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How can I be healthy?

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

Everything you need to know about being healthy.

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In order to be healthy, firstly and most importantly, we have to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water (2 liters per day). You are what you eat. Think about a car, there must be oil or electricity injected into the car to make it move. Just like a car, we have to eat foods to provide energy for us to move or live. In addition, foods also form the parts of our body by providing various nutrients.

There are six classes of nutrients required for the body to function and maintain overall health. These are carbohydrates, lipids (including fats), proteins, water, vitamins, and minerals. Carbohydrates and lipids are primarily used to provide energy; proteins will make the cells for our body and improve our immune system; water can transport essential nutrients to all body parts, and transport waste products for disposal; vitamins (including vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E, K) can regulate body processes and promote normal body-system functions; minerals (including Sodium, Chloride, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sulfur, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Fluoride, Chromium, Molybdenum) can regulate body processes, and are necessary for proper cellular function, and comprise body tissue.

We really need all those nutrients in the right amount for the body to work properly. However, it would be crazy to check the long list before we make any foods. So the value of healthy recipes comes in. We only need to know what are the healthy recipes to make for the breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and maybe snacks as well. It may also not be working for everyone if the recipe tastes bad, doesn’t look good, or is too expensive. So we need to choose the best recipes for our healthy life.

As for the water part, it’s much easier. Assume you have a 0.5 liters bottle, just drink 4 bottles of water over the whole day. Drink more in the morning when you wake up, and drink less when you are going to sleep. Normally, your body will let you know when you need to drink.

In addition to healthy foods and plenty of water, the next important thing to do is regular exercise. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Exercise helps to control weight; helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns including stroke, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and many types of cancer; helps to improve moods and boost energy; and also helps strengthening our immune system. Exercises are good for both physical, mental, and social health. It’s recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (including activities such as brisk walking, biking, swimming and mowing the lawn) spread out during the course of a week. It’s also best to add in some strength training at least twice a week. Different people have different ways for exercise, and some of them may not have enough time to exercise, or just can’t be consistent on exercise. So the value of exercise plans comes in. We only need to pick the best exercise plans that work for us and consistently follow the plan to achieve the desired results each week.

Except for healthy foods, plenty of water, and regular exercise, having a good rest is also necessary. The most important rest is sleep. Adequate sleep helps to improve memory and learning, as well as increase attention and creativity. Sleep is also essential for the maintenance of the physical health of the body, particularly in the healing and repair of cells. People in different life stage need different amount of sleep, but most of them are self-adjusted. Children 0-5 years old need more than 10 hours of sleep; school-age (6-13 years old) need 9-11 hours; teens (14-17 years old) need 8-10 hours; adult 18-64 years old need 7-9 hours; older people 65 or more years old need 7-8 hours. So basically, 9 hours of sleep should be good for most.

Having a good rest also means we shouldn’t make ourselves too tired. We have to rest at least 10 minutes for 1 hour of work, study, or screen time (including watching TV, working on a computer, or playing video games). Ideally, a maximum of 2 hours of screen time per day is good for our health. But basically it may not be possible for working people and students to do that.

The last but not the least, we should be mentally and socially healthy. People need to have good interests and hobbies, and have fun activities with other people. People need to be open minded and learn new things, and have the wisdom to understand themselves and other people.

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