Healthy lifestyle choices can prevent disease and help you thrive throughout your life. They include a balanced diet, physical activity, good hygiene and regular checkups.
You don’t need to sweat it out at the gym every day, but 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week — like brisk walking — helps you feel better and reduces your risk for chronic illness.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy. It can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of some diseases (like heart disease and high blood pressure), strengthen your bones, and boost your mood. It can also improve your sleep and endurance.
You don’t need to go to the gym for hours every day or spend a lot of money on exercise equipment. Even small amounts of physical activity like walking, playing sports or housework can count as exercise. Try to be active for at least 150 minutes a week.
If you have trouble exercising regularly, consider joining a workout group or taking up an activity with friends and family. This way, you’ll be more likely to stick to a regular routine and feel better about it. You can also try dividing your exercise into smaller chunks and focusing on different activities each day. Just make sure to get enough rest and recovery time between workouts.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet has a lot of benefits, including helping you maintain a healthy weight, prevent diseases and feel more energetic. A healthy diet includes a variety of foods from each of the major food groups, as well as limiting sugar and eating “good” fats.
To eat healthily, choose meals and snacks made with whole grains, fruit and vegetables, lean meats and fish, nuts and seeds and “good” or unsaturated fats (like olive, canola or vegetable oils). Limit added sugars and sodium, too.
Try to eat at least 5 portions of different fruit and vegetables each day – fresh, frozen, canned or dried. Using sauces, heavy gravies and salad dressings sparingly can help cut down on calories. Opt for grilled, broiled or baked chicken and turkey instead of fried options. Choose low-fat spreads or use olive, canola or vegetable oil in place of butter, lard or shortening. Opt for a low-fat milk or reduced-fat yogurt with fruit rather than ice cream for dessert.
Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep isn’t just for getting a fresh start on the day, it can help prevent many health problems. A lack of sleep can increase your risk for heart disease, depression and weight gain. It can also affect your memory and mood.
While you are sleeping, your body is doing important work to support the brain and keep your immune system healthy. This work includes repairing cells and releasing growth hormone.
Getting enough quality sleep can also improve your athletic performance, as well as your ability to learn and remember. If you find that you aren’t getting enough rest, talk to your doctor about it. They can help identify any underlying causes and provide strategies for improvement. It’s recommended to try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night for optimal health benefits. A regular sleep routine (including going to bed and waking up at the same time each day) can help with this.
In addition to keeping yourself clean, good hygiene practices help keep others healthy and prevent the spread of germs and diseases. Washing your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom, before and after preparing food and eating it, after caring for someone who is sick, and after handling animals and animal waste, goes a long way toward protecting you from getting and spreading germs. You should also keep a hand sanitizer with you in case soap and water aren’t available.
Keeping your body, hair, nails and ears clean is also important. These areas can harbor germs that can make you sick, so it’s important to shower daily, brush your teeth and floss often, and visit your doctor for regular health checkups. You should also be sure to wear clean clothes and shoes, and wash your bedsheets and towels at least once a week. Also, be sure to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and use disposable tissues so you don’t transfer germs to other people.