Habits for a Healthier Lifestyle: Small Changes, Big Impact
October 26th, 2021 by Catherine Marqueses
Long-term good health is not achieved overnight. It is a culmination of the choices you make today and how consistent you are with them. Cultivating healthy habits early on can significantly impact your overall well-being in the future. If you want to achieve a more productive and healthier lifestyle, here are eight simple habits that can help you.
There is certainly no shortage of positives when it comes to regular exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the benefits of physical activity include:
- Aids in weight management
- Reduces health risks for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and some cancers
- Prevents falls
- Improves ability to perform daily activities
- Strengthens your bones and muscles
- Boosts your chances of living longer
Make it a habit to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. You don’t have to be a fitness guru to reap the benefits of exercise. It can be as simple as running around your neighborhood, cleaning your backyard, stretching out a few yoga poses, or playing soccer with your kids.
The important thing is to move constantly, as having a sedentary lifestyle can have detrimental consequences in the long run. Variety is the key, so find ways to mix it up so you can engage every body part. In addition, make sure that you start within your fitness level. Don’t force your body into doing something that you are not comfortable with.
Another habit you need to incorporate into your daily routine is staying hydrated. Since every organ, cell, and tissue in our bodies require water, it is essential that you get the recommended amount of water every day. As per Harvard Health, the four to six-cup rule is ideally for healthy people, and a person’s water intake depends on several factors. For instance, if you engage in highly physical activities daily, you need to drink more to replenish the amount of water you are losing through sweating. If you are unsure of how much water you should be taking, it would be best to speak with your doctor.
Eating nutritious food is crucial to achieving optimal health. What you eat today can significantly impact your future health. Remember that there is a big difference between good nutrition and depriving yourself of eating. You don’t have to follow a strict diet or the latest fad, you just need to make healthy food choices.
The key is to eat a diverse set of food and work on portion control. Go for bigger servings of fruits and vegetables, and stay away from processed food and drinks. Don’t forget to eat fish at least twice a week and consume your recommended servings of healthy fats. Make sure never to skip breakfast, as it can significantly affect your body’s rhythm of eating and fasting. Go for food high in protein and fiber to keep you energized and full. Starting your day with a healthy morning meal can help you eat better throughout the day.
Practice good oral hygiene
Maintaining good dental hygiene is another essential habit that you need to integrate into your life. Since your mouth is the entryway to your digestive tracts and other vital organs, you must keep it clean and bacteria-free. To keep your teeth healthy, make sure to:
- Use a fluoride toothpaste
- Don’t forget to clean your tongue
- Never go to bed without brushing
- Remember to floss
- Use mouthwash
- Minimize your consumption of sugary and acidic foods
- See your dentist regularly
Be conscious of your posture
Having good posture certainly has its upsides, such as fewer headaches, increased energy levels, lesser back pains, reduced tension in the neck and shoulders, improved lung capacity, enhanced digestion and circulation, improved core, and increased self-confidence. While having good posture is not something you can achieve right away, you must always be conscious of it, as it offers a significant payoff for your overall well-being.
Limit your alcohol intake
While drinking occasionally may offer some benefits, excessive drinking can do serious and irreversible damage to your health. If you want to live a quality life during your golden years, it is vital that you cut back on your alcohol intake as much as you can. Try to limit your drinking to the recommended amount per day. Individuals who usually drink have their own set of triggers.
Make sure you are aware of them so you can guard yourself against these temptations. If possible, try to monitor how often you drink and how much you consume, so you can efficiently set a limit for yourself. Another way to curb your drinking is to divert your energy and focus on something else. Rather than reaching for a bottle of wine, go for a night run around your neighborhood instead. Remember to reach out for support from your loved ones, and do not be afraid or ashamed to seek professional help if your situation already calls for it.
Get quality sleep
Poor or lack of sleep can seriously impact your overall health. Getting adequate rest at night will make you more productive and efficient throughout your day. It can reduce your risks of certain heart diseases, minimize stress, help you maintain your weight, lessen inflammation, sharpen your mind, enhance your immune system, and improve your overall mood. Make it a point to get at least seven to nine hours of rest every night. Make your bedroom conducive to sleep and remove any possible distractions.
Consult with your physician
These days, proactive or preventive healthcare is crucial more than ever. You must regularly consult with your doctor even if you are not sick. With regular checkups, your physician can spot potential health problems and address them right away before they become life-threatening. Aside from visiting your doctor, make sure you never skip your medications as well. Thanks to technology, you can order OTC meds online without leaving the comforts and safety of your home.
Developing new healthy habits takes time. With focus, determination, and hard work, you can achieve a healthier lifestyle so you can enjoy your life to the fullest.