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Diet, Exercise, Sleep and 1 more thing key to good health

charityWhat is the best way to live a happy and successful life? originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Katherine Killoran, physician and cancer survivor, on Quora:
Establishing healthy habits is a good start. When you feel well, it’s easier to be happy and successful and get the most out of life. Often diet and exercise are the first things that come to mind when thinking of healthy habits. There is an avalanche of opinions on what a healthy diet is. I think it depends on our individual personal preferences as well as our metabolism. But whether your diet is vegan, vegetarian, paleo, Mediterranean, or labeled something else, it comes down to real food. Cook for yourself with quality ingredients and eat at home, enjoy your food, and if possible, share with others. You will undoubtedly be healthier and happier.
I always thought I had a reasonably healthy diet until I was diagnosed with cancer and considered more carefully what I was eating. I feel better and am happier when I eat real food that I cook at home. Maybe it’s age; maybe it’s because I am more aware, but my body lets me know when I don’t eat well. I do enjoy cooking and strive to eat a wide variety of vegetables every day. I think most of the food we cook at home is delicious, so I am not sacrificing anything to eat well.

Get some exercise.

Exercise reduces depression and increases pain tolerance. Do it outside if you can. Being outside makes you happier and also helps reduce depression and anxiety. Make sure it is an activity that you like. The more it feels like work, the less beneficial it is for you and the less likely you are to do it. Sweat. The harder you work, the less time you need to put in.

I am an exercise addict. Who will tend to go overboard. I can count the days during chemotherapy that I did not exercise on one hand. It, for sure, helped me feel better during a time when feeling crappy was the norm.
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