More than 133 million Americans, that’s 40% of the population, suffer from chronic diseases. That means they are affected by an illness or condition that prevents them from going about their usual activities.
These days our busy lives aren’t geared towards healthy living. We eat fast food on the go, pack our schedules with meetings, and don’t make enough time to take care of our health and wellbeing.
Don’t worry! Creating healthy habits doesn’t need to be so hard. Making lifestyle changes can be challenging at first, but did you know it only takes an average of 66 days to build a new habit?
Follow these tips if you want to live a longer and healthier life.
1. Eat Well
This simple advice certainly is most obvious one on the list, but it’s true: We are what we eat. Maintaining healthy eating habits are essential if we want to feel good and perform well.
Many Americans lack dietary fiber because they don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. Fruit and veg are nutrient-dense, whole foods that help our body restore and regenerate. Try your best to eat more fruit and vegetables.
Eat a varied and balanced diet as much as you can. This includes lean meat such as chicken, green leafy vegetables, whole grains such as oats or brown rice, nuts, seeds, and fruits.
Eating well doesn’t mean you can’t eat fast foods or things you love once in a while. Just try to eat them less. It’s all about balance.
2. Drink Enough Water
Staying hydrated is necessary for us to function and to feel our best. The human body is composed by at least 60% water, after all. Water is vital for flushing toxins from your system and is a crucial substance needed by the digestive system.
Water is also a magic savior for our skin. Drink at least 4 pints of water every day, and you may notice a significant difference in the smoothness of your skin.
Drinking more water is one of the easiest healthy habits to start. If you don’t like the taste of water, try flavoring it with some fresh mint or lemon.
Drinking water is one of the best healthy habits for kids. Get them started with drinking enough water when they are young.
3. Take Supplements
Many of us are deficient in some nutrients, even if we eat a balanced and healthy diet.
For example, a lot of women are deficient in iron. If you live in a colder climate that doesn’t get much sun, you may have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for our brain function, vascular health, and bone wellbeing.
Check with your doctor if you can have a blood test to find out which vitamins you lack; you can then choose which supplements to take.
Many healthy people also take a daily probiotic. Probiotics are good for balancing the bacteria in our stomach (microbiome). These bacteria play a vital role in a healthy, functioning immune system.
4. Exercise Regularly
We all need exercise. Not only physical activity boosts our mood and productivity, but it can help prevent some of the common metabolic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Regular exercise also helps to maintain an optimal muscle and bone density.
The more regularly you exercise, the better you will feel. Try to do various exercises, for example, combine walking and tennis or swimming and pilates. If you mix cardio exercise and strength training exercise, you will be able to achieve optimum fitness.
5. Make Time to Stretch it Out
We all spend a lot of our days sitting at a desk or in a car. Our sedentary lifestyles are one of the things that are causing us to become ill!
If you work in an office, take regular breaks to walk around and do some stretches. Our neck, back, and shoulders hold a lot of tension from hunching over our devices. Stretch them out regularly.
Many of us also suffer from tight hamstrings, which can lead to pain in the lower back. If you make time for 10 minutes of stretching every day, it will make the world of difference to your wellbeing.
Stretching is also essential to help prevent injury when working out. Don’t forget to warm up and warm down before you exercise.
6. Get Good Sleep
Our body and brain need rest! Healthy sleep habits are one of the most critical elements of staying healthy.
If we sleep 7-8 hours a night, it helps regulate our hormones which means less stress. If you don’t sleep enough, it can even lead to weight gain. Try going to bed at the same time every night to get into a healthy sleep pattern.
Your brain filters out the information from your day that you don’t need while you sleep. It’s like a detoxifying process.
If you regularly get enough sleep, it can help prevent long-term diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
7. Meditate to Destress
Stress contributes to numerous health issues and is detrimental to our wellbeing.
If we can go offline in the evening, this can help with our stress levels immensely.
Meditation is also an excellent way to calm the mind. There is plenty of research to prove the positive impact meditation has on our brain.
Not sure how to meditate or intimidated by the thought of it? Don’t worry; it’s not too hard. Sit quietly for a few minutes and concentrate on your breathing. Try to clear your mind and use your breath to stay focused.
Taking a moment’s stillness in your day is one of the best things you can do to contribute to your mental health.
Start Your Healthy Daily Habits
It will take some time to implement more healthy habits into your lifestyle. Take it slow, don’t rush, and don’t try to do everything at once. Chose the habit that looks like the most achievable to you and get started with that.
Slowly and surely, you will be able to incorporate other habits into your life. Pursuing good health is a lifelong effort that can sometimes be hard. But don’t worry, it’s more than worth it. Who doesn’t want to live a longer and happier life?
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