Key indicators of a healthy lifestyle

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Key indicators of a healthy lifestyle

Everyone keeps talking about living a healthy lifestyle, but does that only mean diet and exercise? The answer? It doesn’t. There are so many aspects of one’s life that contribute to their overall health and what it means to live a healthy life.

When you successfully control your physical, emotional and financial health, and you are able to consistently improve or remain in a “good space”, you’re living a healthy lifestyle. All your bases’ are covered and you’re actively taking care of yourself on every level of life. That’s what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

And it’s a lot easier than what you may think.


Physical health

Diet and exercise fall under your physical health. And while they aren’t the entirety of a healthy lifestyle, they are a large part of it. It has nothing to do with body shaming and striving for an unrealistic self-image, it’s about taking care of your body and giving it what it needs to function and be good for you.

When a professional classifies you as being unfit, not eating the right foods, being over- or underweight, it’s because there are other health consequences that may arise as a result of your current habits. Our bodies can only handle so much on its own before it requires strengthening and nutrients to be fully useful to you. And that’s why diet and exercise are so important.

But, again, change for a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be as drastic as you might think. Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean go to the gym, ride a bike or run around the block until you pass out. It means you need to be more active in general. Start by taking the stairs, reaching a daily step goal, taking up a sport or exercise class that interests you or begin an at-home workout programme. You start by taking everything at your own pace and, soon enough, you’ll improve every week and be able to push yourself even more. The goal doesn't have to be to lose weight, it need only be to be more active and not have your face turn red when you bend down to tie your shoelaces.

The same with a healthy diet. All you really need is a balance and to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to function properly. And it’s not impossible to cut down on your sugar intake or eat an extra vegetable every now and then. We all know what is the healthier choice and, while we don’t need to take that option every time, we should at least choose health over a possible heart-attack burger or diabetes-inducing dessert once in a while.  

Other physical indicators of a healthy lifestyle are plenty of water and sleep. But, who doesn’t like sleep?


Emotional health

The next aspect of a healthy lifestyle is good emotional health. Our minds are as powerful as they say and it can take something as small as a daily gratitude exercise to turn your day around.

There are more things in life, these days, that stress us out than things that can relieve us from our stress (that isn’t a prescribed chronic medication). More and more people are suffering from anxiety and panic attacks because of stress from work, finances, home and the pressures from society's expectations, and it’s a problem. It’s a problem because it’s unhealthy for our minds as well as our bodies.

It’s important to have a positive mindset to take care of your emotional health. Practice gratitude, meditate, write in a journal, surround yourself with good people, be a part of your community and take time off when you need it. Remember you can’t be there for someone else without taking care of yourself first.  

Financial health

Lastly, a healthy lifestyle means a healthy financial situation. We mentioned that financial stress contributes to the detriment of our emotional health, so it makes sense that good financial health contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

We have full control of our finances (budgets are financial health life-savers), however, we might find ourselves in debt and making financial decisions that stretch out our incomes a little too far. It’s in these situations where life insurance, car insurance, funeral plans and medical aids from South African institutions can ease your mind from those stresses and keep your savings in your account and not have to worry about blowing it all on an unforeseen expense that was out of your control.

And, considering that unhealthy physical and emotional health can become costly, it's a positive financial health and lifestyle move to compare medical aids and choose an affordable medical aid plan in South Africa that is tailored to your needs. And when your lifestyle is healthy, medical aid is still a good idea to ease the anxiety of ”should anything happen”.

And there you have it, a conscious effort to care about your physical, emotional and financial health is all you need for a healthier lifestyle.

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