A Guide to Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Note: This is a guest post from Lisah of Getting to Zen
What does it mean to live a healthy lifestyle? It is a way of living that allows you to enjoy more aspects of your life in a more fulfilling way. It is not just about trying to avoid one illness after another, or trying to just not feel as bad as you normally do. It is about feeling and being well physically, mentally and socially. It is about making specific choices that give you the opportunity to feel your best for as long as you can. Living a healthy lifestyle is about saying YES to life.

Three Essential Ways to Live Healthy

Do you want to have a body that can support you well into your old age? Do you wish to have mental clarity, quality relationships, good working internal functions, or even an overall feeling of well being? Well, living a healthy lifestyle is what can get you there, or at least improve your condition. There are three specific things that you should do:
1. Exercise
You shouldn’t be surprised that this one is on the list. It is unavoidable. Physical activity is essential to healthy living. The body was meant to move, and when it does not, it can become unhappy and ill. Physical activity stimulates the body’s natural maintenance and repair systems that keep it going. It improves circulation to our heart and lungs. It gives us strength to stave off injuries, and it increases the mobility in our muscles and joints. Physical activity also releases endorphins; the feel good hormones that create a sense of general well being. Physical activity is good for the body and the mind.
Exercises include brisk walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, rowing, elliptical workouts and jogging. Yoga, and pilates are also good exercise workouts; however, they should be performed in conjunction with the cardiovascular-type workouts mentioned above.
2. Eating healthy
Have you ever heard of the saying “you are what you eat” or “garbage in garbage out”? Well, it is true. What you put into your body directly affects how you feel physically, your mood, your mental clarity, your internal workings, and even your skin. Eating healthy does not mean eating expensive foods with little taste. As a matter of fact, there are some fantastic health recipes online and in cookbooks that are very healthy. Basically, you want to aim for a diet that is low in salt, fat and unprocessed foods and is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also good to take a multi vitamin to ensure you are meeting your nutrient requirements.

3. Reduce stress
We have got to get rid of all of this stress. Stress happens when your life becomes out of balance physically, mentally or emotionally. This imbalance can be caused by internal stress like worrying too much, environmental stress like pressure from work, family or friends, or by stress from being fatigued or overworked. Being stressed out has the potential to affect your health in a variety of ways. You can become tired, sick, tense, irritable, and unable to think clearly. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you will need to manage the stress in your life so that it does not overtake you. This means taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, tasks, and environment to get your body back in balance.

Action Items

Here are some specific action items for living a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Use the food pyramid as a guide to how much of what to eat
  2. Eat less processed foods
  3. Reduce your sugar intake
  4. Grill, boil, or bake foods rather than frying them
  5. Reduce the amount of meat you eat
  6. Eat a lot of fresh locally produced vegetables and fruits
  7. Avoid adding salt to your meals after they have been cooked
  8. Regulate your portion sizes (a portion is about the size of your fist)
  9. Reduce your alcohol consumption
  10. Reduce caffeine consumption
  11. Don’t eat foods that have a lifetime warranty (unless we have some sort of disaster and you have been storing them in your basement for just that case)
  12. Stop smoking
  13. Laugh a lot
  14. Exercise at a moderate intensity, for at least a half an hour three to five times per week.
  15. Find ways to eliminate stress (meditate, exercise, guided imagery, music)
  16. Give to others with no strings attached
  17. Smile at strangers
  18. Learn to say no
  19. Avoid people who put their stress on you
  20. Take control of your life
  21. Always say please and thank you

Lisah is a technical writer living in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She enjoys long distance running, cooking, sewing and blogging. Lisah’s blog, Getting to Zen, includes articles on personal development, enlightenment, consciousness and awareness. Stop by for a visit.
Photo by Abdullah AL-Naser

29 Comments

  1. Very true points! They are essential for a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Roman,
    Thanks. Yes, I find that if I don’t do each of those three things, I feel so out of balance. Life is just better when I take care of myself. 🙂

  3. Lisah,
    I liked the staright to the point approach of your article. A job well done. 🙂

  4. Thank you Abubakar.
    Yes, I am a pretty “fluff” free writer. I am not saying that there isn’t a place for that style. Just that it is not mine. Glad you enjoyed it.
    BTW.
    I just checked out your blog. Love the article about being yourself. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our circumstances that we forget who we are.

  5. I am glad you put exercise first before the other two in this article, although it is not as essential as eating. Exercise is often forgotten or procrastinated on or ignored as one of the to-do things in health maintenance.
    Many books and article have been written about the subject of this article. It is always good to write about it every now and then again and again. Repetition from different writer viewpoints emphasizes the importance of things to do for health, and serves as constant reminders to people who tend to forget.

  6. Hi,
    I like the third one, even if we exercise or eating healthy will not sufficient if your stress couldn’t stop.
    Good article
    Niluka

  7. Lisah: Great list. I think you are so right that we need to have an approach to really living a healthy life. I thought your list was really good and had many practical things we can integrate into our life and know that we will be healthy. It really is about setting a goal to live a healthy life and then focusing on it to make certain we are following through.

  8. Hi Percival,
    Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I agree different viewpoints can shed new light on old topics. For me exercise is such a big part of being healthy (mind, body and spirit). 🙂
    Hey Niluka,
    Great point!!! Stress is really a health hazard. No matter how well you eat or exercise, if you have a lot of stress, it will affect you physically.
    Hi Sibyl. Thanks. Very true. Being healthy doesn’t just happen, we have to make it happen. Is there anything else you would add to the list?

  9. […] Lisah’s guest post, she has a tip-filled article about how to live a healthier lifestyle.  I know this is topic that’s been written about a lot.  But here she gives some simple to […]

  10. Thanks for summarizing. I think most people know the stuff, but we need to be reminded again and again.
    As I see it, there are basically two types of people, one type truly enjoys physical activity and can’t imagine not to have exercise as part of their lives. That is the lucky group; the people of the second group must force themselves to be active. It doesn’t come naturally to them; it’s a struggle for them. That is the group that needs all the encouragement and reminders. But I am afraid, that fitness blogs are ‘preaching to the converted’…
    Anyway, I enjoyed the post.
    Visit mine and enjoy..
    http://www.letstalkfitness.net/blog
    Zora

  11. Great post,
    It is typically a post that would be a great ‘Fit’ for my
    http://hpshealthylifestyle.blogspot.com
    Guess what, I do mention a certain Lifeoptimizer
    blog in a recent post! 🙂
    All the Best,
    To your – Happy Healthy – Inspiration,
    HP

  12. thanks for action Items 🙂

  13. […] Latumahina presents A Guide to Living a Healthy Lifestyle posted at Life […]

  14. Thanks for sharing!!!! Very much appreciated!

  15. great tips! we also need to remember to drink clear, healthy water
    thx

  16. Thank you for putting together a such a great easy to follow guide to living a healthy lifestyle. I agree about the above comment. Drinking plenty of clear water will also help.

  17. I think you forgot a very essential part of living a healthy, balanced lifestyle…
    22. Get the adequate amount of sleep every night.

  18. the points above are absolutely great!. to preventing stress is easy, just dont thinj about ur stress. always be optimism, positive thinking. dont make every problem hardly.
    thanks.

  19. My favorite tip here is preventing stress. However it is not so easily done in today’s world. Stress can cause may other insidious health side effects. So trying to relax and enjoy life a bit will go a long way towards living a healthier life.

  20. This thing with living a healthy life, eating healthy, etc is something that you can try and force yourself to do it you’ll get some results, but that sure ain’t the way.
    You have to like it, you have to like veggies and so on.
    I’m 27 years old and I don’t know how and why, but it’s only been 2-3 years since I started to really like veggies, couldn’t stand them before. Maybe it all comes to getting more mature?

  21. thank you!!!

  22. i think that stress isn’t needed since its weird i guess

  23. This is such a great all inclusive list on how to stay healthy and live a happy and long life. I would add only one more thing to it: have your “Me” time, a little bit every day. Recharge your batteries, relax, do anything you want that makes you happy for a few minutes. Every Single Day!

  24. A lot of foods that supermarkets carry contain a lot of salt and sugar. What’s worse is that people don’t even know this! This is so because there are lots of different names for sugar.

  25. A Wonderfull blog that I ever read. I’m professional gym trainer and my totally focus on “Exercise” and I read your blog it’s excellent.

  26. I like how you mentioned that physical activity is essential to healthy living, and physical activity stimulates the body’s natural maintenance and repair systems that keep it going. I haven’t been living very healthy for the past year and am starting to feel very depressed because of it. I want to start living healthy again but have no idea where to start. I will definitely keep your great tips and information in mind when trying to live healthy again.

  27. Love your list! What a great idea. Short daily practices can really be the game-changers I think. When we do them every day, big changes take place. Thank you.

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