The right healthy living behaviours can help to prevent or manage many chronic medical conditions.
Without health, life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering. Francois Rabelais
With dramatically rising rates of preventable chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer, “healthy living” needs to become a way of life.
Alas many people are inadequately prepared or knowledgeable to get started on making the necessary healthy changes.
Healthy living refers to practices consistent with supporting, improving, maintaining and/or enhancing health. Healthy Living requires making healthy choices every day. It makes sense because as I’m sure you already know if you are not doing everything you can to improve your overall health you are jeopardizing the quality of your life, leaving yourself at risk of ill health.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows our lifestyles play a huge part in how healthy we are, and when for too long you have a bad, unhealthy lifestyle the consequences can be disastrous.
It is an undeniable fact that what you eat and drink, how much exercise you do, whether you smoke or drink alcohol, the amount of sleep you get, your levels of stress, all are factors that affect your health, not only in terms of life expectancy, but how long you can expect to live without experiencing chronic disease.
Therefore it is essential you do everything you can to ensure healthy living is central to your life.
You have the power to change the choices you make for your future. If you want a different outcome then you must accept that what you’ve been doing up until now is not working, so you must make a change. The only person that can change your life is you.
If you keep going on auto-pilot, ignoring the signals that your body gives you, then you’ll end up sacrificing your health and happiness. If you commit yourself to healthy living you give yourself the best chance for health and happiness.
Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well; and not today’s pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man. James H. West
You must make healthy living a priority in your life. If your health is important to you then you will make healthy living a priority.
To help you with this let me provide you with 10 rules of healthy living.
1. Eliminate your Bad Habits
Bad habits are preventing you from healthy living, there is no doubt about that. You may not want to admit it, but most of us have at least one bad habit. If you are committed to your health, then you have to admit to your personal bad habits, acknowledge their destructiveness and set about changing them. Stopping these bad habits, will increase your odds of being happy and healthy. Whether it be emotional eating, drinking alcohol in excess, smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle, not getting enough sleep or another bad habit, the time has come where you replace these habits with far better and healthier ones.
2. Eat Healthily
Your body requires a well-balanced diet every day in order to maintain the adequate amounts of vitamins, nutrients and minerals needed to maintain a healthy body. Healthy eating can help you control your weight and reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other health problems such as high cholesterol. There is much written about what healthy eating entails. In my experience a well-balanced diet should consist of complex carbohydrates, protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and lots of water. Saturated fats, sugars and salts should be kept to a minimum.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Water eliminates toxins, increases energy, aids in weight loss, and promotes better brain function. Water is your most important nutrient. You can live only three days without it, and it is involved in every metabolic reaction in your body. Yet most of us don’t drink enough. When we are properly hydrated our heart and blood vessels work much better, along with all of our other bodily functions—we think better, our strength and endurance are better, we feel better, we are healthier, and we will live longer. I recommend a minimum of 2 litres daily. Get drinking!
4. Get Active & Exercise your Body
Moderate exercise can improve your quality of life by firming muscles, controlling weight, strengthening the heart and lungs, improving circulation and digestion, burning calories, and building strength, endurance and flexibility. We first appeared on this earth as hunters and gatherers, with bodies designed to move. We we’re not designed to sit in a chair all day. Sorry for telling you that but it’s true. Daily physical activity can greatly improve your quality of life and lifespan. For healthy living, aim for a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, which is 30 minutes on 5 days. Walking is a great starting point.
5. 8 Hours of Sleep a night
Lack of rest weakens your immune system and makes you susceptible to illness and disease. Taking time out for quality shut-eye is a key component of healthy living. Research shows time after time that the average adult needs six to eight hours of sleep each day. If you aren’t getting a good eight hours of sleep a night, you may suffer from sleep deprivation which has a very negative impact on one’s health.
6. Power up your Morning
What could be more important than starting the morning perfectly and being energized and optimistic? Have you ever noticed that when your morning gets off to a bad start, everything just seems to go downhill from there? You need to create a healthy morning routine beneficial for your physical and emotional health which you perform for one hour immediately after wake up. As you adopt these new habits into your life, you will find that your overall health improves; you will stave off stress and support wellbeing. Within this hour you can include exercise, stretching, deep breathing, visualisation, journaling, and affirmations which together will create an empowered morning routine that gets you out of bed excited and raring to get started.
7. Develop a Positive Mind & Self Image
A healthy life begins on the inside. When you power up your mind with positive thoughts and energy, it will empower you to change your life in a positive way, to positively shape your life, to help you create, live and enjoy the life you’ve always dreamed of. Loving yourself is a key to a healthy, happy lifestyle. Self-esteem is all about how much people value themselves; the pride they feel in themselves, and how worthwhile they feel. Self-esteem is important because feeling good about yourself can affect how you act. We are all driven internally by our own perception of who we are. Low self-esteem and negative thinking are major impacts on your health, both physically and mentally. You need to program your mind for total success.
8. Practice Stress Management
Effective stress management is another key to healthy living. Stress can have a negative effect on your well-being, effect your sleep, lessen energy levels and cause a variety of illnesses. Stress isn’t preventable, but learning how to deal with it effectively can prevent it from negatively impacting your health. Practicing positive self-talk, eliminating unnecessary stress, taking time away from work to relax keeps your stress levels manageable. Reduce your stress level by using progressive muscular relaxation, visualisation, affirmations and meditation all proven to reduce stress and increase a feeling of well-being.
9. Just breathe
The way you breathe has a dramatic effect on your sense of wellbeing. Many people breathe poorly, without even realizing it. It’s important to maintain proper breathing. Always—even when you are just walking around—breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth so as to breathe in clean oxygen and remove that which your body has already processed. Also by breathing from your diaphragm allowing your belly to extend, instead of your chest, on every inhalation; you will be drawing the air deep into your body, so much better for you than shallow breathing.
10. Life must be in balance
A fully balanced life is required for health and happiness. We each have different areas of life that are important to us. For example Health & Fitness, Emotions, Relationships, Finances, Career/Business, Family, Friends and Self-Development. All aspects of one’s self, must work in harmony to achieve healthy living, so you need to create a balanced life … spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, mentally and financially. All of the key areas of our lives overlap and interlink, effecting each other so to live a contented, happy and healthy life you must not ignore any one of them.
I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. Joyce Meyer
By following these 10 rules you will be giving yourself the best chance for health living. Over the next month or so, I will provide more detail about each of the rules by writing a separate blog post for each. So look out for the Healthy Living Series of articles.
Do you find it difficult to stay motivated when trying to make changes to your health? Are you aware that changes must be made in your daily life but you don’t know where to begin? If so then health and wellness coaching might just be the solution you have been seeking. Check out my coaching services. Why not arrange to have a 30 minute free consultation.
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