Healthy Living Facts, Diet and Exercise Tips & Tools for Success

What is healthy living?

This article is designed to give tips to readers about how they can improve or augment actions in their life to have a healthy lifestyle; it is not meant to be all inclusive but will include major components that are considered to be parts of a lifestyle that lead to good health. In addition to the tips about what people should do for healthy living, the article will mention some of the tips about avoiding actions (the don'ts) that lead to unhealthy living.

"Healthy living" to most people means both physical and mental health are in balance or functioning well together in a person. In many instances, physical and mental health are closely linked, so that a change (good or bad) in one directly affects the other. Consequently, some of the tips will include suggestions for emotional and mental "healthy living."

Healthy eating (diet and nutrition)

All humans have to eat food for growth and maintenance of a healthy body, but we humans have different nutrition requirements as infants, children (kids), teenagers, young adults, adults, and seniors. For example, infants may require feeding every 4 hours until they gradually age and begin to take in more solid foods. Eventually they develop into the more normal pattern of eating three times per day as young kids. However, as most parents know, kids, teenagers, and young adults often snack between meals. Snacking is often not limited to these age groups because adults and seniors often do the same.

Tips:

Tips for special situations:

Physical activity and exercise

Physical activity and exercise is a major contributor to a healthy lifestyle; people are made to use their bodies, and disuse leads to unhealthy living. Unhealthy living may manifest itself in obesity, weakness, lack of endurance, and overall poor health that may foster disease development.

Tips:

Most individuals can begin moderate exercise, such as walking, without a medical examination. The following people, however, should consult a doctor before beginning more vigorous exercise:

Consequences of physical inactivity and lack of exercise:

Healthy living involves more than physical health, it also includes emotional or mental health. The following are some ways people can support their mental health and well-being.

Tips:

Avoidance behavior is another key to wellness. Below are described some of the major items to avoid if a person is seeking a healthy lifestyle.

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Avoid tobacco use

Tobacco use is the most important preventable illness and cause of death in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Tobacco use was estimated to be the cause of 443,000 deaths in 2010 in the U.S.

Tip:

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption

There are many treatments for alcoholism. But the crucial first step to recovery is for the individual to admit there is a problem and make a commitment to address the alcoholism issue. The 12-step-style self-help programs, pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous, can be one effective treatment. Psychologists and related professionals have developed programs to help individuals better handle emotional stresses and avoid behaviors that can lead to excess drinking. Support and understanding from family members are often critical for sustained recovery. Medication can be useful for the prevention of relapses and for withdrawal symptoms following acute or prolonged intoxication.

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Avoid high-risk sexual behaviors

High-risk sexual behavior can lead to the acquisition of sexually transmitted illnesses such as gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, or HIV infection. High-risk sexual behavior is also known to spread human papillomavirus infection, which can lead to cervical cancer in women and other anogenital cancers in both men and women. High-risk sexual behaviors include the following:

Avoid other high-risk behaviors

Sunscreens have undergone changes, and the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) published new requirements that sunscreens needed to meet starting in 2012. Currently, the FDA suggests an effective sunscreen is rated as SPF 30 or higher and has both UVA and UVB protection (protection against ultraviolet waves of types A and B). In most instances, sunscreen needs to be applied every 2 hours and each time after a person has gone swimming.

Additional tips for healthy living

Although there are many other risky behaviors that may impede an otherwise healthy lifestyle (for example, working with toxic or radioactive materials, drug addiction, travel to areas with unusual endemic diseases), these are too numerous to cover in this general article. However, the reader is advised to visit such topic sites on MedicineNet.com, eMedicineHealth.com or WebMD.com because most of the specific articles will provide tips to avoid health-related problems.

Medically Reviewed on 11/7/2019

References

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Sleep and Sleep Disorders." Sept. 23, 2010. <http://www.cdc.gov/features/sleep/>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Smoking & Tobacco Use." Mar. 21, 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/#adults>.

United States. National Cancer Institute. "Tobacco Statistics Snapshot." Nov. 12, 2010. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/tobacco/statisticssnapshot>.

United States. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. "Healthy Eating Plan." <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/calories.htm>.

United States. United States Department of Agriculture. "ChooseMyPlate.gov." Aug. 26, 2011. <http://www.choosemyplate.gov/>.

United States. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Produce Safety." May 16, 2011. <http://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm114299>.

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Healthy Living Facts, Diet and Exercise Tips & Tools for Success

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