Wherever we go, there’s always someone who keeps reminding us about the importance of having healthy lifestyle habits. And kudos to that person because in this day and age, we need to be constantly reminded.
According to studies, our lifestyle greatly affects our lifespan. Time and again we hear about the dangers of smoking, unhealthy eating, and drinking too much alcohol. We know that these unhealthy habits can actually put us closer to the grave. That’s why if we want to live longer … and happier … we have to understand that we need to change our lifestyle.
Do you want to start changing your lifestyle? If yes, read on.
Here are some healthy lifestyle habits and behaviors that you can apply daily to help you get closer to achieving a healthier and happier life:
1. Take some probiotics
Are kefir and yogurt in your grocery list? If not, it’s high time you include those in your list during your next visit to the store.
Probiotics are actually live bacteria. But don’t cringe yet. These are not those types that we would usually steer clear of. Probiotics are not germs – they are actually good bacteria. And according to WebMD, they are good for our health, especially our digestive system.
What are the exact benefits of probiotics? An article in Whole Living says that “Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium may help restore the balance the of bacteria living in the female genital tract and inhibit the growth of yeast in women with recurrent infections.”
Aside from yogurt and kefir, we can find these good bacteria in naturally fermented sauerkraut and kimchi.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
The ability to eat is probably one of the greatest gifts we have ever received. We all love eating.
However, the question now is, what type of food are we eating? Are we eating junk or are we eating healthy food?
In an article in Livestrong.com, Janet Renee expounded on the benefits of having a balanced diet. She said that our body needs a wide range of nutrients in the right amounts to grow, develop, and maintain itself.
“Too much, or not enough, of any nutrient, can lead to problems,” she said.
Thus, if you are currently living on pizza or pure meat every day, then it’s time for you to mix greens in your diet.
3. Don’t Smoke
If you are a smoker, you may have been warned before about the negative effects of smoking. While you may have the right to smoke, we strongly advise you to stop smoking.
Because smoking is strongly linked to the rise of some diseases and worse, early death.
According to Healthline, “Men and women who smoke may lose up to 10 years of their lives and be three times more likely to die prematurely than those who never pick up a cigarette.”
But don’t be too alarmed. There is still time to quit and a chance to prolong your life.
In fact, a study cited by Healthline reports:
“Individuals who quit smoking by 35 years of age may prolong their lives by up to 8.5 years. Furthermore, quitting smoking in your ’60s may add up to 3.7 years to your life. In fact, quitting in your ’80s may still even provide benefits”.
4. Do Some Brain Training
Not only do we need to exercise our physical bodies. Our minds need to be exercised as well. Doing activities that can help us exercise our minds is a healthy lifestyle habit that we need to maintain. In fact, according to Prevention magazine, keeping our mind physically fit can save us from certain conditions that will shorten our lifespan such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Oxbridge Academy shared a few ways that you can exercise your mind. And these are: playing board games, learning a new word every day, do puzzles, journal regularly, memorize lists, read out loud, do sums in your head, and try a new form of physical exercise.
Also, it shouldn’t be dismissed that one of the ways to keep our mind healthy is having a balanced diet.
5. Go For a Jog
Now, here’s one of the hundreds of healthy lifestyle habits that is scientifically proven to extend life.
Huffington Post published an article that lists five habits that have been proven by science to increase one’s lifespan.
One of these habits is jogging. And according to the article, a team of Danish researchers believes without a doubt that jogging is the “key to extending your life.”
One of the researchers, Peter Schnor, had said, “We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity.”
What’s amazing about this is that you don’t really need to jog that much for it to take effect. Schnor’s study actually found out that just jogging one to two-and-a-half hours total per week is already enough for you to reap the benefits.
6. Prioritize Your Happiness
Do you consider yourself a happy person? If you are, that’s good. Being happy is probably one of the best healthy lifestyle habits that you can follow for the rest of your life.
There have been a lot of studies proving that feeling happy can significantly increase your longevity. One such study, which was cited in Healthline magazine, says that happier individuals had a 3.7% reduction in early death over a 5-year study period.
A part of this research asked 180 Catholic nuns to analyze their self-reported levels of happiness when they first entered the monastery. This was then compared later to their levels of longevity. The study found out that those who felt happiest at age 22 were 2.5 times more likely to still be alive six decades later.
Isn’t that amazing?
Therefore, Healthline concluded, “Prioritizing what makes you happy is likely to have positive effects, both on your mood and your ability to live longer.”
7. Get 95% of Your Food from Plants
When you were small, your parents have probably asked (or forced) you every day to eat your veggies. But of course, your parents won’t always be there to remind you. If you want to live longer, you have to challenge yourself to eat healthy – meaning you have to eat mostly vegetables or plant products.
Dan Buettner from Health.com wrote that the best longevity foods are leafy greens.
“Studies found that middle-aged people who consumed the equivalent of a cup of cooked greens daily were half as likely to die in the next four years as those who ate no greens.”
We hope you will get inspired.
8. Get Some Sun—But Not Too Much
It’s great to bask in the sun. We all know about the sunshine vitamin or Vitamin D. According to a Reader’s Digest article, this sunshine vitamin has been shown to fight disease, improve bone health, and ward off depression.
However, we should put in mind that too much sunshine is also dangerous. There have been several reports that skin cancer has significantly increased in the United States despite the popularity of sunblock.
So if you wish to get a bit of the sunshine vitamin, do not overdo it.
“Getting 15 to 30 minutes of sun exposure a day should be adequate for vitamin D production,” Jyotir Jani, MD, a primary care physician with Piedmont Healthcare, tells Reader’s Digest.
9. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is easily one of the most important healthy lifestyle habits that we need to remember if we want to live a longer life.
And we’re not talking about all the drinks that you can find in the grocery. We are talking about H2O – just pure, simple water. If you’ve ever experienced thirst before, you’ll know why only water is the ultimate thirst quencher.
Reader’s Digest interviewed Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE and author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies, and here’s her take on staying hydrated:
“Adequate hydration is essential for promoting optimal health. Drinking water can help to allow all of your body systems to function correctly, including the kidneys and liver to function optimally. In addition, adequate hydration promotes healthier, more subtle skin, which may promote a more youthful appearance.”
10. Watch Your Carbs
Most of us struggle with the age-old problem of losing belly fat. However, the problem is, most of us don’t have the strength to turn away from foods that cause our bellies to swell.
Whole Living says that if we want to reduce our belly fat, we have to pay attention to our carbohydrate intake and avoid artificial sweeteners.
“Sugary snacks and other refined carbs spike blood sugar and cause pounds to settle in your midsection. Choose whole grains, beans, and vegetables instead.”
11. Get Routine Health Screenings
One of the healthy lifestyle habits that we should not forget is to get regular health screenings.
Let’s admit. When we are in the best of health, visiting the doctor is usually the last thing on our minds. However, failure to visit the doctor regularly has often led to more serious health problems due to undiagnosed illnesses.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds everyone about the importance of routine health screenings:
“Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances of living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (i.e. what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other important factors impact what and how often you need healthcare.”
However, we have to admit that sometimes even if we have routine checkups, there are certain times that some illnesses cannot be identified by conventional lab work. These are called functional disturbances.
Delta Discovery Center offers a process called bioenergetic testing or biomeridian stress assessment which helps determine if your organs are not functioning well or if there is an imbalance in your body. By getting a biomeridian stress assessment, you will be able to find a cure to those mysterious illnesses. Make an appointment for your Meridian Scan today!
12. Laugh Often
We are often told that “laughter is the best medicine” … and this is the plain truth. Laughing is very powerful. Do you notice that when you laugh, no matter how heavy your burdens are, everything becomes a little lighter?
HelpGuide.com explains why laughter is very important:
“Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you to release anger and be more forgiving.
13. Maintain and Strengthen Relationships
“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…” John Donne
“Man is by nature a social animal.” Aristotle
This only says one thing – that we are created to have relationships. This is probably the reason why if we are not on good terms with others, our emotional and physical health is also affected.
According to Harvard Health article, social connections or relationships are very important for a happier life.
“Social connections not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking.”
In fact, according to the article, there have been dozens of studies showing that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.
14. Get Enough Sleep
People have a tendency to neglect the importance of sleep. All too often, they treat sleep as something that can be sacrificed. However, lack of sleep often leads to serious health problems.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute stresses the importance of sleep. “Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life,” it says. “Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.”
15. Wear Sunscreen
Being exposed to the sun’s UV rays can be very harmful and according to the American Academy of Dermatology, the use of sunscreen can protect us from these UV rays, which then helps in preventing skin cancer.
However, when you’re using sunscreen, make sure to choose the right type.
Did you know that your skin is like a sponge?
Healthy Beginnings magazine says: “Keep in mind that the skin is the body’s largest organ and it is very efficient at absorbing and transporting to the blood and cells whatever it comes into contact with. What comes in contact with the skin is absorbed and enters the bloodstream quickly.”
Think about that! So, while it isn’t good to get too much sun, we don’t recommend that you use toxic chemical sunscreen.
Rather, when buying sunscreen, be aware of the ingredients.
“The solution is to protect yourself by learning the truth about these products and to switch to products made with safe natural ingredients. There are safe products that you can buy that are worth looking for and finding. You don’t have to continue to expose yourself and your family to toxic chemicals in your personal care products,” says Healthy Beginnings.
16. Set Reasonable Expectations
We all have goals in life that we want to achieve at least in our lifetime, but experts advise us to be careful when we set expectations for ourselves and others.
An Advisory HQ article explains why we need to be careful when we set expectations:
“The problem with expectations is that people put all of their self-esteem and worth into them. When the expectations don’t meet the image that they conjured in their heads, they immediately feel negative about their self-worth and perceive themselves as failures.”
Rather than setting high expectations, the article advises setting realistic goals.
“Realistic goal setting fixes all of this by encouraging people to perform at their current best without attaching themselves to any expectations. Instead of focusing on what may or may not happen, people are encouraged to focus on their performance and what they can control. You may not be able to control what happens outside of you, but you can always control your effort.”
17. Increase Your Protein Intake
People focus on eating fruits and vegetables to maintain a healthy and fit body. However, as much as we need these, we also need to get enough protein. Leafy greens, beans and legumes as well as poultry, seafood and other sources are some examples.
In fact, we need LOTS of protein. Why?
According to WebMD, protein is an important component of every cell in our body. From tip to toe, literally, protein is needed. We need protein to build and repair tissues. We need protein to make enzymes and hormones. Protein is an essential building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
This is why people who work out at the gym usually consume protein shakes to help them build muscles.
Why It’s Important to Start Practicing Healthy Lifestyle Habits While You’re Still Young
Most of the time, young people don’t think about the consequences of their current habits to their future health. However, it has been proven that everything that you take in and everything you do to your body will have a lasting effect.
Most people that have felt the repercussions of their unhealthy habits later in life would often advise young people to pay attention to their health. So whether you are young or young adjacent, if you think that your lifestyle will not lead you to the long and happy life that you are seeking, you need to develop healthy lifestyle habits. Following the list of tips that we listed above will go a long way.