Want to Live a Healthier Lifestyle?  

Want to Live a Healthier Lifestyle?  Then you must create healthy environments! 

The most important thing you can do when striving to live a healthy lifestyle is to create environments that support healthy actions. 

And healthy actions must be integrated into your life every day to achieve and maintain an optimal state of health and wellbeing. 

A healthier lifestyle is more easily achieved when the people you know and the places where you live and work support the goals you are trying to accomplish. 

Healthy environments need to be created and maintained wherever you live, work and play. 

So how do you create healthy environments at home, the workplace and in your community? 

It is not as hard as you might think. In fact, it is quite simple, but you need to know the key elements to a healthy home, work and community environment! 

Healthy Home Environment 

A healthy home environment has four key elements: 

Healthy Food Options 

  • The easiest way to eat healthy is to have healthy food options readily available.   
  • Stock your refrigerator and your pantry with fresh vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean animal proteins, or plant-based proteins. 
  • Pre-plan and pre-portion meals and easy to grab snack items. 

 Designated Areas for Physical Activity and/or Exercise 

  • Creating active zones throughout your house as well workout areas equipped with adequate equipment for a structured workout, encourage physical activity and exercise.   
  • Find safe areas throughout your house where you can move safely and exercise without interruptions.  

  Isolated Area for Relaxation 

  • It is important to create quiet areas where you can step away from the business of your house.   
  • Whether in your closet or in another quiet room in your house, being able to isolate yourself when needed to refresh and rejuvenate is essential for mental well-being. 

Designated Time and Space for Family Time 

  • Spending quality time with family members is essential for your personal health and the health of your family.   
  • Whether it is mealtime at the dinner table, game time or family movie night in the living room, schedule in time to nurture your close relationships. 

Healthy Work Environment 

A healthy work environment has four key elements: 

Healthy Food Options 

  • The greatest challenge to eating healthy is often avoiding unhealthy food at work. Most work environments are filled with processed foods, sugary snacks and fast-food deliveries to the office.   
  • Bring healthy meals and snacks to work and store in an easily accessible cooler so that you always have healthy food within hands reach and/or in your designated area in the lounge. 

 Designated Areas for Physical Activity and/or Exercise 

  • Active movement zones throughout the workspace will encourage you and your fellow co-workers to move and hopefully be more physically active together.   
  • Create a calisthenics exercise area, a stretching area or change an open room into an exercise room with free weights, simple exercise tools and accessories. 

 Isolated Area for Relaxation 

  • Having a quiet space at work where you can disconnect and recharge is essential for productivity and performance. You must commit to stepping away when necessary. Stepping away will allow you to come back recharged with mental clarity and sharpness.  
  • As the saying goes, you cannot chop wood with a dull ax. Take time to sharpen your ax. 

Open Area for Socialization and Collaboration 

  • It is important to spend quality time with co-workers and team members open areas where other employees can see and be inspired to work together.   
  • Healthy work cultures are open cultures where everyone feels part of the team. 

Healthy Community Environment 

A healthy community environment has three key elements: 

Markets and Eateries with Healthy Food Options 

  • It is important when you go grocery shopping or choose to eat out that you select places where you can make healthy food choices.   
  • Shop at local farmer markets when possible and choose restaurants that feature healthy food or have low-fat, high-nutrient options.  

Safe and Easily Accessible Areas for Exercise and Physical Movement 

  • You are more likely to exercise if you have already identified gyms, recreation centers or parks that are within walking or driving distance.   
  • If you have not done so already, locate the nearest fitness facilities and/or local parks in your community. Also, take time to do a little research to discover trails and other outdoor recreational opportunities. 

 Access to Comprehensive Healthcare 

  • Staying up to date with annual health screenings and regular physical health exams such as dental, eye and hearing screenings are a vital part of living a healthy lifestyle. Prevention is also key and prompt treatment is necessary to effectively treat a diagnosed illness or disease. 
  • Schedule your screenings and physical health exams at health centers within your community if possible; the closer you are to your doctor, the more likely you are to keep your appointments. 

Now that you know the key elements for a healthy home, work and community environment, I hope that you are better able to create environments that support your desire to live a healthier life where you live, work and play.   

I believe we all desire to be healthier; it helps when our environments support that desire.  

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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