What Is Lifestyle?

A lifestyle is a set of attitudes, patterns, beliefs and values that define a person’s character, behavior and choices. These factors may influence their health and well-being and the environment. A healthy lifestyle encourages activities that develop total physical, mental and spiritual fitness. It may reduce the risk of major illness and prolong life. The lifestyle choices that can help include regular exercise; a balanced, nutritious diet; adequate sleep and relaxation; abstaining from smoking and the use of nonessential drugs; and moderating alcohol consumption.

A lifestyle can also be defined in terms of a person’s interests and preferences, as demonstrated by his or her choice of food, cultural interests, dressing manners, friendship circles and other activities. A person’s lifestyle may be influenced by the culture of the group in which he or she is socialised and by his or her parents’ expectations and aspirations.

Sociological and psychological perspectives have used and explored the concept of lifestyle in different ways. At a global level, it has been identified as the way people live in society and, at a more positional level, as an expression of class. Psychological research has tended to analyse and define lifestyle in terms of personal values, habits and behaviours.

The term lifestyle can be found in the vocabulary of both sociology and psychology, although it is more commonly used by psychologists. There are several definitions and conceptualisations of lifestyle within the field of psychology. Some of them emphasise the internal aspects of lifestyle such as personality traits, a system of values and motivations and patterns of behaviour justified by these values.

Other definitions emphasise the external aspect of lifestyle such as the context and structure in which lifestyle is embedded. The most common examples are the behavioural and anthropological studies that identify lifestyle as an important factor in socialisation and the formation of identity.

There is an ongoing debate on the meaning of the word lifestyle. Some scholars believe that it has a negative connotation and is linked to uncontrolled consumerism, whereas others argue that the concept of lifestyle is not a useful way to understand human behaviour.

A healthy lifestyle is a combination of the things you do on a daily basis. It can be as simple as eating whole grains instead of refined ones or going for a walk or jog on a regular basis. You can start small when making changes, and then work your way up to bigger goals. A healthy lifestyle can reduce your chances of getting serious diseases, extend your lifespan and save you money in the long run. If you have trouble maintaining a healthy lifestyle, talk to your doctor. They can recommend other professionals, such as registered dietitians or therapists, to help you get started. They can also help you find support if you are having difficulties. They can also refer you to other sources of information, such as online resources and books. They may also be able to refer you to community services that can provide you with support.