Enjoying the Benefits To A Healthy Lifestyle, not only requires a combination of reliable access to healthy food and relaxation options, knowledge of nutrition, ample sleep, and appropriate amounts of physical activity, it also requires other motivating factors. Those factors can best be described as you having the inspiration and disposition to live your life with a longer life expectancy.
It also requires living a life without stress and illness, in a pollution-free environment, in harmony and peace, with respect for other humans, nature, and your surroundings. It encourages interaction with other humans, nature, and all of its habitants, with the understanding and appreciation that everything and everyone has a meaning and purpose in life for existing, and you should be always be considerate and protective of all living creatures.
Wikipedia defines health and healthy lifestyle this way:
A healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve people’s health and well being….. healthy living is a lifelong effect. The ways to being healthy include healthy eating, physical activities, weight management, and stress management. Good health allows people to do many things.
For more on healthy lifestyle, please read here. As defined by The World Health Organization (WHO), per Wikipedia, healthy lifestyle is the….
state of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and merely not the absence of disease or infirmity.
According to the WHO, approximately 1.2 billion people in the world live in extreme poverty, which creates ill-health because it forces people to live in environments that make them sick, without decent shelter, clean water or adequate sanitation.
Healthy Lifestyle Starts At Home
There are many external stressor factors present in your environment that can eventually cause physical illness, and mental and emotional disorders. The relationship between psychosocial stressors and illness and disease is affected by the nature, number, and persistence of the stressors as well as by the individual’s biological vulnerability, psychosocial resources, and learned patterns of coping, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Your body naturally responds to everyday stress with a release of hormones that prepares you to react and cope. If you don’t relieve this stressful state through relaxation, the effects build and can create muscular pain, headaches, sleep disturbances and other symptoms. A lifestyle that includes regular stress management breaks this cycle before it can progress to unhealthy levels.
The NIH says that not all stress has negative effect. Studies have shown that short-term stress boosted the immune system, but chronic stress has a significant effect on the immune system that ultimately manifest an illness.
The most logical place to start when examining environmental stressors, which can affect you either positively or harmfully, is your immediate physical surroundings, your home, property, your neighborhood, your town or city, your workplace, your geographical location, your climate, and do you have access to clean water and air.
If your home is in an unsafe area, or is not properly protected with locks or alarm systems, your safety and security will always be an issue bringing you unwanted stress and worry. “SafeHome” has a comprehensive guide to securing your home which is worth checking out.
If your home is poorly lighted, either artificially or naturally, is cluttered and disorganized, unclean and in disarray, too hot or too cold, or has uncomfortable seating, and generally, just not comfortable or livable, it is highly likely any one of these conditions will cause feelings of helplessness, sadness, irritability, anxiety, and even depression in you. Uncomfortable spaces also discourages visitors from spending time with you, isolating you, which can have another unintentional detrimental effects on you, as well, such as causing depression, or worse.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “social isolation can kill you!” If it’s capable of killing you, imagine what’s it’s doing to your healthy lifestyle! Another study published in the Perspective On Psychological Science Journal found that loneliness and social isolation are twice as harmful to physical and mental health as obesity.
We all know the incredible health benefits of spending time in nature and there are literally hundreds of studies to prove it, like this NIH study. Bring nature inside. Your home should have living plants, not artificial. According to an NIH study, indoor house plants removes carbon dioxide and returns pure oxygen to the air. Plants can also remove toxins from air, soil, and water in at least two ways.
First, they can metabolize some toxic chemicals, releasing harmless by-products, and second, they can incorporate toxicants such as heavy metals into plant tissues, thus neutralizing them. Your walls should have family pictures, or treasured photos, or pictures with positive reflecting themes, which are all conducive in improving your mood and having a positive effect on your immune system and physical health.
Following the nature theme, incorporating soothing sounds like running or trickling water from a fountain, or birds singing, or some gentle instrumental background music, that retards exterior or street noise, will typically bring you peace, relaxation and tranquility. One 2016 study reviewed by the NIH, 59 patients suffering from stress-related mental disorders and underwent a 12-week therapy program in a rehabilitation garden (nature sounds) in Alnarp, Sweden, which found that the patients referred to natural sounds as being part of a pleasant and “quiet” experience that supported their recovery.
As many studies have shown, in particular the AHA, contact with nature can significantly reduce stress, anger and fear, and increase feelings of comfort, pleasantness, and serenity. Your property should be properly landscaped for privacy and noise reduction in mind, using hedges, or a high solid wooden fence.
It should be landscaped with several large shade trees and flowering plants, to encourage natures habitants, especially birds (wild bird-watching benefits), to visit or even make a home there, a garden area for growing fresh veggies fruits, seeds, and herbs, a large enough space for family games and activities, and a location for outdoor cooking and family gatherings. Planting your own backyard garden is not only good for routine physical activity and your healthy lifestyle, but also the availability of the most fresh nutrient foods in the world for you and your family, grown right in your backyard.
A meta-analysis of 22 case studies published in the 2017 Preventive Medicine Reports, provided robust information on the positive effect of gardening on health. The study concluded a regular dose of gardening can improve public health. Another Harvard Medical School study concluded that growing your own food in your backyard garden, can improve your health. Installing a water purification system is another good idea. If your home property is small in size, and you don’t have space to incorporate a lot of trees and plants that will help keep the air fresh and pollution-free, installing an indoor air purification system is also a good idea.
Healthy Lifestyle Applies At Work, Too
Your work space should have similar accommadations as your home. Incorporate personal things and items from your home that make your office space more inviting, more comfortable, and more relaxing to you. Incorporating your personal items in your work space, such as family pictures, will have a positive effect on you, by reducing your stress level, and will be beneficial in increasing your job performance.
Incorporating nature into your workspace with live plants, views of nature and generous natural light, are all beneficial. According to the NIH, cultivating nature contact and healthy workplaces is a critical aspect of comprehensive worksite health promotion. Quoting the study:
The results indicate that as workday nature contact increased, perceived stress and generalized health complaints decreased.
In any or all cases while working on the job, achieve physical release of stress through frequent breaks, stretching, massage, deep-breathing, meditation, yoga or enjoyable exercise, particularly out in nature. According to DeskTime, a productivity app that tracks employees’ computer use, checked their data and found that the top 10 percent performers tended to work for 52 consecutive minutes followed by a 17-minute break.
Those 17 minutes were often spent away from the computer by talking a walk outside, doing exercises, or talking to coworkers. After work hours, connect with friends and family to relieve mental pressures because being social relieves stress, according to research done by the Mayo Clinic.
The study found that a strong social support network can be critical to help you through the stress of tough times, whether you’ve had a bad day at work or a year filled with loss or chronic illness. For more studies of the benefits of being social, read this article “Social Health Definition”. Or, take time out to read, pursue a hobby or experience another activity that is fun and makes you feel good, such as frequenting nature.
Stress and It’s Negative Impact On A Healthy Lifestyle
Studies have shown that chronic stress has a detrimental effect on you, preventing you from the pleasures of life, which is what’s healthy living about. As an example, harmful chronic stress increases your risk of developing heart disease by as much as 60%, experts say.
The 2019 study of 136,637 patients over 27 years in Sweden, with stress related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress reaction, adjustment disorder, and other stress reactions, the risk of heart disease increased by 60 percent. In a fight or flight pattern, the negative effects of chronic stress can cause digestive problems such as bloating, pain, constipation or diarrhea.
Then these digestive discomforts cause more unwanted stress, causing more acute stress, as the cycle excellerates and spirals out of control like a snowball rolling downhill, compounding the problem. Prolonged stress can also accelerate aging as much as ten years, reducing your life span, studies have shown. An NIH study showed that chronic stress is significantly associated with higher oxidative stress, lower telomerase activity, and shorter telomere length, in premenopausal women who have telomeres shorter on average by the equivalent of at least one decade of additional aging compared to low stress women.
Since the early ’50’s research has established that chronic stress can negatively affect the immune system. As mentioned earlier, the APA has linked loneliness, or lack of companionship, or a support system, as significant stress producers, affecting your immune system.
Chronic stresses that evolve in relationships, is the result of misunderstanding, when one perceives their chronic stress, have a tendency to blame others, creating more damage, causing more misunderstanding, frustration, trust issues, resulting in a lack of communication and cooperation. This reaction increases the chronic stress level even more, creating more problems that didn’t exist in the first place.
In 2014 the American Institute of Stress (AIS) conducted a survey and the results showed more than 25 percent felt alienated from a friend or family member because of stress, and over half had fought with people close to them. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy surveyed over 100 heterosexual couples in Switzerland about their stress over the past year and corroborated what those AIS survey respondents believe: Relationships are worse off when people are under stress because of external stress from conflicts with friends, financial problems, long work hours which bled over into their relationships.
Stress impact in your career or job as well. It can cause you to make excuses for avoiding work, have difficulty in making decisions or taking a stand on an issue, and experience confusion, mood swings, procrastination, and inefficiency. Other mental symptoms may include emotional exhaustion, loss of identity, and loss of accomplishment. Along with its emotional toll, prolonged job-related stress can drastically affect your physical health too, according to the APA.
Physical symptoms usually manifest itself in headaches, upset stomach, and nervousness. PsycCentral Research Team has an free online stress test you might be interested in taking if you’re feeling stressed.
Be Mindful of the Causes Affecting Your Healthy Lifestyle
In order to reap the Benefits To a Healthy Lifestyle you have to pay attention to your stressors and try to find the root cause. Once you have identified them, seek solutions. You should also take the mental disposition that change is good, even if it not always positive, so you shouldn’t view it as a threat.
For example, if you are having constant conflicts with a certain individual causing you stress, request a open discussion with that individual to discuss your conflicts, keeping in mind, your mental disposition should be open, understanding, empathetic, compassionate, and willing to forgive and forget, or to ask for forgiveness. Mayo Clinic had this to say about not being able to forgive:
But if you don’t practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Ask for help and support from family and friends. Don’t procrastinate about solving your stress in your life, because the longer you wait, the greater the stress and the potential of untreatable physical illness or disease to occur. Adjust your attitude, be mindful of your situation, and approach the condition positively and as a challenge, and again, not as a threat.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is vitally important to remain as positive as you can because eliminating negative-self-talk reduces stress and anxiety. When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.
Don’t fear change, because that way you won’t inadvertently trigger negative responses that are detrimental to your well being and over all optimum health. Understand that there are things that will happen in your life which you have no control over. Don’t fret about things you can not change. An NIH study addressed the consequences of fear and found many of people’s phantom fears are perceptions and not real. Quoting the study:
…the hazards of risk misperception may be more significant than any of the individual risks about which we fret…..
Have a mindset that things will always change for the better eventually, if not now. Accept your problems as a challenge, and approach them with strength and vigor, and with conviction that you will find a solution, and you will prevail. Leave anger, or being combative, or taking the opposite view, or by being passive aggressive, which are just as harmful.
According to Mayo, what makes being around a passive aggressive person so difficult is, passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly and honestly addressing them. There’s a disconnect between what a passive-aggressive person says and what he or she does, which is very confusing to the others involved, to say the least.
Set Realistic Goals
Set realistic and achievable goals and objectives for yourself and with family and others and write them down. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 92 percent of the people who set New Years goals never achieve them. So, what do the mere successful 8 percent who do achieve their goals, do differently?
An older study, which has stood the test of time, published in Psychological Bulletin revealed that a 90 percent success rate in achieving goals is possible by setting goals that are specific and challenging, led to higher performance than easy goals, or “do your best” goals, or no goals. Give yourself ample time to achieve your goals, by not placing undue pressure on yourself, and understand, life happens in the meantime.
From time to time, you have to be flexible and make adjustments, which may be necessary. Most importantly, understand you and everyone else is human and we all make mistakes, so don’t expect perfection from yourself or others. Give yourself some slack!
Learn to Relax
Learn techniques to relax, whatever that might be, which allows your stress levels to diminish almost immediately, because your brain moves into an alpha mode, lowering your blood pressure and pulse rate, your breathing slows, you use less oxygen, your metabolic rate decreases, which will immediately reduce anxiety and stress, according to the NIH and the benefits of slow-breathing, for example.
Allow some time to yourself in a quiet place, or out in nature, position your body in a comfortable position, using guided-imaging, imagine in your mind you’re in a pleasant place. Perhaps, you being on the beach, or at an event that made you happy in your past. The NIH in this study confirmed the effectiveness of nature-based guided imagery as an intervention for states of stress and anxiety. According to the study, because the imagery is a product of the images from the past re-imagined in the mind’s eye, it’s also easily accessible and cost effective, as well.
Focus on your own slow breathing, or prayer, meditation, practicing yoga, or whatever you can find that relaxes you. Determine which parts of your body are tense and use your muscles in those areas slowly to alleviate the tension until you can feel yourself relaxing.
Establish a regular sleeping pattern and get sufficient sleep of at least seven hours a night. Prepare yourself mentally by turning off technology at least an hour before bedtime and enjoy some relaxing activity, such as a little reading or meditating, prior to lying down to go to sleep. If you have problems relaxing or sleeping, and you’re not into meditation or yoga, here is a great suggestion that will bring you inner-peace, or mindfulness, and total relaxation.
It’s called the DAVIS Delight Plus Mind Alive Device. It is very effective in bringing you a state of calmness, mindfulness, relaxation, the benefits of meditation, sleep, mood and memory clarity. Here is what one proud owner said,
This is really a cool device, and it makes it ‘easy’ to meditate.
Where To Get the Energy To Pursue A Healthy Lifestyle
Eat fresh, certified organic, well-balanced, nutritious foods that are low in saturated fats, sugars, salt and starches. Limit eating fast foods, fried foods, and processed foods, to reduce the risk of illness and disease, especially cancer.
A nutrient-dense diet would include foods like lean grass-fed finished meats, dairy, and eggs; free-range finished poultry; cold-water fish; and fresh fruits vegetables, nuts, and seeds; whole grains; fermented foods; herbs and spices; and antioxidant drinks and filtered water, which are high in proteins, carbs, and micronutrients like omega 3 fats, amino acids, vitamens, minerals, and trace elements.
Here is the complete breakdown: (A) For meals and a healthy lifestyle, eat fresh, organic, well-balanced nutrient-dense foods, such as grass-fed finished lean meats, fresh, organic, free-range finished poultry, grass-fed finished dairy and eggs (A); fresh cold-water or wild-caught fish and seafood (A); fresh organic fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds (A); and organic whole grains and complex carbohydrates, natural fermented foods, monounsaturated oils like extra virgin olive oil, fresh organic herbs and spices, and antioxidant drinks, infused water, naturally fermented red wine and beer, and fruit and veggie smoothies (A). And, reward yourself with a piece of dark chocolate for a snack! Yes, that’s right, dark chocolate, not milk chocolate (A).
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Supplement Your Diet With a Whole Superfood
Supplement your diet with the best, organic, natural, non-toxic Adaptogen Superfood, Peruvian Maca (A). P Maca is a whole food high in protein, carbs, fats, fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, vitamens, minerals, trace elements, and phytonutrients (bio-active compounds).
Adaptogens help the body to “adapt” to physical and mental stressors by stablizing blood sugar, balancing hormones, reducing inflammation, with it’s anti-inflammatory properties, mitigating stress, and at the same time, providing healing nutrition. You will experience a noticeable increase in your energy levels through a naturally balanced and sustainable manner, without placing additional stress on the body, and you will enjoy all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and well being.
Are you going to take action, now that you know what a healthy lifestyle is about? Still not convinced? The wide ranging benefits of Peruvian Maca are well documented, and are incredible, per this NIH study. Here are two more reviews on Peruvian Maca, you should read. WHAT’S HEALTHY LIVING? and WHAT IS IN MACA ROOT?
Do you have any comments after reading the Benefits To A Healthy Lifestyle? You should have questions, anyway, so, please ask them below, and we will get back to you.
(1) Yoga With Adriene Video
(2) Living Better Video
(A) Use these links for more information, more documented studies, or to purchase any of these incredible nutrient-dense foods that will give you the healthy lifestyle you deserve.