How To Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Every year millions of Americans make new year resolutions which includes start to exercise properly, eat a balanced diet, change or find a positive relationship, improve their social life, get enough rest, handle stress better or reduce stress, begin a program to quit smoking, reduce or avoid alcohol and drugs. All of these activities will definitely help Americans prevent disease and live a more fulfilling life physically and emotionally.
Start to Exercise Properly
Before you begin to exercise it is important for you to find out the benefits of exercising, when to start exercising, when to stop but most of all try to keep your self-motivated.
Exercise is fundamental for the body. It helps to normalize the blood pressure. Diabetics need less insulin when they exercise, so exercise helps to regulate the blood sugar. It promotes flexibility and it helps maintain weight loss. In menopausal women it helps prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. Exercise is also very important for the heart, if it is done properly it will make your heart stronger and help prevent heart attacks.
Exercise will also help you physiologically and physically. The benefits of exercise are greatly enhanced when you make a life long commitment.
It is important to talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program. Begin your exercise slowly and gradually. Remember to warm up and cool down. Avoid exercising for at least 2 hours after a heavy meal. Do not exercise when you feel very sick, for example vomiting, diarrhea, or with the flu.
Stop exercising if you feel: dizzy, light-headed, heart palpitations, chest pain, arm pain, headache, knee, foot or ankle pain, nausea, if any of these symptoms appear, stop exercising, rest and call for help.
Most people start an exercise program and after two to three weeks they stop. Finding a partner to exercise with is very important if you want to have long-term success. This partner could be your significant other, your children, your neighbor, your friend, or a professional trainer. The latter is money well invested; it will give you tangible results. If you don’t have the resources to join a gym or to purchase equipment of your own, you can try local parks and recreational centers where you can walk or jog. Some churches have facilities for exercising, and some of them have also teams and sports groups. The YMCA offers exercise programs as well.
Eat a balanced diet
The old cliché you are what you eat continue to surface every time we talk about healthy eating. Nutritionist will tell you about the fattening effects of eating processed food and fast food. A balanced diet, in general, should include proteins vegetables, lean meat, which could be beef, pork, poultry or fish, raw nuts and starch. Roughly, three fourth of your meal plate should be vegetables, one eight starch, one eight meat. A good diet should have plenty of vegetables, fresh fruits, grains; it should be low in fat, saturated fat and low in cholesterol. Specific dietary combinations suitable for your body weight, underline medical conditions and your particular exercise program, should be acquired from your personal nutritionist, your family doctor, or your trainer. Hiring a nutritionist if you are serious about your diet is very wise decision. She or he will start you in the right direction.
Finding the special person that makes you happy is not an easy task. Some people consider this a lucky strike. However, avoiding negative relationships is not a difficult task. Our emotions are created by our conscious and sub-conscious thoughts. Our thought process and our emotions trigger the release of hormones and neuro-transmitters in our bodies. These substances influence immune cell function, cardiovascular activity, such as blood pressure and heart rate, blood sugar levels, insulin levels, mental functions and some effects that scientists have yet to fully understand. Through exercise and biofeedback you can develop a more positive state of mind, which may counteract the effects of a negative relationship. Consult your psychologist if you are having problems with a dysfunctional relationship.
Improve your Social Life
It is important for you to socialize. Join a club, join a sports team, a dance club, book club and have regular gatherings with your friends. Humans by nature are social animals and it has been demonstrated that people who have strong social lives are generally happier and healthy than those who do not. It appears that the sense of well-being is derived from neuro-transmitters and hormone release as discussed earlier.
Getting enough rest
It is important to sleep well in quality and time. The average person should sleep at least seven to eight hours a day. More than that is usually not beneficial and less than that you are not getting enough rest. There are certain medical conditions that affect the quality of your sleep such as obesity, sleep apnea, emphysema, cardiovascular disorders and metabolic disorders. Consult your physician if you have a problem sleeping. There is help for all of these problems. Sleep centers are now popping up everywhere; ask your doctor which one is good for you.
Decreasing / Eliminating Stress
Decreasing stress at work and home is crucial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Although a mild degree of stress is part of a normal life and to some degree it keeps your mental faculties sharp. Excessive stress is detrimental to your cardiovascular system, it will negatively affect your sleep, your social life and put strains on your relationships, all of which will have an overall effect on your mental health. It may cause anxiety, depression, panic attacks and even psychotic episodes. Consult your physiologist on ways to reduce your stress in your life.
This is perhaps one of the best things you can do to help improve your health. It is a well-known fact smoking is a serious threat to your health, it increases the chances of heart attacks and strokes, it affects the peripheral vascular system, it damages your lungs and causes emphysema and it has been proven to increase your chances of lung cancer. There are medications available to help your quit smoking. Consult your doctor who will be able to prescribe the right one for you. Be aware of second hand smoke - it is just as deadly and has been proven to cause similar health problems as those listed above.
Reduce and Avoid Alcohol and Recreational Drug Use
Alcohol and drugs are bad for your health. It will affect your liver; it will cause cirrhosis, acid reflux and stomach ulcers. Certain drugs, such as cocaine, will cause heart damage and heart attacks. Hallucinogens, such as marijuana, LSD and ecstasy, will cause mental problems, depersonalization, and loss of self-esteem, depression and psychotic episodes. Excessive doses of any of these drugs will cause death. The environment where these dugs are being consumed will put your life at risk and in conflict with the police and the authorities. These drugs are generally sold by unscrupulous people who lace the drugs with some other deadly substances, such as strychnine, rat poison, and some other substances thereby multiplying their lethal effect. Be aware not to abuse prescription drugs, which, as recreational drugs can cause severe addiction and overdosing can be as lethal as street drugs.
To start a healthy lifestyle as you can see, is an accomplishment in itself. To maintain a healthy lifestyle is an achievement of paramount proportions. In addition to eating properly, exercising, taking your medications, visiting your doctor regularly, getting a good night sleep, reducing stress, quitting smoking, alcohol, drugs. Having good sex! And by that I mean using protection or having a monogamous relationship is the clincher to a good health and to feeling good while we are in this planet.
Felipe L. Cubas, M.D.
Joe Koening, M.D. The art and Science of health
Aja Frary Tips for living a health life style
The Center for Reintegration: Healthy life style