You can tell when you aren’t at your best. It could be that you are feeling “off”. You may feel unable to concentrate, anxious, or depressed.
Good news! A healthy lifestyle can make you feel better. You don’t need to change your whole life overnight. It is easy to make small changes that will lead you to better well-being. Once you have made one positive change, it can be a motivator to make more.
What’s a healthy lifestyle?
Ask 50 people what a healthy lifestyle looks like and they’ll probably give you 50 different answers. Because there is no single way to be healthy. Healthy living simply means living a happy, healthy lifestyle. One person might do walking five miles per week, eating fast-food once a week, or spending time online with their loved ones every other day. A healthy lifestyle might be running two marathons per year and following a ketogenic diet. Both are equally good. Each is perfect for the person. It is up to you to determine what your healthy lifestyle looks.
What is it good for?
You can make changes that improve your health for your body, mind, wallet, and the environment.
1. Prevents diseases
You can lower your risk of developing many diseases by adopting healthy habits, even those that run in your family. In a recent study adults who ate a standard American diet rich in fruits and vegetables for 8 weeks showed a lower risk of heart disease. Another 2020 study Trusted source found that every 66 gram increase in fruit and vegetable intake was associated to a 25% lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. The risk of developing disease is also reduced by switching to whole grains from refined grains. An observational studyTrusted source found that those who ate more whole grains had a 29 per cent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in comparison to those who ate less.
A review Trusted source of 45 studies found that 90 grams of whole grains (or three 30-gram portions) daily reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and cancer rates by 22 percent, 19 percent, respectively. Even a mere 11 minutes of exercise a day can add years to your lifespan. Researchers tracked over 44,000 adults in a 2020 study. Researchers found that those who exercised for 11 minutes each day were less likely to die than those who did not. Even if you sat for 8 hours a day, this comparison was valid.
2. You can save money
For an annual exam, it is a good idea to visit your primary care doctor. This is especially important considering that some conditions, like high blood pressure, don’t usually have symptoms. The likelihood that you need to visit a doctor is lower if you are healthier. This can help you save money on co-pays and prescriptions.
3. Lengthens lifespan
Living a longer, healthier life is linked to basic healthy habits. You could live for up to 14 years if you haven’t smoked by the time you reach 50. Even a small number of these changes can increase your life expectancy.
4. It can be beneficial for the environment
Ultra-processed food is made with refined grains and added colors to alter the texture, taste or color. These foods include cheese puffs and packaged dessert cakes as well as chicken nuggets and sweetened breakfast cereals. Ultra-processed foods account for more than 70% of all food sold in U.S. supermarkets. Making ultra-processed food can contribute to water scarcity, increased biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and plastic waste. There are also animal products. A 2013 study from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which is an agency of the U.N. that focuses primarily on reducing hunger and food inequalities worldwide, shows that raising livestock for meat and milk accounts for 14.5 percent of human-created global greenhouse gases.
There are simple solutions. According to the National Resources Defense Council, this would result in a decrease of global warming gases equivalent to removing four to six million vehicles from the roads. It’s not about how much you eat. Short car rides can be replaced with biking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Researchers from Madison, Wisconsin, estimated that 20 percent of the population would bike less than 5 miles each year to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This was based on a non-peer-reviewed study. A study from Stockholm concluded that if drivers lived within a half hour of their work commute, they could use a bike to get there. This would save 449 years of lives annually due to lower vehicle emissions.