Are you looking to improve your life? Get healthier? Feel better? Here are ten great, healthy habits you can embrace now for a happier, healthier, and potentially longer life.
1. Reduce stress. Stress affects your health in a very negative way. It affects your immune system. It affects your ability to sleep and to digest your food properly. It causes you to gain weight and impacts on pain. If you’re looking for one thing you can do better for yourself and your health this year, it would be to find techniques of reducing your stress. Stress reduction techniques are easy to learn and create relaxation. Relaxation reverses the impact of stress on your body.
2. Water intake is critical, not just because water is good for you but because when you drink more water, you stop drinking soda or other sugary drinks. Diet soda isn’t much better because it’s full of artificial sweeteners and chemicals. They are excessively sweet and make your tastebuds crave excessively sweet foods.
3. Walk/exercise. Adding exercise to your routine adds years to your life. You don’t have to participate in a marathon or become iron man triathletes. Walking for 30 minutes a day is an great start. Plus, you’ll just feel better as your brain produces more neurotransmitters for positive emotion – nature’s “feel good” molecules!
4. Take your vitamins. A well-balanced diet is excellent; however a multi-vitamin is an great tool for a little extra insurance, since few of us always eat the right foods at the right time in the right amounts.
5. Eat more fruits and veggies. It goes without saying that eating your fruits and veggies is vital for your health. Add one extra serving of fruits and veggies daily to your meal plan every week until you are consuming at least 5-7 or more servings a day. You’ll be well on your way to improving many aspects of your health.
6. Eat less saturated fat. Substitute chicken or fish instead of red meat. Have a no-meat day once a week. Use more olive oil and canola oil for cooking. Eat low-fat or no-fat dairy. Stay away from trans-fats and saturated fats found in butter and some margarine spreads.
7. Eat less sugar. Sugar causes a rapid rise in blood sugar and an initial feeling of well being. It then causes a rapid decline in blood sugar and a feeling of no energy. Then you eat more sugar and the cycle starts over. This roller coaster of sugar highs and lows wreaks havoc on your body. The answer, eat less sugar, refined and processed foods. Make your complex carbohydrates whole grains, beans, yams, sweet potatoes and long-grain rice. This is called low glycemic impact eating.
8. Fish oil. Fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in our bodies. It may aid in reducing cholesterol and may help guard your brain against degenerative diseases. Take a supplement or eat a minimum of 2 servings of cold-water, fatty fish twice a week.
9. Go to the doctor. Are there regular tests you should be taking to test for hereditary illnesses or preventative measures that are appropriate to your age? Cancer screenings are the most common, but cholesterol checks, blood pressure readings and blood glucose levels are all important. Take the steps necessary to see your doctor this year. Make it easy by scheduling it around your birthday each year as a reminder.
10. Laugh. Laughing reduces stress and places you in a positive frame of mind. It’s scientifically proven that stress has a direct effect on your health. Laughter counter-acts the effects of stress. Laugh, you’ll be glad you did!