Your lifestyle choices have a major effect on your health. Your mother and grandmother might have told this to you many times. Now research has proved it too. As per a recent study, certain lifestyle factors can increase your chances of living longer and healthier.
Healthy habits may add a decade to your life. Here’s how.
If you want to live healthier and longer, take care of the five crucial health factors. These are:
- Healthy Diet:
A healthy diet is a key factor in maintaining better health. It can protect you against many chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, even some cancers. Proper diet is also important for better immunity.
A good quality diet is rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and low in salt, sugars, saturated & trans-fats. A healthy diet includes staples like cereals, fruits, vegetables, starchy tubers or roots, and animal products like meat, fish, eggs, and milk. Try to eat fruits and vegetables of all colors. And reduce your intake of salt, sugars, and unhealthy fats. It is also important to observe proper meal times. Erratic eating habits and long gaps between meals can also adversely affect health.
- Regular Exercise:
Only proper diet isn’t enough to maintain good health. You need regular exercise too. An active lifestyle can save you from many diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular problems, etc. Regular moderate exercise like walking for at least 30 minutes, five days a week can help you feel healthier and happier.
Exercise helps in managing healthy body weight, lowers blood cholesterol, and reduces the risk of a heart attack. It can also reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and may even save you from some cancers. Regular exercise also helps in managing blood pressure. It reduces the risk of Osteoporosis and is essential for maintaining strong bones, muscles, and joints.
When you stay active, you have better immunity. This can help in quicker recovery from injuries and diseases. Exercise also ensures better sleep and improves mood, making you feel happier and more relaxed.
- Maintain a Healthy Body Mass Index:
Obesity is not just uncomfortable, it can lead to many serious health issues. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, some forms of cancer, anemia, infertility, etc. Your weight can also put too much strain on your back and joints, reduce immunity, and increase the risk of osteoporosis. So, maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for good health. Better Body Mass Index helps in managing non-insulin-dependent diabetes, increases energy levels, improves your self-esteem and makes you feel better.
So, try to maintain a healthy BMI. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help you achieve it.
Tip: How to calculate your BMI?
Use this simple formula: BMI = kg/m2 where kg is a person’s weight in kilograms and m2 is their height in meters squared.
Healthy BMI range for adults (18-65 years) is 18.5 to 24.9.
- Proper Sleep:
Good sleep is essential for better health. Sleep deprivation or sleep deficiency can impact your health, mood, and performance. Sleep helps in maintaining healthy brain functions and better overall physical health. It also supports growth and development in children and teenagers.
Lack of sleep makes you more vulnerable to heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. It also increases the risk of accidents, putting you and others around you at risk. If you don’t take enough sleep, it will also affect your mood.
So, no matter how busy you are, take enough sleep. 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day is enough for most adults. Children need more sleep than adults. Make sure your sleep time is tuned to your body clock. A regular sleep schedule and quiet time before sleeping helps in better sleep. Avoid heavy meals or heavy exercise before sleeping. Try to keep your bedroom quiet and clutter-free. Don’t stare at your smartphone or computer for long duration before sleeping. Remember, sleep is not only essential for rest, it is important for better health too.
- Positive Outlook:
People are often told to be positive. A positive outlook is essential for a happy life. Now it has been proved that positivity and optimism can also help you live a healthier life. Our thoughts and feelings can impact our bodily functions. Thinking negatively all the time can affect your sleep and give you stress and hypertension. It may even lower your immunity. Positive emotions strengthen your immune system, prevent depression, and make you feel happier and healthier. Positivity can save you from hypertension and heart disease and help you achieve better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels. Even when facing serious illness like cancer, positive outlook can help in speedier recovery.
So, maintain a positive outlook, think positive thoughts, and try to focus on the good things in life. It will make you feel happy. It will also help you have a better health.
Healthy lifestyle habits can give you longer and healthier life. Better life choices can give you better health. Avoid things that can hurt your health like smoking or excessive drinking. Maintain an active lifestyle and good weight. Remember that a healthy lifestyle with regular physical exercise, a well-balanced diet, proper hydration, and sufficient sleep can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Just a little care and you can easily add a decade to your life.