Lifestyle: The Health & Wellness Connection

The word lifestyle refers to the way you live. A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that helps you prevent illness and improve wellness. They are in your control and you may be able to reduce your risk of many significant health problems. Adopting healthier lifestyle choices can prevent or control many of the nation’s leading causes of death. Many of these deaths are attributed to smoking, physical INACTIVITY, poor diet (which leads to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type II Diabetes, and heart disease) or alcohol abuse.

Healthy lifestyle choices should be made within the context of individual and biological factors, and your home and work environments. You are an individual and need an individualized plan of action to achieve your health and fitness goals.

When you define wellness, your definition will reflect your personal experiences and perspectives. For example, exercising to be free of disease and crippling conditions, or substituting water for sweetened beverages to keep from gaining weight. To have a more positive viewpoint, contemporary approaches to wellness focuses on balancing the many aspects, or dimensions, of life to promote health. Outcomes may be similar, but the mindset should be about pursuing better health rather than avoiding illness. That brings us back to a lifestyle choice. Remember; a lifestyle choice is a personal and conscious decision to perform a behavior that may increase or decrease the risk of injury or disease.

Choices bring about behavior change and consistency. Life happens, stress comes and goes, and you can get off schedule. When we choose to live a healthy lifestyle, we learn to accept changes and adapt. You learn to enjoy life when you are on vacation because you have developed the habits to live a healthy lifestyle no matter where you are. Fitness and wellness are more than the way you look or the food you eat. They are about:

  • The way you feel.
  • Your quality of life.
  • Your focus.
  • Your ability to move.
  • Your psychological state.

There is strong evidence to suggest that it is never too late for healthy lifestyle choices to affect your physical, emotional, and mental health positively. Wellness is not an all-or-nothing situation but rather, is dynamic and changing. At any time, you may find some parts to be more evident than others in your life. By adopting healthy behaviors, you can have greater balance and, therefore, a greater sense of well-being and health. Health and Wellness are both lifestyle choices.

-Shera Strange, Contributing Writer

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