What Is a Lifestyle?

Lifestyle is the way of life that individuals, families or societies display in their daily activities to survive within their physical, psychological and social environments. It consists of the individuals habits, goals and beliefs (or what is commonly called a belief system). There are several theories about what constitutes a lifestyle.One of the earliest perspectives on the concept, starting with Thorstein Veblen and his ‘schemes of consumption’ concept, suggests that people adopt specific lifestyles, and in particular, specific patterns of conspicuous consumption, either because they want to distinguish themselves from other social strata they identify as inferior or because they want to emulate those they consider to be superior.This approach to lifestyles has been further developed by Max Weber who considered them distinctive elements of status groups strictly connected with a dialectic of recognition and appreciation of prestige. It has been also suggested that lifestyles are the most visible manifestation of social differentiation, even between people belonging to the same social class.Psychologist Alfred Adler suggested that lifestyles are principally styles of thought, and later, Milton Rokeach linked them to a person’s value system. According to him, each individual had a set of hierarchically ordered values. Moreover, some psychologists have developed an approach considering attitudes, interests and opinions as fundamental components of a person’s lifestyle, analysing them from both synchronic and diachronic points of view, taking into account different socio-cultural trends.The last approach to understanding lifestyles starts with the idea that they are both the expression and consequence of processes of individualisation, i.e. the processes through which people develop their identity, self-realisation and search for consistency in their lives. It is also the approach based on the notion that lifestyles are a result of a synthesis and interplay between static forces at a sociocultural level, and dynamic forces at an individual level.A lifestyle is an important factor that influences the health of an individual. This is because it determines the level of activity, nutrition, physical exercise and social interaction that a person engages in on a regular basis. Therefore, it is vital to find a balance between these aspects of the individual’s life in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle.Besides eating a balanced diet, incorporating exercise in your daily routine is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. This does not necessarily mean spending hours in a gym, but simply getting out and about in your local community. Similarly, spending time with friends and family is an important part of maintaining healthy relationships and a positive attitude towards life. All of these factors together are the key ingredients to living a healthy lifestyle. By making small changes to your daily habits, you can have a significant impact on your health.