Lifestyle is the aggregation of personal decisions over which an individual has control that can be said to contribute to, or cause illness or disease
Lifestyle modification involves altering long-term habits and maintaining the new behaviour for months or years. Lifestyle modification involves major modifiable factors such as diet, exercise, stress, smoking and alcohol consumption.Life style modification can be used to control and treat a host of conditions like Obesity, Type 2 diabetes, Hypertension, Heart disease, Depression, Cancer. Reflux disease.
Eating right is the most important component of lifestyle modification. Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet It is not about a single meal, it is about a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference For good health, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can supply them all. Fruits and vegetables are an important source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. We should try to eat at least 5 servings a day. Replacing refined carbohydrates with wholegrain foods and increase intake of vegetables and other foods high in dietary fibre is vital. Protein is an essential part of the diet and should account for anywhere from 10%-35% of total calories. We need to incorporate lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts into a healthy diet. Foods that are low in saturated fats, Trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars should be chosen. We should avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks because of the excessive calories; diet drinks may not be a good choice.One should avoid eating a large meal before sleeping to decrease gastroesophageal reflux and weight gain. Limit salt intake. A high salt intake can result in high blood pressure, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day
Maintaining a healthy bodyweight is very important part of lifestyle modification. One should loose weight gradually to achieve a healthy body mass index that is less than 25 .The right weight depends on factors like gender, height, age, and genes. Being obese and overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
Physical activity is important for people of all weight ranges and health conditions. At least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is advised, and it can easily become part of our daily routine Exercise can be broken up into smaller 10-minute sessions. Almost any type of exercise (resistance, water aerobics, walking, swimming, weights, yoga, and many others) is helpful for everybody. Regular exercise can help control body weight and in some people cause loss of fat. Regular exercise can prevent and reverse age-related decreases in muscle mass and strength, improve balance, flexibility, and endurance, and decrease the risk of falls in the elderly. Regular exercise can help prevent coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Regular weight-bearing exercise can also help prevent osteoporosis by building bone strength. Regular fitness can help chronic arthritis sufferers improve their capacity to perform daily activities. It can help increase self-esteem and self-confidence, decrease stress and anxiety, enhance mood, and improve general mental health.
We cannot underestimate the need for enough sleep daily; we all need at least 7-9 hours of sleep. Well-rested people not only cope better with stress, but may also have better control of their appetites. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can put our ‘hunger hormones’ out of balance — and possibly trigger overeating.
Alcohol and Smoking
Although ideally one should avoid alcohol and smoking .Moderate alcohol intake is acceptable that is two drinks a day in men or 1 per day in woman. One should be encouraged to stop smoking tobacco. It takes about 15 years of non-smoking behaviour to achieve a ‘normal’ risk level for heart disease for those that smoke. Chewing tobacco should be stopped to avoid oral cancers Meditate or pray for at least 10-20 minutes each day. Contemplation is good for our soul, helps us cope with the demands of daily life, and may even help lower pressure. A healthy mind is the final equation into living a healthy lifestyle that is equipped with exercise and a healthy diet.
Lifestyle modification does not mean sticking to a rigid diet and exercise schedule but simply means making the right choices so that we look and feel good about our self. It also means doing things that make us happy, such as following our passions and living out our goals and dreams. The most important thing to remember is that we can make a difference in our health and well-being. We should take charge of our life, and be mindful of small behaviour changes that can make our lifestyle a modified and healthier one.