What is Leading to an Increasing Demand for a Healthy Lifestyle?
LIFESTYLE is a term that was first used in the context of psychology in the year 1929. The original meaning of the term was “the most important life-stage an individual encounters”. The concept was introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous 1929 book, The Case of Miss R. It was later adopted by American psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Philip Zimbardo for their beliefs that every human being has an interplay between childhood memories and adult-stage fears. This model of regression is also used in the therapy of autism.
LIFESTYLE cannot be understood by those who are still engaged in the ‘age old’ paradigm of psychology. In this paradigm lifestyles are viewed as fixed patterns which cannot change, whereas lifestyles can vary significantly depending on circumstances (e.g., shift from traditional to liberal beliefs, cultures, etc.) However, there are some limitations to this view of LIFESTYLE. For instance, it may be argued that, because LIFESTYLE is a subjective construct, it could be influenced by cultural and social factors, which in turn would negate any universal basis upon which it could be justified. Similarly, while most psychotherapists agree that most lifestyles are unhealthy, there are very few who would support the claim that LIFESTYLE is necessarily unhealthy.
The advantages of a healthy lifestyle are many. In terms of preventing chronic diseases, a balanced life style is extremely good for physical health, emotional health, and mental health. The lifestyle needs to be adapted according to the needs of the individual. For example, while a balanced life style could benefit the most elderly, an injured soccer player might need to modify his/her fitness regime so as to be able to play soccer again. In other words, adaptation is the key to healthy living.
Another important factor in LIFESTYLE is stress management. LIFESTYLE does not provide the tools for stress management which could be found in various sources such as yoga, meditation, exercise, etc. However, a healthy lifestyle changes require consistent effort, commitment, focus and discipline. For example, yoga and meditation classes will help reduce the level of stress hormones in our bodies but will take time and commitment. Therefore, the extent to which LIFESTYLE meets the requirements of a person who is committed to these lifestyle changes is largely dependent on the person.
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are widely acknowledged by the medical profession. In fact, all doctors and physicians recommend a healthy lifestyle. The primary benefit of a healthy lifestyle is reduced disease risk and improved health. The secondary benefit of a healthy lifestyle is increased quality of life, improved outlook for future and decreased suffering and disability related to ill-health. The third benefit of a healthy lifestyle is LIFESTYLE alone or in combination with some other self-help techniques is the best possible treatment for a chronic physical illness or condition.
As the above examples clearly demonstrate, a healthy lifestyle that includes LIFESTYLE is the foundation upon which a number of additional self-help or lifestyle therapies can be added. These additional therapies include active lifestyles, which may refer to sports and exercise, healthy vegetarian diets, regular moderate intensity exercise, massage, chiropractic and acupressure therapy, herbal remedies, weight management, stress management, antioxidant supplements and much more. In addition, there are also natural supplements available which support or enhance the healing processes associated with a healthy active lifestyle. Some of these supplements include lycopene, vitamin C, grape seed extract, beta carotene, resveratrol, quercetin, proanthocyanidins and others.