A healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve people’s health and well-being. Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. It is especially important to manage your asthma carefully during pregnancy. Untreated asthma, poorly controlled asthma or serious flare-ups during pregnancy put mothers and babies at risk.
A recent study found that four bad behaviorssmoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggiescan hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years. Lifestyle factors such as having a calcium-rich diet and exercising frequently can keep bones healthy and minimise the risk of fractures. Sunlight exposure is also crucial to up levels of vitamin D.
The trends presented in this chapter cover a relatively short time period. Consistent data for healthy life expectancy is only available for the period 2000 to 2002 to 2012 to 2014; just over 10 years. A short time frame limits the strength of any conclusions that can be made as indicators giving a summary picture of population health tend to show small changes over a single decade.
Regular exercise can also help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with asthma. Over-eating, drinking alcohol, smoking or using illegal drugs can seem like easy ways of dealing with stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, they will only make things worse in the long run. Being healthy is about more than getting ﬁt and feeling better, it’s about staying that way too.
6 Get enough sleep Sleep has the ability to optimise mental and physical energy, and optimal levels of sleep (about eight hours a night) are linked with reduced risk of chronic disease and improved longevity. One simple strategy that can help ensure you get optimal amounts of sleep is to go to bed earlier. Getting into bed by 10pm or 10.30pm is a potentially useful investment in terms of your short- and long-term health and wellbeing. Shutting down the computer or turning off the TV early in the evening is often all it takes to create the time and space for earlier sleep.