Lifestyle is a person’s general attitudes, interests, orientations, behaviors, and social behaviors. The word was introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his early 1929 book, The Case of Miss R. with the more specific meaning of “the general nature of the interests a person has at a given time”.
Lifestyle was not intended to be used in a broad sense to cover a broad range of concepts or attitudes, but rather to refer to one’s particular interests and behaviors over a period of time, rather than an abstract concept. It was designed to refer to an individual’s preoccupation with life-styles at a specific time and to illuminate a phenomenon called the mass-culture phenomena of contemporary society. Adorno considered that his notion of the cultural mass-mind controlled the lives and behaviors of all aspects of life in Western societies. His concept of the cultural mass-mind can be described as a psychological disposition to adhere to a life-style irrespective of its effects on other people and their environments.
Lifestyle became an influential notion in the thinking of the Frankfurt School of sociology and psychology. Theodor Adorno used the example of a child’s daily routine to describe the process by which people shape their own reality. Adorno believed that all the patterns of behavior formed through the life-styles that people adopt give a distorted picture of reality. In essence, according to Adorno, people who follow the mass culture patterns live in a delusional state. Adorno’s ideas about the role of lifestyle in shaping the reality of modern man form the foundations for the theories of cultural relativity that dominate modern academic theory.
Adorno further suggested that there is a dialectical connection between the prevailing life-style and the formation of reality. For instance, it is more possible for a person to commit suicide by hanging than to shoot down an airplane with a shotgun in the air. A related example would be that it is more possible for an African American man to rob a bank than to do the same for a white person in the same situation. In each example, the meaning of reality is changed by the existence of the lifestyles associated with them. It is this change in the meaning of reality that makes the existence of the cultures difficult to measure.
The importance of a balanced life-style can not be overstated in terms of contributing to good health. Living a lifestyle that is characterized by healthy living and the balanced lifestyle also has numerous positive effects on quality of life and reduced medical and mental health problems. To reduce health problems, adopting a balanced lifestyle would require making changes to one’s lifestyle that have direct bearing on both quality of life and health. Some changes that can have a profound impact on quality of life include adopting a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, limiting the amount of caffeine that one consumes, quitting smoking, minimizing consumption of alcohol and avoiding unhealthy social behaviors.
Developing a balanced lifestyle is no easy task. It requires being committed to the process and even within the process of creating such a lifestyle, making changes that are lifestyle related is necessary. This includes making a commitment to change one’s eating habits so that they become healthier and that leads to better nutrition, developing a regular exercise routine that includes both cardiovascular and aerobic exercises, minimizing the intake of salt and foods that are high in fat, minimizing consumption of tobacco and other products that are high in nicotine and avoiding unhealthy social behaviors like drinking and smoking. Changing the above lifestyle aspects will go a long way in preventing and reducing the risks of heart attack, high blood pressure, stress related illnesses, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, stroke and other diseases. Changing the above aspects of a lifestyle can also help to improve one’s self-esteem and confidence.
Developing healthy eating habits is important for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. These habits alone can help to reduce weight. Adopting healthy eating habits can reduce weight without necessarily resorting to dieting. However, there are times when these habits cannot be stopped and the only option left is to undergo some lifestyle changes in order to lose weight.
This lifestyle change can be anything from adopting a new lifestyle that is more active than before, reducing the amount of calories that you take in or increasing the physical activity. There are also lifestyle changes that can be made by making some small lifestyle adjustments. Such as, losing weight by adopting a new diet plan. Or by decreasing the number of calories that you take in through different food choices. Or even by adding more exercise to your daily schedule. Whatever kind of changes you make, you are sure to benefit from it as these lifestyle changes are permanent and once you have made them, they stay with you.