What You Need to Do to Be Healthy and Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Everyone wants to be “healthy”, but how many of us know what that actually means? Healthiness doesn’t mean the exact same thing to the exact same people—two healthy individuals may have very different body types, lifestyles, and mindsets. But in general, there are a few aspects of overall health that you’ll want to achieve in order to learn how to be healthy.
While some tips are obvious, (like diet and exercise), you may be surprised at the “hidden variables” that contribute to your wellness. In this article, we break down the vague concepts of health into definite, actionable categories, to give clear direction on how you can live a healthy lifestyle.
What is Health?
When you think of a “healthy person”, what do you think of? Is it a slim model, or a muscled body builder? The truth is, health goes well beyond just shape and muscles.
In 1948, the World Health Organization (source) defined health as:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
For comparison, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines health thusly:
“The condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit.”
And this is why healthiness can seem so different for different people—because we can see the outside, but true health is only achieved from what’s inside of us as well. If you have a strong body, contented mind, and fulfilled spirit, you are healthy. So what can we do to achieve that?
How to Be Healthy
Focus on these aspects of your life in order to be healthy.
Work on Physical Fitness
Being physically fit is one of the primary pillars of good health. You don’t need to be a “gym rat” to be physically fit, however. General physical fitness is achieved by simply having some movement every day, and trying to increase your heart rate at least three times a week. This can be achieved through exercise, sports, or even active hobbies.
If you’re not already working out or getting some physical exercise on a regular basis, now is a good time to change your lifestyle and become more active. Commit to a workout routine, to ensure you can build the right foundation to your physical health. You won’t feel healthy right away, but beginning now will help you get started on the right path.
Develop Mental Fitness
Physical fitness alone doesn’t make you healthy. It’s important to have a bright mind as well, as some psychological conditions like stress or depression can lead to negative effects on your overall health.
Mental fitness takes different forms for different people. Some people aim to keep a sharp mind through mental activities like crossword puzzles or board games. Others aim for a calm mind through activities such as yoga, which helps improve both mental and physical health at the same time.
Find your path to mental fitness to ensure a healthy whole.
Gain Spiritual Fulfillment
Spiritual health is an important part of overall well being. For many in the world, spiritual fulfillment takes the form of commitment to a religion. If that’s your jam, great! But other people find spiritual fulfillment elsewhere, such as through nature, solitude, or meditation.
Spiritual fulfillment is also known as finding your purpose. If you don’t know where to get started spiritually, try volunteering. Giving back is one of the best ways to gain spiritual fulfillment, while helping others at the same time.
Find a Community
We are social creatures, so getting a comfortable level of social interaction is important for overall health. No matter what your interests are, there’s a community out there for you. And communities can also help contribute to your physical, mental, or spiritual health. Taking up certain active hobbies is a great way to find a community that can help you meet your exercise goals as well.
A strong community can be valuable in good times and in bad. If you’re working through tough times in your life, your health can suffer—but with the support of a community, you’re more likely to stay healthy through these events.
Food is fuel for your body. We all know the connection between proper nutrition and weight loss, but healthy eating is much more than that. A healthy diet can improve your mental outlook, make your exercise more effective, and give you energy to get through the day—basically, it makes every other aspect of your health more effective.
Being healthy is not about being on a diet; it’s about having an overall healthy diet all the time. This doesn’t mean starving yourself, or subsiding on greens alone; it’s more about understanding the nutritional benefits of the food you eat, and only taking in the less healthy foods in moderation.
If you don’t know the basics of proper nutrition, there are easy ways to get started. A diet retreat can help you learn the basics of nutrition, and develop the discipline to stick to it.
Putting It Together
While a healthy lifestyle requires multiple pieces working together, don’t think that you have to tackle it all at once. Start with one or two items, and get comfortable with that before moving on to the next component. With dedicated goals, you will be living the healthy lifestyle before you know it.