Freedom Friday- Nine Tips For A Healthier Lifestyle

a person relaxing on the grass in a park

What do you consider a healthy lifestyle?  Is there something you can do to improve the status of your health?  Keep reading to find out.  Many people want to feel good and have the energy and stamina to have an active life.  It can be hard to find the perfect balance.  We all have work, family, and other responsibilities that may hinder a healthful equilibrium—even with the best of intentions.  So, how can you achieve an acceptable balance?  This post contains nine things you can do in order to lead a healthy, enjoyable lifestyle.

bowl with pasta and broccoli in it

1. Consume a healthy diet.  This one is pretty obvious to most people.  We get a lot of guidance from entities such as the USDA, CDC, and our doctors about what types of foods we should and shouldn’t eat.  Our bodies need a certain amount of specific types of nutrients in order to function properly.  However, with the rushed world we live in it can be difficult to get them all in.  Additionally, even if we eat a well-rounded variety of foods each day, we still may not reach the quota of the required amount of any particular nutrient.  In that case, we may need to take a supplement.  Discussing these matters with your healthcare provider can help you to achieve the goal of getting all of the nutrients you need.

people hiking up a steep hillside

2. Regular exercise is key to maintaining muscle mass and preventing heart disease and other health issues.  Again, most of us are well aware of the fact that exercise is good for us.  It keeps the weight down.  It keeps our muscles flexible.  It makes the heart strong and efficient.  But did you know that exercise can help to prevent depression, anxiety, and even some kinds of cancers?  Exercise causes all kinds of positive physical changes within the brain that help to elevate the mood.  Exercise can also give a person quiet private time to sort out feelings and make decisions.  Plus, taking a walk can be quite relaxing and reduce stress.  Also, when certain exercises are done, lymphatic flow is boosted and anti-tumor proteins are released.  This decreases the chances of developing cancer.

little girl reaching into tub full of bottles of water

3. Drink plenty of water.  Water helps your body function in a multitude of ways.  It keeps the body temperature at a stable, safe level.  It provides a cushion so joints in the knees, ankles, and other areas of the body don’t get injured.  Do you have trouble concentrating sometimes?  If so, it may be because you have not drunk enough water.  The brain is about 75% water, so water is essential for proper brain function.  Since dehydration affects how we feel and think, adequate water intake is essential for mental and emotional stability.  It is a good habit to keep plenty of water handy because if it is within reach it will make it easier for you to take in enough each day.  Setting reminders using your phone can help too.  Another great way to achieve higher water intake is to eat water-rich foods.

a sleeping beat

4. Get sufficient sleep.  Sleep deprivation can cause an overabundance of problems, so it really is beneficial to get ample sleep.  While each person has different needs, it is a good idea to get at least six hours of sleep each night.  Sufficient sleep helps the brain to work properly and enables a person to be able to think appropriately.  Adequate sleep improves a person’s appearance.  Getting adequate sleep helps to prevent dark areas under the eyes and other such blemishes.  Sleep enhances the mood as well.  I think we have all been around that grumpy Gus that did not get enough sleep—or maybe you have been that grumpy Gus.  One very important reason to get plenty of sleep is sleep deprivation taxes the heart.  Sufficient sleep is a requirement for a healthy heart.

salad on a plate

5. Maintain a healthy weight.  Staying in a healthy weight range goes hand-in-hand with the factors that have already been mentioned.  Being at a weight that coincides with height staves off diabetes, strokes, heart disease, and other detrimental health conditions.  An appropriate weight promotes improved quantity and quality of sleep.  Extra weight can make it harder for the lungs to expand.  Increased mass specifically in the throat area can cause obstruction of the airway and result in sleep apnea—which, by the way, causes serious strain on the heart.  Increased weight can also put a strain on the muscles and nerves and lead to loss of sleep because of pain.  Maintaining a healthy weight can also elevate mental and emotional status since looking good physically leads to feeling good mentally, emotionally—and physically.  So, as you can see, there are a lot of reasons to strive to maintain a healthy weight.

art sculpture

6. Quit using tobacco products.  Tobacco products cause all kinds of health problems.  It’s really not even the tobacco that causes the majority of the problems. It’s all of the other garbage that is added to the tobacco such as nicotine, arsenic, and rat poison.  Besides the obvious benefits of quitting the tobacco habit like healthier lungs, heart, and skin, there are many other perks to quitting.  One advantage is you will have more money for things that are more important and worthwhile.  If you smoke just one pack of cigarettes a day and quit now, that would mean in a year you would have $3650 to spend on a vacation.  Even in a month, you could have $365—or more if you smoke more.  Think of what you could do with that money.  This is the perfect time to quit the tobacco habit since it is Great American Smokeout Month. Another perk is you could spend more time in social activities with friends and family since it is illegal to smoke in public places—and many of your friends and family may not want to be around your cigarette smoke.

a family at the zoo

7. This leads me to the next way to live a healthy life—spend time with friends and family.  Family dinners have become a thing of the past, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Making a habit of eating at least one meal a day with the entire household family present can really do a lot to improve health and happiness.  Spending time with those closest to you can instill a sense of self-worth and boost mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.  Regularly taking part in worthwhile activities with family members can strengthen the bonds of unity and bestow a sense of belonging.  Doing things with others who have common interests increases happiness.

me holding up a fish I caught

8. Which leads to the next healthy habit…smile and laugh frequently.  Smiles and laughter are contagious.  Think about it—when was the last time you smiled at someone?  What did they do when you smiled at them?   Most likely, they smiled back.  Now, there are exceptions but for the most part when a person is smiled at they smile back.  It’s almost like a reflex.  It’s the same with laughter.  And laughter is healthy.  Laughter relaxes the body and gives the immune system a boost.  It can make life more tolerable and more fulfilling.  Laughter also provides a massage for the internal organs.  So, smile more and laugh more.

toothpaste and toothbrushes

9. Maintain good dental health.  Keeping your teeth and gums healthy does more than prevent bad breath and pain from tooth disease.  It improves physical appearance as well.  It can improve your social life since people tend to gravitate to individuals who seem to take care of themselves.  It can heighten self-esteem and confidence because you will likely feel more comfortable interacting with others if your mouth is healthy and attractive.  Studies have been done that show that individuals who have good oral health have better brain function and a good memory.  Excellent dental health also helps to prevent heart disease and infection in other areas of the body.  Keeping up with dental care is actually pretty important since bacteria in the mouth gets ingested into the stomach and distributed throughout the body.

person wind surfing

This is just a handful of the ways you can live a healthy lifestyle.  There are many other things you can do to improve the status of your health.  If you have some healthy habits you would like to share, be sure to comment below.  Maybe you will provide positive motivation for someone else.  And be sure to read my article entitled Ten Ways to Improve Your Mental, Emotional, and Physical Health on this site.

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