Jump Start a Healthy Lifestyle

Edited by Jonathan, Anonymous, sheryl hernandez, Robbi and 3 others

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Having a healthy lifestyle not only often means a longer life span. It also means feeling good by forming the right habits, avoiding or eliminating vices, revising thinking, and eschewing bad moral values. It is a total set of changes, perhaps done bit by bit (it is also damaging or shocking to the body to go through a drastic changes), for the purpose of living a quality life.

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Many people live their whole lives working hard and trying to earn a living, but it sometimes results in taking their health for granted. By trying to make themselves financially well, they end up making their health take a plunge. The result of that is their hard-earned money being sent to pay hospital bills - nothing like a modern day movie cliché. They say regrets are always at the end of life, when old people who are bedridden with illness and diseases become remorseful about the things they did - or didn't - do throughout their lives.

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There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to have a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy life doesn't mean hours of training at the gym and eating only salads. It's about making easy-to-manage healthy choices in your day-to-day living. Often, once "healthy lifestyle" is mentioned, people may imagine large, heavy equipment in the gym, and sweating for hours. Others may think of running miles and miles, while still others think of nothing but green leafy vegetables. This thinking sometimes leads to fear and laziness, as well as procrastination. But a healthy lifestyle may not mean any of this. There are a lot of ways to start and maintain an enjoyable, healthy lifestyle, and it is best to do so as early as possible.

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What a person can do to attain a healthy lifestyle

  1. 1
    Most of us picture a healthy person in an obvious way.
    He does not smoke, drinks no liquor, or at most two glasses a day, and he may drink one good cup of hot brewed coffee per day and green tea in the morning and in the afternoon, he exercises moderately, has healthy food served on his dining table, and is early to bed, early to rise. These cliches sound familiar? Probably so, and they are easier said than done.
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  2. 2
    You do not have to make drastic changes.
    Small baby steps will make it easier to make the transition, and make it stick. Try fresh fruit, for example, as dessert after a meal, instead of cake. Deny yourself that extra serving of baked baby back ribs, or say no to an extra cup of rice. When dining out, going a la carte instead of proceeding to the buffet table will help. For drinks, try forfeiting carbonated soft drinks in exchange for pure drinking water to go with your meals. For breakfast, eat cereal with fruit on top, rather than french toast.
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  3. 3
    Get serious about exercise.
    If you sit down too much, watch too much TV or play video games for hours, don't you feel a bit numb at times, like your blood is hardly circulating? When you start a plan, it's important to be realistic. You can set an ideal target weight, but if it seems impossible, and if your present weight is way, way off from your ideal weight, you might as well forget it. The idea here is to get moving, and shaking off those cobwebs from your fingers (yes, just wriggling your fingers could help a lot). As said, forget the ideal weight, and instead, just target a healthy heart rate and pulse rate, which your physician could recommend. Any safe, physical activity done in moderation will be good. Gardening, walking around the neighborhood, playing tag with your kids - not too much panting, just enough activity to get a bit of sweat under your armpits. If you hear fast music playing, and you start tapping your feet, don't forget dancing can help too!
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  4. 4
    Go out into the heat of the sun.
    Studies show that exposure to the sun's heat enables the body to produce vitamin D, which helps the body fight depression, heart disease, some types of cancers, and osteoporosis. But be picky about the time of day to get out into the sun. Try to avoid the sun's rays during the time when they are strongest, usually around 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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  5. 5
    Hug a lot.
    Your loved ones will enjoy this rule, and if you are a hugger, then your heart will love you too because some studies show that constant hugging lowers your blood pressure and reduces your level of cortisol, a stress hormone.
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  6. 6
    Laugh a lot.
    This sounds like a cliche, but it is worth mentioning again and again because it might just save a person's life! Finding something funny to laugh or smile about lessens your chances of suffering from illnesses such as heart disease. Always have an attitude of looking at the glass as half full, not the negative half empty.
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  7. 7
    Always clean yourself up, at least once a day.
    You cannot have a healthy lifestyle if you do not take care of your personal hygiene. Through a bath, you can scrub dirt off of your skin and avoid skin diseases. Not bathing can also induce your body toxins to emit a foul odor, which will turn off other people from interacting with you, or they may not even want to be near you. # # Also, while we're talking about the bathroom, pay attention to how often you have a bowel movement. Moving your bowels enables you to eliminate body waste, which exits in the form of excrement. This waste contains toxins, that when left in the body, can be poisonous to your body. If you aren't having regular bowel movements, proper diet and exercise can help, or you may need to seek advice from a physician.
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  8. 8
    Turn off the TV and the PC and do some household chores.
    Frequently get into the habit of voluntarily forcing yourself to turn off the TV after a one hour program or shutting down the PC after using it for an hour. Take hold of the broom and sweep the house, or dust off the furniture. Go outside, grab the water hose and give your car a good wash. Do some minor house repairs. You will quickly realize how much work you can get done around the house and at the same time, you can work up a sweat.
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  9. 9
    If you do not have to to use your car, do not use it.
    If it is possible for you to walk or ride a bicycle to work, or other destinations, then do it
    Not only do you save on gasoline costs for your car, but you also get a very good cardio workout when you are walking or pedaling your bike towards your destination.
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  10. 10
    Substitute regular food intake with low fat, low calorie or fat-free alternates.
    For your salad dressing, change full fat dressing to low fat dressing. For your milk needs, instead of full cream milk, drink skim milk, and choose fat free rather than regular yogurt. Instead of consuming that roast beef sandwich, try the just as delicious, but more nutritious, eggplant sandwich. For pasta, instead of your regular Bolognese (with ground beef), try adjusting your taste to a tomato sauce based pasta with crushed tomatoes, olives, and anchovies as ingredients. Substitute unhealthy with healthy.
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  11. 11
    Including fruits and vegetables in your daily diet will likely prolong your life.
    A large study in Europe about diet and cancer concluded that dying early is not in the vocabulary of people who eat an additional portion of fruits and vegetables daily in their diet. In fact, they cut their risk of early death by 20 percent.
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  12. 12
    Too much salt is bad for your health as well.
    Lower your salt intake daily to 6 grams or less. Our daily average of 9.5 grams of salt pushes up blood pressure and increases the probability of the occurrence of cardiovascular illnesses. If you have noticed, many food labels list salt as sodium, so be wary of this.
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Do you want to add 14 years to your life?

If you do, then here are four very easy principles to follow: Do not smoke, exercise regularly, be a sensible alcohol drinker, and last, but not least, eat five portions or pieces of fruits and vegetables in a day. This is from a reputable Cambridge University study which also says that the absence of smoking in your life has the biggest impact among the four principles mentioned.

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Can music ramp up your exercise routine?

It definitely does! Just imagine running on a treadmill or lifting weights without upbeat music. Meditation music definitely helps when you are doing your yoga routines, while fast music keeps you from feeling bored when you do your power walk. Studies in London show that exercise buffs benefit from music by doing their exercises 15 percent longer than if they do not have music to help them keep up their pace. Music helps you enjoy yourself more, and it can make you lose track of time.

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How important is a good night's sleep to a healthy lifestyle?

Sleep is very important, as in, critical. Besides making you cranky and diminishing your productivity at work, lack of sleep increases your risk of a heart attack by 27 percent, according to a Norwegian study.

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Man sleeping 002.jpg

Those who have insomnia, meaning that they have trouble staying asleep all through the night, or have no sleep at all, have a drastically higher risk of heart attack, by 45 percent! Insomnia triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which encourages the shooting up of your blood pressure and the inducing of the symptoms of diabetes. The ideal number of hours of sleep is 8, but if this isn't possible, then you should keep it to a minimum of 6.

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Do you have a problem with bringing down your weight? Try this.

This might not be a guarantee, but it is worth a try. Attempt a protein-rich diet every day. Protein keeps you feeling full longer than both carbohydrates and fats. Protein is the building block of muscle and more muscle helps boost your metabolism, which is good. If you have a fast burning metabolism, you will lessen your weight. Some added incentives for boosting protein in your diet is that protein is rich in zinc and B vitamins which both strengthen the immune system. A healthy immune system wards off the onset of colds and flu. This is from a University of Sydney study.

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Do you know that vitamin D is the new miracle worker for asthma, cancer, and diabetes?

There are children who have treatment-resistant asthma. Their physicians just increase the dose of their asthma medicine or changes into drugs which are even stronger than before. Finally, the drugs don't work because the children simply became resistant to treatment. In comes vitamin D, which is not really new. It has just been waiting to be tapped. Lack of vitamin D in children with asthma increases the airway's smooth muscle mass, making it harder for the children to breathe. Having a significant level of vitamin D in the system of asthmatic children will make them breathe better, studies say.

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Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, may help also help cancer patients because it was discovered in a study that a frightening 77 percent of cancer patients have low levels of vitamin D, and the lowest levels are found in those suffering from advanced stages of cancer.

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The anti-inflammatory character of vitamin D might be the reason why it could benefit patients with type 2 diabetes. Current nutrition guidelines say that we need 600-800 IU daily of vitamin D. However, because of the recent spate of discoveries about vitamin D being a very powerful health booster, this supports the case that our daily dosage of vitamin D should shoot up to as high as 4,000 IU.

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Here comes the new super fruit, the pawpaw

It looks very much like the papaya, but it is the largest edible fruit, native to North America. It grows anywhere in America, but grows best in the soils of the Northeast and the Midwest. The pawpaw season starts in August and lasts until the middle of October.

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Compared to bananas, apples, and oranges, the pawpaw has 20-70 times as much iron, 10 times as much calcium, and four to 20 times as much magnesium as the other fruits. And research also shows that pawpaw's antioxidant levels rival those of cranberries and cherries.

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Being native to North America, it is resistant to pests and diseases, and thus, can be grown organically as well. It is not commonly sold in the grocery store. Look for it your local farmers' market.


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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Lynn, Christine Cruz, Robbi

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