Miscellaneous 6 MIN READ 1680 VIEWS July 3, 2022 Read in Hindi

Research-Backed Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is not a one-trick pony. It entails a series of small efforts that steer your life to becoming happy, healthy, and worthy. Fortunately, each choice made, the supporting effort to implement it and its positive result motivate you to tread the path further. Read through to know about the healthy lifestyle tips and the research-backed benefits of healthy lifestyle.

What are Healthy Lifestyle Habits?

According to the World Health Organisation, a healthy lifestyle definition marks good health as a ‘state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ Healthy lifestyle habits focus on bringing together the eight aspects of well-being – emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual. Healthy lifestyle habits primarily revolve around:

  1. Healthy eating habits
  2. Regular exercise
  3. Maintaining a healthy body weight
  4. Adequate sleep
  5. No smoking
  6. Alcohol in moderation
  7. Emotionally cheerful

Healthy Lifestyle Benefits

Making small changes to improve your daily habits can go a long way in improving health. Interestingly, while healthy lifestyle habits are incorporated and practised at an individual level, they contribute significantly to the advancement of society at large. The healthy lifestyle benefits include:

1. Reducing the Risk of Developing Diseases

Ill health is the result of stress, inadequate or imbalanced nutrition, lack of sleep, and practising unhealthy lifestyle habits with little or no self-care. Any or all of these factors together can push the body into a state of shock, leading to a higher risk of developing diseases. Healthy lifestyle habits, on the other hand, help the body to stay in a state of balance. With reduced stress on body organs, each organ functions optimally to ensure good health and well-being.

2. Increasing Energy Levels

When the body is not in a state of balance it is more likely to experience physical pressures. This erodes energy levels and inhibits the body to function optimally. But a healthy lifestyle ensures that the body gets what it requires and desires, all in optimal quantities. This perks up energy levels which in turn confers positivity along with physical and mental well-being.

3. Reducing Depression and Increasing Happiness

The levels of feel-good hormones in our bodies decide our mood. Our gut is responsible for producing these neurotransmitters namely, serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine, and nitric oxide, which are important for our mental well-being. Healthy lifestyle habits, like proper nourishment and regular exercise, ensure that our gut stays healthy. A healthy gut and gut bacteria help regulate the feel-good chemicals effectively and more frequently, thus reducing depressive symptoms and increasing positivity.

4. Helping Maintain Body Weight

The two key habits of following a healthy lifestyle include eating right and exercising regularly. These two habits play a crucial role in managing our body weight. Increased body weight is the root cause of various ailments which impair the quality of life. A healthy lifestyle ensures that every aspect is carefully balanced to maintain a healthy body weight.

5. Increasing Confidence

Healthy lifestyle habits allow us to be in control of our physical appearance and mental health. Every desirable body change pushes us further into self-care. This boosts confidence and enhances self-worth. 

6. Increasing Lifespan

By practising healthy habits, we boost our chances to live longer. Research suggests that eating better, exercising regularly, having a positive outlook, and feeling good; all increase our chances of living beyond the average life expectancy. A healthy lifestyle contributes significantly to achieving every aspect.

7. Improving Financial Health

By leading a healthy lifestyle through following small healthy habits, we save money in a big way. With increased productivity, our income increases. On the other hand, reduced medical ailments lead to fewer doctor visits and reduced medical bills. This reduces our expenses. Also, we tend to spend less on expensive unhealthy habits. Thus, disposable income increases manifold. 

8. Making You Disciplined and Organised

A healthy lifestyle affects each aspect of your life. This makes you more disciplined and organised which further motivates you to perform better. With more energy and time at hand, one can focus on specific areas by setting goals. By practising the SMART goal approach and achieving them successfully, one is more likely to feel accomplished and experience contentment in life.

How to Follow a Healthy Lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle is a concoction of small healthy habits accompanied by positive decision-making and a cheerful outlook. Here are the tips that will help you follow a healthy lifestyle:

1. Eat Healthy

Having a well-balanced diet is the first and foremost step towards a healthy lifestyle. Depending upon age, sex, and level of physical activity, the daily calories required vary between 2,000 and 2500 calories per day. Carbohydrates account for 45 to 65 percent of these daily calories, whereas 10 to 30 per cent must come from proteins, and 25 to 35 percent from fat. In addition to this, adequate micronutrients along with water and fibre are required for optimum functioning of the body.

2. Don’t Skip Your Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It breaks your overnight fast and gives a jumpstart to your metabolism. Skipping breakfast or not getting adequate nutrition through it makes you feel sluggish and thus reduces productivity. A healthy breakfast also stops us from overeating later in the day. Also, remember to eat your breakfast within two hours of waking up and try to brighten it up with as many food groups as possible.

3. Drink Plenty of Water

Water is paramount for a healthy body. It keeps the body hydrated and acts as a medium to carry out important chemical reactions in the body. Water also helps in the upkeep of the health of all body organs, especially kidneys and skin. The daily dietary requirement for water ranges from 2.7 litres to 3.7 litres per day. Remember to drink water at regular intervals throughout the day. This will avoid straining the kidneys.

4. Exercise Regularly

A sedentary lifestyle leads to piling up of calories. Calories that are not burned during the day are stored in the form of fats. Being overweight increases the risk of obesity and a range of associated problems. On the other hand, a physically active lifestyle not only helps use the calories but also improves the health of different body organs. 

5. Don’t Smoke

Smoking is the worst lifestyle habit. It is solely responsible for a range of health conditions, including severe forms of cancers. As smoking is addictive, the urge to smoke increases and the health condition worsens with time. Quitting smoking is undoubtedly the best lifestyle decision for healthy living.

6. Get Plenty of Sleep

There is nothing more therapeutic than a good night’s sleep. Sleeping well through the night coupled with a small siesta helps the muscles to repair and replenish. It helps perk up energy levels and sharpens memory and focus. On the other hand, sleep deprivation leads to severe health problems, including increasing the risk of developing heart disease. 

7. Get Adequate Sunshine

A few minutes in the sunshine elevates your vitamin D levels. The vitamin is important for the bones and heart and is crucial for the production of the feel-good hormones in the body. Adequate levels of Vitamin D are therefore important for a happy and cheerful life.

8. Take Alcohol in Moderation

Moderation is the key when it comes to consuming alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol is potentially dangerous for health, increasing the risk of numerous health problems. Alcohol is also a source of empty calories. On the contrary, moderate consumption of alcohol may provide certain health benefits like reducing the risk of ischemic stroke and heart disease.

9. Pursue Hobbies

Developing new skills and pursuing hobbies helps keep the brain active and healthy. They are potent mental exercises that slow down the signs of ageing. Doing what you love doing the most also increases positivity and well-being.

10. Build a Strong Social Bond

A healthy lifestyle entails both physical and emotional well-being. While healthy lifestyle practices nourish the body, a group of close friends and strong social bonding is food for the soul. Spending time with friends is a source of emotional well-being.

11. Manage Stress Levels 

Stress is a part and parcel of our daily life. Small amounts of stress in small bursts are important for health. But frequent and prolonged episodes of stress can wreak havoc. Effective stress management happens with mindful thinking, meditation, relaxation therapies, indulging in hobbies, etc.

How to Set SMART Health Goals?

To achieve the overall objectives of leading a healthy lifestyle, one must set SMART goals. These goals should be objectively measurable and have a timeline attached to them.

To write your goals, set them as:

  1. S – Specific
  2. M – Measurable
  3. A – Achievable
  4. R – Relevant
  5. T – Time-Bound

Conclusion

Progress does not necessarily mean the adoption of tech-based products. In today’s fast-paced world, the adoption of a healthy lifestyle can be considered equivalent to progress. If one can balance the hectic lifestyle with a regular physical regimen and make sure that the daily diet is well balanced, you are well on course to reach your destination. Quitting bad habits is a sine-qua-non for a healthy lifestyle. 

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