What is Lifestyle Management?
It is no secret that many people struggle to maintain healthy habits in their busy lives. With so many people working desk jobs, grabbing fast food because there's no time to cook, or foregoing social activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to prioritize the things that really make us "well". As a result, many people struggle with things like weight, blood pressure, insomnia, aches and pains, and more.
Lifestyle management is one of the most important things to be aware of for lasting health. This branch of science is concerned with the building of healthy habits into a person's regular routine. These habits, whether they are small changes or large shifts in perspective and practice, can have a lifelong effect on physical health and overall wellbeing. It's one of the best things you can do to prevent illness and live a happier, more balanced life.
5 Components of a Healthy Lifestyle
In maintaining a healthy and manageable lifestyle, it is important to consider many factors.
There are five factors at the forefront of lifestyle management:
- Social health
All five of these are inextricably linked and must be given the proper attention in your daily life to enjoy your best health.
Assessing yourself honestly, rate each factor on a scale from one to eleven with one being an area of extreme weakness and ten being nearly perfect. If you rate yourself an eleven, you spend a large portion of the day maintaining this factor to the highest degree.
Of the five elements, a healthy sleep pattern is perhaps the most important. This is because sleep is linked to the other elements in an unavoidable way. When we get inadequate or poor quality sleep, we tend to lose the ability to concentrate as well as lose our self-control. This can negatively impact your mood, social life, dietary choices, and exercise quality.
Diet & Exercise
Diet and exercise, while not quite as influential as sleep, are also of great importance. Poor eating and drinking habits can cause obesity, mood swings, and poor athletic performance. Inadequate exercise can cause pain and stiffness, insomnia, and depression. Healthy dietary patterns support healthy exercise and vice versa.
With all the stress of our daily lives, it is essential to take time to unwind and release the tension that has built up throughout the day. Chronic stress can wreak havoc in your body and lead to a number of serious health issues, including poor sleep, high blood pressure, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, withdrawal from socialization, and poor mental health. Taking time each day to fully relax and recharge can decrease the risk of developing certain stress-related illnesses.
Humans are social creatures. You might not realize it, but interacting and forming meaningful relationships with others does actually have an impact on your physical health, mental health, and mortality risk. Signs of good social health include a healthy balance of social time and personal time, maintaining strong relationships with friends and family, creating healthy boundaries, and more.
Do Your Habits Contribute to Good Health?
Take a look at where you stand on all five of these elements. If you notice one or more are lagging behind and negatively affecting your lifestyle, focus on one. You will likely observe that when more emphasis is put into one of these critical factors, the others will find themselves improving as well. For example, if you start to sleep smarter and with better sleep hygiene, your exercise and food choices may improve as a result.
If you score yourself at an eleven on a category, we recommend to dial it back. When you put too much pressure on yourself to maintain perfection in one aspect of your life, it often adversely affects your mental health by causing too much stress or fails to allow sufficient time in the day for other activities. Overall, the goal is to achieve balance, not perfection.
Make PrimeHealth Asheville your partner in wellness. For lifestyle counseling, personalized wellness plans, and preventive care, give us a call today at (828) 705-3520.