To live a healthy lifestyle, you must prioritize habits and routines that promote good physical and mental health. This entails eating good food, sleeping adequately, exercising and studying to feed your mind.
I would also add the pursuit of spirituality is an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle.
The goal should be to treat your body like a temple.
We live in a time when convenience and instant gratification dictates our every move and decision.
Ironically, this makes us feel good at the moment by prioritizing the desire to satisfy our cravings but at the cost of our future.
Whereas the opposite could be said for long term health and happiness.
Sacrificing momentary satisfaction leads to a healthier life in the long term.
For most of my teen years, I prioritized my cravings at the cost of loving a healthy lifestyle. This continued into my early twenties until suddenly, I was struck with autoimmune diseases that changed the course of my life.
I was not just unhealthy. I was in pain. The things I was once able to do became nothing more than a memory. It was awful.
Walking became a painful and exhausting activity. The thought of being energetic again seemed impossible.
Looking back, if I was warned about the consequences of not living a healthy lifestyle, I’d have changed my habits and routines completely.
The cost you pay in exchange to satisfying every craving you have can be a great one.
That was the point in which I decided to change my entire lifestyle. It took almost an entire year of my life to get back on track but I was able to do it.
In this article, I’m going to share exactly what it means to live a healthy lifestyle based on my own story.
A healthy life means eating good food
Processed foods and sugary beverages offer little to no nutritional value. In fact, as you age, these foods contribute to the worsening of a lot of chronic illnesses like diabetes and inflammatory conditions.
They also pose the biggest risk in making you obese and out of shape.
This will not serve you well when you are in your 40’s trying to be a good parent or navigating a stressful career.
I advocate the 80/20 rule.
By eating clean, healthy, whole and organic food 80% of the time, I can afford to treat myself with something ‘unhealthy’ 20% of the time.
This doesn’t mean that I eat junk every day.
I tend to treat myself to something sweet every 10 days or so. I pay attention to what my body is telling me and this enables me to avoid binge eating and damaging my gut.
In a way, one could say that I am an intuitive eater.
If I was starting from scratch, I would start living a healthy lifestyle by eliminating processed sugar from my diet for a while.
Then, I would add more fruits and vegetables to my daily diet.
After which, I’d start supplementing according to my nutritional needs and focusing on developing a list of recipes that are satisfying but healthy.
A healthy lifestyle means exercising
If you don’t use it, you lose it.
Sitting around all the time and not making an effort to be fit will lead to all sorts of mobility issues and morbidity.
Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School conducted a study on the effects of walking and stated the following, “Our study showed that even 75 minutes per week of brisk walking was associated with a gain of almost two years.“
The number of years you can add to your life increases according to how active you are and the weight you maintain.
Exercise is also attributed to the regulation of hormones, specifically hormones that influence good moods and stress reduction.
For someone who battles anxiety and depression, exercise can be a natural remedy that genuinely helps clear the mind and improve moods.
A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about looking good, it’s about the quality of your life.
Exercise contributes towards a better quality of life physically, mentally and emotionally.
Find 20 minutes in your day to exercise.
Increase this number the more consistent you become.
A healthy lifestyle means studying
“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.” – Prophet Muhammad
Knowledge is power. Without it, we are nothing more than aimless beings roaming the earth without a purpose.
When we speak of studying, discard the idea of an academic facility. Yes, they’re important but they are not the only source of education.
Reading books, speaking to experts, watching informative videos, challenging yourself with new tasks and learning skills are all essential components of studying.
They equip you with the knowledge that not only improves your lifestyle but serves society and your loved ones.
None of us would be capable of such improvement and self development if we did not study and share that knowledge.
The fact that you are here right now, reading this article, is a testament to the power of studying.
I wouldn’t be here and neither would you if we didn’t study and seek ways to improve our minds.
By feeding our brains with information, we improve our thoughts and open many doors of opportunity for ourselves.
Read a book every month. That’s it. Such a small investment that will pay off in the best ways.
Related post: Why can’t I study at home?
A healthy lifestyle means praying and meditating
Irrespective of what you believe in, taking the time to be grateful and thankful will make a huge impact on your mind and mood.
When you think well and feel good, it’s going to improve your physical health and the way you show up in life.
Prayer and meditation have also been a great way to center oneself, to feel grounded and to combat a racing mind.
Ever since I started incorporating daily prayer into my life, I have seen so much growth.
My moral compass works better than ever and I am more at peace with myself.
When I feel this calm, peaceful and stable, my decision making faculties function like a well oiled machine.
This enables me to make decisions that benefit my life and those around me.
Start by praying or meditating atleast once per day.
You’ll feel a difference. It may not be immediate but in time, you’ll notice a positive change in yourself.
A healthy life means being creative
As we get older in life, the mundane and expected tends to rule our domain. We live the same routine, day in and day out.
To a great degree, being consistent is a wonderful way of achieving growth and success.
We must engage in that which becomes boring because it usually translates to great rewards.
But, there’s a limit.
Even a routine can add stress and depression to our lives.
Also, life itself can be quite suppressing and stressful. This is why it’s so important to find a creative outlet because all that energy should be expressed in a positive manner.
Or else, it will accumulate inside you until it bubbles over into an explosion.
Find something that you enjoy doing creatively.
Whether it be painting, writing, singing, listening to music, cooking, so on and so forth.
Include these art forms into your life regularly and it will contribute significantly to living a healthy lifestyle.
This is what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
I truly believe that.
To summarize – what does it mean to live a healthy lifestyle? It means to prioritize your physical, mental and emotional well-being above the desire to satisfy your cravings.
It also means to avoid instant gratification for things that have a negative effect on your life long term.
This can be achieved by eating healthy, exercising, studying, praying or meditating and being creative.
I hope this article provided you with a good idea of what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Feel free to drop your comments down below and share your ideas for living healthy.