What is Healthy Living?

Photo by Peddhapati; cropped and resized

Photo by Peddhapati; cropped and resized

“Healthy living” is so subjective.

Sometimes it seems like there are as many different definitions of “healthy” as there are people in the world. What works for one person might not work for another. Personalizing a workout regimen or diet plan opens the door for creative, innovative new ways to be healthy.

Despite the variations of healthy lifestyles, doctors and government agencies say there are many key components that should be incorporated into a balanced life. These components can all be classified into the following three categories.

  1. Physical Activity: Physical activity is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is most commonly associated with weight loss. However, being active has more benefits than simply looking toned and fit.The CDC says, “Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health.” Incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle can prevent future health problems, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Exercise can also improve mental health, longevity, and the strength of bones and muscles.Physical activity can range from a walk around White Rock Lake, to an intense weightlifting routine at the local 24 Hour Fitness, to weekly spin classes at Equinox. Experts equate 150 minutes of weekly physical activity to optimal adult health.
  2. Diet and Nutrition: Keeping a balanced diet is important. Poor nutrition can cause serious health problems, resulting in obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, food allergies and intolerances, osteoporosis, eating disorders, digestive problems, or cancer. A healthy eater’s diet should include food from the major food groups: fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. A balanced diet may also include a moderation of drugs like caffeine and alcohol.
  3. Mental Health: Sleep is the most commonly overlooked element of health. Most people have needed to sacrifice a few hours of sleep every once in a while; however, a major sleep deficit can lead to some nasty health problems. The CDC reports that insufficient sleep can cause hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life or productivity.

Keeping these three main elements in mind shouldn’t be that difficult – especially in the modern, centralized city of Dallas. I’m excited to see what the city has to offer for a gal working toward a better, healthier lifestyle!