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What is considered a healthy lifestyle?

This is definitely a topic which features regularly in conversations, especially at the start of a New year when New Year’s resolutions are made. And many people try their best to achieve this so called “healthy lifestyle”. A lot of answers can definitely be correct when considering the aspects which makes up a healthy lifestyle.

According to me this answer is best described in the form of a diagram. The term “Healthy lifestyle” will take the centre role and all the factors making this up will be on the outside forming a circle. And in turn a lot of aspects show a link/relationship to one another

Stress management will be the first aspect I will discuss: In today’s day and age stress is definitely not an uncommon term. We all suffer from stress. Some people definitely just know how to manage it better. And it is so vital for one’s health to learn to cope with stress effectively. Too much stress will cause hormonal imbalances which will lead to sleeping disturbances and in turn will affect ones weight and exercise regime. So at the end of the day it is so important to keep all these aspects under control in order not to end up in a vicious cycle where everything just goes hay wire. Dealing with stress differs among people. What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for the next person. I’m not the meditating type, but having a cup of tea, taking a long bath, listening to music, exercising or spending time with friends and family is my way of unwinding after a stressful day. Find what works for you and do it! Doing it every day is key!

Sleep as mentioned before is also very important. On average between 7-9 hours is considered healthy and essential. Not getting enough sleep will spike cortisol (hormone)levels (which can cause weight gain), affect energy levels throughout the day which in turn will affect eating behaviour ( more cravings for high sugary and fatty foods). Go to bed at a reasonable time and get in a habit of going to bed at a specific time and this will therefore assist in adopting a healthy lifestyle.

The next two points I will combine as this I often believe goes hand in hand, this is diet and exercise. A healthy balanced diet is necessary to achieve optimal energy levels throughout the day, maintaining adequate body functions, disease management and also weight control. A balanced diet basically means eating frequent meals, drinking enough water, including fruits and vegetables daily in the diet, having lean proteins at each meal, as well as including high fibre starches in the diet. Sounds very simple but I know with our busy lives it honestly is hard work to get this all right.

Exercise needs to be included daily in our routines, and I always say it doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do, just do something which you enjoy doing where you actually get your heart rate to increase, work up a sweat and at least do that specific exercise for 30-45 minutes. It has so many benefits and once again is a major factor which contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

These above mentioned points are only a few that I wanted to highlight and if you can become aware of these and focus just a little bit harder, achieving a healthy lifestyle is definitely possible.

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