According to national library of medicine research of 2015, lifestyle choices contribute up to 40% of all premature deaths. Good health doesn’t come by chance. It’s determined by a list of lifestyle factors. Your daily practices will result in your wile or woe health-wise.
The daily lifestyle choices will determine your health status. Your health entails six aspects of wellbeing that are affected by your daily choices and practices. Are you making healthy choices?
According to WHO,1 public health report shows that, top 10 killer diseases today in the world are lifestyle-associated. With heart disease topping the list according to 2022 Centers of Disease Control and prevention report.2
It’s a clear indication that most people eat and drink their way to premature death. You are not an exception from contracting these diseases unless you adopt healthy lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle choices on the quality of health and extended life expectancy?
A 2018 review study by health professionals found that people who maintained healthy lifestyle factors increased their longevity to more than a decade than those who didn’t.
The study suggested that Americans should adopt a healthier lifestyle to improve their lives and lower their risk of disease.
Another 2018 study suggests that making healthy lifestyle choices can significantly reduce premature death and extended life expectancy in American adults.
According to the Harvard Health Publishing journal of 2021, life style medicine consists of six pillars; these include; exercising regularly, ceasing from stress, getting sufficient restful sleep, eating healthy foods, quitting addictive substance abuse, and developing strong social connections.
Here are 13 lifestyle factors for well-being: –
1. Don’t smoke
Smoking is one of the prominent unhealthy lifestyle factors that contribute to several cardiovascular diseases. A study reveals that individuals who take 1-4 cigars a day have a higher risk of Ischemic disease3.
You are well aware of the principal causative agent of Lung cancer is smoking. However, the effect of smoking is much more. It affects your immune system, risk of heart disease and results in chronic diseases rampant in the world today.
Smoking will also kill your manhood by weakening your vitality.4
This habit is both health-destroying and addictive. Most of the problems in childbearing today are because of women who smoke.5
The life of the mother and the fetus are both affected. Funny enough, you might not be smoking but still taking nicotine in other forms. Tea has similar effects as tobacco.
Many people who eat meat also suffer from the same effects as tobacco. According to Doctor Nedley’s book, prove positive, 1kg of roasted meat has the same amount of benzopyrene in 600 tobacco sticks.
2. Ensure Regular physical activity
Lack of exercise will both make you feeble and sick. In addition, a lot of diseases in the body results from inactivity.6
When the body is active, there are minimal chances of toxic accumulation in the body tissues leading to chronic infections.7 Exercise will help you to have a fragrant feeling which will constitute to your health.
There are very important effects of physical exercise that will help you attain the health that renders well-being. You can easily shade off unhealthy weight through physical activity.
Exercise is the best remedy for general health problems. Other effects of physical exercise include:-
Efficient circulation of blood
Exercise will put the body into activity. For example, it makes the heart pump faster, enabling the blood to flow to all parts of the body. The increase in oxygen demand to tissues in the body makes the body mechanism increase blood circulation.
During exercise, you expel toxic substances and wastes through sweating. All these activities will stimulate the body to enhance the effective circulation of blood in the system. Your health hangs on perfect circulation.
It helps in burning excess calories in the body
Excess calorie deposit in the body causes diseases. It’s a catalyst for chronic infections and obesity. You can take all the slim tea in the world, but they can’t help you. When you engage in an activity, you will require energy. As a result, your body will deaminate fats and calories stored in cells.
This metabolic process during exercise will help you keep the right amount of body fat.
Reduce the chances of cholesterols deposits in the body
Fat deposits on the walls of blood vessels cause diseases like thrombosis and heart failure. When you engage in vigorous activities, you burn these fats. You thereby reduce chances of chronic inflammation and increase your life expectancy. Physical inactivity allows for the accumulation of these fats increasing your risk of illnesses.
Exercise modifies the genetic risks of getting cancer and diabetes
Exercise helps in controlling the blood glucose level. You may control or delay the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes by exercise alone. Most cancers are associated with unhealthy body weight, which will be under control when you do regular exercise.
Through exercise, there are minimal chances of obesity
The best weight control therapy is physical exercise. You utilize the calories that you take into the body. Through workouts, you reduce the risk of obesity, and maintain a healthy body weight.
Sweating during physical exercise excrete impurities in the system
When you sweat, you help your body excrete wastes. You keep the tone of the skin. The pores are activated, and you will have good homeostasis.
It calms the nerves and helps in stress reduction
After a good exercise session, the whole body is relaxed, and the body’s nerves are relaxed too. During the activity, your brain produces endorphins in the system. This hormone will bring a good feeling.
Improves physical and mental health
A 2006 study poise that simple exercises like jogging, running and walking can improve physical and mental health of an individual. Regular exercise also reduces lifestyle risk factors of contracting chronic diseases. Therefore, you should monitor your physical activity levels.
Mental and physical health go hand in hand. Whatever affects your body will affect your mind and vice versa. In 2021 CDC reported that there is a close sympathy between mental and physical health. Individuals suffering from mental illnesses had in response physical feebleness.
3. For well-being you must a good night’s sleep
In the current strive to cope up with the economy, people overwork themselves. But, if you want to be healthy, you must have time to rest. Many today sacrifice sleep for jobs and rounds of activity. It’s alright, but what is the aftermath? You spend your earnings on treatment.
This is a nugget you must not forget. People often go to bed late. Then, they compensate by oversleeping into the next day. Two hours of sleep before midnight are refreshing than four hours after. Occasionally you may have a power nap during the day. You may have 30-45 minutes of sleep to reduce sleep debt.
A table showing a 2017 Centers of Disease Control and prevention meta analysis of recommended duration of daily sleep according to age groups:
|Daily recommended hours of sleep
|11-14 hours per day
|10-13 hours in 24 hours
|9-12 hours per 24 hours
|8-10 hours per day
|7 or more
|65 years and above
Sleeping 7-9 hours nightly will give your live vigor and tone that will make you healthy. The mind is relaxed when the body gets sufficient sleep. You will avoid a lot of stress if you only get sufficient sleep. Another consideration is the posture of sleep.
Make sure you take the right posture with your head raised higher than the rest of the body. Keep your bedding clean to have a sweet sleep. Ventilate your bedroom properly and avoid stuffy places.
Unconducive bedrooms poses higher risk of developing insomnia.
To get a sound sleep after a tiresome day, have a slight, warm foot bath.
4. Maintain an ideal weight
Medical studies show that body mass index (BMI) is an indicator of your health condition. The constant fluctuation in body weight is a clear indication of problems. The change in body weight is more dangerous when it is on the increase. Excess body weight is an indicator of disease and may cause unhealthy conditions.
When you eat the proper nutrition, it is easier to maintain healthy body weight. So look well into your food combination to curb unhealthy weight.
In addition, the calories that you take should correspond to your daily activities. Avoid eating late in the night and physical inactivity. The best time to take your supper should be at least 3 hours before going to bed.
Subsist more of a plant-based diet, with sufficient vitamins and dietary fiber. There is a lot of cholesterol in animal products associated with many lifestyle diseases that are rampant worldwide. Healthy diet prepared in a simple manner will contribute a lot to your health and help you maintain a healthy weight.
5. Take Regular breakfast for ultimate well-being
Regularity is breakfast is a healthy lifestyle that you must adopt if you will live healthily. The meal that you should never miss is breakfast.
You often hear eating in the morning like a king, lunch like a queen, and sapper like a popper. It would be best if you have a heavy breakfast because of the duty of the day and the energy to get the body machinery moving.
Let your breakfast compose fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, nuts and legumes. Avoid refined grains, added sugar and many commercialized processed foods.
The morning meal will help you get all through the day, and no more than required will be reserved, which might affect the body. Ensure you take a healthy diet in all your meals breakfast being the richest of all.
6. Don’t eat between meals
We are living in a state where snacking is better than meals. So you walk down the street, and people are either eating or chewing gum. You seldom know how hurtful snacking between meals is to your health. Indigestion and bloating are the results of frequent unregulated eating.
Having a routine in meals is one of the key lifestyle factors which constitute a healthy lifestyle.
The current cause of obesity, stomach, and peptic ulcers is by H. pillory supported by continual snacking between meals. To attain the ideal health then one must always eat at regular set times.
7. Avoid refined sugar and artificial sweeteners
Several processed foods have added sugar and artificial sweeteners. These substances are not ideal for your health.
According to Harvard medical school 2022, refined sugar is a sweet poison with minimal nutritional value. Research shows that artificial sweeteners lower body immunity.
These sweeteners (high carbs) contribute the body acidity,8which is associated with cancers of various kinds. Cancer cells feed on the sugar we take, thus thriving, leading to the current exponential growth rate of cancer cases.
So instead of using these killer substances, you may opt for natural sugars like honey. Maybe you aren’t aware that sugars result in a lot of unsaturated fats in the body tissues. As a result, in most cases, those who are diagnosed with diabetes have high blood pressure.
11 scientifically proven effects of refined sugar on your health
Risk of high blood pressure
A 2019 study found that reducing refined sugar intake of up to 2.3 teaspoons yielded a drop in blood pressure by 8.4 mmHg and 3.7mmHg in systolic and diastolic BP, respectively.
If you substitute the entire intake using natural sweeteners like honey and molasses, you will avoid getting high blood pressure.
Numerous medically reviewed studies show that added sugar and processed foods release substances into your system, which cause joint and muscle inflammation.9
A peer-reviewed journal published in Harvard health publishing poise that 24 teaspoons of added sugar are equivalent to 384 calories.10The study continues to say that the sources of this sugar are cookies, soft drinks, yogurts, and cakes.
Type 2 diabetes risk factor
A 2016 study found that excess added sugar in your system can cause insulin resistance, and this is the condition resulting in type 2 diabetes. According to a CDC report, artificial sweeteners and added sugar can increase blood sugar levels increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.11
Fatty liver disease
Refined sugar is linked with causes of fat deposits in the liver that may cause liver disease. A 2018 study shows that Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is caused by the consumption of refined sugar and the metabolism of high-fructose corn syrup.
In a 202113 research, there was seen in children and adolescents increased incidences of fatty liver linked with their high consumption of artificial sweeteners and added sugars.
Weakened immune system
A publication done in 202014 found that increase in the blood sugar level to excess production of proinflammatory cytokines, which affect the immune system. Although a sufficient amount of glucose is vital for the body’s effective functioning, a high amount of it impairs its function.
In another 201815 study, a high-sugar diet was found to cause differentiation of lamellocytes, disrupts the functions of hemocytes and circulating hemolymph; all these are signs of impaired body immune system.
Increases the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease
According to a 2021 Centers of Disease Control report16, sugar contributes to heart disease. The liver converts unused carbohydrates in your body to fats.
These fats may accumulate over time and lead to fatty liver disease contributing to type 2 diabetes, increasing your risk of developing heart disease. Spiking blood sugar levels is also linked to obesity, one of the conditions contributing to heart diseases.17
Sugar is also an inflammatory substance in the body. A 202218 peer reviewed study poise that high added sugar intake, increase your chances of chronic inflammation exerting stress in your blood vessels and the heart leading to the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Risk of obesity
Did you know added sugar can make you overweight? The majority will shy away from fats thinking they have escaped the possibility of developing obesity but unfortunately use added sugar and artificial sweeteners to the same result.19
Reduce added sugar in your diet to maintain normal body mass index. Obesity is also linked with high blood pressure and sleep apnea.
May accelerate aging
Refined sugar leads to glycation end-products, a collagen-damaging substance in the body. These substances in the body harden your cell structure and cause the skin to wrinkle.22 The process is further accelerated when you are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Possible risk of depression
Medically reviewed study done in 2017,24poses that prolonged exposure to these imbalances may lead to other severe mental health disorders in some individuals.
A 201926 study found that cutting sugar consumption may reduce your risk of contracting depression, chronic disease and improve overall health.
Risk of cancer
There are no scientific shreds of evidence that sugar directly contributes to cancer nor states that it’s a carcinogenic substance.27 But, because it affects the immune system and acid-alkaline balance in the body, it may make your system susceptible to cancer.28
Due to the direct link between sugar and obesity, which contributes to cancer, there is evidence that sugar may indirectly increase the risk of cancer.
Possible cause of acne
One study found that the risk of people who consume added sugar developing acne is 30% higher than their counterparts who don’t.
When there are spikes in the blood sugar, there is an increased risk of inflammation and secretion of an oily substance in the skin called sebum. Excess sebum in the skin can lead to acne.
A 2010 study found that high sugar levels in the body yield glycemic loads, affecting insulin-like growth factor-1 levels, which promotes the production of androgens contributing to acne.
8. Maintain High Moral standards
There are a lot of diseases that are sexually transmitted. If you are faithful to your married partner, then you are a step to your well-being. Your moral integrity will keep you away from AIDS and sexually transmitted infections that are rampant today. Ensure you make healthy lifestyle choices in all your associations.
To easily maintain and keep moral uprightness, you need to check what you watch, hear and touch. You must avoid getting in contact with anything that will suggest an impure thought. There is a lot on the silver screen that will take away your spiritual well-being.
The world is sexually mad, and wickedness prevails in the streets. Your only safety is in alliance with elevating thoughts from the Bible.
9. Keep healthy Relationships
Having positive people around you will help you have healthy social health. So make friends of like mind, and you will grow symmetrically into well-being.
Friends will help you acquire new skills and new techniques that will boost your lifestyle.
A challenge from your peer is one of the factors that will improve your thinking sphere.
10. Get time for leisure
This is when you are not engaged in work, studies or chores. Wellman estimates that American adults’ average weekly free time is 36-40 hours. Leisure time well spent is associated with lower risk of stress and frequent fatigue.
What should I spend my leisure time on?
There are productive ways in which you may spend your leisure time and also improve your health and capabilities. Here are ways you may employ your leisure for health and wealth.
Reading is one of the ways to improve mental ability and knowledge. Books and blogs will keep you informed and improve your writing and speaking skills. Bible study overrules them all, for, through it, you have a vast field of study which will improve every faculty of your being and brings eternity within your reach.
Making friends and socializing
Your free time is the best time to make friends and work on your social ties. After work and duties, take the leisure time with your family and friends. This will help you improve bonds, live increase happiness and reduce family problems.
It’s advisable that after work you should have some rest. Rest is one of the 8 natural remedies to keep you from illnesses. Rest also help you o heal from fatigue and strain during work. Resting is also an important time to reflect on your plans.
Write blogs or short stories
The best time to write your favorite story, jot down some articles and complete your school assignment is leisure time.
Learn a new language
Knowledge is immortal. We should and will always gain new heights of knowledge throughout eternity. In your free time, learn some new language or make perfect the one you have learned already. You may consider taking sign language classes.
Get some hobby
It’s advisable to get some hobby that may help you keep your free time free from engaging in harmful practices or wasting time in pleasure madness. Your hobby will help you free your mind and reduce the incidences of becoming stressed or depressed.
Engage in exercise
The best way to spend your leisure is to do some workout. Physical activity will help you improve your health quality and keep you fit and also reduces stress.
Consider making it a routine for best results. 20 to 30 minutes of physical exercise will reduce your heart rate and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Do charity work
You may spend your leisure visiting the sick, those that are bereaved, and children’s homes. By this, you will improve the lives of others, and the good work will bounce back to you. The greatest satisfaction comes with putting a smile on the faces of those suffering.
Our great commission is to make every living creature a disciple of Jesus Christ. If you are not fully committed to preaching or doing evangelistic work, your leisure time will be the for you to save lives. These moments are not wasted and will yield eternal joy and rest.
Hiking or biking
Go for nature walks, visit some zoo or museum. Get some bikes through forest trails and take a ride.
The best places to spend your leisure time
There is no better place than home. You may spend time with friends and family, and you will also have time to improve your abilities through reading and learning
In the gym
Spend your leisure time in the gym to help you gain physical health and improve muscle strength. Physical activity is also linked with vigor and improvement in mental health.
A 2021 study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys found that physical activity may extend life expectancy. You must be physically active if you will have good and longer life.
Doing charity work in these places will increase your joy in making others happy.
Going for a hike during your leisure time helps you interact with nature and appreciate biodiversity. You also see the care of our loving Father in heaven and learn more about His creative ability.
11. Eat a Healthy diet
Harvard medical school recommend a 6-week diet plan that will help you get healthier29 and maintain good health. To avoid lifestyle risk factors for chronic diseases, avoid poor diet. Ensure that you get all the required food components in the right amount daily.
Make most of your foods whole grains and plant-based; due to the increase in diseases in animals and birds, it’s safer to go vegan. To maintain normal weight and good health major on plant based diet.
According to the WHO report of 202029 healthy diet reduces the risk of malnutrition in all its forms. Any diet that doesn’t meet the daily requirements of the 5 major food components( Proteins, carbs, vitamins, minerals, fats and dietary fiber) is regarded as a poor diet.
Adhere to Mediterranean diet
A Mediterranean diet, according to Ancel Keys, means “food high in vegetable oil and low in saturated fats.”
A 2020 study found that a Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of cognitive disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and other chronic diseases. A Mediterranean diet can reduce the prevalence of cerebrovascular disease, dyslipidemia, and elevated blood pressure.
Maintain a diet rich in flavonoids
A 2021 study done by more than 70,000 health professionals found that eating colorful fruits and vegetables is beneficial in maintaining cognitive function in men and women. It further states that this diet can lower the risk of dementia. Flavonoids poise low risk factors to subjective memory loss.
Avoid fad diets
These are common fashion-like weight loss diets that are used for a short period. They lack standard dietary recommendations. These unhealthy foods are meant for a quick fix in weight loss and supposed health improvements.
A 2007 Scientific model study show that there is a long term potential risk of using these diets. Examples of fad diets include South Beach, Atkins, and Protein Power.
Go for a low-fodmap diet
A 2012 study found that low fodmap diet can help treat irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. The diet also helps improve the functions of the gastrointestinal organs for quality health—healthy GIT results in a healthy body. Low fodmap diet render low risk factors to other digestive tract conditions.
Add to your diet some nutritional supplements
There is a need to get vitamin B-12 and other vitamin supplements for pure vegetarians. If you can’t get all your dietary requirements from your servings, you may still get these deficiencies from nutritional supplements.
According to a 2022 FDA report, although nutritional supplements are beneficial to health, they may pose some side effects that should be considered before use. It would be best to have advice from your healthcare professional before going for nutritional supplements.
Keep a well-balanced diet
Poor nutrition is the major cause of diseases more so in developing countries. Your servings should not be one particular food all the time. It will be better if you have a tie table in your kitchen that will help you to have a balanced diet daily.
12. Ensure absolute stress management
A 201530 study shows that stress contributes to diseases and mental illnesses. To have optimum health, you must manage stress. To have a healthier lifestyle, you must adopt means and ways to manage stress and keep a cheerful face.
Simple ways of stress management
- Share your problems with other
- Create time for your hobbies that makes you feel good
- Avoid solitude environments
- Engage in exercises
- Avoid poor diet and alcohol consumption
- Get sufficient sleep
- Ensure you make friends more so with supportive people.
With the above suggestions add all to a strong faith in God, the best stress management plan that man can have.
13. Avoid alcohol consumption
Alcohol use is linked to several health issues. A 201331 study found that alcohol is connected with 30-50% of breast cancer cases. Drinking alcohol also increases the risk factors of chronic diseases like liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and other digestive problems.
Alcohol breaks family unity and increases cases of separation and divorce. Several lives are also lost due to accidents caused by alcohol consumption. There is nothing like moderate alcohol intake that will not lead to addiction and excesses in future. One drink will lead to two and the number will continue to scale higher.
According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism research, reduction in drinking will increase life expectancy and delay disability.33 This excludes the so called moderate drinking.
Some science barked evidences why you should adopt healthy lifestyle choices
- According to a study of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health34, Americans who adhere to healthy lifestyle factors are 82% less likely to contract cardiovascular diseases and 65% less risk of contacting cancer.
- Those who adopt these healthy lifestyle choices are 74% less likely to die during their study periods.35
- Help you avoid health problems and the chronic diseases that are on the rampage.
- You will escape premature deaths and the possibility of developing disabilities36
- A 201537 study shows that lifestyle choices comprising healthy diets and physical activity can prevent osteoporosis and increase bone strength.
- A 200138 study found strict vegetarians live ten years longer than average individuals.
The information contained in this article is meant to be educative. The information here contained is outsourced from national institutes of health that are peer reviewed to provide substantial information on your health. The lifestyle choices suggested here can help you avoid diseases and obtain optimum health.
Maintaining health in all its spheres doesn’t require intermittent effort. You may not be physically sick, but you don’t have peace of mind. Your practices can cause some scar in your conscience till you become a wretch.
The 13 lifestyle factors will always make it easier for you to maintain a healthy body and attain the ultimate well-being you desire to have. Make positive changes outlined here keenly, and strive to rectify those that are larking.