This article sponsored by Athletics and CrossFit Information. “I’m a former Division 1 athlete and hold my Masters Degree and I want to help athletes gain an advantage and help people with their overall fitness”.
A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. When we look after our physical health, we feel better too fit, more relaxed and better able to cope with situation and circumstances. This is especially important when you want to live long.
There are many ways of being healthy that feel good as well as do you good. According to the World Health Oganisation, healthy living means maintaining a healthy lifestyle and introducing habits that improve your health. Its about enjoying yourself without risking your health. Its what you eat and drink; sleeping well and managing stress. Its about practising safe sex, drinking alcohol responsibly and not abusing drugs. Its about being physically active and staying connected with others.
Its taking responsibility for your overall health, including having regular check-ups for your eyes and teeth. Its about feeling fitter physically, mentally and emotionally.
The benefits of living a healthy life are numerous, but why do many people find it difficult to do?
Healthy living expert on about.com, Paige Whearner, says most people would rather see a doctor than adopt a healthy lifestyle due to the overwhelming changes it involves.
She states, Healthy living requires lots of change and change also requires tremendous energy. To be healthy, you have to exercise, which changes your schedule, how you move your body and even your budget, if you join a gym.
You have to change how you shop, how you eat, how you cook and how you spend your time every day. After wrestling with those changes day after day some of them completely foreign to you you may feel exhausted, frustrated and confused.
Whearner says one must not give up, as living a healthy life is the best way to increase ones chance of having a quality and long life. To help you start living well today, experts on livewell.com have broken it into 10 simple steps as follows:
Check your weight: Nearly two in 10 women and four in 10 men are overweight globally. Obesity causes 9,000 premature deaths every year and, on average, reduces life expectancy by nine years. Use a BMI calculator to find out if youre a healthy weight or whether youre at risk of serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. If you need to bring your weight down through diet and exercise, please do so.
Drink less: Most people are unaware that regularly drinking more alcohol than is advised can lead to a wide range of long-term health problems, including cancers, strokes, and heart attacks. For example, men who regularly drink more than three to four units a day are three times more likely to have a stroke. Alcohol is not too good for the body; consider the health risks before you take another bottle.
Eat less salt and fat: Excessive salt and fat in diet is a major cause of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Too much salt in your food can cause high blood pressure and make you three times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
Exercise regularly: The benefits of exercise arent limited to losing weight. Even if youre slim, youll still get health benefits from exercising. Even a small amount of regular activity can lower the risk of developing major chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes by up to 50 per cent. Regular exercise can cut the risk of premature death by 20-30 per cent.
Eat more fruit and vegetables: For a healthy and balanced diet, try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Research shows that eating at least 400g of fruit and vegetables a day can lower your risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Keep stress in check: Between 2010 and 2011, around 400,000 people in the UK reported work-related stress at a level they believed was making them ill. Psychological problems, including stress, are the underlying reason for one-in-five visits to the doctor. If left unchecked, stress can lead to further health problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. Learn to manage stress better with rest and exercise.
Improve your sleep: Nearly everyone has problems sleeping at some point in their life. Most healthy adults sleep for an average of seven to nine hours a night. If youre not getting enough sleep, it can affect your relationships, your performance at work, and it can delay recovery from illness.
Quit smoking: The health benefits of quitting smoking are immediate. After 20 minutes, your blood pressure and pulse return to normal. After 24 hours, your lungs start to clear. After three days, you can breathe more easily, and your energy increases. Keep it up and youre adding years to your life. Research shows that people who quit smoking by the age of 30 add 10 years to their life.
Get a sexual health test: Many people dont notice any symptoms when they have a sexually transmitted infection, such as Chlamydia or gonorrhoea. If left untreated, Chlamydia can affect a womans ability to get pregnant. You cant tell by looking at someone whether theyve got an infection; so its important to get a check-up if youve ever had unprotected sex. Getting tested and treated for STIs is easier than you think, and most infections can be cured.
Check that lump: One in 20 people in the world would be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their life, according to the Cancer Care Registry. Cancer usually affects older people, but it can occur at any age. Detecting most cancers early means that treatment is more likely to be successful. Sometimes, noticing a small change, like a lump, changes to a mole, or unexplained weight loss, can make a big difference to your health. Women should do personal breast examination more often.
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