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By evelyn wambua

6 lifestyle behaviors that contribute toward good health and wellness

Daily habits, such as what you eat or drink, the number of hours you sleep and the amount of physical activity you engage in, have an influence on your well-being. Each behavior affects you either in a positive or negative way, and this dictates your overall heath state. Developing healthy lifestyle behaviors is not just about focusing on specific behaviors that address a certain health problem, but by devoting yourself to daily healthy habits in order to ensure complete well-being. Here are the top six lifestyle behaviors that will help you develop and maintain a long-term good health and wellness.

1. Adequate sleep

Quality sleep is vital in ensuring quality health and wellness. How you feel during the day partly depends on the quality of sleep you got during the night. When you are asleep, your body works to maintain a healthy brain and physical health. Getting enough sleep can directly help prevent jitters, fatigue and stress, which affect how you think, work, react, learn and interact with others. Sleep also supports growth and good development in children and teenagers.

2. Alcohol and tobacco cessation

Excessive alcohol drinking has a number of immediate effects such as unintentional injuries, violence, unsafe sexual behaviors, miscarriage or stillbirth in pregnant women and alcohol poisoning that causes unconsciousness or even sudden death. Long-term alcohol use increases the risk of developing chronic conditions like neurological, cardiovascular and psychiatric problems and cancers of the colon, liver, mouth and throat. Tobacco use is the main cause of lung cancer, oral cancer and emphysema. Quitting alcohol and tobacco use significantly improves the quality of your life.

3. Better nutrition and diet

A balanced diet provides the body with essential macronutrients, minerals and vitamins it requires to maintain healthy mental and physical functions. Eating at least five large portions of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of heart attack, hypertension, stroke and osteoporosis. Foods with high fiber content such as whole grains prevent diabetes and obesity. Milk and other dairy products like yogurt and cheese are good sources of calcium that you need for healthy, strong bones. Drinking at least eight ounces of water every day aids digestion and prevents constipation, migraines and headaches.

4. Weight loss

Maintaining a healthy weight level helps reduce back pain, joint pain and risks of developing heart attack, diabetes and stroke. You can maintain a healthy weight level by exercising, eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.

5. Stress relief

Stress is caused by difficult situations such as lack of money, a break-up, a stressful job, illness and death of a loved one. It is one of the main causes of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and depression. Activities that can help reduce stress include exercising, listening to your favorite music, yoga and counselling. Drinking a lot of water and other fluids can also help improve your mood.

6. Exercise

Exercise provides various body and mind wellness benefits, such as weight loss, muscle building, improving healthy cholesterol levels and improving muscular endurance. Exercise also helps your body produce more neurotransmitters and endorphins that help in relieving stress and depression.

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