HSC 4021 Week 3 Assignment 2 Healthy Lifestyles
What is a “healthy lifestyle”?
Ask 50 people to define what a “healthy lifestyle” is, and you’ll likely get 50 different answers. That’s because there’s no one way to be healthy. A healthy lifestyle simply means doing things that make you happy and feel good.
For one person, that may mean walking a mile five times a week, eating fast food once a week, and spending virtual or in-person time with loved ones every other day. For someone else, a healthy lifestyle may be training and running two marathons a year, following a keto diet, and never having a sip of alcohol.
Neither of these is better than the other. Both are perfect for that person. You get to decide what your healthy lifestyle looks like.
How is it beneficial?
Making changes to improve your health can lead to benefits for your body, your mind, your wallet, and even the environment.
1. Prevents disease
Healthy habits can reduce the risk of various diseases, including those that may run in your family.
For example, in a recent study, adults who followed a standard American diet (rich in fruits and vegetables) for 8 weeks had a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
In another 2020 studyTrusted Source, researchers found that every 66-gram increase in daily fruit and vegetable intake was associated with a 25 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Swapping out some refined grains for whole grains also reduces the risk of disease. In an observational studyTrusted Source of almost 200,000 adults, those who ate the most whole grains had a 29 percent lower rate of type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least.
And a reviewTrusted Source of 45 studies concluded that eating 90 grams (or three 30-gram servings) of whole grains daily reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 22 percent, coronary heart disease by 19 percent, and cancer by 15 percent.
In terms of exercise, as little as 11 minutes a day may add years to your life. In a 2020 study, researchers tracked more than 44,000 adults. Those who got 11 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day had a lower risk of death compared to those who only exercised at that intensity for 2 minutes. This comparison held true even if people sat for 8.5 hours every day.
2. Saves money
It’s always smart to see your primary care physician for an annual physical exam. This is especially true seeing how some health conditions, such as high blood pressure, are “silent.” This means they don’t have any symptoms, so unless you are checked, you usually don’t know you have the condition.
However, the healthier you are, the less likely you will have to see a doctor. This could save money by reducing co-pays, the need for prescriptions, and other treatments.
3. Lengthens lifespan
Basic healthy habits are connected with living a longer life. If, at age 50, you’ve never smoked, maintain a healthy weight, are regularly active, follow a healthy diet, and keep alcohol to a moderate consumption, you could live up to 14 yearsTrusted Source longer. Making even a few of these changes could lengthen your lifespan.
4. It can be good for the environment
Ultra-processed foods are those that contain refined grains and additives to change the texture, taste, or color. Some examples of these foods are cheese puffs, packaged dessert cakes, chicken nuggets, and sweetened breakfast cereals. More than 70 percent of foods in U.S. supermarkets are ultra-processed.
The making of ultra-processed foods contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, water scarcity, decreased biodiversity, plastic waste, and deforestation.
Then, there are animal products. According to a 2013 study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (an agency within the U.N. that focuses on reducing hunger and food inequality worldwide), raising livestock for meat and dairy makes up 14.5 percent of human-created greenhouse gases.
However, there are easy fixes for this. For example, if every American cut their weekly beef consumption by 1/4 pound, the decrease in global warming gas emissions would be the equivalent of taking four to six million cars off the road, according to the National Resources Defense Council.
But it’s not only about what you eat more or less of. Replacing short car rides with biking can also cut back on the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
In a non-peer reviewed 2010 study, researchers estimated that if 20 percent of citizens in Madison, Wisconsin biked for trips less than 5 miles, it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 57,000 tons each year.
And, a 2017 study in Stockholm found that, if drivers who lived within a half-hour bike ride to and from work commuted by bike rather than car, it could save 449 years of life annually in the county due to reduced vehicle emission.
Discussion Questions (DQ)
• Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
• Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
• One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
• I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
• Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
• In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
• Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
• Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
• Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
• Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
• I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
• I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
• As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
• It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
• For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
• Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
• Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
• Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
• The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
• Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
• If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
• I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
• As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
• Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
o Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
o Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.