Living a healthy and happy life is something every Australian should want, yet achieving this goal is sometimes a life-long struggle. While there are many factors involved in achieving this goal, there are some simple and effective ways that Australians can focus on in their efforts. In this regard, let's discuss 4 ways Australians can live healthier and happier lives.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has an article called: “Good health, bad health habits – at a cost”, which explains:
“Australia has much to be proud of in many areas of health, but lifestyle-related chronic diseases are taking an increasing toll – and so is the bill...
...Chronic diseases have often been called 'Australia's greatest health challenge' – and while not solely related to behavioral factors in all cases, can be heavily linked to smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and the harmful use of alcohol. This can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which in turn can lead to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and mental health issues.”
The 2014 report points out the 4 lifestyle habits that are negatively affecting Australians the most, although the average life expectancy, cancer and stroke survival rates, and smoking rates have all improved.
If you're a smoker that has thought about quitting, we invite you to download our “Checklist that you are ready to quit smoking” guide.
4 ways to living a Healthy and Happy Life:
#1. Eating Healthy:
The report says that 63% of Australian adults are overweight and obese, and only 8% (in 2011-12) were eating enough vegetables for proper nutrition. Eating healthier is a way Australians can live healthier and happier lives, yet what exactly does this mean?
Knowing how to eat healthy is only half the battle, in fact, the hardest part is avoiding the unhealthy foods, including: fried foods, processed foods, sugary sweets and drinks, and fast foods. Both learning how to eat healthy and avoiding unhealthy foods is a big lifestyle change, yet the health benefits are well worth the effort.
Eating more vegetables and fruits, while avoiding unhealthy foods, is a good start to eating healthier. The phrase “you are what you eat” has a lot of validity, as the foods we intake are fueling our minds and bodies everyday. It makes sense that if Australians start eating healthier they'll live healthier and happier lives, even though they may miss the taste of bad foods at first.
#2. Regular Exercise:
The AIHW report says:
“Nearly 3 in 5 (57%) do not exercise enough for good health...”
Physical inactivity is a problem in most modern societies, as people work sedentary jobs more and spend their off time watching television and playing on their digital devices. Getting in the habit of excising regularly is a great way for Australians to live healthier and happier lives.
An article found on Men's Fitness called: “Sure, Exercise Helps You Live Longer – But By How Much?”, written by Shawn Radcliffe, explains:
“New research published in PloS Medicine has actually put a number on the benefits of physical exercise, finding that 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week (think: 5 days of 30-minute workouts, like walking, bicycling, or hiking) will earn you an extra 3.4 years.”
Living longer in a healthier condition is how regular exercise helps; it also reduces stress, builds muscles, and gets people outdoors more often. Getting into the habit of exercising regularly helps people avoid spending their time overeating, smoking, or drinking as well. The end result of exercising regularly is a happier and healthier person that lives longer on average.
#3. Avoiding Alcohol Abuse:
Notice the AIHW report stated the harmful use of alcohol was the problem, rather than the use of alcohol, meaning Australians should avoid drinking excessively. Avoiding alcohol abuse is a sure way Australians can live healthier and happier lives, as well as save: time, money, relationship problems, and embarrassments.
An article found on the Herald Sun called: “Australian's drinking culture: Do we have an alcohol problem?”, written on February 26, 2016 by Kathryn Powley, explains:
Australians drink 7.9 billion standard drinks a year, or 99 million litres of pure alcohol
Half of all people over 14 (that's 9.5 million people) drink 97.1% of all the alcohol
3.8 million Aussies average more than four standard drinks a day, twice the recommended amount
The top 10% of people over 14 drinks 52.3%
The article points out both good and bad news:
“'Per capita consumption at the moment is at its lowest level in 50 years'... That's almost entirely driven by a declining consumption among those you might think have the biggest problem: our youth.
...there's evidence middle-aged Aussies are indulging in heavier drinking than in the past.
And alcohol-related harm has remained constant or increased...”
Avoiding alcohol abuse is a must for Australians who want to live healthier and happier lives; although it may seem like drinking excessively is fun and stress relieving, the truth is it's very destructive to our bodies, minds, and relationships. Some people may need to avoid it all-together, yet everyone should avoid abusing it, in order to live healthier and happier lives.
#4. Quitting Smoking:
The AIHW report says:
“...smoking rates are continuing to fall (16% smoking daily in 2010, 43% in 1964)...”
This is a good sign, especially considering that “...quitting can result in a life expectancy increase of 10 years.”
The Australian Government's Department of Health elaborates:
“Each year, smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Australians and costs Australia $31.5 billion in social (including health) and economic costs.
14.7% ...of adults aged 18 years and over smoked daily (approximately 2.6 million smokers)...”
Smoking rates have been decreasing, yet the price Australians pay to smoke, physically and monetarily, is still too high. Quitting smoking is a sure way for Australians to live healthier and happier lives, as it damages the lungs, increases the risk of cancer, hinders our endurance, and reduces life-expectancy.
Quitting smoking may be the hardest lifestyle change for Australians to make, even though the price of cigarettes are at an all-time high. This also means it can be the most rewarding bad habit to quit as well.
Downloading Quit Stop Now's “Checklist that you are ready to quit smoking”will help Australians gain the right perspective on their need and desire to quit this destructive and expensive habit.
These 4 ways to live healthier and happier lives address the most common problems Australians have with their physical and mental health. Replacing unhealthy lifestyle habits with healthy habits in these 4 ways will increase life-expectancy and the quality of life for Australians.
Although bad habits are not easy to break, with enough support, motivation, and resources, lifestyles can be changed for the better permanently. The QSN Stop Smoking program can help get the ball rolling with these changes, by helping Australians quit smoking all-together for good. From this victory, these other 3 changes can be made, resulting in healthier and happier Australians. If interested in learning more please contact us today.