A healthy lifestyle is a term that is commonly used by many communication channels but not many people bother to find out its real meaning. It is important to know its significance and ways through which individuals can make lifestyle changes since this can lead to an improvement in the length and the quality of the lives they live.
Several factors make up a healthy lifestyle, physical exercise and diet being the most obvious ones (Gogus, 2011). In addition, learning how to manage stress, getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking and responsible drinking are important towards living a healthy lifestyle.
Parents who make a deliberate effort to live healthy lifestyles make it possible for their children to lead healthy lifestyles too.
There are problems associated with unhealthy lifestyles hence it is mportant for parents to lead by example by educating their children on how to live well, improve their eating habits and the need for exercises (Manger, 2006). In order to lead a healthy lifestyle, I will make two important lifestyle changes that will have positive impact on my short term and long term health.
Embracing physical Activity
The first lifestyle change that I will make is to embrace increased physical activity. Regular activity and exercises are important to people of all ages since they maintain good health and well being. Research has revealed that both young and old people can reap numerous benefits from either vigorous or moderate exercises done regularly. Many people struggle with chronic diseases but with exercises, they can be improved significantly.
Active people are likely to live longer than inactive ones since through exercises, they reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases.
Despite the fact that majority of people are aware of the benefits associated with physical exercises, they nevertheless lead lives which are relatively sedentary. Sedentary lifestyles are described as lifestyles that are devoid of physical activities carried out during leisure time. Lack of physical activity has been cited as common in both young and old people.
One of the most common health problems that have been claiming many lives across the world is obesity. Physical exercise is important in regulating weight to ensure that it is maintained at a healthy level. It helps an individual to burn calories and the more vigorous the activity is, the higher the amount of calories burnt. This eliminates the problem of wasting a lot of time in an attempt to lose a lot of weight.
This implies that it is important for individuals to monitor their weight. Nutritious diets coupled with physical activity are key ways through which individuals can maintain a healthy weight. It is therefore important for private and public sectors to come together to encourage individuals to embrace physical activity.
For example, schools can initiate walking programs and involve the local communities. As an individual, I need to embrace physical activity since it is good for the body and mind. This should be followed by a constantly active lifestyle.
Lack of physical activity is also associated with increased treatment costs which can be avoided. Physical activity should be done for at least twenty minutes, three times in every week in order to strengthen muscles, improve the structure of the joints and bone health.
As a student, physical activity will be very important since it has a positive impact on mental health. It is associated with increased learning capacity, self esteem and reduction in anxiety and stress. Physical activity is therefore important towards reducing some of the health risks such as obesity which is occasioned by excess weight (Whitman, 2012).
The second lifestyle change that I will make is to quit smoking. This is an addictive habit that is not considered harmful by many people but has adverse health effects. There are more than four hundred known substances in cigarettes which are toxic and harmful to human health. During the burning process, the butt has the highest concentration of the residues.
Some of the most harmful products in cigarettes include tar which leads to cancer, carbon monoxide which is associated with reduced oxygen in the body and nicotine which is addictive and raises the level of cholestrol in the body. The health damage that is associated with smoking is determined by presence or absence of a filter in the cigarette, the process of preparing the tobacco and the quantity of smoked cigarettes.
Researchers have found out that smoking can reduce the life expectancy of an individual by seven or eight years. It is estimated that the life of a smoker is shortened by eleven minutes for every cigarette smoked. For instance, in UK, three hundred people lose their lives on a daily basis as a result of smoking with the highest percentage being young smokers.
It is also evident that more people under seventy years die of diseases related to smoking than those who die of traffic accidents, AIDS and breast cancer. In addition, people who do not smoke live healthier during their old age than those who smoke.
Risks Associated with Smoking
Failure to quit smoking is associated with numerous health risks. Several diseases which pose great risks to the health of a smoker include cardiovascular disease, cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Cardiovascular disease occurs when arteries harden as a result of deposits of cholestrol and other fats that block the arteries making them narrow (Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking, 2012).
The disease takes different forms since different blood vessels may be affected. Smoking also exposes individuals to cancer especially throat cancer, lung cancer and mouth cancer. These types of cancer are not common among non-smokers.
The risk of cancer is increased by the number of cigarettes smoked in a day and the duration an individual has been smoking. The likelihood of smokers developing mouth cancer is four times compared to non-smokers. COPD on the other hand entails numerous conditions that obstruct the flow of air hence making breathing difficult. They include chronic bronchitis and emphysema (Owing, 2005).
Quitting smoking will be beneficial to me as an individual since it will reduce the risk of contracting smoking-related diseases. In addition, my general health will improve since minor health problems such as tiredness and headache may be associated with smoking.
The heart will also not be exposed to a lot of strain hence enabling it to work effectively. Most significantly, smoking will cut down the amount of money that would otherwise be spent on drugs (Sloan, 2004).
When coupled with the benefits of physical activity, the actions towards lifestyle change will be beneficial towards my university work and my chances of success in employment. This is because good health will enable me to concentrate on my studies without distractions caused by diseases. I will also be able to effectively execute my duties at the place of work.
Gogus, U. (2011). A Fundamental Guide for a Healthy Lifestyle and Nutrition, AuthorHouse, Washngton.
Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. n.d.
Manger, W. (2006). Our Greatest Threats: Live Longer, Live Better, Jones & Bartlett Learning, New York.
Owing, J. (2005). Trends In Smoking And Health Research, Nova Publishers ,New York.
Sloan, F. (2004). The Price of Smoking, MIT Press, New Yok.
Whitman, A. (2012). The Importance of Physical Activity.