The Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle


A healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve our health and well-being. There are many different factors that make up our lifestyle and that can affect our health, including our diet, how much physical activity we do, whether we smoke or not and how much alcohol we drink.

Making small changes to our lifestyle can have a big impact on our health. For example, eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise and giving up smoking all have been shown to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and other conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Below are some of the key components of a healthy lifestyle that can help to keep us healthy and reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases.

eating a healthy diet

getting regular physical activity

maintaining a healthy weight

not smoking

drinking alcohol in moderation

getting enough sleep

managing stress

Eating a healthy diet

A healthy diet is vital for good health and well-being. It can help to protect against some chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

eating plenty of fruit and vegetables

eating wholegrains

eating lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, tofu, legumes and nuts

limiting processed and refined foods

avoiding sugary drinks

choosing healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado and nuts

Keeping active

Regular physical activity is important for good health. It can help to reduce our risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. It can also help to reduce our risk of becoming obese and help to keep our weight under control.

To maintain health, adults should aim to be active for at least 30 minutes every day. This can be in one go or in small chunks of time, such as 10 minutes three times a day.

There are many different types of activities we can do to keep active, such as walking, gardening, housework, dancing and structured exercise classes.

Maintaining a healthy weight

Being overweight or obese can put us at greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

To maintain a healthy weight, we need to balance the energy we consume from food and drinks with the energy we use through physical activity.

If we consume more energy than we use, we will gain weight. If we use more energy than we consume, we will lose weight.

The best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to eat a healthy diet and be physically active.

Not smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable premature death in Australia. It is a major risk factor for developing heart disease, stroke and various types of cancer, such as lung cancer.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. It is never too late to quitting smoking and your health will start to improve almost immediately.

There are many different ways to quit smoking, including using nicotine replacement therapy, medications, counselling and support groups.

Drinking alcohol in moderation

Drinking alcohol in moderation can be part of a healthy lifestyle. However, drinking too much alcohol can lead to a range of health problems, including liver disease, cancer and heart disease.

For healthy adults, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day is recommended. For some people, it may be safest not to drink alcohol at all.

If you do choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so safely. This includes not drinking before driving, not drinking too much and not drinking with people who you know are likely to get aggressive.

Getting enough sleep

Sleep is important for our physical and mental health. It gives our bodies time to recover from the day’s activities and helps to repair cells and tissues.

Most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep a day. However, some people may need more or less sleep depending on their age, lifestyle and health.

There are a number of things we can do to help improve our sleep, such as avoiding caffeine late in the day, having a regular sleep routine and creating a calm and relaxing environment in our bedroom.

Managing stress

Stress is a normal part of life and can be caused by both positive and negative events. However, chronic or long-term stress can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health.

There are many different ways to manage stress, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, talking to someone about your stress and time management.

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