Staying Healthy: Top 10 Tips for Good Health (2024)

Some lifestyle choices can make a big difference when it comes to your mental and physical well-being and the quality of your life. Here are the top 10 tips for good health and longevity.

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Staying healthy involves making certain choices. And many of those choices are in your hands. Of course, your age, family history, and genetic makeup can influence your health and make you more prone to certain conditions.

There are also many factors that you can control — many of which play a key role in keeping you healthy and helping you live a long, productive life.

Let’s look at 10 science-backed healthy choices you can make to help you thrive throughout your life.

If you want to feel healthier, more energized, or in a better mood, get moving. Regular exercise can benefit both your physical and mental health in a multitude of ways. And, you don’t need to run a half-marathon or sweat it out at the gym for hours every day to reap the rewards.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if you’re an adult, just 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, can positively impact your health.

That breaks down to around 22 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking, dancing, cycling, or even doing yard work or household chores. As long as you’re moving and not sitting still, it counts.

Regular physical activity can positively impact your health in many ways. For instance, it can:

  • Improve your heart health: Exercise benefits your heart health, and having a stronger heart can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Boost your brain health: Regular exercise may help improve your cognition and reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Improve your mood: Physical activity has also been shown to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety.
  • Help with weight management: When you move your body, you burn more calories than you would if you were inactive. Burning more calories each day can make it easier to lose weight and keep weight off.
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles: Being physically active can keep your bones and muscles strong and make it easier to move around easily, even as you age.
  • Reduce the risk of chronic diseases: Staying active may help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer.

Whole foods are foods that haven’t been heavily processed or altered. They don’t contain a lot of added chemicals or artificial ingredients to help them taste good or give them a long shelf-life.

In general, whole foods are healthier for you and provide your body with more vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients than processed foods. Because they are more nutritious, whole foods give you more energy and possibly lower the risk of many types of health issues.

Processed foods are often unhealthier than whole foods because they tend to be higher in certain ingredients such as:

  • added sugars or artificial sweeteners
  • salt (sodium)
  • trans fats
  • preservatives
  • artificial colors

Whole foods vs. processed foods

Some examples of whole foods include:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • nuts and seeds
  • legumes (beans and lentils)
  • eggs
  • meat and poultry
  • fish and seafood
  • plain yogurt
  • olive oil
  • whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal, farro, bulgur)

Some examples of processed foods include:

  • commercial baked goods (cakes, pies, pastries, cookies)
  • chips and crackers
  • processed meats (hot dogs, lunch meat, sausage)
  • sugar-sweetened beverages
  • boxed rice or pasta dishes
  • pre-packaged microwaveable meals
  • white bread, white rice
  • flavored yogurts, ice cream

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Eating too much processed food and not enough whole foods can be harmful to your health. That’s because you won’t be getting enough of the nutrients your body needs. Instead, you’ll be eating higher amounts of sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, or other ingredients that don’t provide much nutritional value.

According to scientific research, poor nutrition can increase your risk of:

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. According to the CDC, tobacco use accounts for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. each year. In fact, it’s estimated that smokers, on average, die about 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Smoking can damage nearly every organ in your body and significantly increases your risk of:

  • Heart disease: According to scientific evidence, tobacco is the leading cause of premature death from cardiovascular disease.
  • Stroke: Smoking damages your blood vessels, making them stiffer and narrower. This not only increases your risk of a heart attack but can put you at a higher risk of a stroke, too.
  • Respiratory diseases: The damage caused by smoking to the airways and air sacs in your lungs greatly increases your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Lung cancer and other cancers: Approximately 80% of lung cancers can be attributed to tobacco use. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking can also increase your risk of many other types of cancer, including cancer of the bladder, mouth, stomach, pancreas, and colon, among others.

What about e-cigarettes and hookah?

According to research, e-cigarettes contain a number of potentially toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your health.

A 2022 study found that the long-term use of e-cigarettes can cause damage to blood vessels, increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease. Long-term e-cigarette use was defined as vaping more than 5 times per week for more than 3 months.

Although hookah smoking is sometimes mistakenly considered to be a safer form of smoking, it actually poses many of the same risks as cigarette smoking.

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If you smoke, quitting is the most important step you can take to improve your health, no matter your age or how long you’ve smoked. Quitting smoking can add years to your life, and the positive effects of quitting will continue to increase the longer you remain a nonsmoker.

Talk with your doctor about quitting. They can help set you up for success, and prescribe smoking cessation medications, if necessary, to help you quit nicotine for good.

Sleep is vital for every process in your body. Sleep is a time for your body to repair cells and restore energy. Your brain also performs many essential functions while you’re sleeping, like storing information, removing waste, and strengthening nerve cell connections.

How much sleep you need depends on your age, but for most adults, the CDC recommends at least 7 or more hours of sleep each night. Children and older adults typically need more sleep.

If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will have a harder time working properly. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of:

  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • cardiovascular disease
  • metabolic syndrome
  • type 2 diabetes
  • anxiety, depression, mood changes
  • a weakened immune system
  • some types of cancer

So, how can you ensure you get enough sleep? Some things that may help include the following:

  • Create a quiet, dark, comfortable sleep environment: Use an eye mask or black-out curtains to block light, turn down the thermostat — a temperature between 60°F to 67°F (15.6°C to 9.4°C) — is best for sleeping, and make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable. Use earplugs if you need to block out noise.
  • Avoid screen time before bed: Many electronic devices emit blue light that can keep your brain alert, making it harder to fall asleep. Turn off these devices at least an hour before you go to bed.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Instead of watching TV or working on a computer, do something to help you relax. Take a warm bath or shower, try gentle stretches, read a book (not an e-reader), or try meditation or breathing techniques.
  • Limit your caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake: Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking within 4 hours of going to bed as both substances can negatively impact your sleep. Limit your caffeine intake to the morning hours.
  • Try a natural sleep aid: If you find it difficult to switch your mind off at night, try a natural sleep aid like melatonin, valerian root, or glycine.

Drinking enough water each day is key to good health. Your body needs water for many important functions, like maintaining your body temperature, aiding digestion, keeping your organs working properly, and delivering nutrients to all your cells.

Staying hydrated also keeps your brain working well. When you don’t take in enough fluid, you may feel tired, have trouble concentrating or focusing, and experience headaches and mood changes.

How much water should you drink each day?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends:

  • 9 cups of fluid per day for women
  • 13 cups of fluid per day for men

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You’ll typically need to increase your water intake if you:

  • exercise or exert yourself
  • live in a hot, dry climate
  • spend time outdoors in the sun, especially in warmer weather
  • have a fever or lose fluids through vomiting or diarrhea
  • are pregnant, breastfeeding, or chestfeeding

Make water your go-to beverage. Avoid sodas and energy drinks which typically contain a lot of added sugars and extra calories.

To add some flavor to your water, try squeezing a lemon, lime, or orange and adding the juice to your water. You can also add a few cucumber slices, or try adding mint or basil leaves.

While an occasional alcoholic drink likely won’t affect your health, drinking too much alcohol can take a heavy toll on many of your organs.

Overconsumption of alcohol can damage your liver, brain, and heart, and also increase the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, and liver cancer. Heavy drinking can also negatively impact your mental health.

So, at what point does drinking become harmful to your health? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, moderate drinking is classified as:

  • up to 1 standard drink per day for women
  • up to 2 standard drinks per day for men

What’s a standard drink?

A standard drink is considered to be:

  • 12 ounces (355 mL) of regular beer, or
  • 5 ounces (150 mL) of wine, or
  • 1.5 ounces (45 mL) of spirit

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Preventive care is the care you get from your doctor to stay healthy. While you may typically think of your doctor as the person you see when you’re ill, your doctor also plays a key role in keeping you healthy and preventing you from getting sick or developing a chronic disease in the first place.

By being proactive and focusing on preventive care, you and your doctor are more likely to catch early warning signs of certain diseases before they become more serious. You can then take steps to address these issues when they’re easier to treat and the outcomes are more likely to be positive.

When you make an appointment to visit your doctor for an annual checkup, it may include:

  • measurement of blood pressure and other heart health indicators
  • blood tests for cholesterol and blood glucose
  • depression screening
  • obesity screening
  • vaccinations
  • a Pap smear

Depending on your age, family history, and other factors, your doctor may also order specific screenings, such as:

  • a mammogram, a screening for breast cancer
  • a colonoscopy, a screening for colorectal cancer
  • osteoporosis screening
  • genetic testing for some types of cancer
  • tests for some sexually transmitted diseases

One of the advantages of preventive care is that your doctor will screen you for several key measurements, including your:

  • body mass index (BMI)
  • blood pressure (hypertension)
  • cholesterol and triglycerides
  • fasting blood glucose

If any of these numbers are outside the recommended range, you and your doctor can discuss what needs to be done to address this issue. Your doctor can put together a treatment plan that’s right for you and will monitor you to ensure your numbers are moving in the right direction.

Being aware of issues related to these key metrics early on, before they cause other problems, can help you make the right lifestyle changes to improve important aspects of your health. In many cases, health conditions like hypertension or high cholesterol may not cause any symptoms until later on, when more serious — possibly life threatening issues — start to arise.

If lifestyle changes don’t help enough, your doctor may decide to prescribe medications to help reduce the risk of potential complications.

Stress is a normal part of everyday life and, when it’s short-lived, it can be useful. But, chronic stress can affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Research has shown that high levels of ongoing stress have been associated with an increased risk of:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease and stroke
  • depression
  • a weakened immune system

Although stress is often unavoidable, you do have a choice in how you handle it. Just as your body has a stress response, it also has a relaxation response, which is characterized by lower blood pressure, slower breathing, and a reduced heart rate.

Some types of activities that may help bring about a relaxation response involve:

  • Breathing exercises: A technique called diaphragmatic breathing has been shown to help lower stress hormones, reduce blood pressure, and regulate other bodily processes.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique where you tighten and then relax each muscle group in your body, one at a time, in a specific pattern.
  • Exercising: Physical activity releases endorphins in your brain, one of the feel-good hormones. These chemicals can help relieve pain and also reduce stress and boost your mood.
  • Being creative: According to research, creative arts like drawing, painting, coloring, writing, dancing, and listening to or playing music have the ability to boost your mood and ease stress and anxiety.
  • Yoga or tai chi: The slow, mindful movements and stretches that are part of yoga and tai chi help relieve muscle tension while encouraging mental and physical relaxation.
  • Meditation: Mindfulness meditation may help reduce the inflammatory response caused by the stress hormone, cortisol.

If you’re sexually active or have been in the past, it’s important that you’re proactive about getting screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Some sexually transmitted diseases don’t cause noticeable symptoms until weeks, months, or possibly even years later. By then, you may have passed it on to someone else. And, it may also be harder to treat the disease when it’s not caught early. That’s why it’s important to get tested often.

Communication is key when it comes to safe sex. Talk openly with your partner about your sexual past and any STI diagnosis you’ve had. Before having sex with a new partner, consider getting tested for STIs, along with your partner, and discuss your barrier method preferences.

To reduce the risk of contracting HIV, you may want to consider:

  • pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), available as the brand name pills Truvada and Descovy, this antiretroviral medication is taken before possible HIV exposure
  • post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a medication that can be taken after possible HIV exposure

You can also reduce your risk of some other STIs by getting vaccinated against:

  • human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B (HBV)

Your health plays a crucial role in how you feel and live each day. If you’re stressed, tired, or not feeling well, it’s not easy to be the best version of yourself and to give those around you the time and attention they need.

In order to thrive and lower your risk of chronic disease and illness, there are many choices you can make today and every day to give yourself the best shot at living a long, active, and healthful life.

Staying Healthy: Top 10 Tips for Good Health (2024)

FAQs

What are 10 ways to stay healthy? ›

Let's look at 10 science-backed healthy choices you can make to help you thrive throughout your life.
  • Get moving. ...
  • Eat more whole foods (and less processed food) ...
  • If you smoke, try to quit. ...
  • Make sleep a priority. ...
  • Stay hydrated. ...
  • If you drink alcohol, do so responsibly. ...
  • Make preventive care a priority. ...
  • Know your numbers.
Feb 7, 2023

What are 10 healthy habits? ›

10 Healthy Habits:
  • Eating a Balanced Diet. ...
  • Drinking Enough Water Daily. ...
  • Regular Exercise. ...
  • Practicing Safe Sun Protection. ...
  • Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene. ...
  • Strength Training and Stretching. ...
  • Getting Regular Exposure To Fresh Air and Nature. ...
  • Incorporating Omega-3 Fatty Acids Into Your Diet.

What are the 5 health tips? ›

Five tips for a healthy lifestyle
  • Get regular checkups. These are important even when you feel healthy. ...
  • Exercise. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes most days a week. ...
  • Quit tobacco. ...
  • Limit alcohol and avoid drugs. ...
  • Eat healthy foods.
Jun 21, 2017

What is healthy lifestyle 10 points? ›

10 Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle
  • Eat a balanced diet. Add variety to your meals. ...
  • Stay well hydrated. Remember to drink 8 glasses of water a day. ...
  • Exercise regularly. ...
  • Get enough good sleep. ...
  • Limit your alcohol intake. ...
  • Do not smoke. ...
  • Protect yourself from the sun. ...
  • Wash your hands.

What are the 7 ways to be healthy? ›

7-ways-to-maintain-a-healthy-body-the-key-to-a-happy-and-productive-life
  • Practice Balanced Diet Habits. ...
  • Exercise Regularly. ...
  • Get Enough Sleep. ...
  • Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption. ...
  • Maintain Mental Health. ...
  • Maintain Body Hygiene. ...
  • Drink Enough Water.
Feb 7, 2024

What are the 20 good food habits? ›

20 Healthy Tips for Eating Right
  • Eat Breakfast. Start your day with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. ...
  • Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables. ...
  • Watch Portion Sizes. ...
  • Be Active. ...
  • Get to Know Food Labels. ...
  • Fix Healthy Snacks. ...
  • Consult an RDN. ...
  • Follow Food Safety Guidelines.
Mar 10, 2022

How to have perfect health? ›

Steps you can take:

Healthy movement may include walking, sports, dancing, yoga, running or other activities you enjoy. Eat a well-balanced, low-fat diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose a diet that's low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and moderate in sugar, salt and total fat.

What are the 8 parts of health? ›

Wellness encompasses 8 mutually interdependent dimensions: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental (Table 1) (1).

How to live healthy life? ›

Follow these seven tips to increase your energy and live a happier, healthier, more productive life:
  1. Eat nourishing food. ...
  2. Sleep seven to eight hours per night. ...
  3. Keep company with good people. ...
  4. Avoid news overdose. ...
  5. Get regular exercise. ...
  6. Do something meaningful each day.
Aug 9, 2022

How to stay healthy 20 lines? ›

Sleep, just like exercise and a healthy diet, is one of the pillars of good health. Getting enough sleep (between 7 and 8 hours every night) on a regular basis will have a positive effect on your mood, memory, longevity, as well as your cognitive and physical performance.

How to stay healthy 150 words? ›

Health Essay 150 Words

Being healthy is really important for us. It's not just about not being sick, but feeling good in our body and mind. To stay healthy, we should eat good food, move our bodies, and sleep enough. We should also take care of our feelings and manage stress.

What is a healthy habit? ›

Put simply; a health habit is any regularly occurring behaviour that is advantageous to your mental or physical health. Some examples include: Exercising regularly. Eating a balanced diet. Taking supplements.

How do you stay healthy in 20 lines? ›

Maintaining a Healthy Outlook
  1. Stay in touch with family and friends.
  2. Be involved in your community.
  3. Maintain a positive attitude and do things that make you happy.
  4. Keep your curiosity alive. ...
  5. Healthy intimacy takes all forms but is always free of coercion.
  6. Learn to recognize and manage stress in your life.

What are the 6 ways to stay healthy? ›

But a healthy lifestyle is much more than just diet and physical activity, she says.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. ...
  • Use good judgment with alcohol. ...
  • Get your beauty sleep. ...
  • Avoid tobacco. ...
  • Be smart in the sun. ...
  • Get screened.

What are the 4 ways of staying healthy? ›

4 Steps and More
  • Brush and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of disease.
  • Get a good night's rest. ...
  • Enjoy regular family meals. ...
  • Smile and laugh out loud several times a day. ...
  • Meditate, pray, or otherwise find solace for at least 10-20 minutes each day.

What is the number 1 thing you can do to stay healthy? ›

“There are three key things that healthy people do every day: exercise, maintain a nutritious diet and get a good night's sleep. However, it's not a one-size-fits-all equation,” said Jasprit Takher, MD, Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at MountainView Hospital.

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