Ten Tips to Stay Healthy
10 Simple Tips for Staying Healthy
We will not live forever, but our lifespans are getting longer. The developed world has a growing aging population, and this, for each of us, means that our goal should be to live our longer lives in the best possible way.
Live our golden years with independence, keen minds, and wellbeing. And the time to act is now, whether you are in your twenties, thirties, or sixties (It is never too late to do something to improve your health).
Stay healthy by changing bad habits
The key is to change harmful behaviors and create new healthier habits. Do it one habit at a time, and you will soon notice the difference.
Adopt positive habits
Try to adopt new positive behaviors: are you a couch potato? Get outside more often, walk your dog, engage in some sport, or just stroll in the woods or the neighborhood park.
Do things that make you happy without harming your health. Set time aside for your hobby, for your friends, be positive, and seek happiness.
1. Keep a healthy weight
Some of the tips below (healthy diet and increased physical activity) will help you to reach a healthy weight level. Calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) to see if you are overweight. Then take action: a reduced-calorie diet, better food in your diet (more vegetables, fruits, less sugar, and fat), less alcohol (full of calories that don't provide any health benefits), add exercise to your daily routine. You will start shedding pounds.
2. Keep Physically Active
Exercise, regular activity will help you maintain your weight and keep your muscles and joints in good shape. It is great for bone density and overall wellbeing.
Aim at 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times a week.
Walk, cycle, do gardening, home chores, dance. Any exercise is better than none. Get out of the couch and become more active.
3. Do not smoke
If you don't smoke, don't start now, and if you smoke, quit. Smoking causes lung cancer, throat cancer, cancer in the mouth, and lung disease.
Try and try again. You can cut cold-turkey. Go to a quit-smoking program or seek advice from your health-care professional.
4. Avoid alcohol
Despite what you have heard, even if you only drink one alcoholic drink a day you also run the risk of alcohol-related health problems such as cancer or injuries.
The Global Burden of Disease study (1) reviewed data on alcohol use in 195 countries and looked into its good and bad health effects; its conclusions are sobering: "The strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries, and infectious diseases offset the protective effects for heart disease in our study."
So try not to drink alcohol, and if you must, do so in moderation.
5. Eat a Healthy Diet
Being overweight or obese increases the risks of cancers, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes type-2.
Eat with moderation and try to have a well-balanced diet.
Eat more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and healthy fats. Avoid sugar and processed foods. Cut back on salt, drink plenty of water (don't drink sugary beverages).
Learn more about how to Prepare a Healthy Eating Plan.
6. Protect yourself from the Sun
Regardless of the color of your skin, exposure to the Sun's ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer and damage your skin.
Wear a hat or cap and protective clothing when outdoors. Use a strong sunscreen (+30 SPF), keep out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM. Use UV rated sunglasses. Don't use tanning booths.
However, you should expose yourself to sunlight to allow your body to produce vitamin D, especially during fall and winter.
7. Get your shots and screening tests
Get vaccinated, it's safe (2). In winter get a flu shot if you are over 60 years of age.
Get screening tests for different types of cancer: breast, cervical, lung (if you smoked heavily), colorectal.
Blood tests to monitor cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting sugar levels are also useful to monitor your health.
Talk to your health care professional to learn more.
8. Protect yourself from STIs
Whether you are 15 or 85, you should protect yourself from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). These can be difficult to cure (antibiotic-resistant strains of germs) or may even cause cancer (like HPV - human papillomavirus).
Always use a condom and follow other safe-sex practices. Don't ever rely on your partner to have a condom. Carry one with you. Be prepared.
9. Live a Happy Life
Lawrence, Rogers, and Wadsworth (2015) (3) studied how happiness was linked to longevity in the U.S. they found that happiness makes you live longer:
- People who are "pretty happy" had a 6% higher risk of dying than "very happy" people".
- People who are "not happy" had a risk of death that was 14% higher than the "very happy" ones.
But, how can we be happier?
According to Cohn (2009) (4) suggests that happiness may be a positive feedback loop: "people who are happier achieve better life outcomes, including financial success, supportive relationships, mental health, effective coping, and even physical health and longevity... happiness often precedes and predicts these positive outcomes, rather than simply resulting from them".
And this is due to emotional resilience; Cohn suggests that "happy people become more satisfied not simply because they feel better, but because they develop resources for living well."
Savoring the "in-the-moment positive emotions" helps link happiness with a positive life.
Friends and Friendship
Amati et al. (2018) (5) report that having friends and maintaining a frequent relationship with them, with good quality time spent together is linked to better life satisfaction.
Time management makes you happier
Buying time gives more satisfaction than buying things.
Research involving over 6,200 subjects in the U.S., Denmark, The Netherlands, and Canada (Whillans et al., 2017) (6) found that "individuals who spend money on time-saving services report greater life satisfaction. ... working adults report greater happiness after spending money on a time-saving purchase than on a material purchase... using money to buy time can protect people from the detrimental effects of time pressure on life satisfaction."
Go outside, connect with nature
Capaldi, Dopk, and Zelenski (2014) (7) found that people who have stronger nature connectedness feel more vital. This vitality ranked higher up than positive emotions and moods, and life satisfaction when people were asked to define happiness.
Capaldi's team found that being exposed to nature helps "improve emotional functioning, alleviate cognitive fatigue, improve attention, and increase feelings of vitality."
These "restorative" effects were also reported by Repke et al. (2018) (8), who noted that "Nature Accessibility and Nature Exposure From Home significantly predicted reduced scores on the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales (DASS) and improved general health and wellbeing... Nature Accessibility also predicted reduced impulsive decision-making.
Being outdoors has a tangible effect on mental and physical health conditions, and the longer you spend immersed in Nature, the better.
An Australian study by Shanahan et al. (2016) (9) found that "people who made long visits to green spaces had lower rates of depression and high blood pressure, and those who visited more frequently had greater social cohesion. Higher levels of physical activity were linked to both duration and frequency of green space visits."
This study suggests that with 30 minutes per week outdoors, the prevalence of depression could drop by 7%, and high blood pressure by 9% in the Australian population.
Health benefits of spending time outdoors
Being outdoors can improve your mental and physical health. Immersing yourself in nature makes you happier and healthier.
Staying Healthy: Articles and Resources
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Constipation & Water intake
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Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar
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References and Further Reading
(1) GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators. Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet (London, England) vol. 392,10152 (2018): 1015-1035. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31310-2
(2) A. Whittall, (2020). Vaccines: Which ones are safe?. The Wellness Universe, Sep. 13, 2020.
(3) Lawrence EM, Rogers RG, Wadsworth T. (2015), Happiness and longevity in the United States. Soc Sci Med. 2015 Nov;145:115-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.09.020.
(4) Cohn, M. A., Fredrickson, B. L., Brown, S. L., Mikels, J. A., and Conway, A. M. (2009).Happiness unpacked: positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 9(3), 361–368. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015952
(5) Amati, V., Meggiolaro, S., Rivellini, G., and Zaccarin, S. (2018). Social relations and life satisfaction: the role of friends. Genus, 74(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41118-018-0032-z
(6) Whillans AV, Dunn EW, Smeets P, Bekkers R, Norton MI. (2017) Buying time promotes happiness. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA; 114(32):8523-8527. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1706541114
(7) Capaldi, C. A., Dopko, R. L., and Zelenski, J. M. (2014). The relationship between nature connectedness and happiness: a meta-analysis. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 976. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00976
(8) Repke, M. A., Berry, M. S., et al. (2018). How does nature exposure make people healthier?: Evidence for the role of impulsivity and expanded space perception. PloS one, 13(8), e0202246. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202246
(9) Shanahan, D. F., Bush, R., Gaston, K. J., et al. (2016). Health Benefits from Nature Experiences Depend on Dose. Scientific reports, 6, 28551. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep28551
About this Article
Ten Tips for a Healthy Life, A. Whittall
©2018 Fit-and-Well.com, 11 Oct. 2018. Updated. 02 Nov. 2020. https://www.fit-and-well.com/health/keep-healthy.html
Tags: Staying Healthy, Keeping Healthy, Stay Healthy, Maintaining your health, Prevention, Healthy lifestyle.
Subject: Fit-and-Well.com. Keep Healthy. Ten simple changes in your lifestyle so that you can stay healthy: advice and suggestions on remaining healthy and living a longer life.