Tips for healthy living – Boost your health by following these healthy tips
Healthy living means both physical, mental, and emotional health are in balance or functioning well in a person. The trick to making your lifestyle healthier is to make small healthy changes every day. Being healthy involves more than eating an occasional salad or going for a short walk once every few weeks. To live a healthy lifestyle, consistently choose healthy foods, fit more exercise and physical activity into your daily routine, and practise good hygiene.
Tips for Healthy Living
All humans have to eat food for growth and maintenance of a healthy body. Tips for healthy eating include:
- Eat three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); also remember that dinner does not have to be the largest meal.
- Always drink enough water; at least 8 – 10 cups a day.
- The bulk of food consumption should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
- Choose lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and eggs.
- Choose foods that are free from or low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
- Control portion sizes; eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
- Taking of snacks is ok in moderation and should consist of items like fruits, whole grains, vegetables, or nuts to satisfy hunger and not cause excessive weight gain.
- Avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks because of the excessive calories in sodas and sugary drinks; diet drinks may not be a good choice as they make some people hungrier and increase food consumption.
- Avoid eating large meals before sleeping to decrease gastroesophageal reflux and weight gain.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats of any type.
- Quit smoking
Physical activity and exercise
Physical activity and exercise are major contributors to a healthy lifestyle; that is, people are made to use their bodies. Failure to use your body leads to unhealthy living which may manifest itself in obesity, weakness, lack of endurance and overall poor health that may foster disease development. Tips for physical activity and exercise include:
- Exercise can be broken up into smaller 10-minutes session
- Regular exercise can help control weight gain and in some people cause loss of fat
- Regular exercise can help increase self-esteem and self-confidence, decrease stress and anxiety, enhance mood, and improve general mental health.
- Regular exercise can prevent and reverse age-related decrease in muscle mass and strength, improve balance, flexibility, endurance, and decrease the risk of falls in elderly people. It can help prevent obesity, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
A healthy lifestyle involves more than physical health, it also includes mental and emotional health. Tips to support your mental health and well-being include:
- Get enough sleep as you can; at least seven to nine hours of sleep.
- Try something new and often (eat a new food, try a different route to work, go to a new museum display, etc).
- Take a walk and reflect on what you see and hear at least several times per week.
- Do some mental exercise like reading or doing a puzzle occasionally during the week.
- Try to make some leisure time to do some things that interest you such as a hobby, sports, etc.
- Spend some time talking with other people about different subjects/topics.
- Have fun; go on a trip with someone you love, go fishing or shopping. Do not let vacation slip away.
- Be pleased with your achievements, both big and small; be contented with what you have.
- Have a network of friends; those with strong social support systems lead healthier lives.
- Seek help and advice early if you feel depressed, have suicidal thoughts, or considering harming yourself or others.
Avoid tobacco use
Tobacco use causes cancers of the lungs, mouth, lips, tongue, oesophagus, kidney, and bladder. It also causes atherosclerotic arterial disease (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and lack of blood flow to the lower extremities. Pregnant women who smoke are more likely to deliver babies with low birth weight.
- Stop smoking tobacco
- Stop using chewing tobacco to avoid oral cancer
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Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
- Chronic, excess alcohol consumption is the major cause of liver cirrhosis which can cause internal haemorrhage, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, easy bleeding and bruising, muscle wasting, mental confusion, infections, and in advanced cases, coma and kidney failure. It can also lead to liver cancer.
Avoid high-risk sexual behaviours
High-risk sexual behaviour can lead to the acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, or HIV infection. This can lead to cervical cancer in women and other anogenital cancers in both men and women
Avoid other high-risk behaviours such as :
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while sleep-deprived
- Reckless driving and speeding, ‘road rage’.
- Driving while using cell phones, texting or performing other tasks.
- Possession of firearms and guns without proper training and storage
- Motorcycle and bicycle riding without helmets
- Smoking in bed