As a popular saying goes, “health is wealth.” Are you leading a healthy lifestyle? Well, most of us will say “I’m doing fine.” But this could be far from the truth. According to a healthy living study, only 3% of American adults have a perfect score on four basic criteria for healthy living. Only 16% met three of the criteria. 37% met only two criteria. Women scored slightly better than men.
The four basic criteria used in the research:
- Being a non-smoker
- Having a recommended body fat percentage
- Having a good diet, and
- Doing moderate exercise
While these four habits are certainly important for health maintenance, there are other factors to take into consideration. In reality, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more than those four factors. It’s also about keeping a positive attitude, good mental health, and keeping a healthy self-image. Whether you’re 30 or 70 years old, it’s never too late to start taking care of your health. Taking preventative measures will help ensure you have a long and happier life.
Top Health Maintenance Tips for a Happier Lifestyle
The following are top health maintenance tips for a happier lifestyle.
Diet forms one of the top health maintenance tips. What you eat has a great effect on your health and feelings – now and in the future. Good nutrition is key to a healthy and happy lifestyle.
A happier lifestyle comes down to a well-balanced and healthy diet. According to Dietary Guidelines, a healthy diet is high in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains.
Another key factor to a healthy diet is maintaining energy consumption versus energy use. In other words, eat the right amount of calories for your activities.
If you consume more food than your body needs, you will add on weight as the unused food is stored as fat. Consequently, if you consume too little than your body needs, you will lose weight.
As a recommendation, men and women should have around 2,500 calories and 2000 calories per day respectively. Also, eat foods from various food groups for a range of nutrients to supply energy throughout the day.
Drink more water and avoid sugary drinks which yield unnecessary calories. Soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks are the major sources of added sugar and unnecessary calories in diets. You may want to add lemon, apple, lime, or fresh herbs like basil to give water flavor.
Exercise comes second in our list of top health maintenance tips. Being physically active helps manage body weight, improve your mental health, reduce the risk of being sick, strengthen your bones and muscles, and boost your morale to do everyday activities. How much and what type of exercise you do will determine the benefits you get.
Experts recommend that you have 150 minutes of body exercise per week at the minimum. Such a small sacrifice for the greatest life return: a long, healthy, and happy life?
There are two main types of physical activities that can help you stay healthy namely:
Aerobic activities – Also called cardio exercises, aerobics make your heart beat faster, causing you to sweat and breathe harder. As one of the top health maintenance tips, strive to do aerobic exercise for four days per week, at 65 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Running, walking, swimming, and riding a bike are examples of aerobic activities. These activities strengthen your heart and lungs and help build up your endurance.
Anaerobic exercises – these exercises involve quick bursts of energy. They are done with maximum effort for a short time. Anaerobic exercises help break down body glucose without using oxygen. During anaerobics, your body needs immediate energy. To fuel itself, the body relies on stored energy, rather than oxygen. Examples include sprinting, jumping, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and heavy weight lifting. Anaerobics help burn body fats and strengthen your bones.
Striking a balance between the two types of physical exercises is necessary because each exercise contributes to your overall health for a happier life.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is vital as one of the top health maintenance tips. In fact, it is just as important as exercising and eating a balanced, healthy diet, and visiting a dental office every six months.
Getting enough sleep goes beyond total hours of sleep to include good-quality sleep on a defined schedule. In short, you should feel refreshed when you wake up. Not getting enough quality sleep raises the risk of diseases and disorders ranging from heart disease, stroke, obesity, and dementia.
Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. With enough and quality sleep, you will experience better health, emotional well-being, and lower risk of diseases, and become more productive. Do you get enough sleep?
We all experience stress at some point in our lives. It is a normal reaction triggered by various life events, encounters, changes, or challenges. However, not all stress is bad. Stress is part of life, and can sometimes help motivate you to get things done. However, chronic stress is detrimental not only to your mental wellness but also to your physical health. Untreated stress can lead to life-threatening issues like suicidal thoughts.
Stress management is among our top health maintenance tips. It involves a range of strategies, techniques, and tools to assist you to deal with stress and adversities in your life. The first step of stress management is to identify stressors or stress triggers. The stressor could be big things like job loss and divorce or small things that are hard to identify.
Here are techniques you can use to manage stress:
Plan ahead – The best way to deal with stress is to be proactive. Time management skills like keeping to-do lists, planning your day’s schedule, and breaking down big workloads into small tasks helps keep your mind on track, avoiding last-minute panic. This way, you tackle stress before it even starts.
Guided meditation – Meditation produces deep relaxation and a serene mind. You focus your attention on the stressors and eliminate the jumbled thoughts crowding your mind. Guided meditations are available on the internet.
Connect and share with others – human beings are social beings. You’ll need to connect with people for support. Find a sense of social community such as school, work, or a religious organization. Having a shared activity fosters relationships that might be supportive in tough times.
Avoid Harmful Substances
Drugs and substance addiction can have adverse effects on a person’s life. Abuse of drugs affects your physical and mental well-being. It affects your relationship with other people and affects your work and academics.
Limiting exposure to such substances is among the top health maintenance tips. The following are ways to uphold a happier lifestyle as far as drugs and substances are concerned.
Avoid cigarettes and tobacco – Cigarettes and tobacco smoking exposes you to toxic chemicals such as nicotine, tar, arsenic, benzene, and formaldehyde. These can cause addiction, heart disease, throat cancer, or lung cancer. Tobacco is also a leading factor in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.
Limit alcohol consumption – Drinking alcohol in moderation is a recipe for a healthy and happier lifestyle. Health practitioners recommend two drinks a day. Taking too much alcohol causes damage to your liver and causes pancreas cancer. Alcohol abuse also highly contributes to deaths from accidents which needs the involvement of an accident attorney and a car accident attorney
Regular Health Check-ups
Another activity on the top health maintenance tips list is health check-ups. Regular health check-ups are important as they help detect potential health concerns before they become problems.
Early detection of a health issue gives you the best odds of getting the right treatment faster, avoiding any complications, and reducing treatment costs. You’re taking the necessary steps toward living a longer, happier life by getting the right screenings and treatment.
A basic check-up includes a haemogram, liver function test, fasting blood sugar, kidney function test, uric acid, lipid profile, chest x-ray and ECG, occult blood, and stool routine.
More extensive testing can include a Hepatitis B test, treadmill test (TMT), TSH for thyroid, and ultrasound abdomen. A blood group check is also important. Also, don’t forget to visit an eye doctor and a hearing centers for eyesight and ear check-up.
The frequency of health checkups is based on factors like your age, current health status, and risk factors. The general recommendation for routine checkups with your doctor or fertility center is once every three years if you’re 50 years or younger and once per year if you’re above 50. These recommendations apply to people without any health conditions. Your doctor will suggest otherwise based on your screening test results, risk factors, cosmetic surgeries, and current health status.
Gratitude is simply the state of being thankful. It involves expressing appreciation or thanks for something like a gift or life itself. Gratitude recognizes the positive things around you and how they affect you. It can range from acknowledging your pet or beautiful flower on the walkway to the feeling of appreciation after recovering from a life-threatening illness. While not always easy, being grateful and positive in life can have a great impact on your outlook and overall well-being.
Those who practice gratitude as part of their lifestyle have been shown to effortlessly practice the top health maintenance tips. They eat healthy diets, exercise more, and visit the chiropractor, doctor, and implant dentist regularly.
How to practice gratitude
Here are several ways to cultivate gratitude as a lifestyle:
Write a thank you note – You can make yourself and others happier by writing a simple thank you letter or email in appreciation of a person’s impact on your life. If possible, deliver and read the note in person. Make it a habit to send at least two gratitude letters per month. Write one to yourself once in a while.
Keep a gratitude journal – Gratitude journaling involves keeping a diary of the things you are grateful for. According to a study by semantic scholars, keeping a gratitude journal increased students’ sense of belonging.
Filter Your Language – A grateful person has a particular speech style that uses the lingo of giving, gifts, blessed, blessings, fortunate, fortune, and abundance. Gratitude focuses more not on how good you are, but on the good things, others have done for you.
There’s no single secret to living a healthy, happier life. A few practices, however, will get you started and make the job a lot easier.
You can start with daily progress towards a big health goal without changing anything from your current daily routine. Remember big things happen in a series of small steps.
This guide has outlined seven top health maintenance tips for good physical and mental well-being and broken the activities down into small, doable habits. You can start with the ones you’re most likely to hold fast like visiting a local physical therapist, and keep adding more as you go.
Remember, when you successfully adopt a healthy routine, you’ll be a role model to other people in your circle including friends and family – particularly your children. Take every day as an opportunity to maintain your health. So let go of all the setbacks and commit to the goal of a healthier, happier you.