Health is defined differently by many people. It could mean living a “disease-free” life. It may mean having the strength to play with grandchildren. It may simply mean regularly exercising. Whatever your definition of healthy may be, living a healthy lifestyle is important if you want to obtain optimal mental and physical well-being. Here are a few components of a healthy lifestyle:

• Diet

You should have a nutritious diet. It should include whole grains, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. A balanced diet will help you maintain energy levels throughout your busy day. Those without a proper diet put themselves in danger of premature health decline and even death.

• Physical Activity

Regular physical activity, which includes a variety of aerobic and strength-building exercises, prevents weight gain that can lead to a plethora of chronic conditions. Even simply taking walks each day can help keep your body active. You may be limited as to the amount of physical activity you can do. If that is the case, ask your physician for ways you can keep your body active. Physical activity is imperative for a healthy lifestyle.

• Lifestyle Habits

Over the years, many people take on habits that aren’t good for them. The two main ones are smoking and alcohol intake. Smoking isn’t good for any part of your body. It’s a terrible habit that is not only hard on your body, but those around you. If you smoke, quitting should be your first priority. You should also limit your alcohol intake.

• Sleep

A healthy lifestyle cannot be achieved without taking time to recharge. You should allow your body time to rest each night so you can get the required number of hours your body needs. Studies have shown that your body needs seven-eight hours each night to function optimally.

• Stress

Stress can attack literally every part of your body. If allowed to build, it can cause you many medical problems. You should find ways to release anxiety and handle daily pressures. This will help you keep your stress levels low. Some find it useful to participate in yoga or breathing techniques. They are said to help you mentally prepare for each day.

An unhealthy lifestyle is one of the causes for many chronic diseases. Fortunately, many of these conditions are manageable and can be prevented by engaging in physical activity and by being mindful of your food and lifestyle choices.

If you are mindful of your diet, physical activity and stress levels, you can balance all aspects of your life more effectively. You also want to maintain regular physical examinations which will help you with early detection and treatment of any medical conditions. A lifestyle isn’t something you’re born with…It’s something you create over time. Creating a healthy lifestyle can lead you to a longer, healthier life