By Robert Lien, MHA
The foundation of a healthy lifestyle is built on daily structure and choices. Of course there are basic elements that everyone needs such as food, water and oxygen. At different ages our bodies require different nutrients, exercise and number of hours of sleep. Overall health includes not only physical but also mental and emotional well-being. All of these are interconnected and one can have a significant impact on the other.
Creating a daily routine and sticking to it can be challenging in a world that is moving faster than ever before. Regardless, people with the busiest of lives can include elements that are simple and effective. Finding the discipline to stick to it may mean utilizing a support system including other like-minded people, creating a calendar and setting reminders until the routine becomes automatic. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, utilize the resources you have and family and friends might be your greatest resource to help with structure.
Physical fitness does not have to be something that feels like work. It can include elements that are fun, outgoing and interact with other people. Even with social distancing from Coronavirus COVID-19 people have found ways to stay connected while exercising. Utilizing technology, people can see their friends who are in different parts of the world and share the exercise in real time. Start out slow and find your pace with whatever exercise you choose and don’t over do it!
Nutrition is another important factor that can be implemented with the guidance from a primary care physician or nutritionist. It’s important to know what your body really needs to be healthy and that’s why routine physical exams and testing can help to determine what your body needs. Additionally, implementing healthy snacks and sticking to a food schedule will have an impact on overall health that can impact the quality of your sleep.
The use of drugs and alcohol can impact a person’s emotional, physical and mental health as well as ultimately leading to addiction. Regular use of drugs and alcohol will also cause damage to internal organs that could bring on conditions such as cirrhosis, cancer and pancreatitis. Additionally, the use of drugs and alcohol can bring on the increased sense of anxiety as well as depression that can have an ongoing effect on a person’s ability to perform at work, be a part of the family and enjoy activities with friends. In many cases the person does not realize that the drink or drug they are using to “relax” is actually helping to increase the condition they are self medicating with drugs or alcohol.
Living a healthy balanced lifestyle might mean making some changes or sacrifices. However, making healthy choices today will have a direct impact on your overall health physically, mentally and emotionally in the future.
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