What Are The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle

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What are the benefits of a healthy lifestyle is something we all need to fully understand.

Oh, we have all heard it is important to eat well, and get regular exercise, but why?

How can a healthy lifestyle benefit me?

I’m a grandmother, is it even safe for me to exercise now that I am older?

These are all very valid questions that should be answered so so we can all make informed decisions about everything we do in life.

What is a healthy lifestyle?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as being in “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

This suggests that this concept goes much deeper than just having or not having a disease.

Therefore a healthy lifestyle must encompass all areas of lifestyle including diet, exercise, preventative healthcare, work, environment, and social activity.

What is a healthy diet?

What Are The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle - healthy diet

 

One of the most important things you can to protect your health is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Did you know that up to 80% of premature heart disease can be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise?

Another startling fact is that both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are on the rise. The development of type 2 diabetes is directly lifestyle related and could so easily be avoided with healthier choices.

What does a healthy diet look like?

Canada’s food highly recommends eating a variety of healthy foods daily. This includes eating plenty of whole, plant-based foods while limiting processed foods.

Be sure to include each of the following in your healthy meal plan:

Plenty of vegetables and fruit. Fruits and vegetables are packed full of essential nutrients ( antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals) and fiber that help fill us up. Fruit and vegetables will aid in both losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.

At each meal or snack be sure to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit.

Whole-grain foods include whole-grain bread and crackers, wild or brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and hulled barley. These foods are prepared using the whole grain. They contain fiber, B vitamins, and protein which will help keep you full longer.

At each meal, whole grain foods should only be 1/4 of your plate.

Protein foods include poultry, lean red meats including wild game, fish, shellfish, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, fortified soy beverage, lower-fat milk, lower-fat yogurts, lower fat kefir, and cheeses low in both fat and sodium.

These foods make up the final 1/4 of your plate.

Some minimally processed foods are ok. These would include bags of salad, frozen vegetables, eggs, milk, cheese, brown rice, oil, and dried herbs.

Make plain old-fashioned water your drink of choice.

What is exercise?

Wikipedia defines exercise as “any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.”

Exercise typically involves engaging in physical activity that increases the heart rate beyond resting levels.

It is an important part of preserving both physical and mental health.

Whether diabetic, overweight, or battling some other health challenge, exercise can help you achieve a healthier version of yourself.

Naturally, you should consult with your doctor before embarking on a new exercise regimen to ensure it is safe for you to do so.

There are actually several main types of exercise we will discuss today.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is mainly for improving how the body uses oxygen. Most aerobic exercise is done at a moderate level of intensity over a longer period of time.

Typically an aerobic exercise session would include a warm-up, exercise for 20 minutes, followed by a cool down.What Are The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle - aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise would include activities such as:

  • walking
  • running
  • cycling
  • swimming

There are many benefits of aerobic exercise:

  • improves muscle strength in the heart, lungs, and throughout the body
  • lowers blood pressure
  • improves circulation (blood flow) in the muscles
  • increase red blood cell count which enhances oxygen transportation
  • reduces the risk of heart disease or stroke
  • improves both life expectancy and symptoms of people with coronary artery disease
  • reduces the risk of osteoporosis by stimulating bone growth
  • improves the quality of sleep
  • enhances stamina by increasing the ability of the body to store energy within muscle

Anaerobic exerciseWhat Are The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle - anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercise is for building power, strength, and muscle mass. These are very high-intensity exercises that should not be longer than 2 minutes in duration but may be repeated after a short rest.

Anaerobic exercise would include:

  • weight lifting
  • sprinting
  • fast, intensive skipping with a rope
  • interval training
  • isometrics
  • any rapid burst of energy

Anaerobic exercise offers fewer benefits for the heart and lungs and uses fewer calories. The payoff is it is more effective for building muscle and improving strength.

Increasing muscle mass causes the body to burn more fat, even while resting. Muscle is by far the most efficient fat-burning tissue in the body.

Agility TrainingWhat Are The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle - agility training

Agility training improves our ability to maintain control while speeding up, slowing down, or changing direction.

This would be of particular benefit to a tennis player who needs to maintain court positioning after each shot.

It would also benefit hockey, soccer, or football players as you need to constantly change direction with the play.

Anyone who participates in sports that rely on positioning, coordination, speed, and balance needs to engage in agility training regularly.

Those sports would include:

  • tennis
  • football (American)
  • hockey
  • badminton
  • volleyball
  • basketball
  • soccer
  • martial arts
  • boxing
  • wrestling

StretchingWhat Are The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle - yoga includes stretching and balance

There are some exercises that combine stretching, muscle conditioning, and balance training. Yoga is a perfect example of this.

Yoga movements are known to improve balance, flexibility, posture, and circulation.

Other popular options that promote stretching, flexibility, and core strength include Pilates and Tai Chi.

Preventative healthcare

Practicing a healthy lifestyle may help prevent the development of many chronic diseases or injuries.

Choosing to remain smoke-free, eating healthily, and regularly exercising may even help reduce the genetic risk of dementia. According to a 2019 study by JAMA, involving 196,383 older adult participants.

If we start practicing a healthy lifestyle while maintaining a healthy weight and drinking in moderation in middle age, we can live a long, disease-free life.

The earlier we begin living a healthy lifestyle the greater chances of preventing high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease later in life.

Why is social activity important?What Are The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle - socializing

An important part of mental health that shouldn’t be neglected is maintaining a healthy and active social life.

It is important to stay in regular contact with friends and family.

Exercising our mind with stimulating conversation helps prevent the mind from deteriorating.

Isolating ourselves from social events for too long a period increases the risk of developing anxiety and depression.

Sex is also good for cardiovascular health as well as relaxing our minds. Be sure to protect yourself against any sexually transmitted diseases by practicing safe sex by using condoms.

Slow the aging process

A healthy lifestyle can help slow the aging process but in order for this to be a benefit, it must be a continuous practice.

Researchers have found that regular exercising and slows the deterioration of muscle mass and bone density as you age.

Making healthy choices in life can also help maintain youthful skin.

You can improve your skin health if you:

  • eat a healthy diet
  • get 7-8 hours sleep nightly
  • get regular exercise and avoid stress
  • take good care of your skin and wear sunscreen daily
  • limit alcohol and avoid smoking

Getting started

It can be difficult to establish new behavioral patterns and create new healthy habits. Here are a few tips that may help you achieve long-term success.

  • Clearly understand your why. Whether for health reasons or appearance, be sure to keep your goal in your mind’s eye. Knowing why you increased your level of exercise helps push through when it gets tough.
  • Go at your own pace. you don’t want to risk injury by doing too much too soon. Start slow and increase from there as your body adapts.
  • Have fun. It is much easier to be consistent with the program if you enjoy it.
  • Exercise with a friend. Whether at home or at the gym, working out with a friend makes it more enjoyable but also keeps you accountable.
  • Take advantage of trainers and teachers. Especially when first starting out a trainer or teacher can help ensure you are doing the exercises properly to get the most benefit and least risk of injury. They can also be an important source of motivation.
  • Vary your exercises. This helps prevent boredom but also increases the benefits by working out different muscle groups. If you really enjoy a particular exercise, such as running, try varying the speed or distance. For a different challenge try changing your route for one with more hills or less. Changing it up keeps your body guessing therefore keeps you getting the most out of your workout.
  • Make it a habit. By regularly exercising you are creating a habit even if you find it difficult at first. I can certainly attest to this as I never thought of myself as a runner. My husband went with me a few times and coached me with breathing techniques and before I knew it I found myself enjoying it. It didn’t take long before I found it easier and I actually look forward to my daily runs now. I have also found that I really miss it on days that I am unable to run due to injury or sickness. Thank goodness those days are rare.

 

Final thoughts

What Are The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle was something I did not fully understand until recently.

A healthy lifestyle allows us to become the best version of ourselves.

It allows us to be the healthiest version of ourselves we can be and can help ensure not only our longevity but the good health to enjoy it.

The earlier in life we begin making healthy lifestyle choices the greater the benefits will be but we can certainly benefit by beginning at any age.

Healthy lifestyle choices include:

  • eating a well-balanced diet, including plenty of vegetables and fruit, whole-grain foods, and protein foods
  • drink plenty of water
  • get regular exercise and change it up by trying different forms of exercise such as aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, agility training, and stretching and balance exercises
  • get 7-8 hours sleep nightly
  • socialize with family and friends frequently

as hard as it is to break bad habits, adopting a healthy lifestyle is a decision you won’t regret.

Healthy habits reduce the risk of certain diseases, improve physical appearance, and help maintain good mental health while also giving you a welcome energy boost.

“I am not in any way a medical practitioner, please do not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another healthcare provider. We only share our experiences.”

What healthy choices do you make?

What are your favorite exercises?

What are your favorite healthy meals?

Leave your tips in the comment section below and please stay healthy.

 


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4 thoughts on “What Are The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle”

  1. As a vegetarian who eats fish, I follow a healthy diet. My favourite dish has to be cauliflower and macaroni cheese. Of course served with a healthy salad! I exercise by walking most days, apart from when it’s bad weather. This has helped me in my stroke recovery which thankfully was fairly mild. Yoga is something I should practice to improve my balance, and I know I should get a bit more sleep!

    Reply
    • Thanks for dropping by Kathy. In this fast-paced world in which we live, I think we are all guilty of not getting enough sleep. I know at times I feel there just aren’t enough hours ina day. Putting this kind of stress on ourselves is certainly not good for us. If you get a chance to try yoga, I highly recommend it. These days there are plenty of videos online you can follow along with. Be sure to pick a beginner level to start with. I find it helps my balance but also my concentration which is very beneficial for me as a blogger. I am sorry to hear you had a stroke but am thankful it was mild and you are recovering. Take care and stay safe.

      Reply
  2. Hi Deborah, it’s interesting, isn’t it. “What is a healthy lifestyle?” My husband and I think we are having a really healthy lifestyle. We don’t smoke, don’t consume alcohol, don’t use any medication and have a specific diet that serves us well. Exercise daily and have a loving family and friends.

    Our diet isn’t exactly mainstream. For instance, most people have 3 main meals in a day. Spaniards eat 5 times a day. We only twice.
    We only eat organic and skip a lot of food, like red meat, dairy, sugar, salt.

    Yet I heard my overweight, ‘socially’-drinking, heavily medicated neighbor state that she lives a very healthy live. Who am I to say she doesn’t?

    Thanks for your complete article. 🙂 I follow most of your tips!

    Reply
    • It is interesting how different people perceive a healthy lifestyle in many different ways. It sounds like you and your husband do in fact lead a very healthy lifestyle. I believe that once you figure out what works best for you and keeps you functioning at your personal best it isn’t that difficult to maintain. If you are fortunate enough to be able to grow some of your own vegetables that’s a huge bonus. Daily exercise and time with family and friends when possible certainly helps as well. During this COVID, Facetime or Skype can help maintain socializing. Best wishes to you both.

      Reply

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