What Makes Up a Healthy Lifestyle?

Family relaxing
Finding a way to relax and relieve stress must be a regular part of a healthy lifestyle. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Healthy diet, regular sleep, daily activity, and a moderate approach to life’s stressful moments will all lead you in the right direction to a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding unhealthy habits that promote excess, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, will leave more room in your days for self-fulfilling practices. Pursuing a healthy lifestyle offers instant gratification as well, and increases your chances for longevity.

Good Nutrition

Mother Stands With Her Young Daughter in the Kitchen, Chopping an Apple for Her Lunch
Consistent, proper daily nutrition contributes to signs of health. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

People who practice a healthy lifestyle look their best; they have a clear skin and a healthy weight. Consistent, proper daily nutrition contributes to these signs of health. Getting the vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein that your body needs within limited calories supports the optimal growth and maintenance of skin, organ, muscle and bone tissue. Restricting your intake of trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol keeps your weight down and your cardiovascular system working efficiently. Choose healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados and nuts. These products contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help prevent heart disease, dementia and even improve your mood, according to Helpguide.org. To preserve your nutritional levels, choose a variety of foods from each of the grain, vegetable, fruit, dairy and protein food groups every day.

Quality Sleep

Sleeping man
Mental and physical activity takes a toll on your body, which uses sleep time to rebuild energy stores and repair cellular damage. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Mental and physical activity takes a toll on your body, which uses sleep time to rebuild energy stores and repair cellular damage. People who are active but have erratic sleep patterns may suffer short-term trouble with concentration or weight gain, or long-term harm from a weakened immune system. Ideal sleep habits include relaxation before bed, a set bedtime, and between seven to nine hours of sleep nightly. Getting enough sleep allows you to perform well in work or school, take part in healthy lifestyle activities and improve your overall quality of life according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Daily Exercise

Young woman performing Shiva posture, low angle
The overall body benefits of regular exercise include a better chance at a longer, more mobile life. (Image: Kane Skennar/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Putting physical stress on your muscles and bones also gives your heart and lungs a workout. The overall body benefits of regular exercise include a better chance at a longer, more mobile life. Get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days; this reduces your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and falls that result in broken bones, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and sports play also contribute to stress reduction.

Healthy Outlets for Stress

Your body’s stress response can interfere with a healthy lifestyle. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that relieving stress can help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and depression. You may be tempted to release tension by smoking or eating junk foods that compromise your equilibrium. Manage your stress before it gets out of hand by including relaxation techniques in your daily or weekly regimen. Take time out regularly to stretch, soak in a tub or spend time with friends or family. Avoiding the accumulation of stress hormones can prevent back pain, depression and high blood pressure.

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