There are various facets to living a healthy lifestyle, and these facets can be summarized into five core principles of fitness: setting goals, consistency, a balanced diet, sleep, and exercise.
According to Forbes, goal-setting is important because of the following reasons:
- Goals can trigger behavior. They can compel people to take action in the pursuit of their goals.
- Goals improve focus. Anyone with goals will pay much attention not only to those goals but more so to the ways and means to achieve those goals.
- Goals sustain momentum. When people attain goals, they tend to exert even more effort to achieve their other goals.
Consistency is the key to building good habits. Uexpress explains that consistency helps people develop routines, which eventually become second nature, thus becoming habits in the process. Consistency also helps people gain momentum in doing certain things — in this case, maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One of the key reasons that people give up on their exercise goals is that they don’t see change happening immediately and lose motivation.
Healthy living means eating healthy, and that means following a balanced diet. Healthline defines a balanced diet as “a diet that gives the body the nutrients it needs to function correctly.” A balanced diet, therefore, is heavy on fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains and light on sugar and fat. Half the battle to staying fit and healthy is done in the kitchen.
An adequate amount of sleep is one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle. MedlinePlus notes that it is during sleep when the brain forms the “pathways” necessary to facilitate not only learning but also the creation of memories. Without adequate sleep, these pathways will not be able to form fully or sufficiently, thus hampering one’s capacity to learn new things and recall pieces of information. Moreover, chronic lack of sleep may:
• Hinder one’s ability to focus and respond quickly
• Cause mood problems
• Increase one’s susceptibility to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and infections.
It is recommended that adults get 7–8 hours of sleep, at least 9–11 for school-aged learners, 10–13 hours for preschool children, and 12–15 hours for infants.
If you need some ideas on how to improve your sleeping habits then Leesa’s article focusing on 25 tips to help you fall asleep faster will surely have you sleeping soundly for as long as possible. One point that Leesa believe is key to a goodnight’s sleep is investing in a good mattress. Sleeping on a less-than-ideal mattress can ruin anyone’s snooze time. Sleep is often taken for granted, but it is a vital component of healthy living.
Exercise is a planned, structured, and repetitive physical activity with the purpose of conditioning specific parts of the body. It is an extremely important aspect of a healthy lifestyle as Health Discovery states exercise can help prevent diseases, improve stamina, strengthen one’s muscles, enhance flexibility, control body weight, and improve one’s overall quality of life. You don’t have to be a gym rat to feel the benefits of exercise. Light to moderate exercise everyday can go a long way to improving your overall health.