According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. This simply means health spans beyond physicality; it also means being mentally and emotionally fit.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle should be a part of your daily living as this can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses.
The 4 Criteria’s for Healthy Living
As paramount as the above statement is, a recent study has shown that very few adults actually meet the criteria for a healthy lifestyle.
According to an article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, only 3% of American adults got a perfect score on what the authors say are the four basic criteria for healthy living. The 4 basic criteria were:
- Do you smoke?
- Are you able to maintain a healthy weight (a BMI of 18-25, or are you successfully losing weight to attain a healthy weight)?
- Do you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily?
- Do you exercise 30 minutes or more, 5 times a week?
As you peruse this article, ask yourself the above 4 questions and if need be adjust accordingly.
That said here are 5 lifestyle modifications you can adopt to stay all-round healthy all year long.
Lifestyle modifications you can adopt to stay all-round healthy.
- Adopt a regular exercise routine.
Regarding exercises, do what your body allows you to do. The goal here is to ensure the exercise routine is as aerobic as possible. You can Stick to easy exercise routines such as brisk walking, swimming, riding a bicycle ETC. You can also try yoga as the poses help increase strength and flexibility and improve balance. These are critical areas for older folks especially, and both men and women can benefit.
- Eat healthy.
As the saying goes, “you are what you eat”. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to consistently eat healthy. Add more fruits and vegetables in your diet and eat less carbohydrates, high sodium and unhealthy fatty foods. Also, avoid eating junk food and sweets.
It is paramount you power up your proteins. This nutrient is an essential part of your eating plan and can make up anywhere from 10%-35% of your total calories. Protein lasts a long time in your belly; combine it with high-fibre foods and you’ll feel full on fewer calories. Enjoy small portions of nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, lean meat and fish.
Take about 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) of fluids a day (for men) and about 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) of fluids a day ( for women) – Source U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Oct 2020
Most importantly, minimize (or totally avoid) harmful social habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking as they are both risk factors for chronic diseases.
- Brush and floss daily
This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of disease. Remember, dental health is major health too.
- Get a good night’s rest.
We know the demands of life is huge but whatever you do always make sure you get a good night rest. Get about 7 to 9 hours, although some people may need as few as 6 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Older adults (ages 65 and older) need 7-8 hours of sleep each day. Well-rested people not only cope better with stress, but they also live longer and healthier
- Do what you love, have a positive attitude, smile & laugh.
Every now and then, take a break to do something you love doing. This is good for your Mental health and will help you manage the stress and demands of life.
Smile and laugh out loud several times a day. It keeps you grounded, and helps you cope with situations that would otherwise make you crazy. Read the comics, watch a sitcom, watch comedy videos or tell jokes to bring out those happy feelings.
Last but not least, have a positive attitude. Do your best to look at life as if “the glass is half full.” You must believe in yourself, have good support systems, and think.