Obesity is responsible for many health problems, and our eating, leisure and exercise habits are strongly linked to this. We’d like to take the opportunity to remind you of some of the habits of a healthy lifestyle which can help you to combat obesity. Ready?
Healthy lifestyle habits
A lifestyle habit is something you do regularly, not just every now and again. This means that sticking to a diet for a month or joining a spinning class during winter is not a habit. We know that the habits we genuinely practice on a daily basis are a large part of the reason for us being healthy or, conversely, suffering certain illnesses – in particular those which cause most deaths per year, such as obesity and problems arising from this i.e. cardiovascular issues and cancer.
What is obesity? The consequences of obesity
Obesity is the great evil of the ‘developed’ world, and is responsible for millions of deaths every year. The WHO defines overweight and obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A BMI (remember, BMI = weight/height2) of over 25 indicates overweight. Higher than 30 is considered obesity type 1, obesity type 2 or severe obesity starts from 35, and morbid obesity at over 40.
We’re all aware of the effects this can have on our health:
- Risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease, cardiac insufficiency or stroke
- Sleep apnea
- Problems with bones and joints
- Kidney and liver disease
- Higher risk of developing certain types of cancer
30 habits of a healthy lifestyle
A balanced diet is important if you want to avoid becoming overweight. You already know what this implies. But it’s not the only worthwhile healthy habit. Pay attention and see how many of the habits below you already do and can tick off, and how many will take a bit more time. Let’s go!
- Don’t eat large amounts. Eat less, more often.
- Drink water. Forget about soft drinks.
- Fill your plate with colours. The more colours, the more vitamins.
- Go outside every day. Sun and fresh air breathe life into you.
- Don’t complain. Be proactive.
- Reduce your alcohol intake. It does nothing for you.
- Read more. Clear your mind.
- Don’t self-medicate. Take only what your doctor prescribes.
- Eat more oily fish. Your heart will thank you for it.
- Don’t smoke. No more. What’s the point?
- Sleep as much as possible. Recharge your batteries.
- Walk more. Fewer lifts, more stairs.
- Go for medical check-ups (eyes, teeth, gynaecology, prostate…). It’s for your own good.
- Don’t isolate yourself. Surround yourself with people who love you (friends, partner, family…).
- Sweets are for rare occasions only. This means they are still ‘treats’. Diabetes is no laughing matter.
- Hug and let yourself be hugged. It’ll give you a positive energy boost.
- Whole grains. They’re just as tasty and much healthier.
- Relax. Meditate or do yoga or tai chi. You’ll get rid of stress and anxiety.
- Seasonal fruit. And it’s better to eat it whole than drink it in juice.
- Learn to listen. This will teach you to be less extreme.
- Grill your food. You’ll enjoy more authentic flavours.
- Dance to your favourite music. You will secrete endorphins, the ‘happiness hormones’.
- Always use olive oil. Look after your heart.
- Learn to say NO. You are master of your own decisions.
- Dine early, and light. You’ll sleep better.
- Improve your posture. This will help you to achieve a flatter stomach.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Get the day off to a good start.
- Doing sports isn’t a fashion. It’s essential for ageing healthily.
- Eat a varied diet, but only things that are good for you. Don’t fool yourself.
- Try to be happy and make others happy too 🙂
”Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn.
- FAO.org. Healthy habits and lifestyles.
- WHO. Healthy eating.
- Sanitas. Health library. Healthy lifestyles.