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Almost every person hopes to have a long, healthy life. However, many persons do not recognize the fundamental life choices that when made, can enable them live healthy, and often take these choices to be sacrifices that are not worth making. Choosing to adopt a healthy lifestyle has several benefits to the body such as a significant improvement of life expectancy, having a life free of disease and ailments, having a fit body, and the overall well being of the body.
Today, most of us focus on making outside changes in order to look healthy, such as using cosmetics. What we do not realize is that what we put in our body and how we handle it ultimately determines how we look, feel, energy levels, and the general health of the body. In order to be healthy, a person does not necessarily have to make radical changes to the lifestyle, rather, it involves making simple small changes to everyday life.
Changes such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, adding a fruit to a meal, having a glass of water at every opportune instance, and eating snacks in moderation are just some of the few steps to having a healthy life. In order to live healthy, a person should focus on keeping fit, eating healthy, checking on their weight, getting enough sleep, and avoiding risky behaviors such as smoking and taking alcohol in moderation.
One of the greatest impediments to living healthy is the lack of physical activity. Although many people recognize the benefits of keeping fit, they avoid it either because they think it is a waste of time, or they are used to a sedentary lifestyle. The truth is, the more a person engages in physical activity, the healthier they become.
Physical activity does not have to be vigorous, in fact, even simple activities such as gardening, walking, and partaking in domestic chores can greatly improve one’s health. Even recreational activities such as cycling, dancing and swimming can help in keeping fit.
The benefits of physical activity include a reduction of the risks of heart diseases and diabetes, improvement of mental health, strengthening of bones and muscles, and helping with a number of health niggles such as digestion and poor posture, among other benefits.
Eating well entails striving to have a balanced diet at all instances. A good diet not only helps in weight management, but it can also improve a person’s health and the overall quality of life. Every meal should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, grain products and legumes, but less of foods that contain more calories and fats. Although proteins rich foods such as meats are important to the body, they should be taken in moderation, and the focus should be on leaner meats (mainly white meat) and foods with little or no fat.
Consuming dairy products with little or no fats, such as skimmed milk, is another simple plan for reducing the quantity of calories entering the body. Eating habits such as eating while one is not hungry, skipping breakfast, and eating fast should be avoided. A person should also strive to drink as much water as possible since the body requires at least 8 cups of water each day.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
One major step to being healthy is to maintain a healthy weight, and this may entail shedding off excess weight, gaining weight for underage persons, or maintaining that ideal weight. Eating right and participating in physical activities can go a long way in having a healthy weight and avoiding the health problems arising from being overweight.
To avoid being overweight or to shed off the extra pounds, a person should avoid high-calorie foods, or consume them in moderation and partake in regular physical activity. Trying to gain weight can be more difficult than losing weight. In gaining weight, one must not focus on consuming junk foods or snacks as this can clog the arteries and lead to heart diseases. Calories and fats must be obtained from healthy foods.
Getting Enough Sleep
Failure to have enough sleep can have a negative impact on a person’s life, for instance, people who sleep less than seven hours a day are more exposed to catarrhal diseases than those who sleep for at least eight hours. The need for sleep varies among different persons, therefore, one should determine his/her own sleep requirements, and strive to have adequate sleep every day. As a caution, alcohol, or any other drug, should not be used to induce sleep as this would only lead to a pass out, not sleep.
Lifestyle choices such as avoiding cigarettes, avoiding excess calories from alcohol, sugar and fats, reducing the intake of high-fat foods, and partaking in physical activities should be emphasized on a day-to-day basis. Although alcohol has been found to be important to the body, it should be taken in moderation as it exposes the body to harmful compounds (cigarettes have the same effect).
All of us aspire to be healthy and engage in different activities to achieve this objective, however, there is no single way of ensuring that we are healthy for the rest our life. A healthy life is a cumulative product of various activities as outlined above, and discarding certain choices. The activities outlined must be observed on a day-to-day basis, and this does not have to mean making drastic changes, it is the simple, small changes that lead to a healthy life. In fact, drastic changes can lead to failure, or other side effects.