Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Daily Habits of Healthy People

The easiest way to be healthy is to make it a habit or a way of life. I hate the phrase "I'm on a diet" but do use the word "diet" a lot because it's actual definition is the types of foods that someone eats daily. A lot of people will say that I'm on a diet because I avoid certain foods, but really, your diet is how you eat normally and not during some 2 weeks that you're trying to lose 5 pounds. Therefore, I think that it's important to constantly say the phrase and remind myself that I "eat a healthy diet" or "lead a healthy lifestyle" so it's something that's constant. Rather than, "I'm on a healthy diet" which implies that it's temporary. Getting into the mindset of leading a healthy lifestyle will help you make it a habit.

I've listed some healthy habits that I try to do everyday. Our bodies really are habitual and I don't feel as well when I don't do even one of these things in my day. I miss working out and eating fresh (uncooked) vegetables more than I'd like to admit, but this is a really good list to strive for daily.

1. Be Active. Being active is the single best thing that you can do for your health according to the video below. (I would argue that sleep is just as or even more important.) Being active doesn't have to be running or crossfit everyday. A 30-minute brisk walk is all that doctors recommend to significantly reduce your risk of preventable diseases.

2. Drink Lemon Water. There are countless benefits to drinking lemon water daily, including acting as a cleanse and getting a dose of natural vitamin C. The best way to do this is to squeeze a wedge of lemon into a glass of room-temperature water in the morning and drink it on an empty stomach, before breakfast.

3. Eat Fresh Fruits and Veggies. Unprocessed fruits and vegetables are the only foods that are 100% healthy and beneficial. Cooking gets rid of some of the nutrients so eating fresh fruits and veggies should be a daily habit. By the way, if you're eating the recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies, then you shouldn't need a multi-vitamin.

4. Drink Tea. I know a lot of people that don't like tea, it probably is an acquired taste that you grow up with. That's too bad because tea is an excellent way to hydrate yourself and get antioxidants. Antioxidants in green tea especially have been proven to reduce the risk of cancer. If you don't like tea, try drinking fruit teas first with honey as sweetener. Plus, tea is a much better alternative to coffee.

5. Get 7-8 Hours of Sleep. I think that this habit is the most important for leading a healthy lifestyle. Even if you think you're getting enough sleep on 5-6 hours, you're not. Your body is not properly recovering and you are increasing your risk of disease. If you have trouble sleeping, try drinking chamomile tea before you go to bed and drinking less caffeine. Also, spend the hour before bed in the dark and made sure that your bedroom is as dark as possible. Any light, even from your alarm clock, affects your body's ability to produce melatonin and thus sleep deeply. Speaking of melatonin, tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin and will help you stay asleep and sleep more deeply. They are also anti-inflammatory, thus helping your muscles recover and reducing your risk of cancer. Drink tart cherry juice about 1.5 hours before bed.

Do you already follow any of these habits?

Do you have any healthy habits to add to the list?

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