We all know that healthy habits are an important part of staying healthy, but what are they exactly? A healthy habit can mean different things to different people, as it’s all about finding the right balance between exercise and rest, and eating foods that support your health and wellness goals. Whether you want to build muscle, lose weight, or simply improve your health, here are the top five healthy habits to adopt today.
Get 7–8 hours of sleep
Getting adequate sleep is key to staying healthy. The CDC recommends that adults get seven to eight hours of sleep per night on a regular basis. Adults who don’t sleep enough may suffer from headaches, irritability, and impaired memory or judgment—all of which can affect productivity. It’s also important to note that too much sleep (more than nine hours) can cause health problems too.
Not eating breakfast at all, or eating it too late in the day, is a surefire way to hinder your morning exercise routine. Your body needs fuel to function and exercise burns through that fuel quickly. If you don’t eat right away, your body will start converting stored fat into energy—exactly what you’re trying to avoid if you want to lose weight. Avoid these common mistakes by following a few healthy habits, like starting every morning with a healthy breakfast and hitting up that gym before work.
Drink more water
You’ve heard it all before: you need to drink more water. You’re probably feeling a little tired right now and your memory might not be what it used to be, but don’t reach for that sugary drink—it will only make you feel worse! Instead, refill your glass with cool, clear water. The cognitive benefits of drinking more water are undeniable and you’ll soon find yourself thinking clearer than ever!
Exercise at least 5 days a week
When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, exercise is key. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week (or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity), as well as muscle-strengthening activities that work for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. They recommend you try to do some type of physical activity every day in addition to your aerobic workouts, plus strength training exercises on two or more days per week.
If you have to climb stairs in your day-to-day, take that opportunity to exercise. Each flight burns between 8 and 15 calories and can add up over time. And while taking the elevator is probably less effort than walking up a few flights of stairs, it’s not always available. Plus, one study found that people made healthier food choices after using stairs instead of escalators or elevators.
Use positive self-talk
Rather than beating yourself up, or thinking self-deprecating thoughts, adopt a more positive mindset. Use positive self-talk as often as possible. You can also use affirmations to remind yourself of all your good qualities, and things you are proud of. Be sure to write down these mantras and keep them where you can see them—this will help ingrain them in your mind.
Achieving your goals can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to overhaul habits that have gotten you down in the past. Does the key to making healthy changes stick? Creating micro goals and breaking them down into bite-sized pieces. Breaking each goal into smaller steps creates attainable mini-milestones that help keep you motivated and on track.
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