How to achieve a healthy lifestyle

Lifestyle changes

As part of a balanced lifestyle, you need to develop healthy practices to stress-poof yourself and give you energy and stamina to cope with the challenges of life. In this article, we will be looking at some of the lifestyle changes you may need to make.

Get physical to control stress

Regular exercise is a vital element of stress control. This is because human bodies are basically designed for a primitive lifestyle – for hunting and for keeping warm – and not for today’s sedentary ways where machines are used to replace muscle-power.

In this day and age, bringing home food simply means driving the car to the supermarket and picking up the ready-hunted, and, in some cases, ready-cooked food; and keeping warm means switching on the central heating. Our bodies are no longer being asked to do what they are designed for, so we have to provide them with the physical exertion they need. If we do not provide our bodies with exercise, then our muscles and subsequently our minds, deteriorate.

The graph below shows how successfully fitness can combat stress. In a series of stress tests, a high fitness group recorded consistently lower pulse rates than unfit counterparts.

To remain fit and healthy, our bodies need to be kept active – exercise is, in effect, the closest we can usually come to in unleashing our fight or flight responses. Insufficient exercise may not affect us in the short-term but without a physical outlet, stress can build up within our bodies and this can have serious consequences which can ultimately lead to illness.

If you are one of those people who spends their days at a desk, arrives home exhausted, and sits down to a convenience meal in front of the television, it is time to take physical action!

The next section explains how physical activity benefits stress and how to go about it.

The benefits of physical activity >>

Text Copyright © Alix Needham
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