What is it that we mean by be healthy? If you search the word “healthy” on Instagram, it provides a glimpse into what we consider to be the ideal healthy lifestyle and the fitness models behind filters bodybuilders, their products, detoxing, popular diets and the benefits in “clean-eating,” and so lots of juice. It’s all there -You’ve probably seen these images, too.
Researchers have identified some major issues that arise from this constant images. First the media (particularly the social web) has a significant role in influencing the behaviors that people think are important to attain an objective. Since these practices focus on the appearance of one’s body, these are often associated with negative psychological effects and worse physical health outcomes.
It’s all about this paradox: research studies consistently show that how someone’s appearance like — specifically whether you’re “thin” or “fit” isn’t an accurate indication of how healthy they really. 2 In a world where most of us have a negative image of ourselves, 3 experts are concerned that we might be off the essence of what is considered healthy.
What Makes up a “Healthy Life”
The fitness influencers don’t necessarily have it incorrect such as healthy diets, exercise and lifestyle choices like quitting smoking are vital for living a healthy lifestyle. They don’t give the whole picture. Healthy living is more diverse than you’ll find on social media and is a matter of finding a balance. The latest research within The British Medical Journal summarizes the issue as follows it is impossible to beat your diet when you’re when you go to the fitness center or at the gym, and all the juice cleanses that you can do will not compensate the sedentary lifestyle.
You don’t need to change these aspects of your lifestyle in one go. Research shows that making small changes bit at a time can help set your body up for more sustainable , long-term lifestyles.
In the world of weight-loss diets, it’s easy to forget about the importance of balanced nutrition. Although consuming excessive sugar, salt, and fats in your diet can increase your risk of getting diseases like diabetes, heart disease as well as strokes, but it’s not just about what you should limit and stay clear of.
Making sure that you’re eating enough nutrients-rich foods is crucial for all aspects of your well-being. For instance:
- The absence of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamins C, A, E, D and K is associated with sleep disorders.
- Lack of protein could result in a slower metabolism and weight gain.
- Fats that are healthy and nutritious are vital to safeguard you against heart disease and aid in keeping your energy levels high.
Additionally, “depression and nutrition are very closely linked,” according to Briana Severine MS, LPC, LAC, CPRP founder of Sanare Psychosocial Rehabilitation. ” Healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet has been associated with as high as a 32 percent reduced risk of depression symptoms,” she says. “And diets high in saturated fats and sugars are shown to increase symptoms of anxiety in adults.”
Regular exercise does more than aid in weight control. It lowers the chance of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, helps to maintain well-maintained joints and bones and helps improve well-being and mood. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 60 % of Americans don’t engage in enough exercise each throughout the day. 10 According to studies, people say they aren’t exercising due to a variety of reasons: they don’t have enough time or the resources available, or they’re exhausted. 11
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to be highly skilled or follow a lengthy fitness routine to enjoy the benefits of exercising. Studies show:
- Walking for 10 minutes every day can extend your life by 12
- Inducing your heart to beat for just 12 minutes per day can keep your heart healthy.
- “Even a brisk 10-minute walk is proven to boost mood in folks who are experiencing stress,” Severine states.
Additional Wellness Factors
“Since sleep is a key time that your body uses to recover and rest, not getting enough of it can have consequences,” claims Jeffrey Dlott the Medical Director for Consumer Health at Quest Diagnostics. While you can get a poor night’s sleep is not a major issue but health issues begin to appear if it becomes routine. “[Sleep deprivation] can lead to a weakened immune system, which in turn leads to more illness, and over time it can also increase your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and more.”
Stress can have a significant impact on your well-being and health, as well. Stress triggers a hormone known as cortisol. High, persistent levels can stifle the immunity. 14 “It can also lead to the development of other chronic health conditions, like heart disease and depression, over time if left unmanaged,” Dr. Dlott declares, “[as well as] a range of symptoms from fatigue and difficulty sleeping to problems with digestion.”
How to Know If You’re Living a Healthy Life
“The human body and its various organs and tissues are the most complex structures in the known galaxy, and the hints they emit about underlying trouble can often be subtle,” claims J. Wes Ulm, MD, PhD. “So be aware of yourself as much as possible — if you seem to be detecting that something is ‘off,’ take it seriously and prime your internal antenna for possible underlying health conditions or the need for lifestyle changes.”
Remember that a sustainable, healthy lifestyle for one person might not be the best option for someone else. But experts recommend that you be aware of these indicators to ensure that you’re living your life in a healthy way.
Your energy levels are stable.
Being able to maintain a high level and energy levels throughout your day are a indication that you’re sleeping well. However, your energy levels could be a clue to the amount of nutrients you consume including carbohydrates, fats along with protein. 15 The optimal mix that combines those macronutrients could be different for each person, particularly in relation to factors like your level of physical activity. However, paying close attention to your energy levels at various times of the day (and when it’s yo-yo’s) can provide insight into your choices.
You are able to handle stress effectively
Stress is a normal element of our lives — and some researchers believe it can even be beneficial when approached in a healthy manner. 16 One indicator that you’re managing stress effectively is the ability to establish limits. If you can set boundaries, you’re acknowledging and prioritizing your requirements, Severine says. This can include boundaries for your personal space, emotional requirements, time you devote (or do not spend) on specific things, sexual interactions and acceptance of your ideas and thoughts and your objects.
Fresh breath is now in your mouth.
“Dentists often say the mouth is a window into the health of the body,” says James E Galati DDS PC, President, New York State Dental Association. A poor oral health can lead to an accumulation of bacteria that could be spread across the digestive and respiratory tracts of your. “Studies suggest that increased bacteria entering your body can lower your immune response and make you more likely to develop general health problems, including heart disease, pregnancy and birth complications, and pneumonia.” A persistent bad breath is a indicator that you are not in good oral hygiene (though there are many other reasons for bad breath such as certain medicines.)
You visit your doctor
“One important point I would also like to stress when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is how important it is to seek preventive care,” Dr. Dlott. A study from 2015 conducted from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that just 8.5% of U.S. adults received the proper preventive care that was that was recommended.
Regular health screenings and exams can help to prevent disease, illness and chronic health conditions and can help identify illnesses in earlier stages , when treatment is most likely to be effective according to him that could lead to healthier outcomes for patients.
How to Know It’s Time for a Change
“People know their bodies best, so if something feels off, it’s important to look at your lifestyle habits and be honest about changes that may need to be implemented to help improve our health and lessen our risk of chronic health conditions,” Dr. Dlott.
You’re always sick
“There is virtually no way to keep from coming down with an illness from time to time — U.S. adults average two to four colds per year, although it can vary,” Dr. Dlott says. “But when it becomes very cyclical, it can signal that there may be factors contributing to a weakened immune system that causes people to succumb to illnesses more easily.”
Your stomach seems to be constantly “off”
Feeling constantly bloated, backed up or suffering from stomach acid or stomach indigestion? Poor diet, lack the amount of fiber you consume, inadequate physical activity, and inadequate water intake are all typical causes of stomach problems Dr. Dlott suggests. “One alternative cause is stress that is constant, as digestive issues can be a sign of stress.”
The chores of household life are exhausting
Being tired from a small amount of routine chores like washing dishes is an indication of poor aerobic endurance according to the doctor Dr. Ulm. “Poor stress tolerance, fatigue, difficulty in healing, and general malaise and a persistently foul mood can also be subtle signs of inadequate physical activity.”
You’re extra irritable
“Each individual is different in the warning signs that present when their mental health is suffering,” Severine suggests. If you’re particularly angry or quick to get angry this is a typical signal to take care of yourself and avoid a bigger mental health issue. Other indicators include difficulty getting up or getting up, shifts in eating habits as well as a rise in distance from friends and family and difficulty in concentrating, Severine adds.
It is difficult to fall asleep.
Trouble falling asleep is usually an indication of stress that is chronic that Dr. Dlott suggests. It could also point to issues with your diet. The research published in International Journal of Medical Sciences suggests that eating meals infrequently and eating in a hurry and eating large meals, having irregular eating times and poor quality of food can all contribute to sleep disorders such as insomnia. 18
A Word From Verywell
Being healthy is a feeling and appearance differently for everyone, which is why it’s crucial to pay attention to your body’s indicators. Make no radical modifications to your lifestyle or diet without consulting your physician and do not be reluctant to “connect with a healthcare provider who can help navigate any symptoms or changes you’re experiencing, including tips on integrating some lifestyle modifications that can help contribute to better overall health,” Dr. Dlott.