Supporting your health isn’t only about what you eat. It’s also about how you treat yourself. Finding the right balance between priorities to manage stress can support healthy living. Read on for some tips to starting on a plan for a healthy, balanced life.
Want A More Balanced Lifestyle? Try These Tips For Living A Healthy Balanced Life
Poor health can be the result of a combination of outcomes: anxiety, stress, environmental toxins, negative attitudes, bad relationships, not enough sleep, and, yes, poor diet and empty calories.1,2,3,4
On the other hand, living a balanced lifestyle is predicated upon a conscious decision to establish healthy habits, get enough sleep, maintain physical movement, do proper exercise, reduce stress, have a positive attitude, and, yes, eat healthy food.
There are a number of components to finding life balance, maintaining proper weight, and preventing health problems to the best of your ability. They include:
- Consuming healthy food and beverages
- Getting regular exercise
- Getting an adequate amount of sleep
- Managing stress5
Your Physical Health: Make Sure Healthy Diet And Exercise Are Priorities In Your Life
Healthy Balanced Diet
Food is only a part of a healthy lifestyle. But it is a very important first place to start.
A regimen of healthy eating consists of the following:
- Fruits, whole grains, and beans, along with healthy oils like olive oil
- Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
- Fewer processed foods and carbs
- Foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars6
Avoid foods that cause swelling in parts of the body, calorie-laden sugary beverages, and foods made with trans fats.7
Eating a healthy diet does not mean that you cannot ever eat your favorite comfort foods. It just means that you should eat them less often, in smaller amounts, or in a lower-calorie version. Eating healthy is about balance.8
Getting the right amount of exercise is integral to living a balanced lifestyle. Being physically fit can improve your quality of life by helping you look and feel better. The result may be a better mood, less stress, and stronger muscles.9
The more physical activity you perform, the lower your risk for a number of health maladies, including blood sugar conditions and bone density problems. Experts recommend doing physical activity that burns at least 1,000 calories per week. Of course, the higher the expenditure of energy, the greater the benefits.10
What are some of the physical activities that you can do to maintain balanced living?
- Aerobic activities that get your heart rate up, like walking, running, swimming, bicycling, and dancing
- Muscle strength training activities like pushups, sit-ups, and lifting weights that improve muscle strength, power, and endurance
- Stretching activities like yoga, side stretches, and touching your toes improve your flexibility and the movement of your joints11
At a minimum, walking is an excellent and easy way to maintain your health.12 Walking makes your heart beat faster than usual. Getting your heart rate up above its resting rate each day enables your body to circulate oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your muscles in a more efficient way.13
Along with diet and exercise, sleep is one of the three pillars of healthy living. Although many people consider it expendable, it is too important to be considered a waste of time and should be prioritized.14
How does sleep improve your health and quality of life?
- It maintains mental health by balancing moods and emotions, which may reduce anxiety.
- It improves memory and focus, which makes you less likely to be forgetful and make mistakes at work or at school.
- It keeps you alert while driving or at work.15
On the other hand, not getting enough sleep may often result in:
- Decline in performance
- Impairment of memory and learning
- Metabolic issues
- Higher likelihood of various health risks16
How much sleep is enough?
In order to maintain top-notch health and productivity, studies recommend getting seven hours of uninterrupted shut-eye if you are above the age of 25. However, there is no optimal amount. Maintaining a regular bedtime routine without disruptions is also vital.17
Find A Healthy Balance: Manage Stress While Balancing Your Work, Social, And Personal Life
Stress is the body’s involuntary reaction to the busy life that you’ve chosen to lead. It is often an outside physical or emotional force that causes a fight-or-flight reaction.
Exposure to stress can damage your body. It may be responsible for muscle tension, gastrointestinal issues, sleep disturbances, headaches, and fatigue. Psychological stress may also play a role in weight gain by raising the levels of stress hormones, potentially leading to an increase in fat.18
How do you manage the stress in your life?
When you recognize that you need to recover from a stressor, it is important to take downtime. This can come in the form of physical relaxation or psychologically distancing from the stressor.19
It can also come in the form of physical fitness. Exercise and other physical activities release endorphins which improve your ability to sleep and also reduces stress-related feelings. A workout – even one of low to moderate intensity – makes you feel energized and healthy.20
Of course, this is all in service of balancing your work, social, and personal life.
Make Time For Self Care: Meditation/Yoga For Wellness And Unique Activities That Make You Happy
Eating right, sleeping enough, and exercising are all very important aspects of living a healthy and balanced life. But it is also vital to make time for self-care and doing activities that you love. The first part of self-care is recognizing that you need downtime. It is important to take the time to relax and detach yourself from stressors.21
Some of the unique activities that you can do include meditation and yoga.
If you want to bring balance to your life and enhance your wellbeing, try meditation. Meditation is a powerful tool that is capable of enhancing the creativity and efficiency of your mind.22 There is evidence that meditation, in conjunction with other standard procedures, improves symptoms of anxiety and helps with stress reduction.23
Yogic practices may enhance the strength of muscles and the flexibility of the body, improve balance, reduce anxiety, and enhance your overall quality of life.
Furthermore, taking an approach that combines aspects of medicine with yoga may be more effective in healing the emotional and intellectual aspects of the human psyche than a purely medical approach.24
When you do not take care of yourself and lack a healthy, balanced lifestyle, you may feel grumpy and unfulfilled. On the other hand, when you make self-care a priority, you are likely to feel more rested, calm, happy, and present.25 Self-care can be something as simple and spontaneous as cooking a recipe that you love, taking an evening walk, calling a friend, or even painting.
Keeping A Healthy Home: Ridding Your Home Of Toxins
Your home should support your health as much as a healthy diet and a balanced lifestyle. Some of the ways to keep your home free of toxins include:
- Keeping it dry to avoid mold, roaches, dust mites, and other pests that can cause asthma
- Keeping it free of contaminants such as lead, carbon monoxide, and other chemicals that can rise to unsafe levels in the home
- Keeping it well-ventilated to reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants such as second-hand smoke and exhaust from cooking26
Putting Your Lifestyle Into Balance
In these busy times, with technology ruling our lives round-the-clock, achieving balance between your work hours, social time, and personal life may appear to be an impossible feat. According to a recent study, more than half of professionals worked more than 65 hours per week. The compounded effects of work life stress can hurt relationships, health, and happiness.27
Luckily, there are ways to nip it in the bud and achieve balance. Diet and lifestyle can be tweaked. Maintaining a healthy home can help a lot. And performing physical activity and self-care rituals can go a long way toward reducing stress. Maintaining proper health is predicated upon taking a balanced approach to nutrition, lifestyle, and mindset.
Walking 10,000 Steps A Day Benefits Over A Sedentary Life
Frozen Fruits And Vegetables Vs. Fresh Produce: Which Has More Nutrients?
Exercise And Restorative Yoga For Stress Management