Your Healthy Living Guide

Healthy living may help prevent up to 80 percent of chronic diseases. Learn which lifestyle habits can improve your health and wellness.
You may not be able to control your age or your genes, but you can make healthy lifestyle changes that have a big impact. “You can decrease your risk of chronic disease by 80 percent through healthy living choices, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute’s Lifestyle 180, a program developed to promote health and wellness through healthy eating, fitness, and stress management. “Most of your own health and wellness is well within your control,”

Healthy Living Guide

Healthy Living: Healthy Eating

A balanced diet is a major component to healthy living. Consider your own eating habits. Are there any improvements you could make?

You need three well-balanced meals every day — and yes, that includes breakfast. “Your mother was right. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Food is your body’s fuel, and your body can’t run on empty.”

Here are strategies for healthy eating:

Don’t skip meals.
Avoid trans and saturated fats.
Avoid added sugar.
Pick whole grains over processed foods.
Build your diet around fruits, vegetables, and proteins from low-fat dairy and lean meats.
Eat cold-water fish for omega-3 fatty acids.

Healthy Living: Physical Activity

An active lifestyle may help lower the risk of certain illnesses, including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, bone loss, and the common cold. Physical activity can also help you manage your weight, improve your sleeping habits, reduce stress, and increase your energy levels.

How much physical activity is required to reap the benefits of fitness? “The minimum physical activity you need is 150 minutes per week, which comes to 30 minutes five times per week. “The good news is that you don’t have to do it all at once. Park your car at the end of the lot, take the stairs, or go for a walk after lunch. Integrate exercise into your day where and when you can.”

Healthy Living: Stress Management

There are a number of different ways to manage — and minimize — the stress in your life. You can do simple breathing techniques on your own or try something more structured, such as guided meditation or a yoga class.

“Just take two minutes four times a day to stop and breathe. Stop what you are doing, clear your mind, and breathe deeply. It is so simple, but you will be amazed at the benefits. “Like exercise, meditation does not have to be an all or nothing activity. You can integrate meditation breaks into your day.” The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine says meditation can be practiced to increase calmness, restore psychological balance, and enhance health and wellness.

For stress relief,we also suggests:

Sleeping six to eight hours every night.
Trying meditation, guided imagery, or yoga.
Taking the focus away from yourself, since studies show that doing something for others is one of the best ways to reduce stress.

Healthy living is a gift that you give yourself. “You need all three components — healthy eating, healthy activity, and stress management.

In addition, be sure to see your doctor for regular check-ups and screenings, refrain from smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and protect your skin from too much sun exposure. These are all healthy choices that only you can make. “It doesn’t have to be difficult.” “Keep it simple, and integrate healthy living into every day.”


J. Lindsey