The importance of a healthy lifestyle
It is obvious to most of us that physical activity leads to good health and is one of the most important factors to avoid lifestyle diseases. At the other hand, you need a good health to perform physical activities, at least if these activities are demanding for your body, like running at a certain level. This quickly leads us into the question: What is important to do and to think about, to obtain and maintain good health, and in particular, what does this mean in relation to running?
We are hearing a lot these days about lifestyle diseases, especially in the industrialised countries of the world. What is it really about, and why do we get lifestyle diseases? The key word itself – lifestyle – gives a good indication. Lifestyle diseases are diseases caused by, or at least connected with, how a person actually lives his/her life. These diseases are increasing in industrialised countries where people in general have a long life. Examples of such diseases are heart/cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some lung diseases and some types of cancer, osteoporosis, depressions and overweight, just to mention some. Lifestyle diseases are often referred to as the world’s new health related main challenge.
The reasons for such diseases are factors like nutrition, lifestyle and the environment we are living in. Lack of activity, eating too much or wrong, stress and too much alcohol or other drugs, are key factors that have influenced this, and which in many cases lead to one or more lifestyle diseases. Lifestyle is a term related to how a person makes choises and conducts the life through physical activity, nutrition and use of alcoholc and drugs. The daily rythm, amount of sleep, and stress level are also important lifestyle factors.
Why have lifestyle diseases become more common in today’s modern society? One of the reasons are said to be that after the 1950’s, changes in the nutrition in many countries in the world, in particular in the industrialised countries, has been a quite significant reason for the growth of such diseases, combined with less physical activity. There has been an increase in the consumption of dairy products, meat, plant oils, alcohol and fruit juices. On the other hand, consumption of nutritions containing starch, like potatoes, rice and bread have decreased. There is a common view that these changes have had a significant impact on the level of lifestyle diseases. Research has also shown that moving from one country to another increases the probability of getting life style diseases. This is a strong indicator that the environment is just as important as genetical factors.
Summarised, to prevent these diseases, the advices are:
- Eat less food and more healthy food
- Be physically active every day
- Stop smoking
- Have a moderate consumption of alcohol
- Participate in improving the environmental conditions around you
Being physical activity is the single most important thing you can do to prevent lifestyle diseases. The society of today has become physically more passive and less active, which is a huge challenge for the society, due to the lifestyle diseases that more and more people suffer from.
It is important that your intake of food is adapted to your level of activity. If you do this right, it will contribute significantly to the effect of your training activities and improvement of your results. There is a lot of talking around about which training and which activities that are burning fat most efficiently etc, and what you should do about this and other things. We are all different and prefer different methods, and our philosophy is that you should do the things that motivates you in a positive way, and not care about what others say or what your friends and colleagues do, if it doesn’t fit you. Whatever you prefer, it is important to consider the following:
- How much energy are you using?
- Since you are using this much energy, how much, and what type of energy and nutritiants should your food contain?
If you want to improve your physical and mental performance, your diet is inevitably a key factor. It does not mean that you need to be a fanatic, but you need to pay interest and attention to it. A healthy and balanced diet will give you more surplus and improve your performance, not only in training but also in your daily life. Having that as a basis, you can go further into the details about what and when to eat and drink before, during and after training and races, on a more detailed level. This site will provide basic and detailed information about all of these aspects.
Read more about nutrition here: Nutrition
More information about these important health aspects is found in our blog articles dedicated to heath and lifestyle, with new articles being posted regularly.
To avoid injuries, and how to deal with it if you get a running injury, is also an important health aspect, which we cover in dedicated pages and articles, such as:
Author: Marte Kristiansen[