Our health and lifestyle are affected by realities over which we have no control. However, it should be within your means to adopt at least some of the suggestions given below. Good health and living a healthy lifestyle are not optional, but necessary for all of us. Although a healthy lifestyle can not be achieved overnight, we work hard to achieve it.
What is required is to follow a good plan based on healthy habits. By doing this, our bodies and minds will get into a rhythm that will eventually become second nature. The following measures are simple but can avert illness and save lives.
1. Practice good hygiene
Washing of hands is particularly important to protect your own health and that of others. You should always wash your hands.
- After using the toilet.
- After changing diapers or helping a child to use the toilet.
- Before and after treating a wound or a cut.
- Before and after being with someone who is sick.
- Before preparing, serving, or eating food.
- After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
- After touching an animal or animal waste.
- After handling garbage.
5 Steps on how to wash your hands
- Wet your hands in clean running water and apply soap to it.
- Rub your hands together until it brings out foam, not forgetting to clean your nails, your thumbs, the backs of your hands, and between your fingers as well.
- Keep rubbing for at least 15 to 20 seconds.
- Rinse in clean running water.
- Dry with a clean cloth or a paper towel.
2. Use a safe water supply
Obtaining sufficient clean water for one’s family is necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Yet, access to clean water can become a concern in any part of the world when the main supply that is usually good to drink becomes contaminated as a result of a flood, a storm, a pipe break, or some other issue.
Water that does not come from a safe source or is not stored correctly, can cause lots of diseases. Such as parasite infestation, cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, hepatitis, and other infections. Also, Unsafe drinking water is one of the causes of an estimated 1.7 billion cases of diarrheal disease every year.
8 things you can do to slow down or prevent the onset of illness
- Ensure that all your drinking water—including the water used for brushing teeth, making ice, washing food and dishes, or cooking—comes from a safe source, such as an adequately treated public supply or sealed bottles from a reputable company.
- If there is any possibility that your piped supply has been contaminated, boil your water before use or treat it with an appropriate chemical product.
- When using chemicals, such as chlorine or water-purifying tablets, follow the maker’s directions carefully.
- Use quality water filters, if available and affordable.
- If no water-treatment products are available, add household bleach, eight drops per gallon of water (two drops per liter), mix well, and then let the water stand for 30 minutes before using it.
- Always store treated water in clean, covered containers to protect it from possible recontamination.
- Ensure that any vessel used to take water from your stored supply, such as a ladle, is clean.
- Handle water containers with clean hands, and do not dip your hands or fingers into the water used for drinking.
3. Watch what you eat
Good health and lifestyle are impossible without good nutrition, and for good nutrition, you need a healthy, balanced diet. You may need to consider your intake of salt, fats, and sugar, and you should watch your portion sizes. Remember to include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Also, read the food package before you buy. This will help you to select whole-grain foods at the shops. These are richer in nutrients and fiber than the alternatives made from refined grain. As for proteins, eat small and lean portions of meat and poultry and try to eat fish a couple of times a week.
If you eat too many sugars and solid fats, you risk becoming overweight or having belly fat. To minimize this risk, drink water instead of sweet beverages. Furthermore, eat more fruit instead of sugary foods. Limit your intake of solid fats, and instead of using solid fats for cooking, you may want to use healthier oils.
Furthermore, too much salt, or sodium, in the diet can also raise your blood pressure to an unhealthy level. If this is your problem, use the information on food packaging to keep your sodium intake low. Instead of salt, use herbs and spices to flavor your meals.
Simple 5 Ways to minimize the risks
- Vegetables grow in soil that may have been treated with manure, so wash these items carefully before preparing them.
- Wash your hands, cutting board, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot, soapy water before preparing each item.
- To avoid cross-contamination, never put food on a surface or plate that was previously in contact with raw eggs, poultry, meat, or fish, without first washing that surface.
- Cook until the food reaches the right temperature, and promptly refrigerate any perishable items that are not going to be eaten immediately.
- Discard perishable items left at room temperature for more than two hours or one hour if air temperature exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32°C).
4. Stay physically fit and active
Everyone needs regular physical activity to stay in good shape. It is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and is recommended for everyone, including older adults with a disability. It is never too late to start exercising. Staying physically active can help you to
- Sleep well.
- Decreased fatigue
- Stay mobile.
- Maintain strong bones and muscles.
- Maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
- Lower your risk of suffering from depression and/ or anxiety
- Lower your risk of premature death.
- Improved balance to help prevent falls
- Decreased fatigue
- Improved cardiovascular function (lower blood pressure and cholesterol)
- Improved social interactions and self-esteem
- Improved bowel and bladder functioning
Not staying physically active, can lead to the following problems
- Suffer from heart disease.
- Suffer from type 2 diabetes.
- Develop high blood pressure.
- Develop high cholesterol.
- Suffer a stroke.
- Flabby body
- Little energy
- Stiff joints
- Poor posture
5. Get enough sleep
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting adequate rest each night allows the body’s blood pressure to regulate itself. Doing so can reduce the chances of sleep-related conditions such as apnea and promote better overall heart health.
In addition, getting the right amount of rest should not be considered optional. Insufficient sleep has been linked to obesity, depression, heart disease, diabetes, and tragic accidents. Surely these give us good reason to want to get enough rest. According to experts, sufficient sleep is important for:
- Growth and development in children and teenagers.
- Learning and retention of new information.
- Maintaining the right balance of hormones that impact metabolism and weight.
- Cardiovascular health.
- Disease prevention.
What you can do if you realize that you have a problem getting enough sleep?
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Make your bedroom quiet, dark, relaxing, and neither too warm nor too cold.
- Do not watch TV or use gadgets while in bed.
- Make your bed as comfortable as possible.
- Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
- Keep your body hydrated.
- Take a cold shower and use peppermint essential oil.
- Movement and light help wake you up.
- Eat the right foods.
- Try power napping
If after applying these suggestions you still suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders, such as excessive daytime sleepiness or gasping for breath while sleeping, then you may want to consult a qualified healthcare professional. Being healthy should be part of our overall lifestyle.
According to research, lifestyle has a significant influence on our physical and mental health. Individual health and quality of life are correlated to lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be negotiable.
Sara Leandro is a certified health coach who helps others feel their best through individualized lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals. She covers topics ranging from health and productivity to relationships.