Good health can help you maintain your independence, avoid or manage chronic health conditions and diseases, recover from illnesses and injuries more quickly, and improve your quality of life.
The six basic rules for good health are eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and keeping your environment safe. By following these tips, you can enjoy a long and healthy life.
1. Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet provides your body with the nutrients it needs to work effectively. Without this, your body is prone to fatigue, infections, and diseases.
Eating a balanced diet also gives you energy and helps maintain a healthy weight. It includes foods from all the food groups – fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein – in the right proportions.
Ideally, your diet should include five portions of fruit and veg each day. Fresh fruits and veg contain many essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise has many benefits, including improved sleep, mood and energy levels. It also helps prevent weight gain, heart disease and diabetes.
It has been shown to boost high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) and decrease unhealthy triglycerides and can also increase bone health and lower blood pressure.
Exercise can be done anytime, anywhere and doesn’t have to be a chore. Even a few 10-minute bursts of activity during the day can be beneficial.
3. Get enough sleep
One of the most important things to do for your health is to get enough sleep. It is just as crucial to your well-being as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, while babies, young children and teens need more.
Getting inadequate amounts of sleep over time can lead to serious health problems. It can affect your heart and circulatory system, metabolism, respiratory system, immune system and mental functioning.
4. Stay hydrated
A well-hydrated body maintains optimum blood pressure and helps your heart pump oxygen to all the cells. This ensures your brain functions at its best, you feel more energized and you have good skin health.
Regardless of age, gender and level of activity, the standard recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water per day.
In addition to plain water, consider drinking fluids with added electrolytes such as sports drinks. These are useful for high-intensity activities in hot weather or to replace lost fluids after a bout of vomiting or diarrhea.
5. Stay away from toxic substances
When chemicals come into contact with our body, they can harm us. We often hear about toxic chemicals like asbestos and PCBs, but there are a lot of everyday products we use that can be harmful to our health.
These can include cleaning products, medicines, plastics in our homes and food packaging. Staying away from these can help keep you healthy and safe.
6. Keep a positive attitude
One of the most important things you can do for your health is to keep a positive attitude. This mindset can help you live longer and maintain good mental and physical health.
Optimists view every setback as a learning experience, allowing them to grow and improve. They are also more likely to avoid smoking and other unhealthy behaviors, which are often linked to a poor immune system.
Keeping a positive attitude is especially important at work. Negative attitudes breed contempt and can derail a team’s ability to get work done.