When it comes to building healthy habits, small decisions add up over time. Healthy eating habits , along with other lifestyle changes will help you to achieve your desired weight, gain mental clarity, and increase longevity. Below, find ideas on ways to be healthier every day:
- Have a drink. By drink, I am referring to water. The majority of us do not take in the recommended daily amount of water. Did you know that your body is 57-60% water? Therefore, water makes up more than half of your body weight. We lose water each day when going to the bathroom, sweating, and even during breathing. Our bodies lose water even faster when the weather is hot, when we are physically active, or if we have a fever. If we don’t replace the water we lose, we can become dehydrated.
- Move a little. Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), exercise can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Exercise also helps to lower stress levels, and improve sleep quality as well as reduce your risk for depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Regular exercise will help to strengthen your bones and muscles and also improve your mental health as well as your mood.
- Adopt a healthy diet. Add more fruits and vegetables to your daily meals. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk. That is one reason the American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of these foods every day. By choosing brightly colored produce, you get a better mix of vitamins, and antioxidants. These nutrients help to ward off disease, slow the aging process and boost your overall health.
- Kick that habit to the curb. Tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Smoking has been found to harm nearly every bodily organ and organ system in the body and can diminish your overall health. Some of the benefits of quitting smoking include: normalized heart and blood pressure rates, improved circulation, less coughing/wheezing, improved sense of smell and taste and a lowered risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Reduce sugar intake. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a lot of calories without any essential nutrients, which is why they are referred to as empty calories. Excess sugar consumption can lead to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased levels of bad cholesterol and increased fat accumulation in the liver, and abdominal cavity, and it can have an adverse effect on your metabolism.
- Avoid processed foods. Processed foods are typically loaded with added sugar, and we know that sugar in excess can be harmful. Processed foods also contain several artificial ingredients that include preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavorings. They are also very high in simple carbohydrates while containing very few nutrients.
- Laugh a little. Laughter causes physiological responses that protect your body from disease and helps your vital organs repair themselves. A study by the John Hopkins University Medical School showed that humor and laughter can also improve memory and mental performance.
- Shut down those electronics. This is one I struggle with. Electronics are a part of life in the 21st century, which means that we are exposed to the light that our devices emit. The light exposure from our electronic devices promote wakefulness. You should “unplug” your devices at least two hours before bed. This gives your brain a chance to unwind and get ready for sleep.
- Pray/Meditate daily. Regular prayer and meditation has been shown in numerous scientific studies to be an important factor in living longer and staying healthy. According to a Huffington Post article, “individuals who prayed daily were shown to be 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure than those without a regular prayer practice.” Prayer has also been known to boost the immune system and lower stress levels.
- Spend some quality time with loved ones. Eat dinner together. Participate in activities as a family. Have a family night each week (encourage your kids to choose activities). Attend weekly worship services together. Develop holiday traditions with your family. As you foster healthy relationships with the ones you love, you will live a fuller, more meaningful life.
What are some of the ways that you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Share with us below.