A healthy lifestyle is necessary if you are to live a happy, fulfilling life. The positive news is that changing your habit for better health doesn’t need to be a huge time commitment. The following are guidelines that have proven to be effective in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Here are 15 practical tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is our body’s way of recharging itself. It improves brain function and mental and physical health. Depriving oneself of sleep has been known to increase the chances of coming down with certain chronic ailments like heart disease, stroke, and even neurological deficits like dementia.
It is recommended that adults sleep up to 7 to 9 hours every night. Some more sleep between work hours can prove very helpful too.
For people who have trouble sleeping, the best approach is to visit a doctor, who will most likely prescribe meds or guide you through a set of lifestyle changes that will improve your sleep and, eventually, your overall health.
2. Exercise Regularly
Why is exercise so important? Well, because it keeps the body fit and sound. It can help check unwanted weight loss by making sure all excess calories are burnt up. It can improve your cardiovascular health as well.
What’s more, it can also improve your mood as well as your sex life.
The kind of exercise you are advised to take part in depends on a number of factors, including your age, weight, and current health. If you have any underlying issues with your cardiovascular system (CVS), you are advised to perform moderate exercises.
But if you feel equal to the task of going on with strenuous exercise, then you should. Just be sure that you exercise regularly, for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise is a key element to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
3. Have Regular Checks with Your Doctor
This is often an overlooked way to live a healthy lifestyle. A lot of us are of the opinion that the only time to check in with the doctor is when we are sick and unhappy. This is not true.
Scheduling regular checks with our physicians is highly important because quite a number of illnesses are asymptomatic. This is to say that they do not produce any symptoms until later stages in their pathophysiology.
Physicians are usually able to diagnose and begin treating such ailments before they become problematic. If you do not have a family doctor, checking in at your closest health facility can be of help too. Many health facilities around the world encourage regular checkups.
4. Be Vaccinated
Many illnesses are either endemics, epidemics, or pandemics. This is to say; there are usually spread across a large population at a given time. For example, in the tropics, malaria presents as an endemic—an entire community often comes down with it at a given time.
It is healthy and needful that you get yourself vaccinated against such diseases. Vaccinations help your body develop acquired immunity against certain diseases.
Children, who are naturally more susceptible to certain infections, should be vaccinated on time. Visit your health center to find out which vaccines are recommended in your area.
5. Develop Friendships
The importance of socialization is often overlooked. A good social life, in itself, is considered a form of preventive medicine because it can improve our mental health and quell feelings associated with loneliness and deep anxiety.
A number of studies have shown that a healthy social life has short-term effects on our mental and, in turn, physical health. In 2001, a study by Brummet and colleagues found that in adults who suffered from coronary disease, the risk of dying was 2.4 times more in people who had no healthy social lives.
As much as you can, therefore, develop healthy friendships. Speak to people when you have to, and avoid being secluded for extended periods.
6. Play Outdoor Games / Perform Outdoor Activities
Playing has been described to be the easiest form of exercise because you are more likely to love this rather than feel burdened—as is the case with regular exercise.
It is healthy to play outdoors, with friends and family, once in a while. As you play, you burn calories, as well as bond with your family and friends. It is also a classic example of what it means to kill two birds with one stone.
You also stay happier and sounder.
7. Do Not Eat Junk
Just as healthy foods can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, you have no idea how bad too much junk food can be. What we eat is of major consequence to our health. In all you do, you are supposed to eat healthy, giving yourself just the right number of calories. Too many calories, and there becomes a problem.
Junk food is particularly the culprit when it comes to foods that contain too many calories. Therefore, it is a major culprit when it comes to weight gain. Since they have processed sugar as well, there are often frowned upon by nutritionists.
Fast foods usually contain a high percentage of sodium—too much sodium usually leads to water retention and can worsen hypertension.
8. Find a Hobby
Hobbies, simply put, are activities we love doing. They can be anything from reading to writing to playing an instrument. For some, even taking walks along the street at sunset constitutes a hobby.
Hobbies have an impact on our mental as well as physical health. It has been noticed that people who have healthy hobbies are not as likely as those who don’t to come down with stress, depression, and anxiety.
Finding your hobby can be a bit tricky if you haven’t found one already. But the thing is: you only need to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- What do I love doing?
- Can I devote a certain number of hours a day to getting this done?
Your answers will guide you.
To some, reading comes easy. But to others, well, not so easy. If it comes easy to you, you can heave a sigh of relief and keep up with it. But if it doesn’t, then you might want to start paying attention to books.
What you read depends on you. If you love to read fiction, then go on with it. If nonfiction is your forte, go on with it as well. Just be sure to read, and often so.
10. Limit Your Time on Social Media
Much use of social media has been linked with anxiety and depression, especially in the younger population. Social media has also been linked to low self-esteem as well as reduced concentration levels. It can, in some, prove to be an addiction too. [5.]
Therefore, cutting back on social media use is likely to improve your mental health and quality of life.
11. Limit How Often You Watch Bad News
The news also has quite an impact on our mental health, just like social media. These days on the news, it feels as though there is always something to freak out about. Some war. Some diseases that are wiping out thousands of people, etc.
Spending hours watching disturbing news reports can impact the way you view the world, maybe even doing much to make you feel fearful and sad.
Rather than watch the news for hours on end, how about you read a book you love instead? Or go hiking, etc.
Travel has been linked to feelings of happiness. Because most people consider traveling to be the perfect leisure activity, they are inclined to feel happier when they travel.
I advise you to travel whenever you have work breaks and want to ease yourself. Travel to leisure places, like beaches or a park where you can watch nature.
Read during your travels as well, and maybe even create a journal. A lot of people report that keeping a journal helps them stay more mentally healthy. It can be useful to you as well to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
13. Take Your Prescribed Medication
For people living with manageable chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, taking your prescribed medication is a great way to stay healthy.
Missing medications regularly has been linked to secondary health challenges. Heart failure, for example, can be secondary to poorly controlled hypertension, etc.
Take your medications as often as prescribed. Let your doctor know if you have any problems keeping up, and he will help.
14. Eat Healthily
Your diet is important. As I mentioned earlier, it is helpful to eat only meals that provide you with the right number of calories. Keeping away from ones that contain too much or too few is ideal.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat healthy carbs and proteins. Also, be sure to eat a lot of fiber too. Fiber is important for gut health and is needed to improve bowel habits.
15. Practice Safe Sex
Safe sex is the safest thing in the world to do. It will improve your health by keeping you from STIs and other related trouble.
Safe sex involves having no more than one sexual partner and using protection when you have to.
Staying healthy is easier than most think it is. All you need to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle is pay attention to your physical as well as mental state.
Medic G, et al. (2017): Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption.
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: How Much Sleep Is Enough?
Healthline: The Top 10 Benefits of Regular Exercise
Head to Health: Purposeful activity – hobbies
Pantic I, (2014): Online Social Networking and Mental Health.show less