Healthy habits do not just include eating healthy food but also having a work-life balance, getting enough sleep, maintaining healthy social interactions, avoiding stress and other mental health issues, and so forth.
Does it seem overwhelming? It surely is. But it is also where smart health management and goal-making come.
You don’t need to make drastic changes in your life by flipping it upside down. Instead, you need to make small, gradual, and achievable goals. For instance, saying that you want to reduce weight is pretty vague. But instead, if you say you want to reduce 5 kg in 2 months, this seems more explicit and achievable.
Staying healthy is extremely important for many reasons, including that the healthier you are, the happier you are.
If you need the motivation to stay healthy, here are some benefits.
Improve mental health:
You have sound mental health when you are healthy, eat better, and include regular exercise in your regime. There is a close connection between food and emotions due to the relationship between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract.
Eating healthy food helps the growth of good bacteria, positively affecting the production of neurotransmitters. On the contrary, constant consumption of junk food negatively impacts the production of neurotransmitters.
The positive effects of food on mental health is why rehabs such as Vista Pines Health place so much importance on developing good eating habits in their patients for recovery from stress and other mental health disorders.
Feel good about yourself:
Often when you are busy, self-care is the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, this neglect can further impact your mental and physical health. In all the chaos of life, you must plan some time for yourself to appreciate your struggles and what you have achieved in your life so far.
Take time to pamper yourself, visit a spa, and laugh with your friends.
Spending time with your kinfolk and friends is a strong stress buster and laughing out loud with them releases feel-good hormones by stimulating your reward system and promoting sanguinity.
Controls body weight:
Eating healthy food and regular exercise helps you control your weight and shed extra pounds if you put on some. Even if you are not trying to shed weight, regular physical activity promotes cardiovascular health, increases energy levels, and boosts immunity.
For staying healthy and keeping your weight in check, engage in moderate exercise. If work or other family responsibilities don’t allow you to exercise much, look for alternatives such as using stairs instead of an elevator, walking or cycling to the nearby grocery store, etc.
Eating a balanced and calorie-managed diet also helps in maintaining weight.
Healthy habits help you fight diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke, and high blood pressure. Many of these issues are linked with being overweight, which a healthy diet and exercise can cure successfully.
According to a study, adults who adhered to the standard American diet (having plenty of fruits and vegetables) for eight weeks had a decreased risk of heart disease.
Also, a review comprising 45 studies found that eating 90 grams (or three 30g-servings) of whole grains decreased the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 22%.
Furthermore, a study in 2020 found that increasing your daily fruit and vegetable intake by 66-gram reduced the risk of type-2 diabetes by 25%. When you care for what you eat, your body does not accumulate unnecessary fat under the arteries and veins. As a result, blood flows smoothly, and you don’t experience cardiovascular issues.
Some other issues you can prevent with regular physical activity include depression, arthritis, and metabolic syndrome.
Good for environment:
Ultra-processed foods refer to those foods in which additives and refined grains are used to change the texture, tang, and color of the food, making it more appealing and sellable. Ultra-processed foods include various types of chicken nuggets, sweetened breakfast cereals, cheese puffs, soft breakfast cakes, packaged soft deserts, etc.
The making of ultra-processed foods contributes to emissions of GHGs (Greenhouse Gas), water scarcity, plastic waste, deforestation, and decreased biodiversity mainly because it requires sourcing particular ingredients.
As for animal products, raising livestock for dairy products and meat require contributes to human-induced GHG emissions by 14%. But there are easy fixes for these issues, for instance, reduce your beef consumption by 1/4th, stick to a healthy and fresh diet, cook at home, and reduce packaging waste.
Maintaining healthy habits has both long-term and short-term benefits. In the short run, it helps you look more attractive, reduce weight, and feel good about your life. And in the long run, it prevents disease attacks, enables you to save the environment, and live a longer life. Therefore, don’t hesitate to change your current habits and opt for healthier ones if need be.