You know, with all the campaigns by health experts for a healthy lifestyle, it would seem like switching to the healthy side is getting on a primrose path. Without a doubt, a healthy lifestyle is better than an unhealthy lifestyle. But it’s not all perfect.
When you make that shift from being inactive most times to being active and from eating junk foods to eating healthy, some things will suffer.
The good thing is that as some things suffer, a whole lot will get better. Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle will pay off big time. But what are the drawbacks?
In this article, we bring you a list of what gets better and what suffers when you switch to a healthy lifestyle.
Advantages of a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Improved Physical State
When you start adopting a healthy lifestyle, you may choose to add working out to your routine. If you do start working out and keep at it, you will certainly see changes in your physical state.
For one, your lung capacity will increase with aerobic workouts, your muscles will get toned, your energy levels will go higher, and you’ll get tired less frequently. One outcome that comes with your muscles getting toned is an improved physical appearance.
Apart from toned muscles, getting enough sleep, losing weight, staying away from stress, and avoiding intoxicants can help slow down the aging process. These will also contribute to improving your physical state.
As you starting eating healthy meals, you offer your body the right nutrients. You’ll get nutrients like calcium and magnesium from healthy foods like broccoli, cabbage, and non-fatty dairy products.
Calcium and magnesium will help give you stronger bones & teeth, improved muscle tone, improved heart function, and improved nerve function.
You will also get nutrients like vitamins E & C and other antioxidants. These nutrients will reduce your risk of falling sick with various illnesses. Overall, these changes will enhance your physical state.
2. Improved Mental State
One common thing with many unhealthy meals is high sugar content. If you take a lot of such foods, you will experience mental fatigue more than you should. These foods also leave you prone to depression.
Healthy foods, on the other hand, contain moderate to low sugar content. If you switch to them, the likelihood of you becoming mentally fatigued or depressed will fall. Some healthy foods even offer nutrients that can help improve your mood.
Fishes and nuts like sardines, anchovies, walnuts, almonds, and salmon offer omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help with mental issues.
Exercising also helps with your mental state. As you push yourself during workouts, you reach goals you never thought you could achieve. The feeling of achievement can uplift your mood.
Also, as you exercise or increase your physical activity, your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins will improve your mood, ease pain, and make you feel good.
3. Fewer Hospital Visits
This is quite straightforward, as you eat more and exercise more you get your body to an optimal physical state.
Your heart will be in better shape, your weight becomes just right, your bones are tough enough, and your breathing is alright.
Good food will improve your immune system so you can fight infections easily. When you start living a healthy lifestyle, you no longer take intoxicants. When you stop taking intoxicants, your kidney and liver will be in much better shape.
With all of these in place, you will probably not have to visit a hospital frequently. Well, except you are a health professional who works in a hospital.
4. Healthy Offspring
If you’ve always thought that you are the only one that can be affected by the choices you make about your health, we have news for you. Your health choices can affect your kids.
Kids look up to you and they watch what you do. If they see you involving yourself in activities that facilitate good health, they are sure to learn from you.
Having healthy dinners with them can instill the culture of eating right. Involving them in fun activities can also help them form a habit of being physically active more times than not.
Your health choices can also affect the health of your unborn kids. In fact, your health choices can affect your ability to conceive.
Being overweight or obese, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to you having unhealthy sperm or eggs.
Having sex with multiple partners without protection predisposes you to have STDs and in some cases, STDs may be the reason you have unhealthy sperm or eggs.
So how do unhealthy eggs or sperm affect the unborn baby? Well, studies have shown that the genetic material in sperm or egg can be modified based on how healthy your body is at conception. This modified genetic material may then be transferred into the baby.
For example, if you are obese at conception, there’s an increased chance the baby will be overweight.
A healthy diet for reproduction will provide the body with vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin C, and B vitamins.
These vitamins can go a long way in improving the health of eggs and sperm. It goes without saying that healthy eggs and sperm are more likely to form a healthy baby.
5. Improved Cognitive State
You probably forget things a lot, way more than you should. Your forgetfulness may be as a result of an unhealthy diet.
Some studies show that certain nutrients can help improve memory and other cognitive functions. Seafood and fruits are some very good sources of such nutrients. The thing is you can only get these nutrients from healthy foods.
Also, if you are always too stressed and you do not get enough sleep, your memory and by extension, your cognition may be affected. Proper sleep hygiene and de-stressing will go a long way in improving your cognitive state.
Disadvantages of a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Social Hindrances
When you make the change to a healthy lifestyle, your social life may be affected. Your friends are already used to having similar preferences with you. But your preferences will change with a healthy lifestyle.
For instance, your friends may be reluctant to invite you out to grab drinks if you won’t be drinking alcohol with them. Though, it is the perfect excuse to be the designated driver.
Also, your schedule might change with a healthy lifestyle. You now get enough sleep, you go to the gym, you meditate, and do lots more.
These changes may not fit into your normal social routine and that can affect your interaction with friends.
2. The Extra Effort
Transitioning from your usual unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy lifestyle can be very hard. For an unhealthy lifestyle, you really don’t have to put in any real effort.
But for a healthy lifestyle, you have to make so many changes. The catalyst for living healthy is getting out of your comfort zone and it takes an extra effort to do that. Getting out of one’s comfort zone is not the easiest thing to do.
3. The Cost
Going healthy will take its toll on your pocket for sure. For one, it costs more to get healthy foods. Vegetables, fruits, and even nuts are more expensive when compared to junk food with similar caloric content.
Apart from the cost of healthy food, you may have to pay for a gym membership. You may even have to get yourself an assistant just to reduce the amount of stress you face.