A Healthy Lifestyle
The word “lifestyle” was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous work, The Case of Miss R. with the exact meaning of “the general outlook, interests, behaviors, and behavioral orientations of a person”. To this day, many scholars debate whether this definition accurately depicts the nature of human beings. The definitions of the two eminent scholars before Adler included the expression “level of personal development” in their formulations.
The definition, however, as we know it today, is “the state of having proper attitudes toward the environment and toward other people at the level of private and interpersonal relationships”. So, what are these levels of personal development? They are: Individualism, collectivism, multiculturalism, autochthonism, vegetarianism, and materialism. Lifestyle, as Adler states, is a form of individualism, which favors an approach to lifestyle that favors minimalism.
What are some of the lifestyles you’ve come across? Some of them are: being a solo professional, working in an office all day, traveling frequently, working with kids, a parent with a child, being a homemaker, a retiree, living in a condo or townhouse, being a homeowner, and so on. Now, compare these lifestyles to the Lifestyle described above. How different are they in terms of the quality of their lives? The answer is: Not very different at all. In fact, the lifestyles described above often lead to health problems like stress, high blood pressure, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
However, if we look at the quality of life these lifestyles provide, we’ll see that these lifestyles actually provide near-optimal health. Adler recognizes the fact that the key to a healthy lifestyle is reducing stress, engaging in regular exercise, eating properly, staying physically active, and watching one’s weight. He further recognizes that these lifestyle choices can be strengthened through mental and behavioral change. These changes are the ingredients to creating a healthy lifestyle choice, and, as such, are key elements in creating a truly active lifestyle.
The key benefit to creating the kind of lifestyle Adler describes is its ability to reduce stress. Stress is known to contribute to a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, and osteoporosis. By creating a healthier lifestyle through these lifestyle choices – and, as noted above, by making these lifestyle choices part of your daily routine – you can significantly reduce your risk of these health problems. In addition to reducing the risk of these diseases, creating the kind of lifestyle described above is also likely to enhance overall happiness and well-being, something that most other lifestyle choices do not deliver.
The key benefit to a vegan lifestyle is its resemblance to a natural, successful form of weight loss and fitness. Vegan diets typically focus on high-protein, high-fiber foods that help people lose weight without stressing the body or compromising its health in any way. Similarly, the best way to create an active lifestyle is to adopt a vegan lifestyle, which means that you eat a primarily plant-based diet. As Adler puts it: “The key to a long and healthy life is doing what the body needs and nothing else.” Adler emphasizes the importance of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. While he does not promote total vegetarianism, he does describe vegetarianism as being a “dietary choice that is healthy for the body and the mind.”