How To Reap the Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle may seem like an unattainable goal, but it doesn't have to be. You are the one who gets to make health decisions for yourself, which means you have a lot of leeway when it comes to shaping what a healthy lifestyle looks like for you. Knowing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle can help motivate you to make some changes.
How Is a Healthy Lifestyle Defined?
Many people think of a healthy lifestyle as eating right and getting enough exercise. Those are actually only a few components. In addition to getting adequate physical activity and nutrition, a healthy lifestyle involves getting enough sleep, paying attention to mental health, and organizing your work commitments and your family and social obligations to achieve a better balance between the two.
Some people think of a healthy lifestyle as maintaining levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and other vital statistics within the predetermined ranges. These are objective measures of a healthy lifestyle but not a definition of it. A subjective measure of a healthy lifestyle is how consistently happy you are and whether the things you are doing make you feel good.
What Are the Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle?
The effects of living a healthy lifestyle can cover a broad spectrum. Here are a few examples of the benefits you can achieve.
People who eat a healthy diet, engage in regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, do not smoke, and only drink alcohol in moderation, if at all, are likely to live longer than their peers by approximately 14 years. Even if you cannot adopt all these changes, you could still lengthen your lifespan by modifying one or two habits.
Not only does a healthy lifestyle help you live longer, but it can also help you improve your quality of life by decreasing the risk of chronic diseases. Making some relatively minor lifestyle changes, such as getting at least 11 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per day or eating more whole grains and fruits, can make a big difference.
Preventing chronic diseases means that you don't have to go to the doctor or the hospital as often. This saves you money on medical expenses.
How Do You Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle?
Realizing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle involves setting specific goals for yourself. Vague aspirations tend not to provide sufficient motivation. The goals that you set for yourself to achieve a healthier lifestyle should have the following characteristics:
Choosing to modify your habits in ways that are appealing to you helps to keep you motivated. For example, there are lots of ways to become physically active, so if you don't like aerobics, try yoga instead. Don't eat foods that are considered healthy but that you cannot stomach; instead, choose a healthier alternative to junk food that you enjoy.
Part of what makes a lifestyle healthy is that it is flexible. This means that you can engage in your old habits once in a while as a special treat. Being healthy probably helps you to enjoy little indulgences more.