Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a necessity, not a luxury. Whether it’s to uphold your current good health or lessen the symptoms from a diagnosis, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a must to improve your quality of life. Below are nine guidelines to partaking and preserving a healthy lifestyle.

• Maintain a healthy body weight. There are BMI calculators online that will tell you a healthy weight range based on your measurements, but it’s also important to talk with your doctor about a healthy range since every person’s body and shape is unique to them and other factors can contribute to the right weight range for you.

• Eat healthy foods from each food group and avoid foods high in saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. Don’t skip meals and avoid crash diets that deprive you of one or more food groups. Balance is the key here.

• Drink plenty of water (at least 64 ounces a day is standard), and moderate caffeine and alcohol consumption.

• Don’t smoke, or quit smoking. Smoking and second hand smoke can lead to lung cancer among other cancers, respiratory infections, stroke, heart disease and more.

• Visit your doctor annually for physical exams and, depending on your age, stay up to date with additional health screenings (mammograms, heart tests, MRIs, etc.) to identify any other medical problems.

• Engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day (even a brisk walk will do!). Exercise is essential, not optional.

• Get plenty of sleep. Well-rested people cope with stress better and may have more control over their appetites. Keep a regular sleep schedule (going to bed and waking up around the same times every day, moderating caffeine intake and adopting bedtime routines to wind down).

• Mental health is just as important as physical health so find and implement healthy ways to destress when under pressure such as walking, meditating, exercising (running, yoga), listening to music, using breathing techniques or anything else that helps you relax.

• Maintain healthy relationships. Just as mental and physical health go hand-in-hand, a third and equally important component is emotional health. We all need people to preserve a healthy lifestyle and that includes good relationships with friends and family.
Increasing your quality of life is completely dependent on your habits. So keep healthy habits and you’ll lead a better and more balanced physical, mental and emotional lifestyle.

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