Non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes and heart problems are the main killers of Malaysians which are closely linked to unhealthy lifestyles.

According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 conducted by Ministry of Health (MOH), more than one million (9.2%) of those in the age group between 18 to 40 years have diabetes, 1.7 million (14.7%) have hypertension and 14% are obese.

So put your willpower to the test with these 4 basic criteria or habits for a healthy lifestyles that everyone should diligently practice:

1. Lead a smoke-free life
2. Ability to maintain healthy weight (a BMI of 18 – 25) or successfully losing weight to attain healthy weight
3. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily
4. Exercise 30 minutes or more, 5 times a week

For the smokers, while for some breaking the addictive habit may seem challenging at the beginning, remember that it is injurious to your health. Quit smoking is profoundly a sound decision to make and likewise for the sake of others around you.

Now that you know the 4 core-essentials that is needed to keep you on track towards a rewarding lifestyle transformation, it is up to you to build the momentum and consistency in your everyday choices.

Apart from that do embrace these simple actions that may contribute to improving length and quality of your life:

• Keep Your Mouth and Gum Clean by brushing and flossing daily to stay healthy and disease free.
• Sleep Well as people with proper rest perform better and able to manage their stress and control their irregular food cravings and hunger pangs.
• “The Family That Eats Together Stays Together”. Regular meals together are foremost a quality way to connect and bond with your family and friends, allowing lively conversations and healthy meals.
• Get the Facial Muscle Workout with good laughs and loads of smiles daily. Hectic life and boredom will be instantly replaced with happy feelings when reading, watching sitcoms or hanging out with fun friends cracking a joke or two.
• Find Inner Peace by meditating, praying or otherwise finding solace for at least 10 – 20 minutes a day. This will certainly help you with the demands of daily life and possibly even lower your blood pressure.

• Step It Up and Get Physical. Whatever the stumbling blocks have been in the past, leave them behind. Physical activities as simple as walking with gradual increase can help reduce stress, burn calories and boost self-esteem.
• Have A Good Posture. Standing up straight will make you feel energized as the lungs get all the oxygen without difficulty. You will instantly look slimmer and presentable with tightened abdominal muscles which also reduces back pain.
• Go Yoga as it improves balance, endurance, flexibility, and strength, helps keep the mind sharp, relieves stress and anxiety, and can strengthen your immune system
• Protein Essentials. Make protein as an essential part of your dietary plan with small portions of nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, lean meat, poultry, or fish as it makes up 10%-35% of your total calories. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
• Boost Your Mental Health by having positive attitude, believing in yourself and surrounding yourself with network of good supports.

A healthy lifestyle involves eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and managing stress effectively.

Making these healthy choices every day can affect more than your physical appearance - it can also increase both the length and quality of your life by boosting your immunity to disease and keeping you emotionally healthy.

Sourced from: Webmd and NewStraitsTimes
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