What Is a Lifestyle?

A person’s lifestyle is the gestalt of choices that they make throughout their lives, including what they eat, where they live, how they entertain themselves and how they spend their time. These choices influence the person’s health and well being in both positive and negative ways. A good lifestyle includes a balanced diet of nutritious foods, regular exercise and adequate rest. It also avoids unhealthy behaviors such as excessive drinking and smoking. A person’s healthy lifestyle may also include participation in an organized religion and pursuit of spirituality.

While the term lifestyle can refer to an individual’s choice of hobbies and interests, it is more commonly used in sociological studies to describe how people choose to organize their daily activities. The lifestyle can vary from a traditional model of mainstream society to an alternative approach that is based on subcultures or countercultures around the world. The lifestyle can be as simple as a ski bum who prioritizes skiing over other career opportunities or as complex as an Amish community that rejects modern technology.

The concept of lifestyle is controversial, with some authors taking the view that it should be considered a form of self-identity (e.g. Daniel Yankelovich) while others argue that it is more of a socio-cultural phenomenon and should be analysed from both synchronic and diachronic perspectives (e.g. Bernard Cathelat). The lifestyle is considered an important part of the field of social analysis and its study is a crucial component of the discipline of sociology.

Regardless of what the definition of “lifestyle” is, one thing is clear: healthy living is different for every person. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and feel like your habits aren’t “healthy” enough — especially when it comes to meal prep or workout routines. But your preferences, objectives and life circumstances are unique, and finding the right balance for you may take some experimentation.

For example, if you want to start eating healthier, you can begin by replacing one refined grain each day with a whole grain. Over time, you can increase the amount of whole grains you eat and experiment with different flavors and cooking techniques to find what you like best. Similarly, you can try to increase the amount of healthy activity you participate in each week. You can also try to reduce the amount of processed sugar you consume by cutting out sweetened beverages and replacing them with unsweetened options. It can be challenging to change your habits, so it’s important to have a strong support system in place. Try to find a friend or family member who can hold you accountable and help keep you motivated on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.