Do you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Are you looking for ways to be more physically active and eat better? Here are some tips to help make your life healthier.
As a society, we are starting to realize that taking care of our bodies is the best way to live a healthy life. It’s not always easy to find time in your day for exercise and fresh produce, but you can get on track with these tips!
As adults, we know the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. It’s not always easy to make time for fitness and nutrition, but it is worth it. This blog post will give you tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle as an adult without giving up too much of your day-to-day life.
Did you know that a healthy lifestyle can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk for many diseases and conditions, and give you more energy?
It is easy to fall into the trap of unhealthy habits. It’s even easier when you are an adult. But now it is time for your health, so take a look at these tips and start living a healthier lifestyle today!
Making healthy habits part of your daily life means you’re less likely to get sick, whether it’s diabetes, heart disease, or even cancer. But living a healthy lifestyle requires constant and consistent effort.
It’s not easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but some simple changes can be made for the better. This blog post will provide you with healthy lifestyle tips for adults to help you stay on track and feel great!
Let’s get started!
1. Eat a healthy diet
Eat a combination of different foods, including fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Adults should eat at least five portions (400g) of fruit and vegetables per day.
You can improve your intake of fruits and vegetables by always including veggies in your meal, eating fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks, eating various fruits and vegetables, and eating them in season.
Eating healthy will reduce your risk of malnutrition and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
2. Eat nuts and seeds
Some people avoid nuts because they are high in fat. However, nuts and seeds are incredibly nutritious. They are packed with protein, fibre, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Nuts may help you lose weight and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Additionally, one large observational study noted that a low intake of nuts and seeds was potentially linked to an increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes.
3. Consume less salt and sugar
Filipinos consume twice the recommended amount of sodium, putting them at risk of high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Most people get their sodium through salt.
Reduce your salt intake to 5g per day, equivalent to about one teaspoon. It’s easier to do this by limiting the amount of salt, soy sauce, fish sauce and other high-sodium condiments when preparing meals; removing salt, seasonings and condiments from your meal table; avoiding salty snacks; and choosing low-sodium products.
On the other hand, consuming excessive amounts of sugars increases the risk of tooth decay and unhealthy weight gain. Therefore, in both adults and children, the intake of free sugars should be reduced to less than 10% of total energy intake.
This is equivalent to 50g or about 12 teaspoons for an adult. We recommend consuming less than 5% of total energy intake for additional health benefits. You can reduce your sugar intake by limiting the consumption of sugary snacks, candies and sugar-sweetened beverages.
4. Avoid ultra-processed foods
Ultra-processed foods are foods containing ingredients that are significantly modified from their original form. They often contain additives like added sugar, highly refined oil, salt, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colours, and flavours.
- snack cakes
- fast food
- frozen meals
- canned foods
Ultra-processed foods are highly palatable, meaning they are easily overeaten and activate reward-related regions in the brain, leading to excess calorie consumption and weight gain. Studies show that diets high in ultra-processed food can contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
In addition to low-quality ingredients like inflammatory fats, added sugar, and refined grains, they’re usually low in fibre, protein, and micronutrients. Thus, they provide mostly empty calories.
5. Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates
About half the calories in our diet should come from foods rich in carbohydrates, such as cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. It is a good idea to include at least one of these at every meal. Wholegrain foods, like wholegrain bread, pasta, and cereals, will increase your fibre intake.
6. Reduce intake of harmful fats
Fats consumed should be less than 30% of your total energy intake. This will help prevent unhealthy weight gain and NCDs. There are different types of fats, but unsaturated fats are preferable over saturated fats and trans-fats.
We recommend reducing saturated fats to less than 10% of total energy intake, reducing trans-fats to less than 1% of total energy intake, and replacing both saturated fats and trans-fats with unsaturated fats.
The preferable unsaturated fats are found in fish, avocado and nuts, and in sunflower, soybean, canola and olive oils; saturated fats are found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard; and trans-fats are found in baked and fried foods, and pre-packaged snacks and foods, such as frozen pizza, cookies, biscuits, and cooking oils and spreads.
7. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals and fibre. Therefore, we should try to eat at least five servings a day.
For example, a glass of fresh fruit juice at breakfast, perhaps an apple and a piece of watermelon as snacks, and a good portion of different vegetables at each meal.
8. Don’t fear coffee
Despite some controversy over it, coffee is loaded with health benefits.
It’s rich in antioxidants, and some studies have linked coffee intake to longevity and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and numerous other illnesses.
The most beneficial intake amount appears to be 3–4 cups per day, although pregnant people should limit or avoid it completely because it has been linked to low birth weight.
However, it’s best to consume coffee and any caffeine-based items in moderation. Excessive caffeine intake may lead to health issues like insomnia and heart palpitations.
To enjoy coffee safely and healthily, keep your intake to less than 4 cups per day and avoid high-calorie, high-sugar additives like sweetened creamer.
9. Drink plenty of fluids
Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day! Or more if it’s very hot or they are physically active. Water is the best source, of course, and we can use tap or mineral water, sparkling or non-sparkling, plain or flavoured. Fruit juices, tea, soft drinks, milk and other drinks can all be okay – from time to time.
10. Drink only safe water
Drinking unsafe water can lead to water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces.
Check with your water concessionaire and water refilling station to ensure that the water you’re drinking is safe. In a setting where you are unsure of your water source, boil your water for at least one minute. This will destroy harmful organisms in the water. Then, let it cool naturally before drinking.
11. Avoid harmful use of alcohol
There is no safe level for drinking alcohol. Consuming alcohol can lead to health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, including alcohol dependence, major NCDs such as liver cirrhosis, some cancers and heart diseases, as well as injuries resulting from violence and road clashes and collisions.
12. Don’t smoke
Smoking tobacco causes NCDs such as lung disease, heart disease and stroke. Tobacco kills not only the direct smokers but even non-smokers through second-hand exposure. Currently, around 15.9 million Filipino adults smoke tobacco, but 7 in 10 smokers are interested or plan to quit.
If you are currently a smoker, it’s not too late to quit. Once you do, you will experience immediate and long-term health benefits. If you are not a smoker, that’s great! Do not start smoking and fight for your right to breathe tobacco-smoke-free air.
13. Eat regularly, control the portion size
Eating a variety of foods regularly and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet.
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals.
For snacks, you could choose yoghurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks), unsalted nuts, or perhaps some bread with cheese.
Paying attention to portion size will help us not consume too many calories and allow us to eat all the foods we enjoy without having to eliminate any.
- Cooking the right amount makes it easier not to overeat.
- Some reasonable serving sizes are 100 g of meat, one medium piece of fruit, half a cup of raw pasta.
- Using smaller plates helps with smaller servings.
- Packaged foods with calorie values on the pack could aid portion control.
- If eating out, we could share a portion with a friend.
14. Be active
Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. This includes exercise and activities undertaken while working, playing, carrying out household chores, travelling, and engaging in recreational pursuits.
The amount of physical activity you need depends on your age group, but adults aged 18-64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week. Increase moderate-intensity physical activity to 300 minutes per week for additional health benefits.
15. Get enough good sleep
There is a strong link between sleep and the immune system. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep heals and strengthens your body while you are asleep. Good sleep is vital for your physical and mental health.
16. Maintain a healthy body weight
The right weight for each of us depends on factors like our gender, height, age, and genes. Being affected by obesity and being overweight increases the risks of many diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
Excess body fat comes from eating more than we need. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient – protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated energy source.
Physical activity helps us spend energy and makes us feel good. The message is reasonably simple: if we gain weight, we need to eat less and be more active!
17. Protect yourself from the sun
Frequent and long-term sun exposure is associated with a greater risk of skin cancer. Therefore, avoid staying out in the sun for long, and make sure to protect yourself from the sun’s rays with sunscreen and long-sleeved clothing when you are outdoors.
18. Check your blood pressure regularly
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is called a “silent killer”. This is because many people who have hypertension may not be aware of the problem as it may not have any symptoms. If left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to heart, brain, kidney and other diseases.
Have your blood pressure checked regularly by a health worker, so you know your numbers. If your blood pressure is high, get the advice of a health worker. This is vital in the prevention and control of hypertension.
19. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
Diseases such as influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis are transmitted through the air. For example, infectious agents may be passed on to others through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
When you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, make sure you have covered your mouth with a face mask or use a tissue, then dispose of it carefully. If you do not have a tissue close by when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth as much as possible with the crook (or the inside) of your elbow.
20. Take antibiotics only as prescribed
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health threats in our generation. When antibiotics lose their power, bacterial infections become harder to treat, leading to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.
Antibiotics are losing their power because of misuse and overuse in humans and animals. Make sure you only take antibiotics if prescribed by a qualified health professional. And once prescribed, complete the treatment days as instructed. Never share antibiotics.
21. Get tested
Getting yourself tested is an important step in knowing your health status, especially when it comes to HIV, hepatitis B, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and tuberculosis (TB). Left untreated, these diseases can lead to serious complications and even death.
Knowing your status means you will know how to either continue preventing these diseases or, if you find out that you’re positive, get the care and treatment that you need. Go to a public or private health facility, wherever you are comfortable, to have yourself tested.
22. Prevent mosquito bites
Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Diseases like dengue, chikungunya, malaria and lymphatic filariasis are transmitted by mosquitoes and continue to affect people in those areas. However, you can take simple measures to protect yourself and your loved ones against mosquito-borne diseases.
If you’re travelling to an area with known mosquito-borne diseases, consult a physician for a vaccine to prevent diseases such as Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever or if you need to take antimalarial medicines.
Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants and use insect repellent. Use window and door screens at home, use bed nets, and clean your surroundings weekly to destroy mosquito breeding sites.
23. Get vaccinated
Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent diseases. Vaccines work with your body’s natural defences to protect against diseases like cervical cancer, cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, pneumonia, polio, rabies, rubella, tetanus, etc. typhoid, and yellow fever.
In the Philippines, free vaccines are provided to children one-year-old and below as part of the Department of Health’s routine immunization programme. However, if you are an adolescent or adult, you may ask your physician to check your immunization status or to have yourself vaccinated.
24. Manage your stress
Stress is a known trigger for many illnesses, from migraines to heart problems. Find ways to relieve stress, whether it’s watching a funny movie, painting, going for long walks, working in the garden, listening to music, or soaking in a bubble bath.
Another effective way to get out negative thoughts is to talk to your friends and family members. Sharing how you feel with people you trust can provide immediate stress relief and help you let go of tension.
25. Breastfeed babies from 0 to 2 years and beyond
Breastfeeding is the best way to provide the ideal food for newborns and infants. We recommend that mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth. Breastfeeding for the first six months is crucial for the baby to grow up healthy.
It is recommended that breastfeeding is continued for up to two years and beyond. Aside from being beneficial to babies, breastfeeding is also good for the mother as it reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type II diabetes, and postpartum depression.
26. Clean your hands properly
Hand hygiene is critical not only for health workers but for everyone. Clean hands can prevent the spread of infectious illnesses. It would be best if you hand-washed using soap and water when your hands are visibly soiled or hand rub using an alcohol-based product.
27. Practice safe sex
Looking after your sexual health is important for your overall health and well-being. Practice safe sex to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhoea and syphilis. There are available prevention measures such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to protect you from HIV and condoms that will protect you from HIV and other STIs.
28. Follow traffic laws
Road crashes claim over one million lives around the world, and millions more are injured. Road traffic injuries are preventable through various measures implemented by the government, such as strong legislation and enforcement, safer infrastructure and vehicle standards, and improved post-crash care.
You yourself can also prevent road crashes by ensuring that you follow traffic laws such as using the seatbelt for adults and child restraint for your kids, wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle, not drinking and driving, and not using your mobile phone while driving.
29. Prepare your food correctly
Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhoea to cancers. So when buying food at the market or store, check the labels or the actual product to ensure it is safe to eat.
If you are preparing food, make sure you follow the five keys to safer food: (1) keep clean; (2) separate raw and cooked; (3) cook thoroughly; (4) keep food at safe temperatures; and (5) use safe water and raw materials.
30. Talk to someone you trust if you’re feeling down
Depression is a common illness worldwide, with over 260 million people affected. Depression can manifest in different ways, but it might make you feel hopeless or worthless, or you might think about negative and disturbing thoughts a lot or have an overwhelming sense of pain.
If you’re going through this, remember that you are not alone. Talk to someone you trust, such as a family member, friend, colleague or mental health professional, about how you feel.
31. Have regular check-ups
Regular check-ups can help find health problems before they start. Health professionals can help find and diagnose health issues early when your chances for treatment and cure are better. Go to your nearest health facility to check out the health services, screenings and treatment that are accessible to you.
32. Start now! And keep changing gradually.
Gradual changes in your lifestyle are easier to maintain than major changes introduced all at once. For example, for three days, you could write down the foods and drinks you consume throughout the day and note the amount of movement you made.
After that, it won’t be difficult to spot where you could improve:
- Skipping breakfast? A small bowl of muesli, a piece of bread or fruit, could help slowly introduce it into your routine.
- Too few fruits and vegetables? To start with, you can introduce one extra piece a day.
- Favourite foods high in fat? Eliminating them abruptly could fire back and make you return to the old habits. Instead, you can choose low-fat options, eat them less frequently, and in smaller portions.
- Too little activity? Using the stairs daily could be a great first move.