Want to learn more about why being healthy is beneficial? Read on for 8 research-backed benefits of a healthy lifestyle!
(This post is written by Cheerful Choices contributors, Corrin Coons and Sydney Coons.)
So what is considered a healthy lifestyle?
A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about eating nutritious foods. It’s also about being physically active, balancing your work and social life, getting enough sleep, and focusing on your mental health. It can be overwhelming to do it all. That’s where SMART goals come into play.
How to set SMART goals
Setting goals helps you make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Make your goals SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Avoid setting broad goals like, “I want to lose weight”. Instead, make them SMART such as, “I am going to lose 10 pounds in three months, by eating an extra serving of fruits and vegetables at least 3 days a week, eliminating energy drinks, walking 20 minutes daily, and drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily.”
If you need help setting goals or staying accountable, seek coaching from a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Many dietitians offer virtual nutrition counseling too.
What are the benefits of a healthy lifestyle?
Do you need some extra motivation to follow a more healthy lifestyle? These benefits of a healthy lifestyle may be just what you need to commit to changing your daily habits into healthier ones. And trust me, once you make those changes and experience their positive effects you won’t want to go back!
- Improve your physical health
- Improve your mental health
- Get more energy naturally
- Boost your mood
- Prevent diseases and health issues
- Save money
- Always have goals to work towards
- Improve your kitchen confidence
1. You’ll improve your physical health
Eating the right foods in combination with physical activity and adequate rest is a recipe for a healthy body. Find any form of movement that gives you joy. Perhaps this is hiking a fourteener, taking a yoga class online, lifting weights at the gym, or simply walking your kids home from school. All forms of movement count towards improving your health.
2. You’ll improve your mental health
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of work, kids, and other responsibilities, but part of maintaining a healthy mind involves taking time to step back and relax. This includes getting adequate sleep, but also taking time for yourself to do something you love. This might involve taking a walk away from your desk, reading a good book, taking a 5-minute guided meditation, or playing with your pet. Engaging in these types of activities can decrease your stress and improve your overall mental health.
Did you know that those in a good mental state are even more likely to perform well in work and everyday tasks? So it’s truly a win win!
3. You’ll get more energy naturally
Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. Experts suggest that adults need anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night in order to function at their best. Prioritizing sleep while also fueling your body with the right foods can help you have more energy naturally. This means you won’t have to drink five cups of coffee to feel like a functioning human being. Imagine the decrease in your Starbucks bill! (for more on saving money see benefit #6)
4. You’ll boost your mood
Most people know that eating better is good for your body, but it can be just as helpful for your mind. A healthy diet including plenty of healthy fats like omega-3s which can reduce depression and decrease mood disorders. Foods high in omega-3s include fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Physical exercise has also been found to improve your mood by increasing the production of the “feel-good hormone”, serotonin. Serotonin can keep you emotionally stable and reduce feelings of depression, making physical activity a great way to boost your mood and live a happier life!
5. You’ll prevent diseases and health issues
Many aspects of a healthy lifestyle can aid in preventing certain diseases and health issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. In fact, multiple studies show that engaging in healthy lifestyle activities can give people a longer life free of chronic diseases. So although many diseases and health issues are out of our control, we still have the ability to empower ourselves and live a longer, healthier life through the choices we make.
6. You’ll save money
A healthy lifestyle involves eating nutrient-dense foods that make you feel nourished and satisfied. This is often accomplished by cooking your meals at home with ingredients on hand. Cooking for yourself can help you save money by eating out less. Also, as mentioned in benefit #5, a healthy diet may prevent diseases and health issues which means less trips to the doctor and more money in your pocket!
7. You’ll always have goals to work towards
Achieving a healthy lifestyle involves many aspects of your life–how you eat,how you move your body, and how you engage in self care activities. Try to improve one area at a time by setting goals. Reaching your goals can help you feel accomplished and boost your overall self confidence. Be sure to make your goals SMART.
This type of goal setting not only helps improve your health, but is also directly linked to improved workplace performance.
8. You’ll improve your kitchen confidence
As mentioned in benefit #6, following a healthy eating pattern involves cooking more food at home rather than always eating out or relying on frozen meals. This allows you to spend more time in the kitchen exploring different ingredients, recipes, and cooking methods–which will improve your kitchen confidence.
If you need more hands-on help in this area, check out this unique “Coaching + Cooking” program. In this program, you’ll meet virtually with a dietitian and break down your nutrition and cooking goals into doable weekly goals. You’ll also learn how to whip up easy and nutritious meals in the comfort of your own kitchen. Plus, having a registered dietitian on your side can help you stay accountable, achieve your goals, and reap the many benefits that come with living a healthy lifestyle.
From feeling better physically and mentally; to saving money; to experiencing more confidence in the kitchen–living a healthy lifestyle can positively impact almost every aspect of your life. We hope that keeping these benefits in mind will help you stay motivated to make those long-term positive changes!
Which of these benefits most inspires you to live a healthy lifestyle?
Bio: Corrin and Sydney are both Registered-Dietitians-to-be from Westminster, Colorado who are passionate about helping others through food and nutrition. They are both currently Food Science and Human Nutrition majors at Colorado State University looking to graduate in 2023 and pursue their Masters in Dietetics. In their free time, Sydney and Corrin enjoy backpacking in the Colorado mountains, doing yoga, and cooking new recipes. They love sharing their passion for food with others and providing food inspiration on their Instagram page. You can connect with them on Instagram @nutri.liciouseats!