Yes, 2017 is just around the corner! So, I thought I would give you some healthy habits to think about and some new ideas perhaps! The habits you have now may affect your health in the future.
While most people know living a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and eating high fat foods are unhealthy habits, they may not be aware of all the healthy habits that can contribute to a longer life.
Consider adopting some of the 12 healthy habits in 2017 listed below to increase your chances of living a longer and happier life.
1. Go outside more
Even in the dead of winter, getting outside for a little bit each day can make you feel better. Take a walk, enjoy the fresh air, connect with nature and enjoy the simple (and free) pleasure of being outside. Try to really look hard at nature around you and be totally amazed at the beauty of a leaf, flower, tree, bird, insect or larger animals. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health echoed this: being around nature can lower stress levels and boost your mental health too.
2. Spend Time With A Pet
Pets provide unconditional love and are a great source of companionship. Pet therapy is used for good reason. Spending time with a pet can lower stress hormones in the body, such as cortisol. In addition, chemicals in the brain responsible for mood, such as serotonin, are increased. Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, play with your pets, take them for a walk or just sit and relax with them by your side. And if you don't have a pet, ask a friend who does if you could spend some time with them (the pet that is!).
3. Stop Eating Before You Are Full
Sometimes less is more, and that may be true when it comes to eating and living longer. Eating until you feel full may mean taking in more calories than your body really needs. By making it a habit to stop eating when you don’t feel hungry anymore, but before you feel full, you can reduce the amount of calories you eat every day. Although additional research is needed, some studies in animals indicate eating 40 percent fewer calories can increase life span.
4. Buckle Up
Of course we all do this don't we? But do we always insist the same for our passengers or when we are the passenger? One of the easiest habits you can adopt in order to live a longer life is buckle up in a car. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of death for people of all ages and the leading cause for people between the ages of five and 34-years old. The seat belt should fit low across your hips and the shoulder belt across your chest.
5. Eat At least 3 Servings Of Fruits And Vegetables Each Day
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide many of the essential nutrients your body needs to live a long life. Make it a habit to eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal. Try eating a variety of fruits in order to get different vitamins and minerals. When eating vegetables, think color; select vegetables that are red, dark green and yellow.
6. Keep Moving
One of the best things you can do for your health and to help increase longevity is exercise. Exercise is essential for living a healthy life. Exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week is ideal. Getting your body moving is one of the best ways to stay healthy and one that benefits your mental and physical well-being.
7. Drink Green Tea
Green tea has several health benefits, which may lead to a longer life, such as reducing the risk of certain cancers including colon, bladder and breast cancer. According to Harvard Medical School, studies indicate drinking green tea regularly may also help raise levels of good cholesterol and help lower blood pressure. Considering drinking a few cups each day. Let the tea stew for about 15 minutes to get the full benefits.
8. Floss Your Teeth Daily
Everyone brushes his or her teeth every day (well we hope so!) but what about flossing? Daily flossing will not only help you maintain good oral health, it can actually reduce your risk of heart disease. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), periodontal disease is linked to heart disease. A lack of flossing can lead to gum disease, which causes inflammation of the gums. The inflammation may eventually cause the arteries to narrow, which can lead to cardiac problems.
9. Get Enough Sleep
Continually not getting enough sleep can take years off your life. Although an occasional sleepless night will likely not have lasting ill effects, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to health problems. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and mood disorders. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night for good health.
10. Hang Out With Friends
Spending time with family and friends is not only enjoyable, but it can help you live a longer life. Studies indicate that people who are lonely are at a greater risk developing heart disease. Although the hectic pace of life can sometimes make it difficult to carve out family time, make meeting up with friends and family a priority. It’s good for both your body and mind.
11. Embrace the spiritual
Being spiritual doesn’t have to mean being part of an organized religion. For some, it can simply mean connecting with a deeper, more meaningful part of life. Why is this important? Taking quiet time to meditate or pray can help you relax, focus and find out what’s really important in your life, leading to a happier, healthier you.
12. Look on the bright side – be Optimistic
Studies have shown that those with an optimistic outlook on life actually live longer and healthier lives so try to see the silver lining. Optimism is a trait that should become more common, judging by Winston Churchill's famous quote that "a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Optimism has been proven to improve the immune system, prevent chronic disease, and help people cope with unfortunate news. Gratitude is associated with optimism and has been determined that grateful people are happier, receive more social support, are less stressed, and are less depressed. Recent research indicates that optimists and pessimists approach problems differently, and their ability to cope successfully with adversity differs as a result.
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