Therapists say a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial in several ways. Not only does it help promote a good physical condition, but it can also help improve both your emotional and mental well-being. “Staying fit is not just for your body. It is also important to keep a fit brain. Brain fitness is about keeping the mind sharp and preventing or battling cognitive disease.” This is according to Trudi Griffin, LPC. A healthy lifestyle can range from a variety of activities such as exercise, creating a balanced diet, to abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes.
In addition to that “The food you eat can have a direct effect on your energy level, physical health, and mood. A “healthy diet” is one that has enough of each essential nutrient, contains many foods from all of the basic food groups, provides the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight, and does not have too much fat, sugar, salt, or alcohol,” as stated by Carol A. Gooch, M.S., LPC, LCDC, LMFT
Indicators Of A Healthy Lifestyle
You can ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not you’re living a healthy lifestyle.
- Do you smoke?
- Do you eat at least two to three servings of fruits and vegetables every day?
- Do you eat a variety of food (go, grow, glow) every day?
- Do you limit your intake of salty, fried, fatty, and sugar-rich foods?
- Do you drink at least eight glasses of water every day?
- Do you exercise at least 30 minutes or more, five times a week?
- Is your body mass index (BMI) within the normal range (18.5–24.9)?
- Do you sleep for at least eight hours a day?
If your answer to most of these questions is no, then you probably need to change your lifestyle because you aren’t living a healthy one. You must reconsider how you live your daily life, knowing that the current one you’re living isn’t healthy.
A Healthy Lifestyle And A Healthy Mind
Therapists and psychologists have found a connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind. This idea is also accurate the other way around. It has a long history that started way back in the 4th-century bc, with Hippocrates acknowledging the moral and spiritual aspects of healing.
Hippocrates’ idea promoted the fact that the mind plays a vital role in balancing the healing of an individual. This idea was furthered by Walter Cannon, who coined the phrase “fight-or-flight response” and discovered a direct relationship between stress and neuroendocrine responses. With the help of more scientists and psychologists, they were indeed able to find a connection.
Through different body-mind therapies, you form a connection. These therapies include cognitive–behavioral therapy, meditation, yoga, prayer, creative arts therapies, and hypnosis. These are some activities that require physical movement or interactions with our body.
We can further strengthen their connection, knowing that each mental state has physiology associated with it. You can experience the relationship through the release of hormones.
Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle
Now that we know the connection between the mind and body, we can look into the benefits of a healthy lifestyle so that we can appreciate it even further. Here are five of the most notable benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
- It improves your immune system. A healthy lifestyle helps you lower the risk of developing any diseases like cancer, obesity, heart conditions, or others. Smoking, alcohol, or any other forms of unhealthy living are especially related to these illnesses.
- It boosts your mood and energy. Regular exercise can help boost your mood and energy. Exercise can also help improve your cardiovascular health. Thus, it is essential to leave some time for a simple walk around a park or even just an early morning jog. Physical activity stimulates your endorphin, a brain chemical that gives you the feeling of joy and relaxation. Other healthy habits you can try out include making social connections and volunteering.
- It promotes healthy weight loss. A healthy diet can give you a better physique. By eating the right amount and with enough variety, you avoid excess weight gain. If you do this regularly, you’re sure to maintain a healthy weight. You need to monitor the calorie content of the food you eat so that you can control your weight. Avoid skipping meals since this increases your blood sugar. Also, remember to limit your consumption of sugary beverages like fruit juice and soda. You can also consider consuming lean meat.
- It enhances sleep. Proper diet and exercise help you get better sleep. By sleeping for at least 8 hours, you lower the risk of developing sleep disorders like insomnia. Enough sleep also allows you to feel like you’ve got the rest you need after a long day at work. Not having enough sleep often leaves you feeling tired upon waking up. According to Jann Gumbiner, Ph.D “Regular sleep is important. Sleep has restorative power and evidence shows that sleep enhances memory and improves attention. Sleep is not an option. It is essential.”
- It helps you make better decisions. You improve your mental well-being and become more capable of making the right decisions. You become less clouded with distractions and remain focused on the things you need to accomplish. Having a clear and healthy mind can ultimately help you reach your dreams and goals.
Are you considering changing your lifestyle? The best time to start is now!