The World Health Organization, WHO, in January 2015, reports that 16 million people die annually due to unhealthy lifestyles.
It identified the most common poor
lifestyle choices causing the most death to include poor diet (food with
too much fat, salt and sugar), lack of exercise, alcohol overuse,
smoking and obesity.
life style epidermic, the report continues, is a “much greater public
health threat than any other epidemic known to man”.
With every day life getting more busy, anyone of us can get entangled in a web of unhealthy lifestyle running our health and adding to that ugly statistics above.
Let’s take a realty check and see what your daily activity and health has to say about your lifestyle. We shall then take a look at the top ten tips to living a healthy life style.
What Constitutes An Unhealthy Lifestyle?
No one would consciously wish to suffer with diabetes, heart problems, impotence, lung disease, bad joints, sleep and mood problems or cancer.
These are often the result of unhealthy lifestyle. A few cases though could be due to our inherited genes, despite the best of care and healthy lifestyle regime we may adopt.
- work long hours?
- feel tired most of the time?
- never have time to exercise?
- drive to work and hardly walk for up to twenty minutes a day
- struggle with poor
sleep, low mood ever so often?
- sit in front of your computer or television for
a better part of the day whether at work or at home?
- hardly eat home cooked meals?
- drink a can or bottle or more of soda or frizzy drink every day?
- drink more than two glass of wine or a pint of beer a day if you are a woman or more than three glasses of wine of two pints of beer a day of you are man?
- smoke at all?
If you smoke or use too much alcohol or answered yes to more than two of the questions above, then you may be leading an
Because we all live
very busy life, we often neglect our health and inadvertently contribute
to ruining it. If such is your experience, it’s not too late to
do something about it. We can take small steps today to greatly improve our health, no
matter how young or old we are, rich or not so rich.
Yes. Living a healthy lifestyle means you are willing to take
charge of your health and direct
factors that are within your power to control, and contribute to good
reduce your chances of developing diseases like high blood pressure,
type two diabetes, stroke, early dementia, heart diseases, high
cholesterol levels, poor sex drive, depression, skin diseases, and have a
positive outlook in life.
Living a healthy lifestyle not only reduces your risk of preventable diseases, it also enhances your quality of life.
Living A Healthy Life: Is It Really Worth The Trouble?
Is it really worth the sacrifice of living a healthy lifestyle? Some have argued that
they have lived a healthily and yet still come down with
diseases like breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and even lung cancer. Is it really worth living a healthy lifestyle?
The Answer is an emphatic yes! Healthy living is just part of the
equation in ensuring longevity and good health. Curiously, it is the
most important of the four major factors that influences the quality of
our life, the so called “longevity determinants“.
Doctors often advice that you change factors you can change in your life to enable you live a better life. There would be some factors that are beyond you control. You must learn to live with those ones. Your race, sex, inherited
family conditions and traits as well as age are things that you can not
change, that can strongly
impact on your health.
If you are male, you are more likely to
suffer with tension headache, have a heart attack, or ruptured abdominal aortic
aneurysm, for example, than if you were female (sex influence).
you are white, you are more likely to suffer from multiple sclerosis, a
disease almost unheard of in black African. So too, if you are black or of African extraction,
you are more likely to inherit sickle cell disease or be a carrier
Whatever you inherit or get exposed to due to
factors that you can not change, remember that those things you can change, are
more important in determining your long term state of health
eventually. So concentrate on altering such factors in a bid to living a
Top Ten Tips For Living A Healthy Lifestyle
Are you truly and really keen on living a healthy lifestyle? Then follow these ten top
tips for healthy living.
They will help you lose weight, improve your stamina,
health, and live a happier life:
1. Eat Well
You’ve heard it before: You are what you eat.
- Eat small regular meals, low in saturated fat,
salt, and high in dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables. This will help
you with weight control too.
- Cut down on your plate portion if you are overweight
- Eat more wholemeal bread, brown rice, and unrefined sugar
- Add nuts and dried fruits to your menu if you are not allergic to them
- Cut down on snacks, biscuits and cake. Replace these with your favorite fruits
- Do not add salt to meals once on the table
- Drink 2 to 3 liters of clear fluids per day.
2. Regular Exercises / Physical Activities
Regular exercise need not be formal and certainly does not mean you have
to enroll for a gym membership. Living a healthy lifestyle in terms of
exercising means you are willing to:
- Engage in activities and exercises that make your heart rate increase, and make you sweat. You can get free exercise videos online
- It is recommended that doing moderate intensity exercises like walking,
gardening, swimming, and jogging up to 30 minutes a day for at least
five days a week will dramatically put you in good shape health-wise
- Using the stairs instead of the lift each time is a good start at doing a work out.
- Walk your dog daily for about an hour
- Join a dance group if you can afford it.
Exercising not only helps you lose weight, it also helps build your physical
endurance and stamina, so you don’t get tired easily.
It leads to increased
metabolism, meaning that you burn calorie more than if you where not
Exercising also help increase your appetite, meaning you can enjoy your meal
better. Never mind this increase in appetite. As long as you select the
right kind of food – low in saturated and trans fat, high fiber, your
increased metabolism will mean that the extra food you eat will be burnt
off. Just keep your exercise routine.
You can build your own home gym by getting an elliptical trainer.
3. Sleep Well
Getting a good night sleep on a regular basis helps boost your immunity and can also help you lose weight.
Do you feel refreshed after a night sleep? Or do you find yourself
nodding off during the day?
While obesity leads to poor night sleep and
snoring, from what doctors call obstructive sleep apnea, not sleep well
from being overworked or keeping late nights could also cause you poor
Sleep about six to ten (average of eight) hours every night. Avoid
drinking coffee or any stimulant before going to bed.
4. Good Personal Hygiene
This of course goes without saying. Keeping yourself and our environment
clean is another major way we can greatly impact on our health and
- Very good dental hygiene,
- Drinking and cooking with clean
- Clean homes and clothes,
- Proper disposal of waste and sewage,
- Sound mental cleanliness too.
Recent research has shown that regularly brushing your teeth and
flossing them greatly contributes positively to your overall health.
Remember to clean your teeth after every meal, and certainly before
going to bed.
5. Learn To Cope With Stressful Situations In Your Life
Whether we like it or not, life throws so much at us from time to time.
Living a healthy lifestyle also means you develop the skills of managing
stressful situations in your life, and prevent these from affecting
If you allow stress to eat into you, your happiness disappears and your
health will suffer.
- Do not let your job situation ruin your health. If it is too stressful, plan your exit now. You will do more damage than the seeming financial advantage to you. Who told you you would find something else to do. Put everything into starting a new career or job. Save your health now.
- Learn to control your emotions. It would greatly improve your quality of life.
- If you are becoming easily irritated, short tempered, generally
stressed, or feeling depressed, it is likely that you are being
overwhelmed by stress. Take action today.
- Take a step back, get a notebook and write down the possible major cause(s) of your stress
- Can you change the situation? If not, think of how to minimize the effect on you
- Try not allow yourself to be eaten up by issues you can ignore. Do you need to be right always? Do you really need to prove you are in the right on that matter causing you stress? Let go.
- Learn to forgive freely. You benefit the most by doing so.
- Use relaxation techniques like deep breathing and brisk walking or exercise to manage tension and anger.
- Could you do with more sleep or even an holiday to wind down?
- Recognize your limitations and boundaries and learn to accept them.
There will be certain things you can never do or change. Not being able
to cope is not a sign of failure.
- Get help from your health care provider, friends and family members if things are getting out of hand. Chat with someone.
6. Up To Date Health Promotion / Screening Activities
- See your doctor regularly – at least
once every year for general check up, including annual blood work (full or complete blood count,
thyroid, cholesterol and blood glucose check)
- Prostate check if you are a man above 50 years of age
smear if you are a sexually active woman
- Colonoscopy if you are 50
years or more once every 5 years or so, regular mammogram and breast
ultrasound scan if you are a woman above 50 years of age
- Flu shot or jab if you are 65 years or older, or suffers with diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, or on steroids or asthmatic or suffers with COPD
- Shingles Vaccine (Herpes zooster) if you are 65 years or older or suffers with chronic illness. Shingle vaccine reduces your likeliness of having single by up to 70 % once you are over 60 years of age.
- See your dentist or hygienist every 6 months for your oral health check
If you are a young man or woman, chlamydia and other STD Testing may be a good step towards ensuring a healthy reproductive and physical health too.
7. Adopting Safe Behaviors
An often ignored secret of living a healthy lifestyle is adopting safe behaviors
- Using seat belt
- Keeping to speed limits,
- Installing and regularly
checking fire alarms in your home and office, and
- Practicing safe sex by
using condoms and avoiding multiple sexual partners. These are facts of life, not just morality preaching.
8. Alcohol: Drink Responsibly
Living a healthy life does not mean you can not drink or enjoy alcohol.
Small to moderate amount of alcohol taken regularly is protective to your
heart and good for your health. This has been called the “French
If you drink, do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week if you are a
woman, and certainly no more than 21 units of alcohol per week if you are a man.
But what is a unit of alcohol, some might ask?
- A small glass of wine is equal to 1 unit of alcohol
- A shot of spirit or whiskey is equal to one unit of alcohol
- A pint of beer (500mls glass) is equal to two (2) units of alcohol
- A bottle of standard red or white wine contains about 8 units alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol could lead to weight gain, especially around
A glass of wine for example contains 300 Kilo-calories of energy!
imagine the amount of calories you take in by drinking so much.
Drinking too much alcohol also leads to stomach irritation (gastritis
and ulcers), liver damage, throat cancers, depression, impotence, and
ultimately ruins relationships, jobs and lives. That seems like a high price to pay when things get out of control. If you suspect that you are not good at controlling how much alcohol you take, then why not quit drinking totally? Hard decision.
9. Give Up Smoking
Do you smoke?
Then this is for you.
Giving up cigarette is one of the best thing ever you can do to improve your
health. It is never too late to stop.Make that decision today. Do not linger.
your chance of developing so many cancers, heart attack, hypertension,
impotence, and lung disease like COPD.
Your chance of early death is increased by 200% if you smoke. Quit now.
Get help from your doctor. Research has shown that getting help combined with the use of anti-smoking medications increases your chances of succeeding in quit smoking by for fold!
10. Explore Your Spirituality & Find Time for Friends
- Happiness comes from sharing time and resources with loved ones and
keeping friends. Make time for friends and loved ones. They remarkably
contribute to fulfillment in life and good health. Don’t isolate
yourself. “No man is an island”.
- Talking about believe in God or a supreme being, many will think that
this is naive and wonder if it does contribute to living a healthy
lifestyle. Research has consistently shown that people have more
direction and purpose in life if they give attention to their
spirituality and believe in a supernatural being.
- We are designed with a
yearning of some sort for spirituality.
Even those who do not out-rightly believe in God, but have some form of
affiliations tend to enjoy better mental health and this is no doubt a
good contribution to living a healthy lifestyle, for “health is not just
the absence of diseases, it is also the presence of sound physical,
mental, emotional, and spiritual well being” – World Health Organization.
Living A Healthy Lifestyle: Have Your Say
Do you have a question, comment, or great idea about living a healthy lifestyle? Share it!
Discuss your concerns and view points here and even get comments from our in house healthy lifestyle doctor on most issues. Please feel free to respond to comments and postings from others here too.