Your health is directly affected by your lifestyle and diet. So, how to change your lifestyle to be healthier?
You can’t change your genetic makeup, but there are lifestyle choices you can make to promote health. Keeping up with your diet, activity, sleep, or smoking can reduce your risk of disease and potentially extend your life. So what are those healthy lifestyles?
* Get enough sleep .
Sleeping on time and getting enough sleep is first on the list. Sleep is often overlooked as people focus on diet and exercise, but the link between sleep and longevity has been proven.
A good night’s sleep is important to recharge both body and mind. It helps the body repair cells and remove waste. Sleep is also important in creating memories, and lack of sleep leads to forgetfulness.
Even if you intend to sleep well, health problems can disrupt your plans.
* Eat well-balanced meals.
A healthy diet gives you energy and reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. These diseases have been shown to be linked to food and nutrition.
Taking steps towards a lifelong change in diet will help more than adopting a temporary diet. One way to start is with the Mediterranean diet because it has a wide variety of healthy foods. The more you follow the Mediterranean diet, the lower your risk of a range of diseases.
The Mediterranean diet is high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, vegetable oils, and a variety of herbs and spices. This diet has no highly processed foods, refined grains, or added sugars.
* Make time for physical activity.
It also reduces bone loss as you age and with it the risk of osteoporosis. Crucially, a 2021 study of colon cancer survivors found that living in an exercise-friendly “green” community reduced the risk of death.
Best of all, being physically active is an inexpensive way to improve your health and even save you money. Your health may sometimes limit your exercise options, but you can keep moving by cleaning, mowing, sweeping sidewalks, and other basic chores.
* Maintain a healthy body weight.
Obesity is associated with a shorter life expectancy and an increased risk of many diseases. The good news is that being a little overweight doesn’t shorten your life.
A 2018 study looked at body mass index (BMI) and mortality over a 24-year period. A normal BMI is between 19 and 24. For obese people, a BMI of 30 to 35 means a 27% increase in mortality. A BMI between 35 and 40 was associated with a 93% increase.
What weight is ideal? Among overweight but not obese people (BMI between 25 and 30), mortality was only higher in those who also smoked. People with a BMI higher than normal (eg, BMI 24) had the lowest risk of death.
* No smoking .
In the United States alone, smoking causes about 480,000 deaths each year. Adding to this is another 16 million people who are living but struggling with a smoking-related illness. If you want to have a good chance of living no matter how long you live, don’t smoke.
The list of smoking-related diseases and cancers is extensive. If you find it difficult to quit and think that illness will only come later in life, you should think about shorter-term goals.
Smoking accelerates aging. There is also a link between smoking and erectile dysfunction in men. Quitting or avoiding tobacco in the first place is better for your health and those around you.
* Limit or avoid alcohol.
Despite the hype about red wine and longevity, alcohol should only be consumed in moderation and not everyone can drink it. Red wine has been shown to provide some health protection, but with it comes harm if you consume too much. Women who drink three drinks a week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer.
Moderate alcohol consumption (one drink per day for women, two drinks for men) may reduce the risk of heart disease. Heavy drinking can lead to health and other problems, including a higher risk for:
– High Blood Pressure
– Heart disease
– Some cancers
For a long healthy life, the six healthy lifestyles are getting enough sleep, eating healthy, being physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking, and limiting alcohol. These factors may sound like advice you’ve heard many times, but all of them have proven useful when applied in real life and yielded positive results.
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