HEALTY

A healthy lifestyle leaves you fit, energetic and at reduced risk for disease, based on the choices you make about your daily habits. Good nutrition, daily exercise and adequate sleep are the foundations for continuing good health. Managing stress in positive ways, instead of through smoking or drinking alcohol, reduces wear and tear on your body at the hormonal level. For a longer and more comfortable life, put together your plan for a healthy lifestyle and live up to it.

Eating

Your cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, immune and other body systems depend on a continual supply of nutrients to feed cell growth and metabolism. To get the dozens of essential forms of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals and fats, you need to eat a varied diet. Rotate your choices among the USDA grain, vegetable, fruit, dairy and protein food groups to take in diverse nutrition. Limit your portion sizes at meals to control your weight and your risk for cardiovascular and other diseases through your lifestyle.

Exercising

Calories accompany the nutrition in foods, and if you don’t expend them all, you’ll gain weight. Carrying extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Your lifestyle should support a constant healthy weight, so remain active daily. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes a day of moderate aerobic exercise to burn calories and build up your heart and lungs. Additional weightlifting or another form of strength training keeps your muscles and bones fit and free from pain, strain and fractures.

Sleeping

Daily metabolism perpetuates the decline and rejuvenation of cellular tissue, and the body’s self-repair takes place when you are asleep. Memory consolidation and appetite regulation also occur during this time of reduced physical activity. The National Sleep Foundation considers seven to nine hours of sleep a nightly criterion for a healthy lifestyle.

Reducing Stress

Your body responds to everyday stress with a release of hormones that prepares you to react. If you don’t relieve this state through relaxation, the effects build and can create muscular pain, headaches, sleep disturbances and other symptoms. A lifestyle that includes regular stress management breaks this cycle before it can progress to unhealthy levels. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests limiting some of your activities to make time for relaxation. Achieve physical release through stretching, massage, yoga or enjoyable exercise. Connect with friends and family to relieve mental pressures, and take time out to read, pursue a hobby or experience another activity that makes you feel good

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