Health is wealth and keeping your body in good health is your duty. By staying healthy, you can enjoy better mental health, a good body shape and more energy. You’ll also live longer, look better, feel more empowered and confident, and avoid diseases.
With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s harder to make health and fitness a priority. This is one reason people are dying at a young age, suffering from health issues, gaining more weight and having issues like stress and depression.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
Here are the top 10 habits for a healthier you.
1. Regular Exercise
Exercising regularly has both short-term and long-term benefits. Several studies have documented the benefits of exercise to improve your mood, reduce stress, boost mental power, maintain fitness, build muscle mass, strengthen bones and prevent cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes. Still many people do not follow this important rule of a healthy life.
Exercise daily —even if you only have 15 minutes — to make your body stronger, younger, fitter and healthier.
- Walk around the neighborhood or a park for about 30 minutes a day.
- Try yoga exercises like Surya Namaskar daily.
- Stretch in the morning and at night.
- Take the stairs whenever possible.
- Practice dancing.
- Enjoy cycling, jogging or running in a nearby park.
- Join a swimming club.
- Do push-ups and lift weights.
2. Eat Breakfast Daily
To keep yourself fully fuelled and at your physical best, never skip breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast daily helps you lose weight, keeps your metabolism rate high, provides needed nutrients, gives you more energy, makes you smarter and improves your memory and concentration.
On the other hand, skipping breakfast means less energy and concentration, a higher likelihood of obesity and nutritional deficiencies.
Irrespective of how busy you are, it is possible to fix a healthy breakfast daily that includes carbohydrates, protein, fiber, necessary minerals and a bit of healthy fat. For instance:
- Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter
- A cup of yogurt topped with nuts and fruits.
- A glass of fruit smoothie of your choice.
- A glass of milk with some toast or a plain vegetable sandwich.
- An omelet or hard-boiled eggs.
Also try to eat breakfast with your family members every morning so that you can spend some time with them and enjoy a healthy family life.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Due to hectic lifestyles and busy schedules, many people sacrifice sleep for work. This is something you must avoid as insufficient sleep can cause many health problems.
Sleep is one of the most important functions that our body uses to regulate and heal cells. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to help their body function properly.
Proper sleep can keep your heart healthy, prevent cancer, reduce stress, reduce inflammation, make you more alert, improve your memory, aid weight loss, make you smarter, reduce the risk of depression and also help the body make repairs. Some small changes that can help you enjoy sound sleep are:
- Avoid exercising right before you go to bed.
- Stay away from drinks and foods with caffeine late in the day.
- Limit daytime naps to 20 minutes or less.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.
- Don’t eat a big meal close to bedtime.
- Quit smoking.
- Create a good sleep environment.
- Set a bedtime routine and follow it.
4. Breathe Deeply
Breathing is an automatic function that helps us inhale oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. When you consciously control breathing and take deep breaths from your diaphragm, not your chest, it will have a huge impact on your well-being.
It maximizes oxygen intake and relaxes both your body and mind to help you manage stress and anxiety. It can even reduce the risk of many health problems, including respiratory illnesses, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and even heart disease.
Deep breathing for 10 to 20 minutes a day is an important step toward a healthy life. To make it more effective, do it in an open area early in the morning. This way you will get some fresh air to breathe and your body will get the necessary vitamin D from the sun.
5. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
It is very important to take good care of your mouth, teeth and gums as a healthy mouth and healthy body go hand in hand. Your mouth has bacteria — most of them harmless and you can control them with good oral care. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can cause health problems.
Practicing good oral hygiene will boost your self-esteem and confidence. Along with preventing oral health problems, good oral hygiene helps lower the risk of heart disease, infection and inflammation in the body as well as preserves memory and helps keep blood sugar stable among people who have diabetes. You can maintain good oral hygiene by:
- Brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
- Cleaning between your teeth once a day with floss.
- Replacing your toothbrush every 3 or 4months.
- Scheduling regular dental check-ups.
6. Eat Healthy
What you eat has a direct connection to your health status. If you want to live a long life and ward off health issues, you need to eat healthy.
Eating healthy does more than just keeping your body in shape. It helps keep your heart in shape, boost your immune system, keep you energetic, improve your memory and prevent many health problems.
Eating healthy daily is not that hard. With just small dietary changes, you can improve your health. These key tips will help a lot:
- Eat more natural and organic fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods and lean proteins.
- Use healthy oil like olive oil, coconut oil or safflower oil for cooking.
- Read food labels to help you choose healthy foods.
- Snack on nuts and seeds.
- Limit your sodium and sugar intake.
- Avoid eating red meats as well as junk foods.
- Instead of eating out, cook at home.
- Instead of 2 large meals, eat 5 or 6 small meals.
- Always chew your food thoroughly.
7. Stay Hydrated
Water makes up more than half of your body weight. Without water, it is impossible to survive for more than a few days.
Every cell, tissue and organ in the body needs water to function correctly. Drinking water will keep your body hydrated, which will help increase your alertness, control your appetite, and improve activity and sport performance. Plus, it will prevent every day symptoms like fatigue, headaches and dry skin.
To keep your body functioning at its peak, drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. However, different people may need different amounts of water to stay hydrated.
Try to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go out to avoid getting thirsty and reaching for unhealthy beverages. Along with drinking water, you can also eat fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as watermelon, tomatoes, and cucumbers, to remain hydrated. Coconut water, too, is good for rehydrating your body.
8. Stop Smoking
If you do not smoke, don’t start. If you have the habit of smoking, quit today for a healthier tomorrow. Along with smoking, quit using any other forms of tobacco.
The nicotine present in tobacco is a kind of slow poison that causes immense harm to nearly every organ of the body and diminishes overall health. It causes heart disease, stroke, lung diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema, osteoporosis, cataracts and different types of cancer. Plus, smoking cuts 5 to 10 years off your life.
It’s not easy to quit smoking as it can affect your physical and mental state. So, it is recommended to seek professional help, but you will need to have a strong will power and determination, too.
9. Maintain Personal Hygiene
One of the best ways to keep health issues at bay is to maintain personal hygiene. Personal hygiene means regular care of your hair, skin, face, teeth, ears, nails and feet. To enhance your overall health, follow these basic personal hygiene habits:
- Take a bath daily and wash your hair 2 or 3 times a week.
- Before going to bed, remove all makeup and clean your face thoroughly.
- Trim your fingernails and toenails often to keep them in good shape.
- Wash your hands several times a day to prevent spreading bacteria and viruses.
- Keep bedding and undergarments clean.
- Wash your feet every day and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
- Brush your hair daily to keep it clean and healthy.
- Practice good oral hygiene as described earlier.
10. Get Regular Health Screenings
To remain healthy, you must get regular health screenings and tests. This is one of the best ways to detect health issues before they become a big problem.
Some of the most important screenings are an annual physical exam, regular blood pressure and cholesterol tests, dental checkups, colonoscopy, mammogram, and prostate and skin cancer screening. Regular screenings will help detect health issues like hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, different types of cancer, oral health issues, etc.
Consult your doctor to find out which screenings and tests you need based on your age, gender, family history and lifestyle.
To sum up, make these healthy habits part of your daily routine and you’ll notice a difference in your physical as well as mental health.