The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle

The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle
Making choices that empower you to live fully

Living a healthy lifestyle is making personal choices that create a pattern of health-promoting behavior [1]. Cultural and personal priorities, as well as socioeconomic and geographical background, are some factors that contribute to the differences in what we consider to be a “healthy lifestyle” and the choices that we make. Regardless of these differences, living a healthy lifestyle has numerous benefits [2].

Why choose a healthy lifestyle
Being healthy is beneficial because, not only does it do good, but it also makes you feel good. Research has shown that living a healthy lifestyle can have the following benefits:

1. Improved mental wellness
Regular exercise reduces symptoms for people with depression. Research also shows that physical activity can boost one’s self-esteem, and energy, as well as reduce the risk of stress, clinical depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease [4].

2. Increased life expectancy 
In a study that tracked the health habits and outcomes of over 120 000 participants, individuals that met the researcher’s healthy lifestyle criteria had a far smaller likelihood of dying prematurely due to cardiovascular disease or cancer. Women with healthy habits lived an average of 14 years longer than women with unhealthy lifestyles. Men with healthy lifestyles lived about 12 years longer than their counterparts [3]. 

3. Fewer health problems 
People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing long-term illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. Studies have also shown that healthy food habits can also lower the risks of developing these diseases and can also be linked to better memory and concentration [3].

4. Saving money 
Healthy living is also good for economic well-being. Unhealthy habits such as eating out, smoking, and drinking alcohol regularly can be expensive[2]. The healthier choices one makes, the lesser the need for prescriptions and other treatments and the more money one has for doing things that truly make one happy.

Tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle 
Living a healthy lifestyle can be achieved through various activities or choices. Here are examples of features that contribute to a healthy lifestyle and that are based on the four pillars of a healthy lifestyle: 
  • Eating whole foods instead of processed foods e.g., eating more fruits and vegetables 
  • Make more sustainable choices e.g., eat less meat or take your bike to work instead of your car 
  • Being physically active e.g., taking daily walks, strength training, swimming, or other sports 
  • Getting 7-9 hours of sleep 
  • Prioritizing mental care needs e.g., meditation, therapy

Small changes in everyday life can make a big difference in one’s health. A healthy lifestyle can be what you define it to be, and you should choose activities that make you feel good. Some activities such as taking a walk or cooking a healthy meal can be more fun when done with family or friends. Don’t wait to change your life. Start making healthy choices today!

Author: Luyolo Mazomba-Karlsson, Region Västerbotten


The OACCUs Team is looking forward to your questions and suggestions.