“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle.
Your health and happiness are more intertwined than you may realize. In fact, to answer why is it important to stay healthy means living a happier life. As a result, it is proven to alleviate pain, combat stress, improve heart health, boost your immune system, and generally have a better quality of life.
To live a healthier, happier life, we have a few pointers we recommend you to focus on.
First, you need to begin to believe in yourself. A positive mental attitude helps establish the links between your thoughts and actions and sets a positive neural pathway between happiness. Your healthy activities are the first step.
Next, it’s the subsequent actions you take that you build upon to develop a rich life in both health and happiness.
From eating well, drinking water, getting the proper amount of sleep, surrounding yourself with uplifting people, and getting enough exercise are some of the best ways to become healthier.
Remember, it’s the actions we create and follow through with that make the habits and change we seek.
The key is to make a behavioral shift in what you do, and the key to changing your behavior is changing your perspective. Your thoughts become your actions, so change the way you think about your health and set out a plan to act on what you want to become.
Once you decide to become healthier and to stay healthy, those positive behavioral changes in your life are dependent upon the systems you put in place to support your actions and are crucial to making those behaviors stick with you.
Newton’s 1st Law of Motion states an object at rest will stay at rest unless an outside force changes its behavior, and an object in motion will continue until an external force causes it to stop. This applies to you living a healthier, happier life because we tend to stay with our actions’ momentum as long as they aren’t acted upon by an outside force.
A good starting point is to make your behavioral changes publicized. Tell your friends and family about what you want to do and ask them to support you in good times and the bad.
Ways to Stay Healthy & Things to Do
As discussed with Newton’s 1st Law, we tend to continue doing those things that we have the momentum to continue. That’s because it’s easier to maintain doing something than starting with some new activity or behavior that requires a lot more reliable energy to begin. The key is to start slowly and take small actions that you can build upon over time.
Behavioral psychologists discuss the process of forming lasting habits as a series of incremental steps that are reinforced with rewards. Their research identifies a few key metrics you need to set-up to make your habits permanent, and they are:
- Identify your goals
- Start small
- Identify obstacles
- Make them public
- Have support and accountability
- Create a reward system
Following these essential tips to stay healthy will help you create a support system to make your behaviors permanent and make it easier for you to stay healthy and happy. This process will help you create a momentum that allows you to maintain the changes you wish to make and build upon the momentum of small gains that, as Newton has proven, bodies in motion tend to stay in motion.
What to Eat to Stay Healthy
We have all heard the phrase, “you are what you eat.” That is an absolute truism for a healthier life, and creating a diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrition are keys to stay healthy.
The CDC recommends a diet that is plant-based with whole-grains, lean proteins such as fish, poultry, and nuts that are low in fats and use “good” sources of fats such as olive oil avocados.
Among other recommendations are to limit the amounts of refined sugars, keeping within your caloric needs, and drinking proper amounts of water as crucial tips for your dietary health.
Don’t worry, making a dietary change doesn’t mean it’s all-or-nothing. You can still choose to have an occasional burger, a spaghetti plate, or steak. These could be part of your “rewards” system, but keep it all in moderation.
Health Benefits of Drinking Water
As mentioned, drinking an appropriate amount of water is vital for staying healthy, especially as you begin to positively change your behaviors.
The reason is that water is therapeutic, meaning that it restores and repairs our bodies at the cellular level.
Benefits of drinking water are:
- Aids in digestion and weight loss
- Enhances brain function, including minimizing impact from headaches
- Regenerates and repairs cellular functions
- Improves energy
- Optimizes physical performance
How Does Sleep Affect Your Health
Too often, the first thing we give up on and lack is sleep. The amount and quality of sleep directly impact our moods and energy levels we receive every night.
Insufficient sleep has been shown to lead to several chronic illnesses, depressed immune systems, increased risk from heart disease and strokes, and many other cognitive and mental health issues.
Any plan you have to stay healthy and safe should begin with a good night’s sleep.
Surround Yourself With Good People
When you’re establishing your goals, you want people that will support you and help you stay committed to those goals.
There are always going to be obstacles in life. Often you don’t have any direct control over them, but you do have control over who you associate with, so choosing a group of people who can support your goals is crucial for you to stay healthy and happy.
Exercises to Stay Fit and Healthy
Low impact exercises are the best solution for anyone looking to improve their overall well-being and stay healthy and happy.
The correlation between health and happiness with exercise has long been studied, and the best type of activity to consider should consider your age and overall health.
That said, we have a list of some great exercise options for you to consider below.
- Swimming: Swimming is one of the best ways to stay healthy. It’s a great cardiovascular exercise that is low-impact and has the added benefit of elevating your moods and boosting your overall mental state.
- Tai Chi: Another low-impact activity for you to consider Tai Chi is a combination of movements, balance, and mediation that improves your overall fitness levels without being too weight-bearing or stressful on the joints.
- Resistance Training: Benefits of resistance training are improved muscular strength and ligaments, increased cardiovascular flow, enhanced bone-density, and caloric expenditure. Resistance training can be done with weights, body-weight, or isometric exercises such as those utilized in yoga.
- Walking, hiking, biking: The benefits of walking, hiking, and biking are an increase in cardiovascular and respiratory health. Increased blood flow with a low impact activity allows you to exercise further, longer, without the risk of injury from high-impact activity such as running.
There are plenty of trails throughout the Greater San Diego area and if you’re ever in or around La Jolla, California, check out our list of some of the top activities for you to explore outdoors. Even if you’re not in the San Diego area, these suggestions may inspire you to explore your hometown and get some exercise along the way.
Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking
Smoking carries an increased mortality rate, and more deaths stem from smoking than alcoholism, HIV, motor-vehicle, and firearm deaths combined.
In addition to being an ugly habit, smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by 2-4 times the average person. According to the CDC, the risk of lung cancer increases by 25% in men, with women just over 25% higher risk due to smoking, making smoking 90% of all lung cancer deaths.
The Importance of a Health Check-Up
One of the essential steps to stay healthy and happy is to have an annual health check-up. Regardless if you’re looking for options when it comes to women health check up services, such as this cervical health screening from Hologic Women’s Health, or one for men, the goal is to get a health examination regularly. As one of the most recommended ways to stay healthy, a regular health screening can detect disease or other ailments well before they become a significant problem for you.
Some of the key benefits to getting a health check-up are:
- Reduced risk of serious illness or disease
- Screen for life-threatening disease
- Improve quality of life and increased life span
- Improved relationship between doctor care and patient
Early diagnosis for disease is one of the best ways to minimize the risk that illness may incur, and improved communication between the doctor and patient is another mitigating factor.
As you’re exploring things to do to stay healthy, getting an exam is essential to ensure that your exercise program is the right fit for your condition and overall health.
How Does Positive Thinking Help Your Health
As we discussed, our health and happiness are interlinked, and according to the Mayo Clinic, studies show that one of the best ways to stay healthy is through positive thinking.
The power of positive thinking acts as a motivator for you during difficult times such as when changing behaviors, but also positive thinking has direct impacts on;
- Lowering levels of depression
- Lowered levels of stress and distress
- Enhanced immune system function
- Better cognitive skills
- Improved psychological and mental well-being
Whether you’re looking for a significant behavioral change or merely looking to improve your diet and exercise routines, it’s critical to take care of yourself to stay safe and healthy.
Banner photo By BommaritoArt.com
About the author: David Throop is a freelance writer specializing in marketing, health, fitness, and wellness with an eye toward his clients achieving their outcome objectives. When he is not being bitten on the ankles by precocious puppies and children he likes to spend his time outdoors.