We have all come to understand that leading a healthy life is not solely about what drugs you take when you are ill but also about lifestyle modifications that help prevent disease, boost your immune system, and ensure early detection of disease before it becomes more severe.
Some of these lifestyle tips for healthier living for you and your family include proper dietary habits, good exercise, avoidance of toxic chemicals, and hygiene, amongst others.
Prevention, they say, is better than cure; and early detection of any health condition increases the likelihood of full recovery with fewer or no complications. While good access to medications when ill is equally important, here are some lifestyle tips for healthier living for you and your family.
Lifestyle Tips for Healthier Living for You and Your Family
Some of these lifestyle tips you will see here were adapted from WHO Health tips for 2020, but those lifestyle tips will ever remain recommended. Let’s see all 13 lifestyle tips for healthier living for you and your family now.
1. Eat a healthy diet
Good and healthy food is very important for your health and vitality, making diet one of the most important lifestyle determinants of health. As simple as it may sound, good food is the first medicine you would ever require. And by this, several things may come to find.
First, a healthy diet may refer to a balanced diet containing all the essential body nutrients in adequate proportions. The body uses nutrients to synthesize body tissues, and energy, as well as carry out other body functions. Your diet, thus, determines how functional your body’s systems will be, including the body’s immune system.
Taking vitamin supplements such as Vitamin C or glutathione can also support a healthy immune system. There are many glutathione IV benefits in addition to helping you fight off illnesses, such as improving skin health or reducing oxidative stress.
Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk of developing non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Another important aspect of diet as a lifestyle tip for healthful living involves limiting the intake of unhealthy amounts of food additives like salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Reduce your salt intake to 5g per day, equivalent to about one teaspoon. You should your intake of other high-sodium products (soy sauce, fish sauce, salty snacks, etc) as well.
In both children and adults, the intake of free sugars should be reduced to less than 10% of energy intake (equivalent to 50g or about 12 teaspoons for an adult). Consuming sugar less than 5% of total energy has additional health benefits. You should limit your consumption of sugary snacks, candies, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Many non-communicable diseases like obesity, hypertension, and their sequelae have been linked to the consumption of unhealthy fats. Unsaturated fats are preferable over saturated and trans-fats (trans-unsaturated). Total fat consumption should be less than 30% of your total energy intake; saturated fats should be reduced to less than 10% of your energy intake; trans-fats reduced to less than 1%.
One easy way to recognize the ‘preferred’ unsaturated fats is that they remain liquid at room temperature. Good sources of unsaturated fats include fish, avocado, nuts, sunflower, soybean, canola, and olive oil. Saturated fats are found in fatty meat, butter, palm, coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee, and lard; trans-fats are found in baked and fried foods.
2. Exercise more regularly
Regular exercise is defined as a physical activity involving bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure, done at least once every week. Exercise includes activities undertaken while working, playing, traveling, or during recreation.
Regular physical exercise is necessary for the proper function of the skeletal muscles, brain, and heart. Depending on your age, your exercise requirements may vary. For adults aged 18-64 years, at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity is required per week, or at least 30 minutes a day, or at least 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
A sedentary lifestyle is linked to a lot of health problems like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. However, there are various ways you can keep up with an exercise routine. First, early morning brisk walking, jogging, or running can help. If you have the means and you have enough space, you can consider installing a swimming pool in your home. Swimming is both a recreation and a moderate to vigorous-intensity exercise.
To keep up with routine exercise, you can also get a basic home gym or a sophisticated one depending on how much you can allocate to it in your budget. This can save you the time of having to go someplace else before getting good physical exercise.
A good idea in respect of installing a home gym will be to convert some space in your garage into a fitness area. With custom garage flooring, your garage floor can be made more durable and impact-resistant both for the machines and for your exercise equipment.
Some exercises are aimed at strength, others, at flexibility, while others are aimed at cardio or heart muscle building. It is recommended that you aim for a mix of these exercise types throughout the week.
3. Avoid the harmful use of alcohol
Alcohol is a natural chemical present in many foods and fruits. It also found use as a preservative for food and food products, as well as for solvents for many chemical products. However, alcohol has also found use as a recreational drink due to its ability to produce euphoric effects when consumed in high amounts.
While there is a safe limit for consuming alcohol in foods, there is no safe level for drinking it for recreation.20 health tips for 2020 – WHO International This is because alcohol, in moderate amounts, can predispose to mental and behavioral disorders, alcohol addiction and dependence, and some cancers and heart diseases, especially in those who have an existing predisposition.
Other non-communicable diseases like liver cirrhosis, fatty liver, and liver cancer, as well as injuries resulting from violence and road accidents, can also be caused by alcohol.
While there is no safe level for the recreational use of alcohol, you should keep the levels as low as possible throughout the week for a healthier lifestyle.
4. Avoid smoking
Avoidance of smoking is an important lifestyle modification that can make you live healthier and longer. Tobacco smoking has been linked to non-communicable diseases like lung disease, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.
Smoking or inhalation of any substance carries a risk for the development of mental health diseases, secondarily due to the effect of the hard-drug ingredient on the brain. Even non-smokers can experience the negative impact of smoking if they consistently breathe in the smoke generated by smokers. This is referred to as secondary smoking.
Generally, 7 out of 10 smokers are interested to quit. So, if you are currently a smoker, it is not too late to quit smoking. A series of interventions can help, together with the help of addiction recovery centers. You should focus on the long-term health benefits of smoking cessation for extra motivation.
If you are a non-smoker, don’t stop resisting the pressure to start smoking. Also, avoid inhaling smoke via secondary smoking and continue to fight for your right to breathe tobacco-smoke-free air in public places.
5. Seek medical care promptly
Late presentation accounts for one of the most prevalent causes of morbidity and mortality in many parts of the world. For the most part, it is due to the indecisiveness of the patient and/or the caregivers. Other times, it is due to a lack of money or poor insurance schemes in the locality.
In areas where insurance is functional, there is a marked reduction in late presentations because the patients can afford to seek medical care early. On the other hand, people in resource-poor countries often see the need to try alternative interventions before visiting the hospital. This has been shown to increase the number of deaths from easily preventable and treatable causes.Deaths due to delayed presentation to the hospital from fear of contracting COVID-19 during lockdown period: a tertiary care center experience – Taylor and Francis Online Journal
To strike a balance between resource-poor countries and developed nations, as well as people’s attitudes to health-seeking, prompt medical care would be summarised by the statement, “knowing when to see the doctor early enough after having tried the alternatives with no success”.
6. Attend checkups
Checkups are routine visits to a health facility even when you are apparently healthy. It helps to assess the state of your body and detect any issue long before it becomes clinically visible. As little as routine checkups can seem, they have helped several people avoid the scourge of full-blown disease.
Some specific health checkups you should pay attention to include dental checkups, blood pressure monitoring, regular eye checkups, etc.
You may not have considered your teeth as part of the important lifestyle tips for a healthful living but it is important to note that regular dental checkups are important for your overall health. Your oral health can impact other areas of your life including your personal confidence, social performance, and mental health.Association Between Mental Health and Oral Health Status and Care Utilization – PMC
It is recommended to see the dentist every 6 months, in order to look out for gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral conditions before they become problematic. The dentist will also continually teach you how to care more for your teeth and mouth.
Also, according to Mayo Clinic, some systemic conditions like diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis show early signs in the mouth before other parts of the body. Thus, affording the early detection of such diseases during routine dental checkups.
Hypertension is regarded as a “silent killer” because it may not manifest its symptoms early in the course of the disease. Some of the symptoms it gives do not express the true burden of the disease and its potential to cause death and disability.
A regular blood pressure check is recommended for people at risk of developing hypertension, especially adults greater than 40 years and the elderly. If left uncontrolled or unsupervised, hypertension can lead to heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and their sequelae.
Eye checkup is another form of medical checkup that can make the difference between healthy living or quality of life, and permanent visual disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 11 million Americans over the age of 12 require some form of vision correction.
Routing eye examinations help the health practitioner detect common eye diseases like cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, early enough to prevent progression to severe visual loss or blindness. Some systemic diseases can also be picked up from eye examinations, and routine visits will afford the ophthalmologist the opportunity to educate you on the best ways to take care of your eyes.
7. Drink safe water regularly
Drinking adequate amounts of water on a daily basis is one important lifestyle tip for healthy living. The average daily water requirement by adults is about 2.5L per day. This is about 3 of 75cl water cans and a standard teacup. Water is essential to many metabolic processes in the body but many people do not attain this minimum daily water requirement.
Adequate water intake is an important requirement for your overall health. As simple as drinking small amounts of water at frequent intervals throughout the day can keep your body strong enough to fight common infections.
Water also constitutes part of the blood volume. When you are dehydrated, there is blood volume depletion. This can affect how well blood is distributed to the organs of the body including the brain, kidneys, adrenals, and skeletal muscles.
While water takes part in metabolic reactions in the body, it is also an important component of temperature autoregulation. It helps to cool down the body through the process of perspiration or sweating. Through all of these processes, water is lost from the body. The routes involved include sweating, breathing, urination, defecation, tearing, etc.
It thus becomes extremely important to take in an adequate amount of water on a daily basis. This lifestyle tip of adequate water intake has been shown to protect the kidneys and the urinary system from the formation of obstructive stones within the tract and consequent renal damage.
8. Check your blood pressure regularly
Blood pressure is an important lifestyle tip for optimal health especially for those 40 years and above or those at high risk for developing hypertension. People at high risk include those with a family history of hypertensive disease and obese individuals.
Exercise and alcohol and smoking avoidance help to maintain cardiovascular health but regular blood pressure check is a simple lifestyle tip to detect any anomalies in cardiovascular function early enough.
Thankfully, blood pressure-checking apparatuses have become less cumbersome and more convenient over the years. You can now easily check your blood pressure with a simple button press on an electronic blood pressure-checking device.
9. Practice safe sex
The global burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has risen to over 1 million new cases every day. That means more than 694 new STIs are acquired every minute worldwide. More than 500 million people 15-49 years are estimated to have genital infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV) and human papillomavirus (HPV) has been associated with over 311, 000 deaths due to cervical cancer every year.Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – WHO International
Asides from sexually transmitted infections, unsafe and unprotected sex also lead to unwanted pregnancies, abortion, and its sequelae, especially among young people.
Practicing safe and protected sex is therefore one important lifestyle tip for leading a healthful and healthy life, and this entails minimizing the number of sexual partners, using barrier contraceptives and other contraceptive types, being faithful, and very importantly, abstaining from sex till you are ready.
10. Get vaccinated
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Vaccination ensures that you are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) even before you get exposed to them.
Some important vaccine-preventable diseases include HPV which causes cervical cancer in women, Tuberculosis, Meningitis, and Hepatitis B, amongst others, as well as the novel coronavirus disease.
Simple lifestyle decisions like this can make the difference between sound health and ill health. Hence, you need to adhere to them for a healthier and more productive life.
11. Prevent mosquito bites
If you are living in areas where malaria is endemic (Sub-saharan Africa, India for example), it is important you prevent mosquito bites. Bites by the female anopheles mosquito have been documented as the most important route of malaria infection. Hence, preventing mosquito bites is a basic lifestyle tip to prevent malaria infection.
The use of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLITN) is protective and safe for use in the prevention of bites from malaria-carrying mosquitoes but their use has been associated with complaints of skin irritation by several users.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant pools of water. By preventing the accumulation of such water bodies around residential areas, you can also reduce bites from mosquitoes.
Aerosolized insecticides have also been shown to be infective in killing mosquitoes and preventing malaria-causing bites. Other newer interventions have also been developed to help curb this menace of mosquito bites.
12. Do environmental sanitational frequently
What is the most important lifestyle tip for healthier living for you and your family? While it is not necessary to answer that, frequent environmental sanitation has been linked to improved general health for you and your family.
Your environment has a significant impact on your health. A hygienic environment is associated with a reduction in the incidence of food and water-borne diseases like dysentery, typhoid, and cholera. An unsightly environment not only serves as a breeding ground for disease-causing vectors, but it can also impact your mental health negatively.
A clean environment already reduces pest burden in your surrounding. You can also hire a bug and hornet exterminator to help you fumigate your surroundings against pests and bugs.
As part of this lifestyle tip for a healthy life, you can derive some added health benefits from regular environmental sanitation if you carry it out yourself. As you go out to tend your compound, you get more exposed to Ultraviolet rays from early morning sunlight which helps to synthesize vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D helps in bone development and prevents osteoporosis.
13. Obey traffic rules
According to WHO, approximately 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic accidents. More than half of these people include vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
Accidents are preventable to a large extent if we adhere to road traffic rules and standard driving precautions, bearing in mind that your life and that of others are at risk.
The cost of injuries resulting from road accidents can be overwhelming. The victim might be rendered disabled and unable to return to work. This, coupled with the pain from a loss that will be experienced by the victim’s family, is enough reason why simple lifestyle precautions like obeying traffic rules are very important for healthy and healthful living.
Oftentimes, you don’t need to invest tonnes of money to live a healthy life. Simple lifestyle tips and precautions outlined above can help prevent disease, ill health, and disability; allowing for early detection and prompt management of disease conditions.
If you make efforts to practice these lifestyle tips from now on, you will be able to achieve better general health for you and your family. Living in good health improves your quality of life and makes life more enjoyable with those you love. So, without further ado, commit to practicing these lifestyle tips now. It doesn’t cost you so much to start.
|↑1||20 health tips for 2020 – WHO International|
|↑2||Deaths due to delayed presentation to the hospital from fear of contracting COVID-19 during lockdown period: a tertiary care center experience – Taylor and Francis Online Journal|
|↑3||Association Between Mental Health and Oral Health Status and Care Utilization – PMC|
|↑4||Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – WHO International|
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