Good health can be measured in many ways. Weight, fitness, emotional well-being, and being disease- and injury-free are just a few of those measures. Although it may be tempting to quantify health by a single, absolute standard, it’s actually an accumulation of factors that contribute to overall health.
There are three key things that healthy people do every day: exercise, maintain a nutritious diet and get a good night’s sleep.
The benefits of a regular exercise routine extend far beyond meeting weight-loss goals.
Regular exercise can help prevent disease as well as contribute to emotional wellness because of the feel-good chemicals released during and after physical activity.
First, people should find an exercise they truly enjoy doing.
Forcing yourself into an exercise routine that you don’t enjoy just sets yourself up for failure.
Once you’ve found an activity that you like, then you can start setting goals.
The recommended amount of weekly exercise is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity.
150 minutes a week can equal approximately 20 minutes a day, 35-50 minutes every other day, or 1-1.5 hours twice a week.
Getting enough sleep every night can improve immune function, memory, cognition and mood.
While the benefits of a good night’s sleep are numerous, many people sacrifice sleep when negotiating a busy schedule. Healthy people need to make sleep a top priority in their lives.
People ages 16 to 60 should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly.
People ages 65 and over should aim for 7 to 8 hours.
To optimize sleep, commit to a regular sleep schedule; always wake up and go to bed at the same time every day (even on weekends), avoid naps and don’t hit the snooze button in the morning.
(3) Eat Healthy Foods
We live in a dieting-centric society, and while fad diets may be popular, making an effort to simply eat well every day will yield better long-term results for most people.
A balanced diet is extremely important; it keeps you healthy now and is an investment for your future health, too.
(4) Drink water
Drinking enough water is integral to good health; it helps to flush out toxins, carries nutrients and aids in cell renewal. Dehydration can cause myriad health problems, including chronic fatigue and dry skin.
Most men over the age of 19 should get at least 11-12 8-ounce glasses of water daily and women should aim for 8-9 glasses.
However, when in doubt, drink more water than the recommended amount.
overhydrating is unlikely unless you’re drinking well above the recommended amount or you have an existing medical condition, such as heart disease or kidney/liver problems.
(5) Enjoy leisure time
Even if you’re getting 8 hours of sleep a night, your other 16 waking hours shouldn’t be dedicated solely to work commitments, exercise and eating well.
Self-care is necessary for living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, so it’s important to take time out of your day to do activities that bring you joy and help you de-stress.
It can be especially beneficial if you’re able to unplug and put your phone away during time you’ve dedicated for yourself.
Note: All the healthy living in the world isn’t enough to guarantee you won’t get sick someday. Go to your annual checkup.
If you have medical risk factors, such as heart disease or cancer in your family history, talk to your doctor about extra steps you can take to be protected.
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