Friday, June 21, 2024

The fundamental choices for leading a healthy life

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What does a healthy life mean to you? I guess the first answer that came to your mind is a life free from disease, without pain and without suffering.

It is normal that this is the case, but if you think about it carefully, health is something much more complex than the simple absence of disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) as early as 1948 defined health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not as the mere absence of disease or disability.

Health is therefore not an end in itself but rather a means by which we can live a richer and fuller life.

Health is a resource, not a condition to be conquered but a positive concept that makes life easier, beautiful and complete. 

Confirming how complex health is and depends on many factors are the results of the famous Study of Adult Development, a study that has lasted for about 80 years and which has confirmed that the quality of emotional relationships is one of the factors that most affects on health and quality of life in general.

What contributes to good health

But if health is not a goal but a means, a tool for living an extraordinary life, we must not forget what it indicates about it.

Research has today clearly indicated how the lifestyle we adopt, that is the daily choices we make , have a fundamental role in promoting health or favoring the development of a long series of diseases .

Heart attack, tumors, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, are all examples of pathologies that have strong connections with our approach to life , understood both physically , psychically and emotionally .

The risk of developing these pathologies not only increases with the passing of the years but also, or perhaps better to say above all, with the low quality of the passing years .

The more the person becomes the victim of bad habits, the greater the risk of developing pathologies and reducing the duration of life.

So what are the variables to focus on to live a life that is not only healthy but extraordinary, rich and full of opportunities?

A healthy diet

Since ancient times, man has understood that food can play a fundamental role in strengthening the body .

With the development of civilization, a problem that did not exist in the past has emerged.

Modern and industrial foods have become a source of disease and suffering as they generate real addictions and do not allow to control the quantity ingested.

Due to the rampant presence of foods made irresistible thanks to precise mixtures of sugar and fat or fat and salt, the percentage of overweight and obese people is incredibly high .

These people are at risk of developing many other problems including cardiovascular ones. Instead, the topic of nutrition is fundamental.

Doing constant physical activity

The history of man is made up of fatigue and physical work but today the life of each of us is mostly sedentary.

The practice of sport, however widespread, is not enough to replace the constant use of the body that we human beings need to stay healthy.

Indeed, precisely because in our long evolutionary journey the possibility of being sedentary was almost absent , we have developed behavioral traits that emphasize laziness and doing nothing .

This used to guarantee that the rare times we could choose it, we decided to stop and recover.

Today these behaviors remain prevalent but our freedom of choice is almost total and so many decide to lead totally sedentary lives.

Physical activity, like nutrition, is essential to keep the body and mind not only healthy but above all strong and active.

Avoid excesses and vices

Avoid tobacco, alcohol excesses: smoking and alcohol abuse are two behaviors with a devastating impact on health .

Very often these two bad habits are associated in the same person, significantly increasing the risk of developing many diseases including cardiovascular ones and numerous cancers.

Although the deleterious effects of smoking and alcohol have been known for decades, many people continue to smoke and drink and especially every year many young people become addicted to these substances.

One of the main reasons why this happens is linked to poor management of daily stress, personal, emotional and work tensions and the illusion that a cigarette and a glass of alcohol can represent a reward, a moment of relaxation in a sea of chaos.

Obviously, the work must be done upstream, learning to better manage stressors and not feeling the need to resort to compensation.

Avoid compulsive behaviors

There are many other harmful and erroneous compulsive behaviors that we humans adopt in an attempt to perceive momentary well-being.

Drugs, gambling, video games, pornography, junk food are just a few examples of behaviors that we find it difficult to control and that harm us.

Even in these cases the problem must be solved upstream , reducing the sense of necessity and finding satisfaction in the changes we are able to introduce , thanks to more linear behaviors that make us rediscover the good things in life .

Enjoy social relationships, increasing them

The quality of emotional relationships is directly related to the quality and duration of life.

The more fulfilling our relationships are, the healthier and happier we are .

Loneliness and the feeling of isolation hurts as much as smoking and alcohol abuse and therefore we should strive to get out of these conditions and establish strong, trusting personal relationships. Trust is indeed a powerful antidote to stress .

Healthy and long-term food is a matter of choices

Deciding to change and improve your health is a good opportunity to make a real change in your life.

The key is to awaken awareness and regain control of one ‘s choices without waiting for the fear aroused by the diagnosis of a disease to make us change behavior.

We must play ahead, act before it is truly inevitable and learn how to manage the fundamental variables to enhance health .

What is at stake is an extraordinary life, rich, beautiful and full of satisfaction. There aren’t many tools and learning them isn’t that difficult. Once acquired you will have powerful weapons at your disposal to protect your body, your mind and your life in general.

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