Healthy living can lead to better living and improved overall quality of life. Who doesn’t want that? So, here are some tips to help you acquire a healthy lifestyle, beginning with nutrition and exercise which play a starring role in health management.
A healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, as well as malnutrition. The World Health Organization and just about every other medical entity on the planet recommend eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Protein is also a great addition which can bolster energy and reduce hunger, but try to limit your fats within your protein intake by eating more fish, chicken and nuts and less red meat. Whole grains are preferred to white breads and rice. When snacking, try replacing chips with baked, whole grain crackers. Opting for apple or carrot slices is even better.
Other items to limit include salt. Did you know that you should only consume approximately five grams of salt per day? That is about one teaspoon! Soy, certain seasonings and processed foods can also contain large amounts of sodium, so you will want to remain cognizant of how much you consume of those as well.
Sugar intake should also be monitored. Less than ten percent of your daily intake should be sugar. Beware that sugar can be found in high amounts in sugary beverages as well as sugary snacks. Plus, remember that carbs, like those in pasta, can convert into sugar. You can try replacing your traditional pasta with whole grain pastas. Spaghetti squash, which is rich in its own nutrients, is an even better substitute.
Also try to limit your fat intake. No more than 30 percent of your total energy intake should come from fats. Some fats are better than others. For instance, unsaturated fats, such as those found in fish, avocados, nuts and oils like canola and olive, are better for you than the fats found in butter, red meats and cheeses. Trans-fats, found in baked goods, fried foods and pre-packaged foods such as frozen pizzas are also not recommended.
In addition, it is important to stay hydrated – not only to promote good digestion, but for overall body function and proper weight management.
Proper weight maintenance will help ward off a litany of health problems, such as joint issues, diabetes, high blood pressure. Eating the right foods, avoiding overeating and regular exercise can help. Healthy adults should engage in approximately two-and-a-half hours of moderate physical activity per week. Even household chores and gardening count!
Regularly monitoring blood pressure is imperative. Without any warning, hypertension can lead to heart, brain and kidney diseases, as well as death. Managing stress through self-care is also vital. So take time to relax, rejuvenate and do the things you like to do. Smiling, laughing, socializing and maintaining a positive attitude can all also reduce stress – improving physical as well as mental health.
Other Healthy Habits That Could Also Improve Your Quality of Life
Being proactive by keeping abreast of your health status is conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Regular check-ups and blood tests can help you and your medical professionals prevent diseases which, if otherwise left untreated, could lead to serious complications or even death.
Adequate, quality sleep can help to improve and maintain good health.
Smoking, as well as secondhand smoke can cause lung disease, heart disease and stroke. Don’t smoke.
Consuming alcohol in any amount is far from beneficial, but in large amounts can actually be harmful, leading to dangerous conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver, kidney issues, heart disease and certain cancers.
Protecting your skin from too much sun is also recommended. Just remember that vitamin D is a valuable nutrient and in small doses, the sun can promote a healthy lifestyle.
Vaccines can work with the body’s natural defense system to help build immunity.
Proper dental care is also proven to improve immunity. It can also help to protect your heart, as well as your overall health.
Practice safe food preparation – by cleaning food, cooking food thoroughly and storing food at safe temperatures – to avoid harmful bacteria, parasites and other harmful substances.
Good personal hygiene habits can help prevent bacterial and viral infections.
Safe sex can help protect you against sexually transmitted diseases that could affect your health and even your life expectancy.
Breastfeeding can provide valuable nutrition to babies and health benefits to mothers, including breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes and postpartum risk reduction.
If you can, switch to non-toxic household cleaning and personal care products. Houseplants can even improve brain and lung function by helping to cleanse the air inside our homes.
Try to avoid mosquito bites, as mosquitoes can carry dangerous and potentially life-threatening diseases, including malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus, dengue, chikungunya, lymphatic filariasis and yellow fever. Wearing light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants can help. Also use repellent, screens in your open windows and doors, and get rid of any places that promote mosquito breeding, such as standing water and tall, wet grasses or brush.
Take antibiotics only as prescribed. Antibiotic resistance can result in enormous health risks including more severe, prolonged illness and even increased mortality. Taking medication only as it is prescribed applies to all medicines so that they can be as effective and safe as possible. Abuse of medicines, even if they seem harmless, could cause detrimental results, such as liver damage caused by overuse of certain pain relievers or stomach damage from too much aspirin.