Healthy lifestyle - what is it? Guide

Healthy lifestyle - what is it?

Lifestyle is about everyday decisions, behaviors, activities and habits. According to M. Lalonde's concept, they affect human health in 53%. Other factors that influence them are healthcare, physical environment and genetics.

Health is defined as not only the absence of disease or disability, but a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being (well-being).

What is a healthy lifestyle? The definition combines the two concepts above - health and lifestyle. It means all behaviors, decisions, habits, activities that, according to modern medical knowledge, cause specific positive health effects. How to lead a healthy lifestyle? See the rules below.
What constitutes a healthy lifestyle?

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the most common names are diet and physical activity. However, there are a number of other elements that make up it. A healthy lifestyle is:

    healthy diet,
    physical activity,
    avoiding stimulants,
    screening tests,
    managing stress
    healthy sleep,
    the ability to rest.

Health behaviors related to psychosocial health also include using and giving social support, avoiding excessive stress, and managing problems and stress. Among health-promoting behaviors, the European Health and Behavior Research Survey also mentions safe sexual behavior, moderate exposure to the sun and compliance with road safety rules.

There are many activities and habits that have a positive effect on your overall well-being. How to start a healthy lifestyle?
Healthy diet

A healthy lifestyle is a healthy diet. Bad eating habits are usually associated with an excessive amount of food and poor quality of consumed products. These are the most popular dietary sins, but there are many more principles of a healthy diet. How to eat to enjoy good health and well-being? It is enough to take care of healthy eating habits, so:

    eat 4-5 meals a day,
    provide the amount of calories corresponding to individual needs,
    reach for a variety of meals,
    eat a lot of vegetables and fruits,
    avoid excessive amounts of animal fat and cholesterol,
    eat healthy carbohydrates and legumes,
    avoid eating sugars and sweets,
    drink about 2-2.5 liters of water in small sips.

A healthy lifestyle in terms of eating habits is primarily the consumption of a variety of wholesome food products in appropriate amounts and proportions.

Physical activity

Physical activity is closely related to the health and condition of the body. Its lack becomes a factor contributing to the development of many diseases - obesity, but also vascular disorders, hypertension and overweight. Too little exercise can even lead to a decrease in immunity, negatively affect the respiratory and muscular systems and neuromuscular coordination.

The World Health Organization has recognized obesity as a global epidemic of the 21st century. It is the fifth risk factor for deaths in the world. Obesity prevention is based on promoting a healthy lifestyle in terms of nutrition and physical activity.

The WHO issued new recommendations on physical activity in November 2020 according to which adults (18-64 years old) should perform:

    moderate activity for 150-300 minutes a week or
    intense activity for 75-150 minutes a week.

It is recommended to perform aerobic and strengthening exercises at the same time, which involve all parts of the muscles.

Supporting a healthy lifestyle by promoting physical activity in older people helps prevent falls and stay fit. Before starting any exercises, consult your physician. Physical activity should be performed three or more times a week, include a variety of exercises with an emphasis on balance and strengthening.

In the absence of contraindications, physical activity should be performed by pregnant and postpartum women. A healthy lifestyle in this population group is of particular importance. It is recommended that aerobic and muscle-toning exercise be performed for at least 150 minutes a week.

What form of physical activity is the best? Cycling, jogging, walking, swimming - the choice depends on individual abilities and preferences.

    The World Health Organization points out that any physical activity is better than nothing. Movement is critical to health, life expectancy, and well-being. It also has a positive effect on cognitive functions, sleep and mental health (reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression).

No addictions

A healthy lifestyle means no addictions. Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or using drugs have negative effects on health confirmed by numerous studies. Their use increases the risk of developing cancer. Nicotine is responsible for 1/3 of cancer cases (including lung, larynx, intestines, bladder), alcohol increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, tonsils and throat by 30% and is associated with the occurrence of over 60 diseases and injuries . The toxic effects of stimulants have a negative impact on most of the organs of the human body, as well as mental health. The harmfulness of nicotinism and alcoholism on brain cells is especially emphasized. Both addictions have a destructive effect on them, and smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol at the same time increase their negative impact.

    A healthy lifestyle is to eliminate the use of stimulants.

A daily consumption of more than 20 g by women and 40 g of pure alcohol by men more than 5 times a week is at risk of causing harm to health. In relation to smoking, it is said that there is no safe number of cigarettes that will not affect your health when smoking.

Manage your stress

The body's response to stress is twofold - it can either motivate you to act or have a negative impact. Stress disturbs the balance of the body and can cause significant changes in its functioning, such as an increase in blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbances, a decrease in magnesium and calcium levels, an increase in blood fat levels or a weakened immune system.

In dealing with stress, coping is very important. Individual ways of coping with stress include:

    physical exercise,
    relaxation,
    massage,
    integration of body, mind and spirit,
    discharging conflicts,
    developing the ability to communicate with others.

Being able to deal with stress is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. A significant role in managing stress is assigned to focus on the task at hand. In the event of stressful situations, it helps to overcome difficulties, which strengthens a person's positive attitude.
Regular examinations

Having regular check-ups is another behavior that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Systematic performance of research on health effects, primarily through the possibility of detecting diseases at an early stage and identifying an increased risk of disease, before the first clinical concerns appear. Examples of preventive examinations are the determination of cholesterol and blood glucose levels, but also cytology, self-monitoring and breast mammography, blood pressure measurement and ESR testing.

Detecting diseases at an early stage increases the chances of their cure.
Healthy sleep

Sleep is one part of a healthy lifestyle. According to research, an adult should sleep 7-8 hours a day. Too short but also too long sleep is conducive to the occurrence of many health disorders. Insufficient sleep is a factor in the development of hypertension, depression, obesity and stress. A regular dose of sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle that provides the body with adequate rest and affects its functioning. There are a number of factors that cause sleep disturbance. The causes of insomnia are: stimulants, some medications, poor health, shift work and disturbances in the circadian rhythm.

How to take care of sleep, which is an important component of a healthy lifestyle? Here are some tips:

    Get physically tired in the late afternoon.
    Lead a regular lifestyle.
    Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
    Don't sleep during the day.
    Get up at the same time.
    Don't try to force yourself to sleep and limit the time you spend in bed.
    Create the right conditions - silence, darkness.
    Don't eat heavy meals before bedtime.

The ability to rest

A healthy lifestyle is also the ability to rest, which consists primarily in performing activities involving other areas of the brain and body than professional work. The ability to rest is not only about setting time to meet this need, but most of all choosing the right activities. A person working in front of a computer should decide to take active rest - walking, jogging, cycling or dancing. Rest, however, does not have to be associated with movement all the time. Another way to relax is to develop passions and hobbies such as composing puzzles, reading books, cooking together or board games.

Why is it worth leading a healthy lifestyle? First of all, thanks to it, we reduce the risk of many serious diseases. Second, a healthy lifestyle is a source of physical and mental well-being. Awareness, knowledge and education of healthy habits is the capital that pays off throughout life, helping to maintain good condition and health of the body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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