EIGHT HEALTHY LIFESTYLE HABITS TO CULTIVATE
There are several things in your life that you have absolutely no control over. You cannot control what age you are or what family you are born into or what diseases your family is prone to. But thankfully, there are several other things you do have control over, especially when it comes to cultivating and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Because most major diseases are caused by bad diet, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol intake, smoking, and stress, you too can avoid these major diseases by cultivating habits that limit the effect of these factors.
Here are eight healthy lifestyle habits to begin to cultivate today:
Limit your alcohol intake
While we are all allowed moderate amounts of alcohol from time to time, drinking too much alcohol actually increases blood pressure and is a significant risk factor for many diseases. Drinking in moderations means that you should not take more than two drinks of alcohol a day if you are a man, and not more than one drink if you are a woman.
Limit the stress
You need to find an effective way of reducing the stress that you allow to get to you because stress is a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart disease and, stroke. Be purposeful about relaxing. Get away from your system and take a walk, listen to calming music, do some yoga, take a warm bath. Do whatever you need to let out the stress and let calm in.
Smoking affects your blood vessels and your heart, making your blood thicker and making the absorption of oxygen by your blood vessels very difficult. Chemicals in tobacco can also cause the thinning of the arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the heart, making you more prone to suffer from heart attack or coronary heart disease. Smoking also causes damage to the brain, causing anxiety, irritability, depression, difficulty in concentrating on any activity, increased hunger and difficulty sleeping. Your lungs also suffer from your smoking habit, and you become more likely to develop lung diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), emphysema, and pneumonia.
Adopt a lifestyle of physical activity
Did you know that lack of adequate physical activity is a major risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol? And the unbelievable truth is that you need not to kill yourself exercising; all you need is 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day. That’s all it takes to reduce your susceptibility to the previously mentioned diseases.
Eat less or no trans fat
To live a healthier life, avoid trans fat as much as you can. Trans fats are usually found in pre-packaged foods, typically created in a process called hydrogenation, in which liquid oils are suffused with air to make a solid oil so as to increase shelf life. Trans fat, when consumed too much, leads to bad cholesterol in the bloodstream and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. So, avoid pre-packaged and pre-processed foods such as crackers, cookies, frozen pies and pizzas, cakes, snack foods such as microwave popcorn, portions of margarine, and refrigerated dough products like biscuits and cinnamon rolls.
Cook more instead of eating out all the time
When you prepare your meals by yourself, you are aware of every single ingredient that goes into the meal and are thus able to make healthy choices. This is not the scenario if you eat out more than you prepare your own meals. When you eat out, even at five-star restaurants, you have left your power in the hands of the chef that prepared the meal.
This is not bad in and of itself but if this is the norm rather than the exception in your life, there might be health issues waiting for you down the line.
Become a lover of vegetables
It’s not only young children who usually have a distaste for vegetables. Sometimes, we adults do too, and the sad thing is that we miss out great health benefits when we don’t eat vegetables in the right quantities. Eating vegetables cuts your exposure to several diseases, and the great thing is that eating vegetables is quite an easy habit to form. Eat a salad without heavy dressing, add vegetables to your soups and broths, and make them as a healthy side dish to meals.
Cultivate a good sleeping habit
Sleep deficiency wreaks havoc on the body, increasing your risk for chronic health problems, and causing trouble thinking during the day. Lack of adequate sleep may also mean that you have delayed reactions, have performance issues at work, learning difficulties, and have a challenge developing relationships. So, make sure you get enough hours of sleep every day.
7 simple ways to be more physically active:
- Do more housework.
- Walk as much as you can
- Implement the two-minute walking habit for each hour that you are seated.
- Use the stairs rather than the elevator.
- Use a height adjustable desk if you sit a lot for work
- Workout during TV commercials
- Dance a lot
7 simple tips to reduce stress
- Forgive others easily, not for their sake but for your peace of mind
- Never go to bed angry
- Be kind instead of being right
- Understand your stress triggers and work towards avoiding them
- Find time each week to do what relaxes you
- Unplug your TV, phone, laptop and disconnect every now and them from social media
- Take responsibility for your own shortcomings.
7 simple tips to adopting a better healthier diet
- Avoid eating when feeling stressed.
- Eat when you are hungry and don’t wait till you are famished
- Take smaller bites and eat slowly.
- Make sure each meal has a healthy serving of veggies
- Limit distractions when eating
- Use portion control
- Go for healthier options of your grocery items