The importance of maintaining good health can't be stressed enough. A healthy body sets the stage for your day-to-day well-being and determines how well you'll age. It also allows you to live an active and more full life, which means you'll have a better quality of life as you age.
A healthy body requires a mix of a balanced diet, regular exercise, quality sleep, mindfulness and, of course, a healthy lifestyle.
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Maintaining a healthy body is the best way to have an active and full life. It’s the most important thing you can do to stay healthy as you age.
Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle
When you're young, it's easy to take your body and your health for granted. However, as you age, the importance of maintaining good health becomes more apparent. When you keep your body working well, you enjoy greater energy and fewer aches and pains.
To understand the importance of maintaining good health, it's helpful to appreciate the various things that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. These include nutrition, physical activity, sleep and stress management. When these parts of your lifestyle are out of balance, your health often pays the price.
A healthy diet that includes adequate vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein, carbs and healthy fats allows your body to work well. Regular exercise strengthens your bones, muscles, lungs and cardiovascular system.
Seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night allows your body to repair cells and perform other maintenance activities. Stress management is another key part of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
According to the National Institutes of Health, stress places a strain on your body and increases your risk heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and mental health disorders.
When you're chronically stressed, you're also more likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as drinking alcohol, smoking, or eating an unhealthy diet.
Fewer Sick Days
When you work to maintain a healthy body, you can spend more time doing the things you love and less time in bed feeling under the weather. A healthy diet supports your immune system, so it's easier to fight off colds, flu or other infections. Quality sleep also has a positive impact on your health.
An May 2017 study published in Nature and Science of Sleep found that disrupted sleep increases the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and colorectal cancer. In addition, men with sleep disturbances are at increased risk of death from all causes.
Read more: The Effects of Sleeping 5 Hours a Night
A Healthier Weight
Eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep means you'll have more energy to be physically active, which helps you maintain your weight.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults get at least 150 minutes each week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise, plus two days of strength training to maintain good health and a health weight.
They also stress that physical activity also makes you feel better, sleep better and function better. When it comes to the importance of a healthy lifestyle, getting regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Improved Mental Health
Maintaining a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle can also keep you happier and more balanced mentally.
If you're struggling with depression, anxiety or mental illness, or you just want to keep your brain healthy as you age, the National Alliance on Mental Illness recommends diet, exercise, regular sleep and a healthy lifestyle as the best strategy to improve your mental health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Physical Activity Basics"
- National Institutes of Health: National Institute of Mental Health: “5 Things You Should Know About Stress”
- Nature and Science of Sleep: “Short- and Long-Term Health Consequences of Sleep Disruption”
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: “Mental Health: Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle”