Each habit, however, is unique in its own way and needs to be tailored to each person.
Therefore, your preference will be highly influenced by your lifestyle, habits, preferences, and beliefs.
The most important thing to remember is to try everything that’s mentioned. Try to notice the differences between one habit and the other.
Then, choose the habit that works best for you, and stick with it.
1. Clean eating
Individuals who follow a clean eating diet are healthier than those who consume a Western diet.
According to Robert Stephenson, Ph.D., a research dietitian at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, the following foods are likely to be effective for a healthy lifestyle:
- non-fried foods
- no additives
- limited or no animal fats
- reduced or no added salt
- lean meats, poultry, and fish
- refined grains, such as quinoa
- fruits, vegetables, and nuts
- nutrient-rich foods such as beans and lentils
- healthy fats
2. Physical activity
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.
Low-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, is the easiest way to get the amount of exercise recommended.
Physical activity that is intense, such as jogging or swimming, can cause injuries.
Start slowly and try to reach 150 minutes of exercise per week.
If you cannot do this, begin with a goal of 50 minutes of physical activity per day, as this is the average amount that people perform.
This can also be broken down into smaller increments.
Focusing on the number of minutes rather than the total time you spend is easier to track.
Try to fit at least 10 minutes into your daily routine, with the rest being spent sitting. The following is a simple guide to physical activity:
Sit up straight, rather than slouching. This will help to reduce your risk of back injuries.
Choose an activity you enjoy doing.
Ensure that you rest for at least 30 minutes after your exercise to avoid injuries.
Get regular exercise to improve health and sleep quality.
Exercise has been shown to improve mental health and reduce stress and depression.
3. Stress management
Stress is one of the major causes of most health problems.
People often become over-stressed by factors such as schoolwork, family commitments, work stress, and financial pressures.
While a good diet and regular exercise will help to improve your physical health, stress management is the best way to improve your mental health.
If you’re feeling stressed, make time for yourself to unwind.
Try relaxation techniques such as:
- breathing exercises
- deep breathing
- the use of a stress ball
4. Diet and nutrition
Dietary changes are one of the most important ways to improve your health.
While following a regular healthy diet will help to keep your body healthy, it can also be effective at reducing your stress levels.
According to RBC LifeStrategy, a leading provider of retirement income planning, the following foods are likely to be beneficial for maintaining health:
- omega-3 rich foods, such as salmon
- choose lean cuts of meat, poultry, and fish
- eat more leafy green vegetables
- avoid sugar and add an alkaline vegetable, such as celery, to your meals
5. Stress management
Stress can cause health problems, such as poor sleep and a reduced immune system.
If you feel stressed, make time to relax. It’s important to take a break from your day and take a break from work.
Try some of the following relaxation techniques:
- downloading an audiobook, such as “The Bible” by the Rev. Derek Thomas
- Reading a physical book
- silent walks in nature
- a massage
- a hot bath
- listening to soothing music
- six minutes of deep breathing
6. Get enough sleep
Frequent or insufficient sleep may put you at risk of depression, obesity, and stress-related health problems. Make sleep a priority.
A 2008 study found that not getting enough sleep can damage health in many ways. These included:
- excessive inflammation
- increased risk of depression
- poor body composition
- consumption of high-calorie, sugary, or fatty foods
- increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress
So, the next time you are tempted to stay up late to complete a project, remember that you could be damaging your health in the process.
It is advisable to get at least 7–9 hours of sleep each night. If you find it difficult to get the recommended amount of sleep, try the following tips:
Keep the bedroom cool and dark. It should be dark enough so that you can sleep at least 5–6 hours without waking up. If you still feel tired, don’t forget to exercise in the morning.
Limit your exposure to bright lights in the evening, such as bright televisions, phones, tablets, and laptops.
Sleep in a room with a door that can lock from the inside. Avoid drinking alcohol too close to bedtime.
If possible, avoid eating while you are trying to fall asleep. You may want to eat a meal earlier in the evening.
Use the “snooze” function on your alarm clock. Set it for 15 minutes instead of 10, so that you can slowly increase the time you are awake.
Practice mindfulness. This is when you actively recognize your thoughts, rather than pushing them away. It can be especially useful during times of stress.
Stress is part of life. But, by knowing the best ways to cope, you can lower your stress levels and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.