The benefits of exercise are scientifically proven and well established. Indeed, exercise can drastically reduce your risk of getting heart disease, diabetes, a stroke or cancer. According to the NHS Physical Activity Guidelines, adults aged 19 – 64 should exercise moderately (fast walking, cycling) for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week on top of two days a week of muscle strengthening exercise. Alternatively,1 hour and 15 minutesof rigorous exercise (running, singles tennis) and two days of muscle strengthening activities is also encouraged.
Many people who wish to have a healthy lifestyle are focusing solely on exercise. However, this is not enough to reap the full benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Here is a list of other factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, other than exercise.
“You are what you eat” is a saying that definitely applies in the medical field as well. Healthy food helps the body maintain and regenerate itself. Protein for instance is needed by the body to build muscles and repair broken tissue. It forms immune and blood cells and is necessary for manufacturing hormones and enzymes. Protein can be found in foods such as meat, fish and eggs. If your body doesn’t receive enough protein, it will start to weaken, the liver will get damaged and, in severe cases, this can even lead to death.
Carbohydrates provide your body with energy. It is important to eat the right kind of carbs as those with a high glycemic index (sugar, white bread, mashed potatoes etc.) raise your blood sugar levels. Choose starchy foods like wholegrain bread and whole-wheat pasta as they contain more fibre than their more refined counterparts. Fibre helps to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Choose food containing unsaturated fat such as olive oil, salmon, avocado and almonds instead of butter. Finally, make sure you eat plenty of vegetables and fruit to cover your need for vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. This will strengthen your immune system.
Satisfactory and Safe Sexual Activity
Yes, that’s right. Having sex is not only enjoyable but research has shown that having a healthy sex life increases a woman’s bladder control, reduces the risk of prostate cancer for men and improves sleep. Having sex is also linked to the lowering of blood pressure. According to a study with 1,000 men, those who have sex twice a week reduce their chance of a heart attack by 50%. Having safe sex and frequently monitoring your sexual health are crucial too. Using condoms will protect you from unwanted STIs. However, if one spilts, a sexual health check is obligatory to identify any STIs you may have contracted – and treat them immediately.
Finally, it is important to get enough sleep. When we sleep, our body is working towards maintaining a healthy brain function and it helps us maintain a good hormone balance. Sleep deficiency can lead to physical problems such as obesity, high blood sugar levels and a weakened immune system. It is thus important to get a good night’s sleep every night.