Healthy Lifestyle Tips & Tools for Success
Being mentally and emotionally fit is the basis of being healthy. It should be part of your overall lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle prevents chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. Feeling good about yourself and taking care of your own health is important for your self-esteem and self-image. Everyone should maintain their good health by doing what is right for their body.
Healthy living has lots of benefits and what you gain by living more healthily includes:
- You start feeling better mentally – regular exercise lifts your mood and helps you feel better
- Allows to save money – eating junk food, smoking, and drinking sugary drinks or alcohol are more expensive
- Fewer health problems – living a healthier lifestyle means a lower risk of many illnesses
- You start taking control of your life – getting healthy helps you realize and appreciate every detail in your life.
Healthy living means maintaining a healthy lifestyle and acquiring new habits that improve your health. It is really difficult to change old habits, but there are steps that can help you to become healthier. First of all, it is important to identify less healthy habits and learn new, positive ones to replace them.
All humans have to eat food for the growth and maintenance of a healthy body, but we humans have different nutrition requirements depending on lots of factors. For example, infants may require feeding every 4 hours until they begin to take in more solid foods. Eventually, they acquire the more normal pattern of eating three times per day as young kids. However, all kids, teenagers, and young adults often snack between meals. And snacks are often not limited to these age groups because adults and seniors often do the same.
- You should eat three healthy meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Take into account that dinner should not be the largest meal.
- Only healthy foods should be involved in the bulk of food consumption, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
- Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts (with emphasis on beans and nuts) into a healthy diet.
- You should eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
- It is normal to have snacks if they are moderated and consist of fruit, whole grains, or nuts to satisfy hunger and not cause excessive weight gain.
- Avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks as there are excessive calories in them.
- Never eat a large meal before sleeping. It can lead to gastroesophageal reflux and weight gain.
- Eating is not a solution if a person is angry or depressed.
- Meals should not be heavy in the summer months, especially during hot days.
- A vegetarian lifestyle has been promoted for a healthy lifestyle and weight loss, but vegetarians should check with their physicians to be sure they are getting enough vitamins, minerals, and iron in their diet.
- Fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed with running treated (safe to drink) tap water right before eating.
- Don’t eat raw or undercooked meats of any type.
Physical Activity and Exercise
Physical activity and exercise greatly contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Always use your bodies as disuse leads to unhealthy living. And unhealthy living may result in obesity, weakness, lack of endurance, and overall poor health that may foster disease development.
- Regular exercise prevents and reverses age-related decreases in muscle mass and strength, improves balance, flexibility, and endurance. It decreases the risk of falls in the elderly. Physical activity can help prevent coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Regular, weight-bearing exercise builds bone strength and prevents osteoporosis.
- Physical activity helps to increase self-esteem and self-confidence, decrease stress and anxiety, enhance mood, and improve general mental health.
- It allows you to control body weight and in some people causes loss of fat.
- Thirty minutes of walking at least 3 to 5 days a week are recommended, but the greatest health benefits come from exercising most days of the week.
- You can break exercise into smaller 10-minute sessions.
- You should start slowly and progress gradually to avoid injury or excessive tiredness or fatigue. In some time, build up to 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day.
- People are never too old to start exercising. Everyone, even frail, elderly individuals (70-90 years of age) can improve their strength and balance with exercise.
- Almost all types of exercises (resistance, water aerobics, walking, swimming, weights, yoga, and many others) are helpful for everybody.
- Children need exercise and playing outside of the home is a good beginning.
Healthy living involves not only physical health but also includes emotional or mental health. The following ways will support your mental health and well-being.
- Get enough sleep daily. The following hours are recommended by age group (naps inclusive):
- 12-18 hours from birth to 2 months
- 14-15 hours from 3-11 months of age
- 12-18 hours for 1-3 years of age
- 11-13 hours for 3-5 years of age
- 10-11 hours for 5-10 years of age
- 8.5-9.5 hours for 10-17 years of age
- people who are 18 and above need 7-9 hours of sleep
Elderly people need about 7-9 hours but they sometimes do not sleep as deeply and may awaken at night or wake early, so naps (like kids need) allow them to have a total of 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Take a walk at least several times per week.
- Often try something new (eat new food, try a different route to work, go to a new museum display).
- Mind exercises help a lot (read, do a puzzle occasionally during the week).
- Intensely focus on some difficult process and then complete a part of it over 1 to several hours, then take a break and do something relaxing (walk, exercise, short nap).
- Always spend some time talking with other people about different subjects.
- Every week make some leisure time to do things that interest you (hobby, sport).
- Say “no” when something occurs that you are not willing to do or be involved with.
- Always have fun (go on a trip with someone you love, go shopping, go fishing; do not let vacation time slip away).
- Your achievements, both big and small (develop contentment) will please you.
- Have a network of friends.
- Ask for help and advice early if you feel depressed.
All the mentioned healthy lifestyle tips are certainly important for a healthy lifestyle, but more factors should be taken into consideration. There are some healthy tricks that may contribute to wellness and satisfaction with one’s lifestyle:
- Keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing and flossing them daily.
- Enjoy regular meals with your family.
- Always try to smile and laugh out loud. It will help you cope with situations that would otherwise make you crazy. Reading comics, watching a sitcom, or telling jokes will bring out those happy feelings.
- Pray for at least 10-20 minutes every day.
- Stand up straight and while walking, think “tall and tight” to get the most out of the movement.
- Yoga helps increase strength and flexibility and improve balance. Both men and women can benefit.
- Have a positive attitude. Always look at life with the mood as if “the glass is half full.” Believe in yourself and think positively (“I think I can, I think I can…”) to succeed.
Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean drastic changes. Just pick one of the tips and work on that one thing every day, letting the rest of your life and habits stay the same. You may be surprised that those small changes can really make a noticeable difference.