Healthy Lifestyles

Healthy LifeA healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve people’s health and well-being. Smoking not only cuts your lifespan by affecting your internal organs, but it also ages you on the outside by causing skin damage. Tobacco smoking can give you wrinkles, create pucker lines around your mouth, stain your teeth and fingers, rob your skin of nutrients, break down youth-enhancing collagen and make your skin look grey. It makes you wonder how smoking is often marketed as glamorous and attractive.

A good treatment plan is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Though it may take time to adjust to medication and therapy, they are your best defenses against symptom recurrence. Everyone has a different physical and emotional makeup, so it often takes time and patience for you and your doctor or mental health professional to find the right treatment strategy for you. It is most important that you communicate your needs to your health care providers and work with them to discover the best possible approach to symptom management. Your loved ones can play an important role in your treatment plan, too. You can help them to help you by making them aware of your medication needs and having them watch for signs of symptom recurrence.

Stick with healthy food from each food group. This means staying away from food high in saturated fats, sodium and added sugars. Eat more whole grains, lean proteins such as chicken or legumes and beans, low-fat or non-fat dairy, and increase your fruits and vegetables. Have healthy snacks. If you’re hungry at work, eat healthy snacks like fruits, vegetable juices, and yogurts. These are nutritional and don’t give you that sugar rush. Have them readily available so that you can get a munch and stop when you have your fill. Stay away from cookies and candy bars.

Some medications used to treat mental illness can have side-effects such as weight-gain and making people feel drowsy, restless or hungry. This can be a challenge to building up a healthy lifestyle but there are common-sense ways of dealing with it. Buying junk food, smoking and drinking alcohol is expensive. Eating good, wholesome foods (starting with tasty vegetables and fruit) and cutting down on alcohol and smoking can make a real difference in spending, which means more money for the things you really enjoy (see ‘Rewarding Yourself’).

We want to help people make the right choices for themselves with regard to their health, availability for work, and productivity. This is no easy matter, given what we face every day – like the ‘impulse-buy’ sweets displayed at the supermarket checkout,” says Peter van Dijken, managing director of the Healthy Living unit. TNO, together with government authorities, knowledge institutes and companies, is developing technological and social innovations that promote good health and work availability, and which therefore lead to a healthy, vigorous, and productive population – as well as lowering national healthcare costs and increasing economic growth.