We all know that healthy habits, such as eating well, exercising, and avoiding harmful substances, make sense, but did you ever stop to think about why we don’t always practice them in order to achieve them? A healthy habit is any behavior that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health. These habits improve your overall well-being and make you feel good.
Healthy habits are hard to develop and often require changing your mindset in order to achieve success. But if you’re willing to make sacrifices to better your health, the impact can be far-reaching, regardless of your age, gender, or physical ability. Here are some key changes you can make today to start reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
HEALTHY HABITS FOR HEALTH & FITNESS
1. Exercise – Break Routines!
Exercise strengthens your heart and improves your circulation. The increased blood flow raises the oxygen levels in your body. This helps lower your risk of heart diseases such as high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and heart attack. Regular exercise can also lower your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. We have all heard it many times before – regular exercise is good for you, and it can help you lose weight. But if you are like many adults, you are busy, you have a sedentary job, and you haven’t yet changed your exercise habits. The good news is that it’s never too late to start. You can start slowly, and find ways to fit more physical activity into your life. To get the most benefit, you should try to get the recommended amount of exercise for your age. If you can do it, the payoff is that you will feel better, help prevent or control many diseases, and likely even live longer.
2. Start Eating Better – Who are you trying to fool?
Eating healthy isn’t always easy, but committing to a healthy diet can be one of the smartest decisions you ever make. Why? Not only can eating well make you look and feel better, but it can also save you money on future health costs. This great article by Forbes gives you a simple quick-start guide to help you succeed as well as the benefits you can expect to get in return.
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3. Drink More Water – Be Consistent!
It can do so many good things for you. Staying hydrated is at the top of the list, but it may also help you lose weight.
Another reason to go for H2O? Sugary drinks are linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. If you aren’t a fan of plain water, add flavor with slices of orange, lemon, lime, watermelon, or cucumber. Staying hydrated is vital. Our bodies are 60% water, and not getting enough can lead to headaches, fatigue, and even overeating. Still, contrary to popular opinion, you don’t necessarily need to drink eight glasses of water a day.
Instead, your daily hydration requirement can change based on several factors, from how much you worked out that day to the weather outside. Certain foods are also a good water source, so eating more of them may mean you need to drink less. Cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, and spinach are all 92% water. Carrots, green peas, and even white potatoes are more than 79%.
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4. Count Your Steps – Don’t Cheat!
One way to help you keep moving is to use your smartphone and an app or a tracking device to count your steps taken each day. Get a group of people from work or some willing family members and have a little friendly competition through a virtual leader board. Make sure to establish group goals that will entice friendly competition. This positive peer pressure can make it fun and motivating! Here is a great selection of Smartwatches we trust to get the job done.
FITNESS TRACKERS WE TRUST...
5. Food Journaling – Be Honest!
Several studies have shown that keeping a food journal can help you make healthier choices and increases your chances of losing weight. Writing down what you eat can reveal patterns of overeating, show triggers that may cause unhealthy choices, and help you gain general insight on your diet that you may remain unaware of otherwise.
6. Oral Hygiene – Do we really need to convince you on this one?
Poor oral hygiene can lead to problems with diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. Regular dental visits, brushing regularly, flossing daily and watching what you eat are all important steps in preventing dental problems and keeping you in good health.
7. Getting The Right Amount Of Sleep – Just don’t become Sleeping Beauty!
Sleep plays an essential role in your health and wellbeing throughout your life. Getting enough good quality sleep has many benefits, including protecting your physical and mental health, quality of life and personal safety. When we sleep, our bodies rest – conserving energy and decreasing blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and body temperature. At the same time, our brains remain active – laying down memory, restoring daytime mental functioning and carrying out processes that lead to physical growth. Here is the necessary amount of sleep by age as established by The National Sleep Foundation. By the way… don’t forget the benefits of a good power nap.
HEALTHY HABITS FOR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
8. Learning Something New – It is never too late!
9. Take The Time To Plan Your Day – Run the day before it starts running you!
Planning can greatly reduce your stress. Proper planning gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you have formulated a plan of action and that your goals are attainable.
Planning also helps you to be prepared for obstacles because part of the planning process is creating a contingency plan for unexpected problems.
It also serves as a way to evaluate your progress as you work. Planning your daily and weekly activities will clearly illustrate whether or not you are staying on schedule. Saving is also part of the planing process.
10. Reading – We actually don’t mean the newspaper!
Reading is fundamental. It improves the relaxation response, lowering heartbeat and pulse rate. Reduce stress levels, preserve brain health and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It also helps to alleviate anxiety and depression, help you fall asleep faster, increase life expectancy, boost happiness and overall life satisfaction. This without even going into the direct impact reading has over our knowledge and understanding capabilities.
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11. Keeping a Journal – Spill your heart out!
Journaling allows people to clarify their thoughts and feelings, thereby gaining valuable self-knowledge. It’s also a good problem-solving tool; oftentimes, one can hash out a problem and come up with solutions more easily on paper. Imagine how powerful it would be for you to be able to read your journal from five years ago. For you to get a chance to see where your life was and compare it with where it currently is. It would be an amazing history book for your life story.
12. Gratitude Routine – Start with the simple things!
Things can seem to pile up. And somehow we notice the negative things way more easily than the positives. Find one thing every day that you can be grateful for, and do it on purpose. Write it down or find a friend who will ask you every day, “What are you grateful for today?” This will make you more optimistic and give you a more healthy outlook on life. Gratitude is a state of mind and a way of behaving; so be aware that the change will not be instant but it will truly be worth it in the long run. Are you breathing right now? That’s a start!
13. Stop Multi-Tasking – Focus on single tasks!
Not only is multitasking more stressful and less productive than single-tasking, but technically it’s not even possible. What feels like doing multiple tasks at a time is actually our brain frantically switching back and forth. If you want to get tasks done at a higher quality and in less time, it pays dividends to focus on one at a time. Remember to evaluate quality versus quantity in your performance.
HEALTHY HABITS FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
14. Be Mindful – From the simple to the complex!
It can mean meditating or simply stopping to smell the roses. However you do it, studies show mindfulness slashes stress, relieves pain, and improves your mood. And scientists are beginning to understand how. One study found that 8 weeks of regular meditation can change parts of your brain related to emotions, learning, and memory. Even washing dishes can be good for your brain, as long as you do it mindfully.
15. Become a Good Listener – You don’t have to do all the talking!
The better you listen, the better they will listen to you. And the better and deeper the relationship will be. If you focus on understanding the other person and on giving value based on that then you’ll get the same thing back.
Did you know that an average adult spends almost 70% of their time by engaging in any form of communication, out of which more than 45% of their time goes into listening, 30% in speaking, and 16% in reading and only about 9% in writing? Becoming a really good listener is critical because it helps one understand the true essence of key messages delivered that may otherwise be misunderstood or not communicated clearly.
But that is not all; we often underestimate the power of good listening skills because we are always in a hurry to speak instead of trying to comprehend what is being communicated to us and preparing what we’re going to say next. Developing good listening skills will take you further in life than you can even comprehend. Make it a daily goal to become a better listener on purpose.
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16. Keep Good Company – Surround yourself with people that will lift you up!
Studies have shown that communities, are an incredibly important determining factor of your success, health and happiness. Keeping yourself in good company is more important than ever in setting the tone for your life. Focus on finding the situation and the correct person or people you feel really at home and comfortable with, so that being with them and doing things with them boosts your morale, your energy level, your love of life and your spirit, rather than draining it all away.
17. Would Your Rather Text or Call? – Choose wisely!
We’re all living busy, exciting lives. We all want short cuts and quick fixes; but one place to take it slow is with communication. The key is to fully understand the benefits you may obtain from choosing when to call and when to text. Calling supports the art of meaningful conversations; of being able to go beyond a superficial exchange of words into a deep connection with the other person. A text message will mostly limit this connection. Take into consideration which method can add more value to the relationship, but remember there is no better feeling than listening to the voice of someone you truly care about.
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18. Forgiveness – What’s the point of holding grudges!
Choosing to not forgive someone increases your anger and contributes to a feeling of loss of control. Holding onto a grudge can increase muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure, which are all harmful to your health. Being able to forgive someone will also improve your sleep. You will not spend time lying in bed at night ruminating over something that happened in the past, or planning what kind of retaliation you want to make. If you can meditate and fully forgive someone else, you can focus more on you and your own well-being.
Finally, being able to forgive can strengthen your relationship with your friends and family. Avoiding deep-seeded strains in close relationships is an important part of feeling connected to those around you and living life in harmony with people who cross your path. Maintaining healthy relationships is a key component of living a healthy lifestyle. Remember the first one who will benefit from forgiveness is yourself!
19. Live In The Present – There is no better time than now!
Most of us experience a continuous chatter in our minds. We have countless thoughts about the future, the past, or judgments about what is, which seem to flow through our minds as if in a never-ending stream. This continuous chatter has many consequences. We can become continuously distracted from what’s actually going on in the present moment and start to experience life through our thoughts rather than through direct experience.
There are many benefits to living in the now – so many of them that as soon as you start living in the moment you will want to keep on doing it more and more. For starters; Improved concentration, improved effectiveness, increased relaxation and direct-felt experience of reality. When you live in the present is when you are truly able to discover new things and are also able to see every opportunity with more clarity. Some windows of opportunity are only open for a quick second – don’t miss it!
20. Don’t Forget To Play – Keep your inner child alive and happy!
Life is meant to be a fun ride. Don’t forget to take the time to enjoy every minute of it; living in the present, taking good care of yourself, making healthy choices, getting a good night sleep, reading a good book, having a meaningful conversation are all part of what keeps us grounded. Be mindful of yourself and those around you so you never miss out the moments that make life special. Making good decisions to benefit your health is about being ready, willing and able to face any obstacles that come your way to be able to enjoy the beauty everyday has to offer. The amount of time you invest into your personal development will play a key role in the level of success you will be able to achieve. Always be ready to Challenge Yourself To Be Better… To Do More… To Live For Growth!