Healthy Habit #1 | Eat More Protein
Watching what you eat is a huge step in starting healthy habits and you can pump up your routine by adding more protein to your diet. According to Authority Nutrition, diets that are high in protein can boost your metabolism, increase your ability to burn fat and reduce your appetite, so you’re not overeating. These super foods also build muscle mass and can help lower your blood pressure.
So, what are these super foods? Most dairy products have a high protein content. For example, eggs, cottage cheese, milk and Greek yogurt are all excellent sources of protein. Meats, such as chicken breast, turkey breast, lean beef, fish, shrimp and tuna, are all good sources of protein, as long as they’re served in moderation. These are great options to incorporate in your meals. For some tasty and healthy snacks, you can reach for almonds, peanuts, broccoli or pumpkin seeds.
Healthy Habit #2 | Exercise Regularly
Time and time again we are told that if we want to be healthy we need to be active, and it’s true! There are countless benefits to exercising. Frequent activity helps relieve tension, lowers depression and stress levels and manages anxiety or anger.
The American Heart Association recommends approximately 150 minutes of moderate activity each week or about 30 minutes per day. Exercising on a regular basis can lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It’s also great for your health because moderate activity improves blood circulation, develops muscle strength and boosts your energy levels.
With all these benefits, it’s definitely worth carving a little time out of your day to be active. By adding just a bit of exercise to your routine, you can add a big boost to maintaining a healthy routine.
Healthy Habit #3 | Get Enough Sleep
With so much going on in our day-to-day lives it’s hard to fit in everything. Typically, we’ll prioritize completing our to-do list over getting an appropriate night’s sleep. However, this Harvard study might make you reconsider catching some more Z’s.
Sleep is required for us to function properly because it does a lot internally to reboot our bodies for the next day. When we get enough sleep, it benefits our immune system, kick-starts our metabolism and stimulates our memory and learning abilities.
Without receiving the recommended amount of sleep, we could be putting ourselves and those around us at a serious risk. Lack of sleep can affect judgment, mood and productivity. It can also affect our concentration levels, meaning it’s difficult to learn and retain new information. If this poor habit continues and you’re going extended periods with little to no sleep, you can put your body at higher risks of developing diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease.
Healthy Habit #4 | Let Go of Bad Habits
When deciding to jump-start your life by implementing healthy habits, it’s also a good idea to reevaluate which bad habits you should give the boot. Whether it’s trying to limit your desserts, cut-back on soda or spend less time watching TV, now is a good time to let go while you’re already on track to optimize your habits.
Peter Gollwitzer, a psychology professor at New York University, says the key to kicking bad habits is creating a game plan. If you know that you will be in a situation that could be tempting to go back to your old ways, think ahead and create an “if-then” scenario to help you break the habit.
For example, if you want to cut-back on soda, when you go out to a restaurant with friends, and they ask if you want a soda, be ready to automatically order a water without looking at the drink menu. If you have a solution in your mind before you’re exposed to the situation you are much more likely to stay strong and say no to your bad habits.
Healthy Habit #5 | Set Goals
Part of sticking to your new-and-improved lifestyle is setting goals for yourself. It’s proven that if you set a goal and write it down, you will be more likely to stick with it. A written goal is something that you can put in a place that you see every day as a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish.
Your goals should be measurable and attainable. If it’s not something that you can track and see progress along the way, then how will you know when you’ve reached your target? And if you aim your hopes too high and give yourself a goal that isn’t realistic, you will be setting yourself up for failure and become discouraged.
After you set your measurable goal, achieve progress and finally reach your desires, make sure to reward yourself! Keep in mind that your prize should be appropriate for the goal, so you’re not tempting yourself to break your new habits. For example, if you’re trying to cut back on sweets, your reward should not be to indulge in a pint-size bucket of ice cream. This diminishes all the progress towards which you just worked.
Healthy Habit #6 | Think Ahead and Plan for Success
Staying organized is a wonderful habit you’ll want to start because it can apply to everything you do! Planning ahead allows you to determine how much you can get done in a day and stick to a schedule. When you allot a certain amount of time to each activity, you’re more likely to manage your time and accomplish more in your day.
Tackling the most difficult or the most important tasks at the beginning of the day can feel like a major accomplishment. Gaining that momentum in the morning can make your day run smoother and make the smaller tasks seem more attainable to accomplish the rest of the day.
Make sure you’re not constantly in “attack mode.” Take time after each activity to regroup and focus your energy on the next task at hand. Resolving one problem then moving to the next makes your day much more productive than jumping around between tasks.
Healthy Habit #7 | Spend Time With Yourself
As you start planning out your days, be sure to carve out some time for yourself! Everyone needs a little downtime to gather their thoughts and just relax. Psychology Today explains that when you give yourself some alone time, you are revitalizing your mind and body. This increases your productivity and creativity in the long run, so be sure to commit to some “me” time each week.
Healthy Habit #8 | Maintain a Positive Mindset
Did you know that your attitude can have a huge impact on your health? One healthy habit that a lot of people might overlook is staying positive. Having a positive perspective can help reduce stress and depression, and can make every situation seem a little brighter. Keep in mind that positivity can be much easier to achieve when you surround yourself with cheerful people instead of those that spread negativity.
Keeping a positive outlook is great, but it helps to start with a favorable self-image, as well. Women, especially, can be really hard on themselves and think there’s always something they could do to be better. Instead of counting your flaws, make it a point to compliment yourself at least once a day. It can be as simple as telling yourself you’re having a fabulous hair day or a major self-pat on the back for completing a big project at work.
Healthy Habit #9 | Make Sure to Laugh
It’s no joke - laughing has some serious health benefits! Although many of the advantages from laughing are short-term perks, it’s still a fun and easy habit to maintain. Mayo Clinic shares that laughing stimulates your heart, lungs and other muscles. It also increases your heart rate and releases endorphins to your brain, which give you that happy feeling after a good chuckle.
Laughing can also relieve stress and muscle tension that comes along with it. So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try not to take everything too seriously because a good laugh could be exactly what your body needs!
Healthy Habit #10 | Take Your Vitamins
Taking your vitamins and minerals is a habit that will give your health a major boost! Vitamins are produced in your body naturally, but taking supplements gives your body the amount that it needs to stay healthy. Vitamins handle important tasks in your body, like building bones, healing wounds, strengthening your immune system, etc. For major functions like this, it’s important that your body gets the extra help it needs from vitamin supplements.
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