Certain things in life are out of our control. However, studies show a connection between healthy behaviors and lifespan, debunking the popular notion that poor health is caused primarily by genetics. Focus on these 10 healthy habits, and you’ll be making huge strides towards a longer and healthier life!
1. Stay Smoke-Free
Smoking can reduce one’s life expectancy by up to 10 years. Fortunately, it’s never too late to quit. Even late in life, quitting a smoking habit can add years of longevity that would otherwise be lost. Need help with quitting your smoking habit? Speak with your doctor today!
2. Be Active
You don’t have to be a marathon runner in order to reap the health benefits of an active lifestyle. In fact, small amounts of exercise and activity go a long way. If exercise seems daunting, start with 15 minutes of moderate movement per day. Make time in your schedule for a brisk walk, switch to taking the stairs at work, or park at the back of the lot at the grocery store. Little changes add up to a lot!
Most of us know that the recommended amount of sleep per night is 8 hours. Still, many of us struggle with getting enough rest. We recommend falling asleep and waking up around the same time each day, with a goal of 7-8 hours per night. Struggling with getting enough restorative sleep? Our Sleep Center can help you get to the bottom of it!
4. Cook at Home
Processed foods are one of the biggest culprits working against you in your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle! These foods are high in sodium, saturated fat, and sugar- while being low in nutrients and fiber. Indulging too much in processed and fast foods leads to an increased chance of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Kick the fast food to the curb and focus on preparing meals at home, which will inherently improve the nutrient density of what you’re putting into your body.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight
No two bodies are exactly the same, and it can be difficult to understand exactly what your body needs in order to be its healthiest. Generally, a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 17- 25 is recommended as a healthy benchmark. Speak with your doctor about your personal nutrition to help create a plan that suits your lifestyle.
6. Live in Community
Loneliness can be bad for your health. Seek out friendship, clubs, groups, and teams of people that you connect with. Studies have linked healthy social circles to improvements with hormones, heart health, and immune function.
7. Focus on Your Mental Health
Stress and anxiety impact more than just your mental wellbeing. By taking the time to care for your mental health, whether regular visits to a therapist or scheduled breaks from daily life, you are supporting your overall health as well.
8. Drink in Moderation
Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to a litany of conditions; liver, heart, and pancreatic disease- to name a few. The general recommendation is for women to consume a maximum of 7 drinks per week, and men a maximum of 14. While studies have shown some benefits to moderate wine consumption, there is no health reason to begin drinking if you don’t already.
9. Eat Colorfully
Strive to consume a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, tree nuts with healthy oils, fish (and less red meats), and whole-grain carbs. Fresh red tomatoes, bell peppers, berries, beets, and spinach create a colorful, delicious, and nutritious salad.
10. Pursue Happiness
Happy people live longer! It is an investment in your health to make time in your life for loved ones, joyful activities, vacation, and leisure.
For any one of these tips, your doctor is available to discuss a plan with you in support of your health goals. Reach out to us today to schedule a visit!