The Four Pillars For Living A Healthier Life

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Maintaining your health takes more than eating right, getting sleep, and exercising. To live a healthy life requires a process of those three fundamental principles along with regular health screenings.

Having regular health screenings will help determine and diagnose any potential underlying health issues and provide better guidance to improve your health and wellness.

To live well requires that you focus on the four central pillars of health, diet, exercise, sleep, and wellness exams. So let’s examine each of those four pillars and provide some tips to help you live the best life.

Diet

The sayings, “junk in, junk out” and “you are what you eat” are more than something to help you remember to eat better. There’s truth in these adages that what we consume provides us with the necessary macronutrients to fuel our bodies.

Macronutrients are the primary sources of energy and nutrition, so it only makes sense to provide our bodies with the best macronutrients we can provide. Avoiding processed foods that may be high in sugar, salt, and additives is a great start.

Focusing on a diet that is low in calories but rich in protein and high in fiber will provide your muscles with the energy needed to perform critical functions, aid in the digestive process, and provide long-sustaining energy.

These are all essential functions of weight management and appetite control.

There are numerous health benefits to moving to a more plant-based diet, and there are a wide variety of menu options available to you.

For example, you can decrease the amount of meat you consume and substitute it with beans and legumes.

Additionally, you can move to a breakfast routine that includes daily smoothies. Smoothies provide essential vitamins and minerals, protein and fiber, and are delicious ways to create flexible, filling meals.

Exercise

A second pillar to wellbeing is getting regular exercise. The World Health Organization recommends 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week for a fully grown adult or up to 120 minutes of low-impact movements for optimal health.

The apparent benefits of exercise include strengthening the skeletal-muscular system, enhancing the immune system, slowing the aging process, helping the digestive process, and weight control.

One of the more significant benefits of exercise, we enhance the body’s immune system empowering it to fight off illness and other diseases such as cancers.

Exercise causes the body to strengthen its respiratory system and cardiovascular function and helps the body to perform more efficiently.

That said, one often overlooked benefit from regular exercise is that it works in boosting moods.

When the body is stressed, the brain releases powerful neurochemicals that can inhibit or strengthen moods.

For example, too much negative stress, such as when we experience depression and grief, can lower the body’s spirits.

On the other hand, when we stress the body in a good way, such as strengthening it through exercise, the brain releases dopamine that boosts moods and energy.

Sleep

Sleep is the primary function of the body and mind to relax, regenerate, and rebuild itself. Yet, it is often the first thing we sacrifice when we’re stressed or overstimulated but should be considered necessary for our overall health as the other two cornerstones to good health.

The WHO recommends that fully grown adults get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, and some studies show that even with the proper amount of sleep, occasional naps are encouraged.

Regular Health Exams

At different stages of our life, we are prone to more or fewer health concerns. For example, at 45 years of age or older, getting regular colon exams is the recommendation, and those examinations may occur earlier in cases of family history of colon cancers.

However, if colon cancers are a concern for you, you can always get an at-home test before scheduling a professional examination. An at-home test, known as a fit test, will help you have peace of mind before your regular exam.

The primary benefit of regular health examinations is to screen for potentially more serious diseases or other underlying health concerns.

Taking a balanced approach of eating right, getting regular exercise, sleeping well, and getting annual health screenings will help you live a healthy, happy life.

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