Some of you may be asking yourself now, Why should I really even bother reading this? I already know the benefits of a healthy lifestyle! Well, do you really? Apart from the obvious reasons there are a lot more benefits to it. The aim of this blog is to really highlight the key factors it could have on your body and lifestyle. All references in this blog have come from various amount of research for example: NHS, Mayo clinic and Health line. Let me tell you about them!
Controls weight – Now, this is probably one of the most obvious out of the list of benefits but could actually be one of the most important to know. Research over the years has shown that obesity levels in the UK have risen. The cause of the rapid rise in obesity has been blamed on our modern lifestyles, including our reliance on the car, TVs, computers, desk-bound jobs and high-calorie food. In England, 24.8% of adults are obese and 61.7% are either overweight or obese, (According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre). Eating right and exercising regularly can help you avoid excess weight gain and maintain a healthy weight. Being physically active is essential to reaching your weight-loss goals. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, boost your immune system, and increase your energy level. Plan for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. If you can’t devote this amount of time to exercise try:
- Driving somewhere that’s in walking distance?
- Taking the Escalators? Why not take the stairs?
- Even if you’re having a stroll somewhere talking on your phone, turn that stroll into a paced walk. It’s the small things that make a difference!
Eating a balanced, calorie-managed diet can also help control weight. When you start the day with a healthy breakfast, you avoid becoming overly hungry later, which could send you running to get fast food before lunch.
Additionally, skipping breakfast can raise your blood sugar, which increases fat storage. Incorporate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet per day.
Improves Mood – Not a lot of people really know about this one, but it’s completely true! Doing right by your body pays of in your mind. Physical activity promotes production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. If you don’t feel the best about your appearance, regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet can lead to a better physique and can boost your confidence and self-esteem like you wouldn’t believe! Short term effects of exercise also include a less level of stress. It isn’t just exercise and eating healthy that also improve mental health, making social interactions weather that be voluntary work or joining a club this keeps the mind functioning and active as well as keeping serotonin levels balanced. Don’t feel like you have to isolate yourself from the world, spend time with family and friends. Even if you’re not able too due to physical distance use technology, pick up the phone and give your loved ones a phone call or a video chat!
Combats diseases – Yes, That’s right…anything from heart diseases to high blood pressure. If you take care of yourself, you can keep your cholesterol and blood pressure within a safe range. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Regular physical activity and proper diet can also prevent or help you manage a wide range of health problems, including:
- metabolic syndrome
- certain types of cancer
Why not arrange a physical exam with your doctor every year? Your doctor will check your weight, heartbeat, and blood pressure, as well as take a urine and blood sample. This appointment can reveal a lot about your health. It’s important to follow up with your doctor and listen to any recommendations to improve your health.
Boosts energy – Let’s face it we’ve all experienced a lethargic feeling after eating too much unhealthy food. When you eat a balanced diet your body receives the fuel it needs to manage your energy level. A healthy diet includes:
- whole grains
- lean meats
- low-fat dairy products
Regular physical exercise also improves muscle strength and boosts endurance, giving you more energy, says the Mayo Clinic. Exercise helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and gets your cardiovascular system working more efficiently so that you have more energy to go about your daily activities. It also helps boost energy by promoting better sleep. This helps you fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep.
Insufficient sleep can trigger a variety of problems. Aside from feeling tired and sluggish, you may also feel irritable and moody if you don’t get enough sleep. What’s more, poor sleep quality may be responsible for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, and it can also lower your life expectancy. To improve sleep quality, stick to a schedule where you wake up and go to bed at the same time every night. Reduce your caffeine intake, limit napping, and create a comfortable sleep environment. Turn off lights and the television, and maintain a cool room temperature.
Improves longevity – When you practice healthy habits, you boost your chances of a longer life. The American Council on Exercise reported on an eight-year study of 13,000 people. The study showed that those who walked just 30 minutes each day significantly reduced their chances of passing away prematurely, compared with those who exercised infrequently. Looking forward to more time with loved ones is reason enough to keep walking. Start with short five-minute walks and gradually increase the time until you’re up to 30 minutes.
The takeaway – Bad habits are hard to break, but once you adopt a healthier lifestyle, you won’t regret this decision. Healthy habits reduce the risk of certain diseases, improve your physical appearance and mental health, and give your energy level a much needed boost.