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What does “healthy living” mean?
These fitness influencers are not wrong healthy foods, daily exercise, and lifestyle factors like not smoking are all extremely important to a healthy life. However, they don’t paint the whole picture. A healthy lifestyle is much more diverse than what you see on social media and requires a good balance.
New research in the British Medical Journal breaks it down like this: you can’t beat a bad diet at the gym, and no juice cleanse in the world can replace a sedentary lifestyle. You don’t have to make wide variations to these parts of your lifestyle all at once. However, studies show that creating minor adjustments bit by bit will set you up for more sustainable long-term habits.
It can be easy to overlook a balanced diet in our food culture. While too much salt, sugar, and fat in your diet increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, it’s not all about what to cut back on and what to avoid.
Other Wellness Factors
“Since sleep is a key time your body uses to recover and rest, not getting enough can have consequences,” says Jeffrey Dlott, medical director of consumer health at Quest Diagnostics. While a poor night’s rest from time to time isn’t a big deal, health problems start to emerge if it happens regularly.
“[Sleep deprivation] can lead to a debilitated immune system, which in turn leads to other diseases, and over time can also increase the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and more.”
Chronic stress also has a significant impact on your health and well-being. Stress releases a hormone called cortisol, and high, sustained levels can suppress your immune system.14 “If left untreated, it can also lead to the development of other chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and depression,” says Dr. Dlott.
“[as well as] a range of symptoms from fatigue and sleep problems to digestive problems.” You might think you know all the ways to live a healthier life. But instead, you take the stairs in place of the elevator, skip the desserts, and go to the doctor when you’re sick.
But we can all do healthier, said Dr. Megan Traxinger, a primary care physician specializing in family medicine based at UCHealth Steele Street Medical Center in the heart of Cherry Creek.
Here are five ways to live Healthier:
Eat plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods, drink 64 ounces of water daily, and limit caffeine and alcohol intake.
Get 150 mins of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, or 30 minutes most days. Also, get two to three 20-30 minute strength training sessions per week targeting major muscle groups.
Try to get 7-8 hours each night and maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle – go to bed and get up simultaneously each day.
It reduces stress and improves mental function – helping to protect against depression, heart disease, and dementia.
5. Have a primary care physician.
Annual visits are essential for all age groups because they remain designed to detect disease early before it can lead to severe consequences.
Four Steps and More
While these four habits are undeniably crucial to a healthy lifestyle, some may argue that there are more factors to consider. So what would be on your bucket list?
Just for fun, I’ve come up with my list of the ten healthiest behaviors (in addition to the primary four) that contribute to health and lifestyle satisfaction:
Brush and floss day-to-day to keep your teeth and gums healthy and disease-free.
Have a good rest.
Well-rested people not only manage better with stress but also have better control over their appetites. Research has exposed that lack of sleep can throw our “hunger hormones” out of balance and possibly trigger overeating.
Being associated with family and friends is an influential aspect of a healthy life. Treat yourself to regular family meals. This allows parents to help as good role models, can encourage more nutritious eating, and sets the stage for lively chats.
Smile and laugh out loud numerous times a day. It keeps you grounded and helps you handle situations that would otherwise drive you crazy. Read comics, watch sitcoms, or tell jokes to create happy feelings.
Meditate, pray, or otherwise find comfort for at least 10-20 minutes each day. Meditation is good for your soul, helps you cope with the demands of everyday life, and can even help lower your blood pressure.
No matter how you become it, physical activity can help relieve stress, burn calories, and boost self-esteem. So get a pedometer and let it stimulate you to walk, walk, walk. Forget how many minutes of activity you need; do whatever you can to fit more steps into your day.
Stand up straight.
Think “tall and tight” whenever you walk to get the most out of the movement. You’ll look 5 pounds igniter if you stand tall and tone your abs.
The poses help surge strength and flexibility and improve balance. These are critical areas that both men and women can benefit from, especially for older people.
Turn on the protein.
This nutrient is vital to your diet and can make up 10% to 35% of your total calories. Protein continues for a long time in your belly; combine it with high-fiber foods, and you’ll feel full with fewer calories. Enjoy small helpings of nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, lean meat, poultry, or fish.
Last but not least, retain a positive attitude. Try to look at life as if the glass is half full. To succeed, you need to believe in yourself, have sound support systems and think positively (“I think I can, I think I can…”).
Also read: Pacific Lifestyle Homes
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