As the new year rolls around yet again, a great number of people have decided to make 2019 ‘the’ year for living a healthy lifestyle. But, what exactly does that mean? If this is your year, start by understanding the following five most important elements of a healthy lifestyle.
Adequate nutrition is an absolute must. You need fuel to keep this machine we call a body going, and so you should eat foods high in nutrients and fiber while being lower in saturated fats and rapid-burn carbs. You can go on the health.gov website to find a chart on the food pyramid to see what (and how much!) you should be eating for your age and level of activity. If you notice you’re struggling to get enough of a certain nutrient, consider a multivitamin, BodyNutrition has a great list on the best one’s for you.
Here is an area where many people falter. While everyone knows they should get plenty of exercise each week, most don’t know how to determine what is the right type and the right level for their specific age and quality of health. For example, a young man in his 20s probably needs more exercise than a man in his 60s and the younger man can tolerate heavier cardio workouts than the older gentleman. Even having said that, cardio is vital and something everyone should understand if they want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise builds muscle, of which the most important is the heart, so why wouldn’t you want to give it the proper workout regularly?
Sleep is another factor many people don’t see as important to their overall health. Unfortunately, this is a grave mistake on a number of levels. Not only does sleep deprive your mind of the rest it needs to function well, but your body suffers too. If you find that you have trouble falling or staying asleep, it’s time to see why you are having issues. Maybe you don’t have the best mattress for your needed comfort and support. Do you even know what that might be? If not, check out the extensive buying guide on The Mattress Nerd because sleep deprivation is more serious than you can begin to imagine.
The best way to determine your optimum healthy weight is to understand the Body Mass Index, BMI. This chart determines various levels of weight from normal to overweight to obese and severely obese. You can find your BMI to ensure a healthy weight for your age and height and then refer back up to the nutrients and calories you need (mentioned above) to reach and maintain that healthy weight level.
5. Stress Reduction
Stress is also a silent killer. If you want to reduce the likelihood that you will suffer a stroke or heart attack, it is advised that you get your levels of stress under control. If you are lacking in any of the above key elements of a healthy lifestyle, stress can be that proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. If you are suffering from undue amounts of stress, talk to your doctor to find healthy ways to reduce those levels of stress. From meditation to taking an extra vacation, you need to get that stress under control sooner rather than later. Later could be too late, and you really don’t want that.
So, there you have the five key elements of a healthy lifestyle. If 2019 is the year when you finally take control of your health, learn and follow the rules. Come back and see us next year to tell us how you’ve gotten on! We’d love to hear from you.