November 6, 2018
7 Healthy Habits That Make A Big Difference
Small changes can contribute to significant value over time. In fact, putting small healthy habits into practice as a part of your daily routine can lead to a more rested, energetic, and even happier you.
Ever heard of the saying, “we are what we repeatedly do?” Well, if your habits aren’t conducive to a healthy lifestyle, how can you actually be healthy? We know, life can get pretty busy, but we are certain that balancing your fitness, nutrition, and in mental-well-being can help you manage your overall health and wellness. It’s easy, just consider adding in all – or even just a few – of the following healthy habits to your life:
1. Eat the Rainbow
In the world of whole foods, more color often translates to better nutrition (this doesn’t work with fruit loops though – sorry!). Phytonutrients, antioxidants, and key nutrients your body needs are found in plentiful supply when your food is brightly colored. Lycopene, a nutrient which may help protect against cancer, is the red pigment in tomatoes. Anthocyanin, an antioxidant which may help boost the immune system, is the blue pigment in blueberries. The more colorful your plate, the more you can help protect your health.
2. Eat Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Most of the time, skipping a meal is all too easy. Classes, work, exams, errands; all these things can make getting a solid, balanced meal onto your schedule a challenge. When you forget to pack a lunch or are too busy to make dinner, fast food and sugary snacks often come to the rescue. Of course, not every day is going to accommodate three healthy meals. Life happens! But the habit, of grocery shopping, meal planning, and lunch-packing is what makes the real difference. When most days include a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, those few crazy days lose their power to hurt your overall health.
3. Drink 6-8 Glasses of Water
We all know hydration is important, right? Most authorities recommend from 6-8 glasses of added water per day, and that’s a great place to start. A hot environment or a tough workout at the gym can raise the amount of water you may actually need. You can also check if you are under-or-properly hydrated – just check the color of your urine. Almost colorless means you are fully hydrated. Not getting enough water in your diet is linked to a whole host of illnesses, from cavities to urinary tract infections to kidney stones. On the flip side, the benefits of proper hydration are many. Your water intake may even positively impact your mood and ability to focus and learn. Drink up!
4. Do 15-20 Minutes of Cardio
New research suggests that getting “too much” exercise may not be possible. The more the better! Unfortunately, modern life requires a lot of sitting. Getting in a cardio workout on a regular basis requires some planning. If you only have a little time to spare, that’s OK! Making as little as 15-20 minutes a daily habit will still greatly benefit your health.
5. Get 6-8 Hours of Sleep
Sleep is important for mood, memory formation and recall, and brain health. Not getting enough nighttime Zs can mean more than just a drowsy day. Over time, it can cause everything from sleepwalking to brain damage. How much do we typically need? Most adults may need somewhere between 6-10 hours, making a goal of 6-8 a good place to aim for.
6. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is about reflecting on your own health and well-being. This includes things like taking time to rest and decompress, adding fun and social activities to your calendar, and paying attention to how you are feeling, sleeping, eating, and otherwise dealing with life. Some great ways to practice self-care include scheduling time each day to relax, finding fun activities to try, and cooking a favorite healthy food.
Meeting small, achievable goals (like any on this list!) has been shown to help motivate us towards larger ones. Celebrating these small goals, or any achievement, is important. Celebration is not only fun (and a great way to relieve stress or anxiety), it also marks the accomplishment in our minds. When the path to that big goal is marked with bright points of happiness and celebration, you are more likely to stay on it!BACK TO ALL