What Encompasses Lifestyle?
Lifestyle is the way in which a person or group lives, i.e. the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic levels that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group. Your lifestyle can be healthy or unhealthy based on your food choices, activity level and behavior. A positive lifestyle can bring you happiness, while a negative lifestyle can lead to sadness, illness and depression.
Lifestyle is expressed in both work and leisure behavior patterns and, on an individual basis,in activities, attitudes, interests, opinions, values, and allocation of income. It also reflects people’s self-image or self-concept; the way they see themselves and believe they are seen by others. Lifestyle is a composite of motivations, needs, and wants and is influenced by factors such as culture, family, reference groups, and social class.
What Contributes to a Healthy Lifestyle?
Many factors contribute to your health. Some things, like genetic predisposition to diseases and age, are beyond your control, but many lifestyle choices can have a profound impact on your wellness. Take control of your health by creating habits and making choices that will improve your physical and emotional well-being. Always talk with your doctor before making changes to your diet or starting an exercise program.
“Volunteering” as a Lifestyle
Volunteering is fun and makes you feel good knowing you are making a tangible difference in people’s lives. When you volunteer it helps you realize that whatever you have going on in your life may not be that important – It gives you a new perspective. Volunteering is so much more than just the warm and fuzzy feeling you get after helping someone. Volunteering can:
- teach you new skills
- help you stay active
- be therapeutic
- improve social skills,
- be relevant work experience
- teach you what truly matters
- help you make new friends
- expand your network
- help you grow
- increase self confidence
Significant Benefits of Living a
- Disease Prevention: One of the long-term benefits of living a healthier lifestyle is the prevention of diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
- Injury Prevention: Living a healthy lifestyle includes paying close attention to safety issues that may increase your potential for being injured. For instance, according to FamilyDoctor.org, using appropriate lifting techniques when weight lifting will help to prevent back injuries that can plague you for the remainder of your life. Other smart lifestyle choices include wearing a helmet when bike riding, wearing seatbelts in the car and using appropriate safety gear when playing sports.
- Increased Energy: Changing lifestyle choices and eating healthy food are not about being unrealistically thin but rather about having more energy and staying as healthy as possible. According to HelpGuide.org, eating smart is about both what you eat and how you eat. Eating healthy can boost your energy levels and allow you to participate in more activities on a daily basis. According to a study at the University of Georgia, researchers found overwhelming evidence that regular exercise also plays a role in increasing energy levels and reducing fatigue. Researcher Patrick O’Connor, from the exercise physiology laboratory at the University of Georgia, commented that while people may not want to exercise while fatigued, a bit more activity will often help to reduce feelings of fatigue and exhaustion.
- Healthy Weight: The healthy lifestyle choices of stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and eating a well-balanced diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods and fats will help to maintain a healthy weight. According to the Cleveland Clinic, reducing weight to within normal limits can also significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall health and well-being.
- Good Mental Health: Your mental health also depends upon your healthy lifestyle choices. According to HelpGuide.org, eating well and exercising can help defend against depression and will sharpen your memory and stabilize your mood. By learning to expand your range of food choices and make smart lifestyle decisions, such as reducing or eliminating alcohol from the diet and stopping smoking, you can benefit with an improved mood and a better outlook on life.
Health Benefits of Volunteering
- Decrease risk of depression. Volunteering with and for others increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common commitment and interests—both of which have been shown to decrease depression.
- Increase physical and mental activity. A study released by Johns Hopkins University in 2009 revealed that volunteers actually increased their brain functioning. Volunteer activities get you moving and thinking at the same time.
- Reduce stress levels. By savoring your time spent in service to others, you’ll feel a sense of meaning and appreciation—both given and received—which can be calming.
- Experience “The Happiness Effect.” You know that feel-good sense you get after a vigorous workout? It comes from a release of dopamine in the brain. Helping others has that exact same effect—so the more you volunteer, the happier you become!
- Live longer. In 2002, doctors studied more than 6,300 retired persons over 65 and found that the volunteers among them had less than half the risk of dying compared with non-volunteers. Give back and enjoy a longer, more fulfilled life!
Information and Links
Dummy (all closed)
Dates and times to be determined
- Dedication Day – Be kind and give back
- All HealthQuest listed Health and Happiness Events
- “The Great American Smokeout” – 3rd Thursday in November