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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 June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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