10 Healthy Habits to Start Now: How we live each day can have dramatic effects on our health in the long run. Healthy habits like taking regular exercise, eating nutritious foods, and getting adequate sleep can help protect us from illnesses and diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and depression, which are all leading causes of death worldwide. These 10 healthy habits are simple to integrate into your daily routine and will give you the best chance at living a long, disease-free life!
Stay Physically Active:
Staying physically active is a habit that benefits your health in both immediate and long-term ways. Regular exercise keeps you flexible, helps you build muscle, aids in weight loss, and boosts your overall well-being. (It also wards off depression.) There are so many benefits that keeping physically active is something everyone should focus on—but it’s especially important if you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle or lose weight.
If you haven’t started exercising yet, try these simple steps: Find an activity that you enjoy; don’t push yourself too hard; start with 30 minutes each day; build up from there. Over time, not only will staying physically active become one of your healthy habits—it will become a part of who you are.
Don’t Skip Breakfast:
You might think skipping breakfast is a quick way to cut calories, but in reality, it only backfires. In fact, researchers at Cornell University found that people who ate breakfast lost an average of 17 pounds in six months as opposed to those who skipped their morning meal. The big reason why? Most people eat too much when they do have breakfast.
For example, if you start your day with bacon and eggs, then you’re downing more than 500 calories before you even get to work. Those 500-calorie breakfasts make weight loss very difficult! So give yourself permission to eat a healthy breakfast without restricting how much you eat at other meals throughout the day.
It’s not always easy to stick with an exercise routine. In fact, about half of Americans don’t get enough exercise, according to data from 2015. But starting small—such as going for a brisk walk every morning—can make all the difference in adding a little more fitness into your life.
It’s never too late (or too early) to start! Focus on Enjoying Healthy Foods: One great way to add a healthy habit is by paying more attention to what you eat and how you treat your body. If you focus on eating only healthy foods that energize you instead of making you feel sluggish, chances are good that you’ll be more likely to pick up other healthy habits over time—such as exercising or getting enough sleep.
A healthy diet is important for long-term health. While eating well won’t keep you from getting sick, it can boost your energy, help prevent disease and keep you looking and feeling young. To live a healthier life, start by adding in some fruits and vegetables every day.
You should also consider eating less sugar (you don’t need it) and cutting back on foods that are high in saturated fat. For example, if you like meat, choose lean cuts; instead of frying food in butter or lard, try grilling or roasting; replace whole milk with low-fat or nonfat varieties; avoid cream sauces, and choose to skim instead of whole milk when drinking dairy products.
Improve Your Sleep Quality:
Sleep is vital for optimal health, and yet it’s often one of the first things we sacrifice when we get busy. Sleep experts agree that adults should get at least seven hours of sleep per night, but most people fall far short of that. One obvious way to improve your sleep quality is to make sure you aren’t deprived of shut-eye in the first place. But there are some other habits you can introduce into your life—all scientifically proven to improve your restfulness and energy during waking hours. Here are 10 healthy habits that help you stay energized
Stress can throw off your body’s natural balance, causing your weight to fluctuate. Research has shown that chronic stress can lead to weight gain and fat storage around your belly. According to a study in Psychosomatic Medicine, women who are overly stressed are more likely to eat high-fat foods than healthy ones, ultimately adding on pounds and getting fatter over time.
Work stress has also been shown to contribute directly or indirectly (via unhealthy habits) to heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, low sex drive and premature ageing. Check out some ways stress affects your health—and what you can do about it: 10 Steps for Dealing with Stress at Work; A Quick Stress Reliever: 4 Breathing Exercises You Can Do Right Now; How Meditation Can Help Stress Management
While many people smoke as a way to manage stress, smoking actually increases levels of cortisol and adrenaline, both of which are released in response to physical or emotional stress. Cortisol is an appetite stimulant and can disrupt metabolism. Smoking also lowers immunity, making your body more susceptible to infections and illnesses. Smoking over time can damage every major organ system, including lungs, heart, brain and kidneys. If you want a healthy life free from disease and injury (and who doesn’t?), it’s imperative that you avoid smoking altogether.
Have A Drink Once In A While:
While no one is going to tell you that alcohol is good for your health, moderate drinking (about one drink per day) has been shown to offer some cardiovascular benefits and may help with anxiety and stress relief. For example, a study by researchers at Harvard Medical School published in Circulation found that alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease independent of other lifestyle factors.
Another study conducted by researchers at Yale University found that drinking two or three glasses of wine every day may help lower your blood pressure. If you do decide to imbibe, remember moderation is key; keep track of how much you’re drinking and make sure it falls within healthy guidelines.
Take Vitamins, Supplements and Herbs Only If Needed:
The human body requires very few nutrients in order to function properly. As a result, most of what is marketed as vitamins and supplements don’t actually serve any real purpose. Furthermore, taking extra vitamins can be dangerous because it gives your body more than it needs and puts stress on its normal levels. Vitamins should only be taken if they are absolutely needed, usually when there is a deficiency in an essential nutrient.
The rest of the time you can get your vitamins from food or multivitamins that aren’t specially formulated for specific health benefits or claims (like weight loss). Similarly, herbs and supplements are often marketed as cures for everything from back pain to cancer.
Get an Annual Health Checkup:
It’s easy to put off a doctor’s visit and there may be reasons for it. Perhaps you feel healthy and don’t need one, or are too busy and can’t fit it into your schedule. However, if you want to enjoy a long life full of energy, taking care of your health is absolutely necessary. Annual health checkups are an excellent way to monitor your health status over time. And even if you do have health problems, there’s still value in getting checked out annually; a doctor will be able to track how any treatment plans are working or whether new treatments may be needed.