Your lifestyle has a significant effect on your mental and physical well-being. Although several factors contribute to overall health, a nutritious diet and physical activity that includes aerobic and strength-building exercises are two of the leading determinants. Diet and exercise help maintain energy levels, reduce stress and ward off weight gain. Along with improving cognitive function, they also prevent or lessen the effects of various chronic medical conditions. Positive lifestyle choices like limiting alcohol intake, quitting cigarettes and getting the proper amount of restorative sleep each day contribute to better overall health. Here is a closer look at some of the many benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
An inactive lifestyle and a poor diet play a prominent role in chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Engaging in physical activity most days of the week can prevent or improve the management of many lifestyle-induced ailments. You should always be mindful of the food that you consume. A 16-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2001 demonstrated that participants had a significantly lower risk of developing non-insulin-dependent diabetes if they maintained a healthy body mass index of 25 or lower. Being overweight also increases the risk for developing arthritis, high blood pressure and certain forms of cancer.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle improves your current quality of life and has the potential to add years as well. A June 2002 “American Journal of Public Health” article indicated that quitting smoking by age 35 could add six to eight years to a person’s life. Even stopping as late as age 65 could still add up to four years to a former smoker’s life expectancy. “Age and Ageing” published a 2003 study revealing the health risks of eating a poor diet, smoking and getting insufficient exercise. Study participants who engaged in these behaviors had an increased risk for heart disease and premature death. Watching what you eat, getting regular exercise and being mindful of your stress levels will enable you to balance various aspects of your life. Regular physicals, eye examinations and dental checkups also enhance longevity because they enable health care professionals to detect and treat many medical conditions in their early stages.
Effectively dealing with stress and anxiety also has a significant role in maintaining overall health. Emotional stress can play an important role in the development and management of many illnesses and chronic diseases. People who feel stressed are more likely to smoke, drink too much alcohol, overeat and have trouble in their interpersonal relationships. Regular exercise and a balanced, nutritious diet help lower stress. Activities that can help you manage stress also include massage therapy, meditation and yoga as well as breathing exercises and tai chi. A few minutes of quiet reflection before bed can improve the quality of sleep. Proper nutrition, regular exercise and adequate sleep can lower oxidative stress, reduce the chance of developing depression and boost your mood, which can help improve your memory, ability to learn and other cognitive functions.
We all desire to live a long, healthy and balanced life that is filled with vitality without mental and physical ailments. Virtually every aspect of your wellness is affected by your lifestyle. While bad habits detract from your overall health, choosing to live an active healthy lifestyle is an important contributor to achieving the goal of better overall health.
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