A Well-Balanced Lifestyle

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A healthy lifestyle is so important because it helps us live healthier, stronger, and longer. Things like a wholesome diet, physical activity, fresh air, lots of water, and rest are great ways to stay healthy and are the key to a well-balanced lifestyle.

1. A wholesome diet

A balanced diet will lower the risk of bone loss, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and will promote health. This will include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes along with other sources of protein. My grandfather has said that to eat healthy you can just eat whatever tastes bad, but a healthy diet doesn’t have to be like that! There are many recipes you can try to make foods more interesting and appealing. Adding some spices can give flavour to bland foods and playing with the temperature or texture of foods can be effective as well. An easy way to eat healthier is to switch out processed foods for whole ingredients.

2. Stay Hydrated!

Staying hydrated is especially important as one ages. It’s recommended to drink 8 glasses of water per day. Drinking water helps eliminate toxins from the body, maintain body temperature, lubricate joints, improves energy, and maintains regularity. On the other hand dehydration can lead to unclear thinking, kidney stones, constipation, and changes in mood. It might be hard to remember to drink enough water, so a good tip is keeping a water bottle on hand to motivate more drinking.

3. Fresh air

Fresh air actually has some surprising health benefits. It has higher levels of oxygen and lower levels of pollution than indoor air. Increased oxygen levels stimulate the blood vessels in the lungs to dilate and make the gas exchange across them more efficient. This gets rid of what you don’t need and cleans out the lungs, as well as improves oxygen flow and helps with tissue repair. Higher oxygen levels mean more oxygen gets to the brain, and it has been shown to help with memory. One study found that those who were exposed to air higher in oxygen performed 20% better on a memory test. So, it is beneficial to get some fresh air everyday! If the weather doesn’t permit, opening a window can be a good way to get some air.

4. Physical activity

Getting your heart rate up can be as simple as going for a walk. Walking not only helps us get out of the house during these difficult times but can improve our mood as well. Walking lowers risk of many chronic illnesses including cancer. A study by Macmillan Cancer Support states that the risk of breast and prostate cancers can be reduced by 40% by walking a mile a day – that’s about 20 minutes. If this is too much, less will also be beneficial or you can try to do shorter walks twice a day. Walking will also strengthen bones and muscles, leading to less bone mass loss and less chances of bone fractures. It can even help with relieving arthritis pain and has been linked to slowing mental decline. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and prepare for the weather.

5. Sleep

It’s a proven fact that getting enough sleep is vital to our health. Experts recommend between 7 and 9 hours a night and for those who get less than 6 hours, they have a higher chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline. When we sleep, our brain has a cleaning system that uses cerebrospinal fluid to wash out the harmful protein, beta-amyloid. This fluid works better at night when we’re sleeping. Conversely, if one doesn’t get enough sleep this beta-amyloid can build up and form plaques like the ones observed in Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, researchers have found that beta-amyloid deposits start to form 10 years before in people who develop Alzheimer’s. 

All of these factors are important and slowly incorporating them into our life could be a great way for us to feel better and enjoy life to the fullest. We have to remember each one of us is important and taking care of ourselves should always be a priority. Remember not to overexert yourself; small steps can make a big difference.

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