This article is designed to give readers guidelines on improving their life activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It includes significant aspects that are considered to be part of a lifestyle that leads to good health. In addition to the guidelines about what people should do for healthy living, the article mentions some suggestions about avoiding some activities (the don’ts) that lead to an unhealthy life.
“Healthy living” means both mental health and physical health when kept in equilibrium in a person. In many cases, mental health states and physical health states correlate with each other, so that a change in any state directly impacts the other. So, some of the guidelines will include suggestions for psychological “healthy living.”
Eat Healthy and Complete your Nutrition Levels.
We all should eat healthy food to maintain our body’s health as we all have different nutrition requirements, which depend on our age, sex, and physical activity. For example, a newborn requires four-hourly feeding until they grow because of the massive need for nutrition and eventually start taking solid food. Within a few years, they develop standard patterns of eating three times per day. If we want to make our life healthy, we should eat healthy items that fulfill our required nutrition levels.
Eat three times a day breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a calculated amount of calories; it is essential to remember that dinner shouldn’t be the heaviest among these three meals.
Mostly the food consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk products or fat-free products. Meats like fish and chicken are an adequate protein that should be added to your diet in a required quantity. Avoid having high fats, cholesterol, and sugar as much as you can. Divide your food into portions and control the size of portions; eat small portions first, which can barely satisfy your hunger and then stop eating and, after some time, start with another portion.
Healthy snacks can be added to your meal plans if they consist of fruits, grains, and nuts. Try to avoid soda bottles and especially those containing high sugars because of unwanted massive calories in them, and “Diet Drinks” do also not consider right for your health as they make you hungry and can increase your food consumption. Avoid taking large meals just before sleeping; it will cause Gastrointestinal disturbances and weight gain.
If your angry and in depression eating more is not a solution for that, you should consider this. Avoid giving children snacks with high sugar value in them. In hot weather, especially in summers, try to eat less and organized. Vegetarian life should be promoted to lose weight. Vegetarians are at high risk of being nutrition deficient, especially iron deficiency, so they should visit their physician to have alternative methods.
Stop eating undercooked food and keep monitoring your fat and glucose levels in daily routine.
People who have a busy schedule and unpredictable workload should have their breakfast, lunch, and dinner in routine and, if not possible, have to have good healthy snacks.
Exercise and Physical Activity
Exercise and physical activity are critical factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and energy for your work. Lack of physical activity or exercise is the route of obesity, which is the main factor of an unhealthy lifestyle. On the other hand, proper physical exercise will help your body strengthen it and prevent age-related muscle weaknesses, improve your balance, flexibility, and endurance, and decrease the risk of falls in the elderly. Regular exercise can help avoid CHD (coronary heart disease), stroke, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. The weight-bearing exercises will help you to strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Some exercises can help chronic arthritis and improve your capacity to perform daily work like driving your car, lifting things, and opening jars. Exercise in a routine will help you build more confidence and increase self-esteem, decrease your stress and anxiety, make your mood better, and improve mental health.
At least thirty to sixty minutes of moderate exercise is recommended, generally including walking and running 3-5 days a week. The most desirable health benefits come from exercising every day of the week. Exercise can be done in further smaller sections of 10-15 minutes each for convince.
Always start the exercise with less amount of workload and then gradually increase its load or time. For example, start with 10 minutes of running and increase 1 minute every day. A gradual increase in exercise won’t affect your muscles and will strengthen them instead of the sudden load that may tear your muscles and leads to muscular injuries and spasms. There are no age limits to start exercise; in extreme ages like in the 70s, you can begin an exercise, and it will help you keep your body healthy. Any exercise resistance-based, aerobics, simple walking, swimming, weight lifting, yoga, etc. helps everybody. Children also need exercise; for them, they should play outside and must take part in extracurricular activities like sports and dancing. Many types of sports are there for children, which helps them to increase their metabolism and keep them energetic, but the only precaution for them is don’t overdo any sport; it may cause injuries. Parents should do observe their children during sports events to minimize any chance of injuries. People should consult doctors before starting any hardcore exercise. They can start walking without any consultations because men over 40 years and women over 50 are in the wear and tear stage of their life.
Certain diseases like asthma, diabetes, MI, and epilepsy should always consult their physicians before starting any exercise. People who do rough exercises with these diseases may develop chest pain or angina and breathlessness. People who are at high risk of developing myocardial infarction having a positive family history, high cholesterol levels, increased age, and smoking history should always consult their doctors because heavy exercise will increase the chances of worsening their condition to hospitalization, but on the other hand physical activity and moderate exercise with proper prescription will decrease their chances of having extreme results.
Physical activity is also very helpful in controlling diabetes type II and obesity. Physical inactivity will lead to weight gain, which is known to be the mother of all illnesses.
A healthy lifestyle is formed by the health of both the physical and mental components of the body. So, mental health as a whole is equally significant in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I am going to discuss a few points which will help you maintain mental health which will automatically lead you to a healthy lifestyle:
- Get enough sleep regularly studies suggest that the following by age groups that is 14-18 hours for a newborn till the age of 2 months, 13-14 hours for a baby of age 3-11 months, 13-17 hours for a child of age 1-3 years, 12-13 hours for a child of 3-5 years, 10-11 hours for a child of 5-10 years, 8-10 hours for the age of 10-17 years. Those older than this age should sleep 7-9.5 hours daily, including elderly groups of people, including naps.
- Try something new to energize yourself and get a break of your calculated daily schedule and eat new things, use a different route to work, and attend events and gathering to relax.
- Like your body, your mind also needs to work out. Try to do mind exercises with puzzle games, readings, etc. Focus on something intensely and complete that segment of it over some time and repeat it in a few hours, then take a break and do something relaxing to cheer you up.
- Try to involve people from other categories and spend some time with them and discuss with them.
- Have a pleasant time in your busy routine in which you can do whatever you want to do and relax your mind correctly.
- The most important thing is to try to say “NO” when you don’t want to do and saying no can save you from many problems and build confidence inside you.
- Always have a bundle of friends around you and develop a habit of making new friends and discuss your problems openly with then and reach out to help others.
If you want to quit smoking, first set a date for caseation. If possible, plan it with your friend to quit smoking with you. It’s the best method, if applicable. If you choose a date that’s too far will discourage you from attaining the goal, try to set dare Notice when and why you smoke. Change the routine of your smoking by keeping your cigarettes in a different spot, change the hand of your smoking. Don’t do other things when you’re smoking. Think about the adverse effects of tobacco when you smoke.
Dr. M. Raza Zaidi
M.B.B.S (UHS), Internal Medicine (Intern)
Coordinator at National Telemedicine Center Pakistan