Some things just do not go together! Exercising or eating something that is good for you doesn’t necessarily make you a healthy person. Being healthy is a lifestyle—a series of daily choices that impact every area of your life. In order to be healthy you have to look at your life in a holistic way.
Get enough sleep—Most people need at least 8 hours of quality sleep. Avoiding caffeine and stimulating activities in the late afternoon and evenings can help you get the best rest. Make sure your room is comfortable and your bedding is soft.
Eat healthy foods—Eating healthy well-balanced meals is the key to good physical health. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins should be part of every meal. Avoid processed foods as well as foods that are high in fat and sodium. Look for natural and organic alternatives and supplements.
Exercise regularly—Everyone needs strength training and aerobic activity for their health. Joining a gym or fitness classes can be motivating, or consider home exercise equipment like a treadmill. Another option is getting outside in the fresh air to jog, hike, bike or play a recreational sport.
Get regular wellness checks—Adults need regular health care including mammograms for women over 40 and colonoscopies for men and women over the age of 50. These simple screening save lives. You also should have yearly physicals including blood work to check for abnormalities like thyroid problems and to get immunizations. Many people dread the dentist, but annual cleanings are an important component of good healthy.
Participate in positive relationships—Relationships with family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and others can have a dramatic impact on your health. Intentionally avoid relationships and situations that make you feel stressful, anxious or fearful. Cultivate relationships with people who are also making healthy lifestyle choices.
Get enough relaxation—Relax. Stress is very bad for your health. Regularly find ways to relax—go on vacation, do yoga, meditate, take walks or read. If you feel tense, getting regular massages can be a way to help your body relax.
Be financially stable—Not being financially stable is very stressful which can be detrimental to your health. Not having enough money also can keep you from eating well and exercising—how can you afford quality foods or a gym membership? Not having good insurance can keep you from getting dental and medical care. Having a savings account and minimal debt are good for your overall health.
Enjoy life—If you describe your life as boring, stressful, busy, unhappy, hard or unpleasant it’s time to start enjoying life. Your mental health is related to your physical health. People who are unhappy or stressed out are much more likely to get sick and even have lower recovery rates from disease. Find activities you can enjoy regularly like crafts, music, dancing, reading, playing games, cooking—anything that makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
Remember, health isn’t one good choice. It is a lifestyle. If you compartmentalize your health choosing to go to the gym every other day, but you don’t eat right, you are sabotaging yourself. Perhaps you focus on your body—food and exercise—but are in stressful, unhealthy relationships or don’t take the time to relax your mind. To be a healthy person you need to be healthy physically and mentally.