10 Compelling Health Reasons For Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle

Far too many people in this world embrace a healthier lifestyle for only one reason: the way they look. They do it for the number on the scales, to be able to fasten another notch on their belt or to squeeze into a smaller clothing size. Because that’s what they’ve been told they need to do to be accepted.

They do it for the inevitable praise that will always come their way if, having been a size that’s larger than what society views as attractive or ‘right’, they start to lose weight and conform to that ideal. I’m sure we all know just how conflicted that can make us feel.

They don’t always do it for all of the other reasons why living a healthy lifestyle is so important. Those reasons are manifold, and most of them have very little to do with your physical appearance and a lot to do with your physical and mental health.

Sure, it feels good to look good, but looking your best, as you’re bound to do when you’re treating your body right, should be an added bonus, and not the sole reason you eat fruit and vegetables and hit the gym occasionally.

In this post, I’m going to focus on all of the incredible physical and mental health benefits of being active and nourishing your body.

If you’re aware of just how far-reaching the impacts of a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet can be, then you’ll be far less likely to lose your motivation or slip back into your old ways.

Just a glance at this list when you’re starting to flag should help you find the energy to lace up those trainers or give that new, plant-based recipe a go, rather than reaching for the takeaway menu.

1. Exercise makes you sleep better

If you’ve ever had any extra-active periods during your life, then you’ll know just how much of an impact regular exercise can have on sleep quality. Aerobic exercise can help you regulate your circadian rhythms, meaning you get better quality shut-eye.

In turn, getting better sleep means you have more energy to exercise during the day, so it’s the ultimate non-vicious circle.

2. Certain types of exercise mean your joints and bones get stronger

If the exercise you enjoy doing involves impact, like running or dancing, then you’re doing your joints and bones a massive favour, which is like an insurance policy for the future.

That’s because you put stress on your bones and cartilage during impact exercise. That means your body sends them more essential minerals and, over time, they get stronger.

3. A healthy lifestyle boosts your immune system

High alcohol consumption, a diet lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables, sleep deprivation, dehydration, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle can all contribute to weakening your immune system, which is the system your body uses to defend itself against infectious organisms.

Starting to address all these things by being kinder to your body can mean that you find you no longer spend the six colder months of the year fighting off cold after cold.

4. A healthy lifestyle boosts your physical energy levels

People that live inactive, unhealthy lifestyles often find their energy levels at rock bottom, the smallest of tasks leaving them breathless. Incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine strengthens your muscles and boosts your endurance.

All that activity means your heart gradually gets stronger and can pump more oxygen and nutrients around your body. The more you work out your heart and lungs the more they’ll be able to do, and daily life suddenly won’t seem like such a trial.

5. Those that lead healthy lifestyles have a lower risk of certain cancers…

Studies have shown that eating well and exercising regularly lowers your risk of developing certain types of cancer during your life. Of course, people that live the healthiest of lifestyles might still develop cancer, but living a healthy lifestyle is your best defence.

The important thing here is to love the way you go about your daily life and not feel like you’re constantly depriving yourself of something or flogging yourself, as that’s no way to live.

6. …and are less likely to experience heart disease

I’ve already mentioned that those that exercise regularly have stronger hearts that are more capable of efficiently pumping blood around the body.

But a healthy lifestyle also means that you can help keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control, reducing your risk of heart disease and heart attacks. This is even more vital for anyone with a history of heart problems in their family.

As well as reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease, a healthy lifestyle can also help keep problems like diabetes and arthritis at bay, amongst a whole host of others.

7. A healthy lifestyle can mean a better sex life

Human beings are sexual creatures, and if we eat well and live actively then we can feel the benefits in the bedroom.

It’s a combination of feeling better about our bodies and more physical reactions, as women who exercise regularly might find they become more aroused, and men who do the same are less likely to have issues with erectile dysfunction.

8. Leading a healthy lifestyle reduces stress

Sustained stress can take a huge toll on our bodies. The fight or flight reaction to stress is designed to help protect us when we’re under threat, but modern life can mean our bodies are constantly on high alert, with high levels of cortisol and adrenaline being pumped around.

That throws our bodies off and can lead to all manner of problems, from anxiety and depression to digestive issues, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and issues with memory and impairment.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is a key way of managing stress, reducing the long-term health impacts that a hectic modern life can have on your body.

9. Staying active and eating well can help with symptoms of depression

Research has shown that pushing yourself to go to that exercise class or follow that healthy meal plan can help manage symptoms of depression, although cooking or exercising might be the last thing you feel like when your illness is trying to tell you to curl up in a ball instead.

But pushing yourself to commit to an exercise schedule or eating plan can help you prove to yourself that you’re capable of achieving change and breaking the cycle. It’s a way of proving to yourself that your illness doesn’t control you.

In need of a pick-me-up? It’s been shown that even 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can boost the mood of even someone with severe depression.

10. A healthy lifestyle boosts your self-esteem

Your self-esteem is a hugely important aspect of your mental health. If you eat well or are consistently active, you have solid evidence that you can present to that little voice in your head that’s always ready with the negative talk.

You feel like you’ve achieved something, which can make you feel mentally stronger and ready to make other positive decisions for your physical and mental health, giving you the strength to stick to your healthy lifestyle.

As you progress and your body starts being able to do things it never could before, you’ll start thinking that maybe there are other areas of your life in which you could achieve incredible things, too.

Committing to a healthy lifestyle might seem impossible, but I know you can do it. Once you’ve cracked it, who knows what you might be able to achieve?


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