15 Steps To A Fit And Healthy Lifestyle
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Every day we are told by doctors, the media, and pop culture that we must live a healthy lifestyle. We must eat better, we must sleep more, and we must exercise more.
Everything we are presented with is very one note, very black and white. We are presented with an ideal – a celebrity with a six-pack, a gold medal winning athlete – and we are pushed to meet that standard.
The advice only ever focuses on our physical health. Our mental health is treated as something we can just take control of if we try harder.
This is not that kind of article.
Yes, we are going to talk to you about the merits of living healthily and how you can do that. But, we understand that a healthy lifestyle looks different for everyone. We understand that everyone is starting in a different place in a different situation.
We are also going to spend some time talking about how to look after your mind as well as your body. Our mental and physical health are closely intertwined and one cannot thrive without the other.
We use the word lifestyle throughout this article, instead of diet, plan, or course. To truly see the benefits of everything on this list, you need to change how you live. The good news is that it is easier than it sounds and the benefits of doing so are huge.
When changing your lifestyle it is important that you take small steps and are kind to yourself even when you fail. A tiny change is better than no change at all – remember that.
What Is a Healthy Lifestyle?
As we mentioned in the section above, a healthy lifestyle looks different for everybody. However, there are overlapping elements in healthy lifestyles that everyone can benefit from. For us, a healthy lifestyle includes being happy, “balanced”, and physically healthy.
We believe there are four essential pillars of a healthy lifestyle:
- Physical health
- Emotional health
- Spiritual health
- Environmental health
This is the section of a healthy lifestyle that most people will be familiar with. Physical health involves looking after your body. Yes, it includes eating well and exercises, but it includes so much more. Like not smoking or binge drinking for example.
You could exchange the words emotional health for mental health or self-love – they all do the same job. When working on your emotional health you are promoting positive thinking, self-belief, and emotional healing.
Looking after your emotional health may involve seeing a therapist, practicing mindfulness, or being kind to yourself on a bad day.
Many people confuse spiritual and emotional health. They do overlap in many places, but in this case, when we say spiritual health we are talking about calming your inner turmoil. Practices like yoga and meditation are essential to our spiritual health.
This is the section that most people skip over, but we believe it is one of the most important. To improve your environmental health you need to create an environment where you can thrive. Surround yourself with people who love you and show you compassion. Surround yourself with the kind of people who improve you.
The Importance Of a Healthy Lifestyle
For many people (including ourselves) the fantasy that comes with the concept of a healthy lifestyle is enough to convince us to try. A stress-free, balanced, life full of self-love and nourishing food sounds like perfection.
However, there are actually many other benefits that come with living a healthy lifestyle. There are even some benefits that you may have never considered before. We don’t have time to list all of the benefits of living healthily, but here are four of the biggest benefits:
It Can Increase Longevity
The healthier you are, the more likely you are to live longer.
A recent study found that living a healthy lifestyle can actually increase our life expectancy by up to 14 years. Activities like smoking and drinking too much can take even more time off your life. Smoking reduces life spans by 10 years on average BEFORE you take into account the diseases that smoking causes.
Exercises like yoga have been shown to improve mobility, even at an older age.
Living a healthier lifestyle can help you to live longer and enjoy your old age even more.
It Can Boost Your Energy
We talk to a lot of people who say that they don’t exercise and can’t cook healthy food because they are too tired. Well, we have some life-changing news for you – both exercising and eating well are great sources of energy.
Our body actually produces energy to meet the demands we set for it. So, if you begin an exercise habit, your body will start to produce more energy every day.
Food is what fuels our body and if we are not feeding it correctly, then, of course, we are going to feel tired and sluggish. As soon as you swap over to healthier food you will notice the difference.
It Could Prevent Diseases
Men who smoke are 23-times more likely to die from cancer of the trachea, lung, and bronchus than men who don’t smoke.
Changing your diet can reduce the chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, and it can improve your mental health.
Getting therapy can ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, it can also decrease the chances of committing suicide.
Exercise also has an amazing effect on our mental health and anxiety.
Swapping your morning cup of coffee out for a cup of matcha could mean you start your day with 136X the amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants in your body.
The list goes on…