How to Establish Healthy Habits That Last a Lifetime

No matter your age, good health should be one of your primary goals. Avoid extreme exercise plans and fad diets you can’t maintain long-term, and instead, concentrate on habits that you can stick to throughout your lifetime. Here’s how:

Make exercise a way of life

Instead of thinking of exercise as a burden or chore, change your mindset and make it an enjoyable part of your everyday life. If you don’t like running on a treadmill, then don’t. Find another type of exercise that better suits you. For some people, walking and hiking are optimal, while for others, swimming and biking are more fun. If you enjoy physical activity, you will do it more regularly and thus become more healthy and fit.

If you need more motivation while exercising, music is an ideal way to boost your mood, provide distractions from the tediousness of workouts, and power you through your sessions. Look for headphones that deliver quality sound and don’t fall off while you are exercising. For example, the Beats Powerbeats3 earphones are wireless and can last up to 12 hours before needing to recharge. You may also want to consider the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones for their comfort and sweat-resistance. Finally, the Jaybird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headphones block out noise effectively and let you and a workout partner listen to the same playlist from the same device.

Love what you eat

healthy eating habitsWhen it comes to healthy eating, general guidelines indicate a diet rich in fresh produce, whole grains, lean protein, and “good” fats is the best way to avoid disease and boost longevity. However, not every eating plan is ideal for every person. Talk to your health care provider about caloric intake and dietary restrictions to find the best path to meet your goals, whether you are looking to gain, lose, or maintain your weight, or just want to eat healthier.

No matter what types of foods you are eating, you should enjoy them. Typically, if you aren’t satisfied with your meals, you will end up overeating (and often eating junk food) later in the day. Explore different recipes, cooking methods, and food combinations in order to vary your diet and find dishes that you love.

Care for your oral health

Your dental health can profoundly affect your mental health. An unhealthy mouth can contribute to depression and can also affect body function. If your oral health is poor, be sure to brush twice a day, floss, and schedule regular checkups with your dentist. It’s also a good idea to cut back on sugar and cracker consumption.  

Don’t smoke and only drink alcohol in moderation

If you smoke cigarettes, find a way to quit. Smoking is strongly linked to disease and early death. A Lancet study shows that people who smoke can lose up to 10 years of life and be three times more likely to die prematurely than those who never smoke.

When it comes to alcohol, moderation is the key to maintaining good health. According to the CDC, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, stroke, and several forms of cancer. Long-term excessive alcohol use is also linked to anxiety, depression, memory issues, alcohol dependence, and a variety of mental health issues.

Get the proper amount of sleep

healthy sleeping habitsToo little sleep and too much sleep have both been linked to an increase in heart disease and early death. So, what’s the proper amount of sleep? Everyone is different as to how much sleep they need in order to be well-rested and healthy. However, most experts recommend 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night for adults. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, avoid alcohol, caffeine, and electronics in the evening. Also, keep your bedroom at a cool temperature and remove your TV, phone, and computer to avoid distractions.

Think of healthy habits as part of your lifestyle, rather than punishments. This way, you can actually learn to enjoy getting enough exercise, sleep, and healthy foods, and you’ll feel great by not smoking and drinking too much alcohol. A healthy lifestyle can’t assure you a long life, but it can help you reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other health conditions, and improve your overall health and well-being.