Benefits of A Healthy Lifestyle: Importance of Diet and Exercise

benefits of a healthy lifestyleA healthy lifestyle should be a way of living, and not just a temporary fix for a cold or to negate a gluttonous weekend.   Once you get into the habit of maintaining a healthy routine, you will be able to see, feel, and experience the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

There are significant and long lasting benefits in improving the way you live to ensure that you live a healthy and long life.  The benefits of a healthy lifestyle can be broken down into two parts: the benefits of an active lifestyle and the benefits of eating well.  Let’s take a look at both of these to give you some insight and incentive into changing the way you live.

Benefits of Exercise

Some people would be surprised to find out that exercising does not benefit your physical appearance, but also your mental health, relationships, and overall happiness.  Regardless of whether or not you are an athlete, here are some ways that exercise can improve both your cardiovascular and mental health.

  1. Reducing stress:  After a long day of work or studying, sometimes the last thing you might want to do is run around at the gym.  However, one of the most effective benefits of exercise happens to be stress relief.  Working up a sweat and getting your endorphins running can help manage a person’s physical and mental stress by increasing the amount of norepinephrine in your brain.  The next time you are feeling mentally tired, head on over to the gym instead of into your bed.
  2. Increasing happiness:  You have probably heard that exercise increases the endorphins your brain, leading the feelings of happiness: this is true.  Also true is the fact that happiness can help elevate symptoms of depression in clinically depressed individuals.  So if you are feeling blue, exercise can be just as effective as any medication used to treat depression.
  3. Improving self confidence:  When you do things that make your body feel good, you start feeling good about yourself as well.  Exercising can work to tone, strengthen, and tighten the muscles in your body, and all of these factors can work to improve your self-image.
  4. Go outside:  Getting a daily dose of vitamin D will help increase your mood and self esteem as well.  A healthy lifestyle is one that takes time to appreciate and utilize all aspects of nature and life.  Take some time each week to talk a walk outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
  5. Keep mentally strong:  As we get older, our brains start to slow down.  By incorporating exercise into our daily routine, we can decrease the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and other types of cognitive decline.  For people between the ages of 25 and 45, working out is more important because it can prevent degeneration or the aspects of our brains that are devoted to memory and learning.
  6. Decrease anxiety:  Anxiety can be debilitating and sometimes exhausting.  By exercising, you can reduce symptoms of anxiety.  Studies have shown that the chemicals your brain releases before or after exercise can help you calm down.
  7. Strengthen brain cells:  If you exercise on a regular basis, you may be smarter than you were if you would choose to forgo the gym.  Cardiovascular exercise creates new brain cells, which, in turn, improve an individual’s overall brain function and performance.
  8. Addiction control:  When you exercise, your brain releases a reward chemical, which is similar to the reward chemical that you feel in response to exercise, sex, drugs, food, etc.  This is where addictions can come into play, as people can become addicted to dopamine.  Luckily, exercise can help ease your addictions by de-prioritizing your cravings, leading you to live a healthier and happier life.
  9. Encourage creativity:  Exercise can also help boost creativity.  For example, a gym session can increase our brain activity for up to two hours post-workout.  So the next time you need some inspiration, start engaging in a blood-pumping exercise for good measure.

Benefits of Healthy Eating

In addition to exercise, healthy eating is a part of a healthy lifestyle.  Foods that are nutritious will improve health; promote weight loss, and much more. Here are some more health benefits that you can get from eating healthy that will contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Fewer wrinkles:  Foods that have high water content, such as fruits and vegetables, will help to keep your skin looking and feeling hydrated.   Fruits and vegetables also contain certain antioxidants that keep your skin looking young.  Be sure to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids as well, such as: fish and salmon to help nourish the skin.
  2. Stress control:  By eating a healthy diet equipped with omega-3, these fatty acids will protect against spikes in stress hormones.  Vitamin C, magnesium, and black tea are also known to reduce stress hormones and protect your immune system at the same time.
  3. Flat stomach:  We all want a flat belly, and health eating, combined with exercise, can help us achieve that.  A diet that limits high sodium and high carbonated foods will help keep your stomach flat.  High fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will reduce constipation and help keep you full longer.
  4. Happier mood:  Aim to eat healthy carbohydrates and like whole grains to stabilize blood sugar.  Carbohydrate-rich foods will increase serotonin, which can promote happiness.  Some more healthy foods that help increase serotonin levels are: turkey, yogurt, and fish.
  5. Mindless eating:  A healthy lifestyle is one that is able to control and monitor food cravings.  A healthy and balanced diet will help prevent intense and unhealthy food cravings by keeping you full longer and your blood sugar stable.
  6. Beautiful smile:  Not only does healthy eating benefit your lifestyle and mood, but it also benefits your appearance – specifically your teeth.  Healthy foods such as yogurt, high fiber fruits and vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can help straighten teeth, reduce bacteria, and limit inflammation in your mouth so that you will have no problem flashing your pearly whites.

Yoga woman meditating woman relaxing by ocean sea doing the SukhEven More Healthy Living Benefits

If that was not enough, here are some more specific benefits of a healthy lifestyle that you may or may not be able to notice.

  • Exercise will increase you lung capacity
  • Regular exercise increases immunity fighting immunoglobulins
  • Exercise increases the number of mood-enhancing chemicals that our body produces, such as: serotonin, dopamine, and nor-epinepherine
  • Exercise builds lean muscle mass and bone mass.  This will put us at a lower risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Exercise and healthy eating habits help to lower blood pressure.
  • Exercise help to lower our heart rate and build a stronger heart.
  • With regular exercise and proper diet, over time, your risk for cardiovascular diseases and type II diabetes will fall.
  • Healthy living helps lowers bad cholesterol levels (LDL).
  • Healthy living increases the amount of good cholesterol levels in your body (HDL).
  • Healthy living helps lower triglycerides.
  • The more you exercise, the easier it will be and the stronger you will feel.
  • Healthy living will cut your risk of developing.
  • Eating well and exercising regularly will help you feel younger and more confident.
  • A healthy lifestyle increases the volume of mitochondria in your muscle, which will help to burn more carbohydrates and fats.
  • Healthy living doubles your muscles ability to use oxygen, which will help your body use  fat as an energy source.

Transform Your Health

From this information, you can see that your body will benefit from a healthy lifestyle of healthy eating and routine exercising.  The older you get, the more you will see your body respond positively to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.  Ready to get started living a healthy lifestyle?  Begin with this 30 day body renovation detox to jump-start your path towards healthy living.