As this month is healthy living awareness month.  Let’s talk about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Having healthy habits and routines will allow you to stay active and achieve your goals, but the benefits of a healthy lifestyle are almost limitless.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” which implies that having good health is not simply whether or not you’re physically ill.  This article will focus on all the elements of living a healthy lifestyle, including food, physical exercise, preventive health-care,  and social activity.

Components of Healthy Living

Physical exercise

It’s generally recommended that one should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. This allows you to burn excess calories and strengthen muscles and bones, but also helps to control blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels. In addition, this contributes to a decrease in stress levels and helps you sleep better. It also helps you acquire a state of relaxation, avoid mood changes, improve self-esteem, and attain a state of personal satisfaction. It can also be a good way to develop a healthy social activity: join a tennis club or a football team, attend yoga classes or fitness sessions at your gym.  It’s also important to note that your body needs two different types of exercise.  You should participate in something that gets you heart rate up, like walking, swimming or biking, but you should also do something to strengthen your muscles like squats, push-ups or lifting weights.

Social activity

Your social life is actually an essential aspect of your health. Social isolation can lead to a gradual and irreversible deterioration of physical and mental abilities, including physical disability and dementia.  So be sure to incorporate some sort of social activity in your schedule, even if it’s as simple as going to church or taking a class.

Mental balance

This does not only refer to those with mental illnesses, but also refers to the state of emotional and psychological well-being. Good mental health is necessary to maintain and develop cognitive abilities and social relations, as well as coping with the personal and professional challenges of daily life. Some of the signs that your mental state may not be very healthy are the following:

  • Withdrawal
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep or Appetite change
  • Mood changes

Most adults, at one point or another, suffer from burnout, exhaustion and stress due to their work routines.  It’s important to take breaks frequently at work and take your mind off of it completely.  Go for a walk, do some exercises at your desk, or meditate.  Your productivity and your health will significantly improve.

Mind Exercises

It’s not enough just to exercise your body only, exercising your mind will help keep the brain working at its best and avoid generally cognitive decline and dementia. With age, your mind’s function will naturally decline but giving your brain a regular workout with exercises that enhance memory, attention, ability to focus, and learning new topics, goes a long way in avoiding or at least delaying some of these issues.  It’s important, especially after retirement, to continue to challenge yourself.  Do puzzles or sudoku, read a book, play brain games online or take a class and pick up a new skill.   Consistent use of the brain to it’s full potential will keep it share.

Enjoy healthy sex

As we settle into busy lifestyles, it’s common for sex to become much more infrequent. But maintaining a healthy sex life is important, even as we age. Sex improves your sleep that will help you rest and generate energy for the next day.   Also it counts as exercise, improving your heart health and decreasing risk of a heart attack.  Sex lowers your risk of prostate cancer for a man and improves bladder control in women.   It also decreases pain (headaches, etc.)  and improves immune function.

Good quality sleep

Proper sleep is what allows you to get energized for the day to come, but not sleeping well can have some very negative effects on your health. Insomnia is a cause of high blood pressure, heart disease, mental illness, metabolic and endocrine diseases. So try and switch off before heading to bed.  You can try meditation or reading a book.

Avoiding toxic products

Tobacco, alcohol, and drugs have a very negative impact on health. There was a popular belief until recent years that one cup of wine daily was totally fine, but new studies have proven that even this can influence our health in a negative way. Occasional or continuous exposure to some of these toxic products, especially cigarettes, can result in a serious risk to your health.  It’s also important to know that the environmental pollution of cities is considered one of the biggest risk factors for health.

Healthy diet

Eating healthy is a part of healthy living. Healthy foods digest faster than other foods. They also contain more nutrients and supply more energy. Always endeavor to eat a balanced diet and avoid junk food as much as possible. A better diet will improve your energy levels, alertness and productivity, as well as your performance in any physical activity.  A healthy diet can improve many common conditions like allergies and also decrease risk of heart disease, diabetes and a wide variety of other illnesses.

Drink enough water

The human body runs on water and therefore not drinking enough water can have many consequences.  Not drinking enough water may make you feel hungry and cause you to overeat, it will also affect your alertness and productivity levels.  Water lubricates the joints and cushions sensitive tissues like the brain, keeping them safe and healthy.  Water improves digestion and cleanses waste from the body.  It keeps your skin and teeth and gums healthy. Water helps in weight loss.  It prevents kidney damage and decreases asthma and allergies.  Essentially water affects just about everything in your body, so you should try to drink enough everyday.  A good estimate of how much you should drink is 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce for every pound you weigh.


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