Lifestyle habits can have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing and poor lifestyle choices or conditions can eventually lead to disease.
Lifestyle factors include:
- Exercise – the health benefits of exercise cannot be understated. If you’re not getting at least half an hour of exercise on most days, you’re increasing your risk of developing chronic disease. Any exercise is better than none and there’s so many options so get moving!
- Smoking – Smoking is expensive, negatively affects your health, affects those around you and is bad for the environment….not exactly a positive habit! If you’re a smoker and you care at all about your health, you need to make quitting a priority. The first step is to make an appointment with your GP to discuss.
- Alcohol & drug intake – The effects of alcohol and drugs extend far beyond the adverse health effects to the user. The latest NHMRC guidelines for alcohol consumption can be found here. If you’re trying to get pregnant or have had unprotected sex then it is recommended that you don’t drink alcohol at all due to the potential for irreversible damage to the foetus.
- Sleep – Sleep allows our bodies to recover and reset each day. Not getting enough sleep results in sleep debt, which is cumulative, and can only be fixed by getting more quality sleep, not by taking stimulants. If you’re getting enough sleep but are still not waking refreshed, you need to see a health practitioner as you may have a sleep condition, such as sleep apnoea.
- Psychological & emotional stress – As Eckhart Tolle explains in his book The Power of Now, stress is the gap between where you are in life and where you want to be. When this happens, your mind is continually focused on getting to the future, rather than being in the present moment. This often occurs when life gets busy, making you feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. Stress is only a perception because we can still be busy but not allow ourselves to get stressed and focus on the present moment. However, doing this seems to be one of humans’ greatest challenges!
- Relationships – We are born to connect with other people and it’s the early years in life where we learn how to interact with others. Therefore, it’s important that our family connections are strong so that we have the confidence to connect with the wider community.
- Work-life balance – As a general rule, try to divide your day up into three equal parts, i.e. 8 hrs sleep, 8 hrs work and 8 hrs play. Of course there are times where this isn’t possible due to work commitments etc. However, this can be balanced out by reducing working hours on other days of the week e.g. finish work early on a weekend or take a day off. Also, taking holidays regularly, rather than saving them up for years will reduce the risk of burn-out. Having interests outside of work and making time to do them is important for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
The more unhealthy lifestyle habits you adopt, the greater your risk of ill-health. Therefore, it’s really important to choose healthy lifestyle choices and address any underlying health conditions.
Health Generation can provide you with the guidance and support to start making healthier lifestyle choices today.
Learn how nutrition and your environment can also affect your health.