Your lifestyle is an all-encompassing description of your life: your regular habits, choices, behaviors, and more. Not only does your lifestyle impact your physical health, but also your mental health. For these reasons, it’s vital to adopt a lifestyle that will promote well-being. And, luckily, it’s not as hard as it sounds!
How Your Lifestyle Impacts Your Health
There are endless factors that contribute to your overall health. One of the biggest influencers is your lifestyle. According to the Medical Dictionary, lifestyle is defined as, “The constellation of habitual activities unique to a person, which lend consistency to activities, behavior, manners of coping, motivation, and thought processes, and define the way in which he/she lives; lifestyle activities include diet, level of physical activity, substance abuse, social and personal interactions.”
Needless to say, your lifestyle greatly influences your mental and physical well-being. For example, one study showed that those who live “unhealthy lifestyles” are at greater risk for metabolic disease, joint problems, cardiovascular disease, overweight, violent behaviour, and more. It concluded that BMI, sleep, exercise, substance use, recreation, use of modern technologies, and more all had a poor effect on overall health.
Benefits of Living a Healthy Lifestyle
As the studies clearly show, adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best way to improve your overall well-being and health. More importantly, making healthy lifestyle choices not only impacts yourself, but also those who are closest to you.
Some of the most important health benefits, include:
- Reduced risk of metabolic disease
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improved body weight and BMI
- Increased endurance and strength
- Boosted immune function
- Improved sleep quality
- Increased energy levels
- Improved mood
The lifestyle you choose to live impacts your physical health and emotional well-being. It has lasting impacts on your long-term health and the health of those around you (ie. spouse, children, parents, etc).
5 Easy Lifestyle Changes that Will Improve Your Health
For many, choosing to live a healthy lifestyle can feel like an overwhelming task. However, there are simple and easy ways to make lifestyle changes that will have drastic impacts on the health of you and your loved ones. Today, try implementing these easy lifestyle changes:
- Drink Water- Did you know your body is mostly made of water? It’s no wonder staying hydrated is so important for your health. Consuming water helps the body detox toxins, lubricate joints, transport nutrients, and more. It’s best to drink filtered (or spring water, when filtered is unavailable). Bonus: add electrolytes or sea salt to your water to better absorption!
- Spend 20+ Minutes Outside Every Day- Enjoying the great outdoors is mentally therapeutic and physically beneficial. In fact, the concept of grounding has shown to improve many aspects of physical health, like resilience, sleep, mood, and immunity. At the same time, getting daily sun exposure (especially in the morning hours) improves vitamin D stores, boosts immune function, and improves mood!
- Start Every Day with Movement- Despite popular belief, daily movement can be enjoyable and leisurely. It doesn’t always require performing a high intensity workout. In fact, low intensity movement is one of the best ways to improve physical health. Every day, engage in physical movement, like walking, stretching, yoga, swimming, or biking. Find what you enjoy!
- Disconnect from Technology- Technology has proven to be extremely beneficial to our modern day society, but it also has the potential to wreak havoc on our health. Excess exposure to blue light from digital devices (ie. laptops, smart phones, TV’s, etc) have negative impacts on our circadian rhythm, hormones, and more. Additionally, excessive technology use encourages a sedentary lifestyle and proves to be a distraction from the present- both of which are poor habits for a healthy mind and body.
- Social Media Free Day- Along with technology, regular social media use can rob you of mental and physical health. It promotes comparison and jealousy, while stealing your joy and gratitude. One of the best things you can do for your mental (and physical) well-being is to adopt weekly social media-free days. Instead of scrolling through Instagram feeds, spend time with loved ones, prioritize self care, or do activities you enjoy!
There are many simple ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Truth be told, it doesn’t have to be an intimidating task! The most effective way to transition to a healthy lifestyle is to make small changes every day. I encourage you to incorporate one of these tips each day or week. Before you know it, you’ll be living the healthy lifestyle you didn’t know was possible!