By Shiza Khan, M.Sc. – Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics | Dietitian/Nutritionist
In this article:
Your diet and lifestyle are major contributors to the overall health of your body. Metabolic disorders, obesity, mental health disorders, heart diseases, etc., are all linked at least partially to your lifestyle. (1)
This article presents some of the best and most effective habits you can cultivate for a long and healthy life. (2)(3)
Rules to Stay Fit and Healthy
Here are a few tips that most doctors and dietitians recommend to stay fit.
It not only helps you tone your muscles and become stronger, but moderate and regular exercise is also great for your cardiovascular health. It improves heart efficiency and blood circulation. (4)
Exercise also causes a release of endorphins and adrenaline, both of which help combat stress and anxiety. (5) Try to work out for at least half an hour every day, slowly increasing the duration over time.
2. Maintain proper hydration
Drinking 7–8 glasses of water a day can boost your general health. (6) Keeping yourself hydrated helps improve digestion, may protect you from kidney diseases, and gives you clear, glowing skin. (7)
3. Eat healthily
You are what you eat. Unhealthy diets, which include fast food, processed meats, and foods containing added sugars, are one of the leading causes of metabolic disease and obesity.
Consuming fried and fatty food regularly can also be a risk factor for developing heart disease and increased levels of cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia).
Your diet should include a proper amount of protein, green leafy vegetables, fruits, and a carb source. Try to eat home-cooked meals as often as possible and include the entire “rainbow” on your plate. (8)(9)
Obesity is a major health risk affecting a significant portion of the US population today. (12) It is associated with several comorbidities including diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, heart disease, and some types of cancers. (13)(14)
6. Get enough sleep
The ideal amount of sleep required for a healthy person is 7–8 hours. It is a necessary component of your general health and helps maintain your mental and physical fitness.
Reduced sleep can lead to fatigue, anxiety, hypertension, diabetes, and migraines. (15)
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Parmar RM, Can AS. Dietary Approaches To Obesity Treatment. [Updated 2022 May 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK574576/.
Lin X, Li H. Obesity: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutics. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021;12:706978. Published 2021 Sep 6. doi:10.3389/fendo.2021.706978.
Panuganti KK, Nguyen M, Kshirsagar RK. Obesity. [Updated 2022 May 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459357/.
Chattu VK, Manzar MD, Kumary S, Burman D, Spence DW, Pandi-Perumal SR. The Global Problem of Insufficient Sleep and Its Serious Public Health Implications. Healthcare (Basel). 2018;7(1):1. Published 2018 Dec 20. doi:10.3390/healthcare7010001.
Chaput JP, Dutil C, Sampasa-Kanyinga H. Sleeping hours: what is the ideal number and how does age impact this?. Nat Sci Sleep. 2018;10:421-430. Published 2018 Nov 27. doi:10.2147/NSS.S163071.
Chiva-Blanch G, Badimon L. Benefits and Risks of Moderate Alcohol Consumption on Cardiovascular Disease: Current Findings and Controversies. Nutrients. 2019;12(1):108. Published 2019 Dec 30. doi:10.3390/nu12010108.
Health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption. Alcohol Res Health. 2000;24(1):5-11.
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National Research Council (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Adolescence; Graham MG, editor. Sleep Needs, Patterns, and Difficulties of Adolescents: Summary of a Workshop. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000. CONSEQUENCES OF INSUFFICIENT SLEEP. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222789/.
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