Why is a healthy lifestyle important?

For your body to work properly, it needs a balanced diet, exercise and enough sleep.

It’s important to eat a varied and balanced diet to stay healthy. You need to drink plenty of water and eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

You also need to make sure you exercise regularly to keep your heart, lungs and muscles strong and healthy.

It’s also important to get plenty of sleep to make sure your body has time to recover and recharge.

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9 Reasons Why Maintaining An Ideal Weight Is Essential For Good Health

It is important to aim for a balanced lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet & regular exercise

The ideal weight can vary depending on factors such as age, height, body composition, muscle mass, and overall health. Body Mass Index (BMI) is often used as a general guideline to determine if an individual’s weight is within a healthy range. However, it is important to note that BMI is not a perfect indicator of health, as it does not take into account muscle mass or the distribution of fat.

Being within a healthy weight range is generally associated with improved health outcomes. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases. It can also positively impact mental well-being, joint health, sleep quality, and overall physical functioning. In this article, we discuss the many ways in which maintaining ideal weight can ensure better health.

1. Reduced risk of chronic diseasesMaintaining an ideal weight can help lower the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Excess weight can put strain on the organs and increase inflammation in the body, leading to a higher risk of these health conditions.

2. Improved cardiovascular healthBeing at an ideal weight helps keep cholesterol levels and blood pressure within a healthy range. This can reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

3. Enhanced respiratory functionExcess weight can lead to difficulty breathing, as it puts pressure on the lungs and airways. Maintaining an ideal weight can improve respiratory function, allowing for better lung capacity and oxygen intake.

4. Reduced joint painCarrying excess weight can put strain on the joints, leading to joint pain and an increased risk of conditions such as osteoarthritis. Maintaining an ideal weight can alleviate this strain and reduce joint pain.

5. Improved mental healthWeight management and a healthy body weight are closely linked to mental well-being. Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy weight can improve self-esteem, body image, and overall mental health.

6. Enhanced energy levelsCarrying excess weight can contribute to fatigue and a lack of energy. Maintaining an ideal weight can improve energy levels, allowing for increased productivity and overall quality of life.

7. Better sleep qualityObesity and weight gain have been associated with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Achieving and maintaining an ideal weight can improve sleep quality and alleviate sleep-related issues.

8. Improved fertilityFor individuals who are trying to conceive, maintaining an ideal weight can increase fertility. Obesity has been linked to hormonal imbalances that can affect reproductive health and decrease fertility.

9. Increased longevityStudies have consistently shown that maintaining a healthy weight is associated with a longer life expectancy. By reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall health, maintaining an ideal weight can increase longevity.

It is important to aim for a balanced lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet, regular physical activity, and good mental health practices rather than solely focusing on a number on the scale. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help determine an appropriate weight range and provide personalised advice for achieving better health.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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Keep brains healthy with healthful lifestyles

While new Alzheimer’s therapies are on the horizon, they won’t be for everyone who might be at risk of developing dementia.

But a growing body of research indicates that everyone can help reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia with healthy lifestyle habits, said Lindy Fields, a clinical neuropsychologist with Methodist Physicians Clinic.

“Ideally, the earlier we can start these healthy habits, the better,” she said. But such practices can help reduce the risk even no matter when people start, even if it’s later in life.

She often sees older patients in clinic who are just being introduced to some of the strategies — which fall under the general categories of physical health, cognitive activity and social engagement — and wish they’d known about them earlier.

“And I think they’re also surprised how approachable these things can be,” she said.

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Experts also recommend not smoking — even quitting later in life after decades of smoking can help — and limiting alcohol use.

Physical health

A number of physical health strategies affect the brain and how efficiently it’s working, Fields said. Not surprisingly, many also are good for the heart.

The list starts with managing other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and sleep disorders. Getting good sleep is important because time spent sleeping is restorative time when our brains process our experiences, consolidate memories and clear out waste. Getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night is associated with an increased risk of dementia, she said.

Engaging in physical activity is one of the best things people can do. Having healthy bodies also can reduce the risk of several chronic conditions people become vulnerable to as they age, such as high blood pressure. But activity can also change the structure and chemistry of the brain, building a buffer and decreasing dementia risk. It’s been shown to be helpful whether a person is in their 30s and 40s or later in life.

While different groups recommend different levels of activity, Fields said, some movement is better than none. And it doesn’t have to be marathon training. It could be walking 20 minutes a day.

“The best exercise is something you’ll consistently do,” she said.

A healthful diet also is associated with reduced risk. A recent research focus is what’s known as the MIND Diet, which Fields described as a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet for hypertension. Both emphasize plant-based foods such as vegetables, particularly leafy greens, as well as fruit, legumes and healthy fats.

Cognitive activity

Activities that keep our minds thinking and, ideally, learning also can be protective.

The good news is cognitive activity doesn’t involve just one thing, Fields. People who like crossword puzzles can do them. But cognitive activity can extend to whatever a person enjoys, whether it’s reading, writing, building or creating or doing puzzles and games. Those who like sports, might track statistics for their favorite activities.

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