Living a healthy lifestyle is the responsibility of everyone, but it has to start with you taking responsibility for your own health. There is an abundance of information and resources available to help people live healthier lifestyles.
Healthy living encompasses many different aspects from diet and exercise to healthy emotional and spiritual practices to preventative maintenance. Our focus today will be on 4 different aspects which contribute to living a healthy lifestyle.
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Stress comes in many shapes and forms and according to recent data, nearly 80% of the US population is experiencing moderate to severe stress on a regular basis. Reducing our stress levels is vital for living a healthy lifestyle. If not managed properly stress can cause headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, upset stomach, anxiety, lack of motivation and irritability just to name a few.
Some of the things we can do to better manage our stress include:
- Breathing techniques
- Talk to a close friend
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
- Learn to say “NO” and manage your time
Eating healthy isn’t just good for your body, it also helps reduce stress. When you are under stress your blood pressure goes up, cortisol is released and our sleeping patterns are affected. By adopting a healthy diet and eating habits we can counteract the negative effects of stress because many of the nutrients found in healthy foods help our bodies function properly.
A great example of this would be the omega 3’s and vitamin E found in fish, which helps reduce inflammation.
Or Complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal can help reduce depression and control blood sugar spikes. Carbs can also help the brain make serotonin, the same substance found in antidepressants.
Something as simple as going for a 1-hour walk every day outside in nature can work wonders for relieving stress. One of the great things about walking is that it re-oxygenates the blood, increasing blood flow to your brain and other parts of the body. It also releases endorphins which help you feel happier relieving depression and stress.
Prevention is Key
On average, Americans visit their doctor 4 times a year. In Japan, people visit their doctor an average of 13 times a year. Visiting your doctor regularly is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You never know what your doctor will find and it is an excellent way to find problems before they start or early when your chances for successful treatment are highest.
Living with pain whether it’s chronic or acute, sicknesses like the common cold and flu, emotional stress from a relationship and even spiritual stress from not following our true path are things which we should not tolerate, but somehow, someway it has become a way of life for millions of people in the US and around the world.
While it’s inevitable that we will get sick and pass away one day our goal should be to live as healthy of a lifestyle as possible so we pass later rather than sooner.
More and more, year after year people are becoming more health-conscious and taking the necessary steps towards living a healthy lifestyle and so can we.