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Top 10 Healthy Habits
In today’s fast-paced world we are more connected, more switched-on, and more (frankly) overwhelmed by everything coming at us. Sometimes it’s hard not only to find time for our healthy habits but even to know what the best advice and tips actually are to truly keep us on track to being our “best self.” We at Wisdom Times understand that and are here to help.
10 healthy habits for busy people
We have created our top-10 list of healthy habits for your self-betterment and have even divided them up into categories. You’ll find items for health, spiritual growth, personal growth, even your career and family life. We tried to cover every area.
Not only are these 10 habits valid (and therefore workable) ideas, some of them are even linked to other articles on the site where you can find more information about the ones that most interest you. Good luck, and here’s to a better you!
1. Get more sleep
To get the ball rolling, let’s begin with your sleep patterns. This is without a doubt the most powerful of all our healthy habits. You can’t function without proper sleep. Don’t believe me? Did you know that no matter which bodily need you are trying to serve (be it hunger or thirst or desire or what-have-you), if your body needs sleep badly enough it will literally override all the others and you will collapse on the ground where you stood and immediately fall asleep? Did you know that? Even if you were actively being attacked! I personally know at least one Navy SEAL who slept while being shot at! Now, to be fair to him, he actively made the choice to go to sleep—but still! It shows you that the body needs what the body needs.
So then, our healthy habit number one is to look after your sleep patterns. Sometimes, though, in our internet-connected world, our devices get in the way. What can you do about that?
Ideally, you would switch them off 2 hours before bed. If you find that to be impossible, let me suggest you use a blue-blocker, because there is a theory that says the blue light of our screens is a melatonin blocker.
That means it keeps us from feeling sleepy. One way to solve that is with an app. You can use f.lux or RedShift for your computers. iPhones have it automatically if you swipe up from the bottom and on Android you can use an app called Twilight (not the movie twilight—that will ruin anybody’s sleep).
By using something to block the light you are at least allowing your body to naturally relax the way nature intended. Another way to do it, is to use glasses that block out that light. They are for sale on Amazon and Mark’s Daily Apple.
Book yourself 8 full hours of sleep if you can, and chip away at it from there only if you need to. Make 8 your base. You can fall back to 6 or 7 in a crunch, but the goal is to keep you away from the bargaining table. Embrace your sleep! You’ll be glad you did.
Second only to sleep is your health (and that’s a close contest anyway) coming in at number 2 on our list of healthy habits. There are a couple of areas we will look at for health in these tips, exercise being just one of them. Later on, we’ll pick up diet, sunlight, meditation—the works.
So yes, everyone knows they should go to the gym. Nothing new there. But for those of us that simply can’t seem to get there, we do have some suggestions for you.
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Many of us work in front of the computer today, so for exercise tips I want to get you moving as often as I can while not disrupting your workflow. There are 6 healthy habits off the top of my head that can get you into the swing of things to exercise when you think you can’t. Seven, if you count the age-old adage of taking the stairs!
Migrate yourself to a standing desk if you can.
It worked for Hemingway! If your boss can’t afford to buy you one simply get an external keyboard and prop the monitor up higher. In case you didn’t get the memo: Sitting is the new smoking. A standing desk gets the blood flowing.
Also, here’s a cool tip for those of you who work from home. Place river rocks in a box and stand on them in your bare feet. It’s great for circulation and proprioception (that’s a fancy term for your body using muscles to keep you stable). In the winter, you can heat those rocks in a crock pot (or maybe a microwave though I didn’t test that one) to warm yourself from the feet, up. It’s called thermal regulation and it is the main reason natives were so well-adapted to the highs and lows of nature temperatures (the bare feet, not the crock pot).
If the desk is out, you can still get some proprioception action with a giant ball!
(How many times do you get to say that sentence?) The idea is that you sit on one of those giant yoga/exercise balls and that will improve your posture as well as tightening your core. Plus, it’s more fun to dance on when your favorite jam comes over the radio.
If for some reason your boss won’t allow either of those things, simply move around as much as you can. One way is to use the Pomodoro technique and this will help you in many ways.
In a nutshell, you take a break every 20 minutes. During the 20 you work on just one task.
After the 20 (in your break time) you walk around and stretch for a few minutes. It also eases the strain on your eyes because you go from focusing up close to things far away (and not on a glare-filled screen, for that matter).
The time you spend walking around not only refreshes your body it refreshes your mind as well because it allows your subconscious to take over on a task while you are strolling and sometimes that’s all you need for a breakthrough. It’s also physically healthier, obviously.
If for some reason taking a break is also out of the question (and no it doesn’t mean you should quit your job), then you can still do exercises right at your desk while you are working—even if you are sitting down in a boring chair and not a bouncy ball.
These would be things like isometric exercises, posture-strengtheners, and chair yoga. They work like this. Sit up straight. Bring your shoulders back. Drop your shoulders and relax them (while still keeping them back). Tighten your core. Now relax your core. That’s one you can do and no one will even know.
The point I am making is that healthy habits like this one can be done using only the time you have each day and it doesn’t have to cut into anything else you have going on. Get more fit on your own time! Once you have gone beyond the basics, take a walk around the block at lunchtime. Or go for a run or hit those stairs. All in good health, all in good time.
Still in the arena of your health, we have your diet coming in at number 3 on our list of healthy habits. There are some super simple rules here. Drink more water. It doesn’t matter how much water you drink now. Drink more. It’s good for you. If you drink a cold glass first thing in the morning you will lose weight (see: giant write-up in the 4-hour body by Tim Ferris) and you will also wake up with a clear, alert mind.
Second, cut out sugar. If you can completely avoid adding sugar to your drinks or food, you will have done wonderful things for your body, metabolically speaking. We have full articles on the site about this so I won’t delve too deeply here. I’ll just link you to them.
Third, eat mindfully. If you can eat more slowly—more consciously—it can actually improve your perception of the flavor (and who doesn’t want better-tasting food?).
Really take a moment to think about where the food came from. Imagine all the great benefits you receive from this one delicious bite.
And the next one, and the next one.
Finally, eat less. If you can leave a little on your plate each time, you will not only lose weight, you will also improve the digestion of the food that you do eat. Cutting back will give you beneficial lifestyle changes as well. I will cover what to eat in the next section.
4. Weekly cookups
On our list of healthy habits, number 4 is great because it is a time-saver, a money-saver, and it’s healthier. Here it is in a nutshell.
A weekly cookup is basically the idea that you can gather and prepare all your food in one session on the weekend of just a few hours, that you can then eat for the rest of the week!
Before I go into the specifics of it, imagine: if this were true . . . How great would this be for your life? You spend less, eat healthier and it takes you no time! That’s pretty cool.
Now for the details. There are 2 schools of thought on this. One is the frozen route and the other is the fresh-fruits-and-veggies-daily method. I’m a fan of both. Why? Because I can be realistic and realize that sometimes we can’t eat as if we all lived in an organic garden paradise. Still, we can have some of the benefits.
For the frozen method, there are MANY cookbooks out there that give you shopping guides and preparation instructions, so I won’t go into it here. Let me give you the short version: Make it all on day one of the weekend. Freeze it. Then have fresh-frozen dishes the rest of the week (because you take it out of the freezer and either cook it at that moment—or just microwave it if you cooked it prior. The cookbooks will guide you on which are better cooked and then frozen vs. just frozen raw.).
The meals are cooked and frozen or at the very least organized and separated prior and then frozen until you need them.
The fresh-fruits-and-veggies-daily method comes up A LOT in CrossFit circles. These are more often situations where the veggies are all chopped and tupperwared, and the items are all sequestered separately and then you “grab and go” on your way out the door.
Both ways save you time and money and improve your health. But let’s say for some reason you can’t implement either one. Now what? In this case, you can at least prepare a double batch of something when you are cooking dinner the night before and then you can have it for lunch the next day—all nice and fresh. It’s better than leftovers!
5. Pay yourself first in two ways
Next up, on our list of healthy habits we have a new twist on an old favorite. The best financial advice making the rounds has always been to pay yourself first. Strong advice! We a Wisdom Times agree. Did you know you can also do that with your time as well?
Start the first hour of your day working on your own project or book or startup. Then join the rat race afterward. Yes, You may have to get up early to pay yourself first, but the rewards are great. Also, getting up early doesn’t mean getting less sleep. Just go to bed an hour earlier. Problem solved!
What’s that, you say? You can’t afford a full hour each day to change your life? Well, do it by task then. Either give yourself 20 minutes (like perhaps you say you will write for just 20 minutes—or perhaps you will exercise). Whatever it is, go for it! It’s better than nothing and at the very least you will have made SOME progress. That’s better than none at all.
Better still, you will have a metric.
Pearson’s law states that whatever gets measured gets improved.
How does this apply to you? Easy. The obvious way is that if you weigh yourself each day then at least 20 minutes can get you closer to your target weight. That’s not bad, but I was thinking there is more to be gained in the work itself. For example, once you know you have 20 minutes, then just figure out how best to spend those 20 minutes. There are entire exercise routines that can be done in less time than that. Look up HIIT.
That covers paying yourself first with your time. I won’t go too deep into the money area of this tip, because we likely all know it, but I will say this: Do that part as well. Just like with the time tip, adding something to your savings account is better than not saving any. Take it out of your paycheck and put it away BEFORE you do anything else with it. And for those of you that do not know much about it, here are two different courses that we offer!
Yes, my friends. This one IS obvious. But seeing as how this is a list of healthy habits, I HAD TO add it to the list. So here’s what I can do for you. Let me add some tips in this area you HAVEN’T seen!
For those of you who just don’t have the time to read, I think I can offer you several ways to get this done. You can listen to an audiobook while you commute to work. I’ll bet you knew that one. Did you know, however, that you can double the speed at which the book is read back to you? It really makes a big impact on your consumption levels. Not only that, you’ll adjust to it so quickly that everything else will seem like a turtle’s pace.
You can also speed up a podcast. Podcasts are useful if you are trying to pick up a new skill or be more effective at work for example. Don’t overlook them. Also, if fiction is more your taste, audiobooks are not the only option. You can find old radio shows (serialized fiction) for free on the internet as well. And yes, you can speed that up, too. But maybe you shouldn’t.
Here’s another tip about reading that I bet you don’t know. If you are trying to learn a new language, then take a book (in your target language) to bed with you. If you fall asleep while reading it, you will learn that new language faster. It is a proven fact and has worked for celebs like Johnny Depp, Christina Aguilera, Penelope Cruz, Tobey Maguire, Jack Black, and even Christian Slater!
If audio books are not your thing, and you are still pressed for time, I can still get you done faster than usual! Check out this article we wrote on speed reading. Let’s see. What else can I do for you?
How about this? If you find that you are STILL too busy, then maybe I can find one MORE tip you may not have known. How about Book Summaries? You can simply read a summary of a book (instead of the entire book) and still improve your knowledge while you are on the go. Combine this with an audio version set on 2x normal and welcome to the future, you Speed Demon, you!
7. Journaling/writing each day
Here’s a good one, because it works on many levels. At the most basic, journaling helps you keep track of your thoughts and has helped people find peace. You can also use it to track your weight or exercise goals as well. Surprisingly, you might also find a boost in your self-esteem if you look back at your journal after a year to see how far you have come. And not just if you have made progress, either.
You might feel a boost just because you journaled for a year and saw that task all the way through to completion. It’s great for a list of healthy habits because, in reality, it’s writing. How do I mean that? You can make a career out of it.
Let’s say you weren’t journaling just to have a diary. Maybe you were using that time to write each day. Here is an entire article (or 2)on how you can turn that tiny bit of writing into a book you can market and sell. Not a bad habit, since it also makes you money!
If that worked for you (but you’d like something meatier), we also have an entire course you can take that will walk you through each and every step of freelance writing. You can do good and do well at the same time!
This is one of those healthy habits that always used to elude me. Until I really understood what it was. Believe it or not, I used to think meditation was done in a room on a mat, or on a cushion with white sheets billowing. Turns out: not so much.
Because meditation is a thing that takes place inside us, the things outside us can really be anywhere. For example, some people find their mind still when they are engaged in their art. That can be anything from Krav Maga to Tai Chi to painting to rock and roll! Whatever allows you to find your peace: do that thing!
This can also be done at work. Part 2 of our series on Inner Peace shows you how. For more on meditation, we also offer a paid course that goes into SO MUCH MORE detail.
Here are the last two healthy habits…
9. Call your mom because family is important, and
10 Unhealthy Habits That Are Worse for You Than You Thought
It’s not too late to reverse your worst habits (stopping smoking, drinking, over-eating, and more) and immediately start living a happier, healthier life.
Snacking when you’re not hungry
Losing touch with your body’s natural hunger and satisfaction signals can lead to chronic overeating and unhealthy extra pounds—which increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other serious conditions. And if it’s junk foods you snack on, you’re also flooding your body with unhealthy ingredients. By paying attention to your hunger signals and switching to healthy snacks, you can boost nutrition, control cravings, and avoid energy slumps. Your weight will fall to a healthier level, and you’ll replace unhealthy trans and saturated fat, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and extra sodium with more nutritious fare.
How to fix it: Eat because you’re hungry—not because you’re stressed, bored, angry, or sad. And finish eating when you feel just a little bit full, not stuffed. Avoid keeping unhealthy food in your home, or at least make sure you have more healthy foods, like fresh fruits, veggies, nuts. Think low-fat versus fatty treats; whole-grain versus unhealthy carbs. And when you eat those healthy snacks, eat them as if they were a meal: on a plate, accompanied by a glass of water, with you sitting down at the table.
Spending too much time on the couch watching TV
The more TV you watch, the less physical activity you’re getting, increasing your odds of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes. If television is replacing time you’d otherwise be spending engaged in a favorite hobby, visiting with friends, or exercising your mind, you may also be speeding up memory loss. By committing to a healthy TV/activity balance, you can burn more calories, become more fit, and reduce your odds for related health problems quickly. You’ll have a fitter body and more time for sleep, plus more energy, a better mood, sharper mind, and more social connections.
How to fix it: Try to keep your TV time to a minimum of two hours a day, and make sure you’re getting at least 30 minutes of exercise. Get the best of both worlds by doing some light workouts, like walking in place or doing sit-ups, while you’re watching. Even doing some household chores, like vacuuming or doing laundry, during the commercials can add up to 20 minutes’ worth of calorie-burning time. Avoid snacking in front of the TV, which makes it far too easy to eat hundreds of calories’ worth of chips and barely realize it. These are some more reasons why binge-watching TV is unhealthy for you.
Overspending your way into debt
Money worries can have serious health consequences. In a Rutgers University telephone survey, responders said financial stress contributed to high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, headaches, digestion troubles, aches and pains, ulcers, excessive eating and drinking, and gaining or losing weight. Regaining a hold on your finances takes time, can be hard on your ego and your lifestyle, and requires you to be constantly vigilant, plus it’s all too easy to revert back to your old habits. But for those who succeed, and many do, the results are nothing short of amazing. You’ll feel more in control of your life with less stress and fewer worries.
How to fix it: There are many things you can do to gain control over your finances. Educate yourself on the basic rules and methods of personal finance—including credit cards, mortgages, budgeting, and investing. Create and keep a budget, keeping track of how much money is coming in every month and how much you’re spending on essentials. Pay at least the minimum each month on your bills, to stay ahead of your expenses and prioritize paying more to the credit card with the highest interest rate. Automatic bill pay can ensure you’re never hit with late fees. A to be sure some of your paycheck gets automatically transferred to your savings account, set up recurrent monthly transfers via your employer’s payroll department or your own online banking. For more money-saving tips, these habits of people who are great at saving money are a great way to get started.
Eating too much fast food
A steady diet of double cheeseburgers and fries washed down with an oversize soda or milkshake can lead to a growing waistline and the health problems, like heart disease and diabetes, that come with it. Trans fat, often found in fast food, raises triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, which increases inflammation and contributes to the build-up of fatty plaque in artery walls. The health benefits of making the switch to healthy food will be almost immediate and will have substantial lasting benefits.
How to fix it: Making a permanent lifestyle change won’t be easy at first. Fast food is super-convenient, inexpensive, and, thanks to all that fat, salt, and sugar, undeniably tasty. Start by cutting back a little each week and by buying less each time you go. For instance, replace the soda with a water or the fries with a salad. Avoid popping into a fast food joint out of habit or on a whim, especially when you really aren’t hungry or when it isn’t mealtime. Cook more at home. Preparing your own healthy meals will save you money. If inconvenience is a factor don’t overlook healthier prepared meals from your local grocery store or sandwich shop. Check out the best healthy-eating tips that nutritionists use.
Getting sunburned a few times every summer
If you love sunbathing or make an effort to maintain a golden-bronze tan, you’ve unwittingly contributed to the aging of your skin. Sunbathing destroys the elastic fibers that keep skin looking firm and smooth, leading to earlier wrinkles, blotches, freckles, and discolorations. More important, sunburns contribute significantly to cancers of the skin. If you’ve included trips to the tanning salon, that’s even worse. Despite what ads suggest, using tanning beds doesn’t build up a “safe” base tan. It actually raises your risk for skin cancer and wrinkles.
How to fix it: First of all, always wear a high SPF sunscreen if you’re going to be outdoors in the sun. Sticking to the shade and wearing a hat, sunglasses, long sleeves, and pants during peak sunburn hours can also help keep your skin safe. Schedule an annual “mole check” by a dermatologist; the doctor will inspect your skin for any unusual changes. And keep your eyes on your skin yourself. Anything new that doesn’t look right to you should be checked by a doctor. Finally, if you can’t live without the bronzed look, you can get it without the cancer risk by using a self-tanner.
Behavior that leaves you angry, worried, or stressed all of the time
An unhappy lifestyle releases a cascade of stress hormones that increase your blood pressure and blood sugar, lower immunity, slow digestion, and make you feel depressed and downright mean. Nature intended stress to be a short-lived fight-or-flight response to a threat, but modern life with chronic stressors can have far-reaching impact on your health, such as cravings for high-fat, sugary foods that increase your risk of being overweight. Both the ingredients in the bad food and the added weight increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
How to fix it: A regained sense of joy and control is worth its weight in gold, and the physical health benefits will be substantial as well. Next time you feel a stressful situation emerging, work hard at managing it and keeping your cool. Among the most proven stress-relief methods are yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. Make the most of your down time, to enjoy a relaxing hobby and fully immersing yourself in it. Don’t be afraid to embrace your sense of fun, optimism, and silliness every now and then. And finally, just as being less stressed can make you healthier, living a healthier lifestyle can decrease your stress level and help you better manage stressful situations better. Check out these 37 tips for managing stress for more ideas.
Eating breakfast (or any meal) when you’re not hungry
The “rule” that you should never skip breakfast is just not true; it’s based on misinterpreted research and biased studies, says the New York Times. Almost all studies about breakfast show an association, they say, not causation. And many studies, based on self-reporting, fall prey to inherent bias and misuse of causal language.
How to fix it: Eat when you’re hungry; fast when you’re not. Intermittent fasting—voluntary abstinence from food and drink for a stretch of time each day—has received a lot of attention as of late. Research suggests that going without food for a certain length of time keeps blood sugar even, which boosts metabolism and can help the overweight shed pounds. Benefits include better glucose control and regulation of circadian rhythms (better sleep); all of these can help prevent diabetes.
Drinking too much alcohol
If you drink to much on a regular basis, alcohol can be a poison. Women who regularly consume two or more drinks a day and men who regularly down three or more daily are at higher risk for liver damage, various cancers including those of the liver and mouth, high blood pressure, and depression. Women, more sensitive than men to alcohol, can also develop heart disease, brittle bones, and even memory loss. Soon after you cut back or quit, your digestion will improve and you’ll sleep more soundly. Your blood sugar will be lower and steadier, your blood pressure may fall toward a healthier range, and even your brain will bounce back. You’ll have a healthier liver and cardiovascular system.
How to fix it: You don’t have to quit cold turkey; stick to healthy limits. That’s two or less drinks per day for men, one for women. You’re also more likely to sip your drink slowly if you reserve alcohol for meals. Drink for flavor, not to get drunk. And if you can’t stop, acknowledge the addiction. Talk with your doctor and contact a support group like AA. Check with your doctor if you should be screened more often for bone density, cancers, and liver damage. These 17 tips to help you cut back on drinking will help you make a great start.
As far as health goes, no habit is as harmful as smoking. It directly causes 30 percent of heart disease deaths, 30 percent of cancer deaths, and a massive 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancers, not to mention increasing your risk for mouth, throat, and, bladder cancer. This bad habit also astronomically raises your odds for heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure, on top of possibly triggering or aggravating breathing problems like bronchitis and asthma attacks. After you quit, the health benefits are almost immediate. Within a month, your lungs will work better and you should be coughing less, feel more energetic, and have less shortness of breath.Your sense of taste and smell, as well as your endurance, will also improve.
How to fix it: Treat it like an addiction, not a habit. Before you stop, prepare for the tough road ahead. Plan to quit during a calm period—not over the holidays or when you’re under a lot of stress. Prepare a strategy, a support team, and a Plan B if your first methods fail. Ask your doctor about a stop-smoking drug like Buprion and varenicline, or a nicotine patch or gum. Seek support, whether that’s from your friends and family or resources like counselors, hotlines, and support groups. And, finally, remember that a lapse isn’t a failure. Use slip-ups to discover your personal obstacle to quitting and create a plan for dealing with those the next time. Check out these 23 ways to stop smoking if you need more help.
Overusing painkillers and sedatives
When they’re not taken properly, long-term habitual use of prescription pain killers can lead to addiction, causing more problems than it solves. Even OTC drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin for arthritis or muscle pain can over time increase your risk for ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Clues you’re taking too much of a calming drug or sleeping pill include memory loss, excess sleepiness, feeling unresponsive or confused, and falling frequently. When meds make you feel good, you may want to keep on taking them, turning them into a habit or addiction before you know it. Kicking the sedative and prescription pain pill habit is possible with commitment and support, and once the pill-taking has ceased, your body will quickly rebound from their effects.
How to fix it: New pain-relief strategies can ease muscle, joint, and head pain with fewer pills and side effects. For chronic pain, ask your doctor about switching to acetaminophen; it doesn’t cause stomach irritation and doesn’t raise blood pressure like aspirin and ibuprofen. Save ibuprofen for flare-ups of severe, short-term pain. For frequent headaches, see your doctor; migraines can be stopped often with the right medication. If you think you’ll be susceptible to addiction, challenge any doctor who wants to put you on pain, mood, or sleeping medication long-term. If you’re already relying too much on them, get help if you can’t stop. There’s no shame in asking for help from family members, friends, or your doctor. Read on to learn about more bad health habits doctors wish you would stop ASAP.
The Benefits of Healthy Habits
You know that healthy habits, such as eating well, exercising, and avoiding harmful substances, make sense, but did you ever stop to think about why you practice 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. But if you’re willing to make sacrifices to better your health, the impact can be far-reaching, regardless of your age, sex, or physical ability. Here are five benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Eating right and exercising regularly can help you avoid excess weight gain and maintain a healthy weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, being physically active is essential to reaching your weight-loss goals. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, boost your immune system, and increase your energy level.
Plan for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. If you can’t devote this amount of time to exercise, look for simple ways to increase activity throughout the day. For example, try walking instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or pace while you’re talking on the phone.
Eating a balanced, calorie-managed diet can also help control weight. When you start the day with a healthy breakfast, you avoid becoming overly hungry later, which could send you running to get fast food before lunch.
Additionally, skipping breakfast can raise your blood sugar, which increases fat storage. Incorporate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet per day. These foods, which are low in calories and high in nutrients, help with weight control. Limit consumption of sugary beverages, such as sodas and fruit juices, and choose lean meats like fish and turkey.
Doing right by your body pays off for your mind as well. The Mayo Clinic notes that physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to a better physique. You’ll feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem. Short-term benefits of exercise include decreased stress and improved cognitive function.
It’s not just diet and exercise that lead to improved mood. Another healthy habit that leads to better mental health is making social connections. Whether it’s volunteering, joining a club, or attending a movie, communal activities help improve mood and mental functioning by keeping the mind active and serotonin levels balanced. Don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with family or friends on a regular basis, if not every day. If there’s physical distance between you and loved ones, use technology to stay connected. Pick up the phone or start a video chat.
Healthy habits help prevent certain health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. If you take care of yourself, you can keep your cholesterol and blood pressure within a safe range. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Regular physical activity and proper diet can also prevent or help you manage a wide range of health problems, including:
Make sure you schedule a physical exam every year. Your doctor will check your weight, heartbeat, and blood pressure, as well as take a urine and blood sample. This appointment can reveal a lot about your health. It’s important to follow up with your doctor and listen to any recommendations to improve your health.
We’ve all experienced a lethargic feeling after eating too much unhealthy food. When you eat a balanced diet your body receives the fuel it needs to manage your energy level. A healthy diet includes:
Regular physical exercise also improves muscle strength and boosts endurance, giving you more energy, says the Mayo Clinic. Exercise helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and gets your cardiovascular system working more efficiently so that you have more energy to go about your daily activities. It also helps boost energy by promoting better sleep. This helps you fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep.
Insufficient sleep can trigger a variety of problems. Aside from feeling tired and sluggish, you may also feel irritable and moody if you don’t get enough sleep. What’s more, poor sleep quality may be responsible for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, and it can also lower your life expectancy. To improve sleep quality, stick to a schedule where you wake up and go to bed at the same time every night. Reduce your caffeine intake, limit napping, and create a comfortable sleep environment. Turn off lights and the television, and maintain a cool room temperature.
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