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25 Simple Habits Anyone Can Take Up To Live A Healthy Life

25 Simple Habits Anyone Can Take Up To Live A Healthy Life

More than 40 percent of the actions you take every day are based on habits. Unfortunately, a good portion of those habits are bad ones for most of us. Smoking. Drinking. Eating like crap.

You get the drift.

Change your habits, and you’ll unlock the key to a healthy life. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Eat home-cooked meals.

Eating out is one of the biggest sources of unhealthy foods in our diets. Stay home and cook a healthy meal instead.

Drink a smoothie every day.

Here’s an easy habit that will help you get 2-3 more servings of fruits and veggies a day: mix up a healthy smoothie for breakfast every morning or after a workout. And toss in a handful of greens for an extra kick of vitamins and nutrients (you won’t even taste them).

Carry a water bottle wherever you go.

Water helps flush your body of toxins and carries essential nutrients to your cells. Buy the biggest bottle you can find and aim to drink two or three of them each day.

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Do body weight exercises.

Push-ups, squats, pull-ups, and lunges are among the best total body exercises for a quick and effective workout.

Take fruits to work.

Skip the trip to the vending machine. Bring a piece of fruit and some nuts as a snack instead.

Plan your action items for each day.

Planning goes a long way toward helping you achieve your goals, form good habits, and live a healthy life.

Find an exercise that you enjoy.

The best exercise advice I ever got about fitness was this: find something you love doing. Whether it’s yoga, boxing, swimming, or playing basketball, pick an activity you really like and start doing it several times per week.

Floss every day.

Flossing has a number of health benefits you may not even be aware of. Here’s one: it’s actually good for your heart.

Smile and laugh whenever possible.

Make an effort to smile and laugh more. Choose to be happy now.

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Stretch during commercials while you’re watching TV.

Commercials are a great opportunity to get up and move around a bit. Stretch tight muscles or do some body weight exercises like squats or push-ups.

Use chopsticks to eat slower.

Eating mindlessly is one of the most detrimental habits to your health. Grab a pair of chopsticks and you’ll eat your food much slower.

Exercise with a friend.

Working out with a friend is a great idea because he/she will help hold you accountable and motivate you when you feel like sitting on the couch instead.

Call a different person you haven’t talk to in a while at least once a week.

One of the most important things you can do to live a healthy life is keep in touch with the people you love. Call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while every week. You’ll be glad you did.

Mix in whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats to your meals.

Eating healthy is easier than you think. Here’s a simple rule to follow: if it doesn’t come from nature, limit how much you eat. Eat more real foods like whole grains (oatmeal, popcorn, etc.), lean proteins (fish, turkey, chicken), and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, avocados).

Take a break every hour at work and do a lap around the office or stretch out.

Sitting down all day is terrible for your health. So get up and move. Take a stroll around your office and take regular stretching breaks. Your body will thank you.

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Bike to work once a week.

This one may not be reasonable for everyone but biking to work just once a week is an amazing way to get some extra exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and live a healthier life.

Do housekeeping yourself.

Sometimes doing chores stinks. But you can burn serious calories doing everyday housework–around 225 an hour on average.

Park farther away.

While I’ll be the first to admit getting the first spot is one of the great joys in life, try making a habit of parking farther away. Those extra steps add up.

Do something nice for a total stranger.

One of the easiest ways to improve your life and someone else’s is to do something nice for a complete stranger. Try it today and see how good it makes you feel.

Fill half your dinner plate with vegetables.

This advice from the USDA is simple and an easy habit you can implement to live a healthy life.

Pack your lunch.

Going out to lunch every day puts a damper on your health and your wallet. So start packing your lunch instead and save money and calories.

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Read something uplifting every day.

Your attitude and emotions are important factors in whether or not you experience a life filled with health and happiness. So read something inspiring every day.

Eat out selectively.

The average restaurant meal has 1,128 calories. That alone should be incentive to be very selective about how much you go out to eat.

Have a weekly meal schedule.

Planning your meals goes a long way toward developing healthier eating habits.

Do 5 minutes of exercise every day.

Look, we’re all busy. But even the busiest among us has 5 minutes a day to spare. You have 1,440 minutes available in each day. Commit to spending just 5 of those every day on exercise. The point is to develop the habit of exercising, so it becomes routine.

And that should be your goal: to cultivate habits so you don’t even have to think about it. The best time to get started is now.

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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