant behavior. The following are substances to avoid and tips to help you in the process.
- Tobacco Use & Smoking
As per the National Institute of Cancer (NCI), tobacco causes an estimated 443,000 deaths in 2010 in America alone. Smoking is also one of the leading triggers of lung cancer, which claims a large proportion of death per annum. Tips to avoid it:
- Slowly cut back to curb your habit.
- Do not consume chewing tobacco.
- Excessive Alcohol Usage
Unsupervised and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a myriad of health problems. It is amongst the leading causes of liver cirrhosis in the U.S. Therefore, for healthy living, it is essential to control your alcohol consumption. Follow the tips below:
- Seek medical assistance to treat alcoholism.
- Slowly cut down your excess intake.
Be avoidant of high-risk behaviors as well. Some examples include speed-driving, smoking in bed, and unhealthy routines.
Living healthy can do wonders when it comes to elevating the quality of your life. It helps one maintain a functioning balance between one’s mental, cognitive, spiritual, and physical aspects of existence.
So why are you still waiting? Kick start your journey towards a healthy living today to get the most of your life. We hope our guide came in handy to broaden your perspectives and enlighten you on healthy living.