10 Habits for Healthy Living

Living a healthy lifestyle is essential for everyone, but it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you on your journey, here are 10 habits that can help you lead a healthier life. First and foremost, it is important to limit unhealthy foods and eat healthy meals. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

Additionally, try to reduce your intake of processed foods and sugary drinks. Exercise regularly and be physically active. Movement doesn't have to be exercise or heavy lifting; just incorporate variety and play into your daily routine. Vary the intensity, type, and duration of the movement and focus on balance, stabilization, and mobilization.

To stay healthy, maintain strength and balance, and prevent the risk of debilitating falls in old age, move and keep moving. If you have a sedentary job that keeps you at a desk all day, be sure to incorporate movement into your workday by getting up from your desk frequently. Take the stairs or take a quick walk around the block during lunch, just keep moving. It is also important to avoid alcohol and stay sober. Alcohol consumption can have serious adverse health effects, so it is best to avoid it altogether.

Another important habit for healthy living is to protect your skin from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with more than 1 million new cases each year.7 About 90 percent of all skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV rays, so it is important to wear sunscreen when outdoors and check your skin regularly for any changes. In addition to physical health, mental health is also important for overall wellbeing. Regular and moderate exercise can increase cognitive functioning and reduce the likelihood of cognitive impairment.1,2 Incorporate activities that you enjoy into your daily routine such as reading, writing, or playing an instrument. It is also important to give your body enough energy by eating enough calories each day. Everyone needs at least 1500 calories a day; when you deprive your body of nutrients, you lose muscle, you lose focus, and that only leads to possible compulsive eating later on. Finally, try to curb any unhealthy cravings or addictions.

We all have our guilty pleasures, but to switch to a healthy lifestyle, you must be able to admit what behaviors are deficient or addictive. These healthy habits are far from exaggerated or extreme, but they consistently allow people to lead a healthy lifestyle for years and years.