Ten Habits of Healthy People

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Healthy habits are important to leading a healthy life. Being healthy means feeling younger, having more endurance, and overall, a better quality of life. Let’s examine 10 healthy habits and their benefits for the body and mind.

Drinking Water for a Healthier Body

A healthier looking complexion, weight loss, healthier muscles, and better digestion, are all benefits of drinking water. Eight to 10 glasses a day is the most commonly recommended amount. Eight glasses may feel like a lot in the beginning for those that aren’t used to drinking water. But once the body adjusts, the frequent bathroom trips will subside. Adding fresh lemon or lime to water can boost flavor and make it seem more appealing. The body is 60-70% water, so staying actively hydrated allows the body to function properly.

Walking to Support Health and Fitness

Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise, and it has excellent health benefits. It’s also one of the reasons that people living in cities tend to be healthier than those living in the suburbs, where they are car reliant. One mile of walking burns roughly 100 calories. Walking for exercise can be coupled with daily errands, spiced up with music, or enjoyed as a way to unwind after a stressful day. Walking has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Walking can increase bone density, reduce body fat, and strengthen the leg and back muscles, preventing injury.

Flossing for Oral Health

Bacteria aren’t very appealing to think about. The mouth becomes a breeding grounds for bacteria when oral health is neglected. Bacteria live on food that becomes stuck between the teeth. Flossing is a healthy habit that many fall short on because they find it uncomfortable or unpleasant. However, considering the unpleasant side effects is enough to encourage anyone to work this healthy habit into their routine. Flossing prevents tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

Stretching to Avoid Injury

The body is like a piece of rubber. When rubber is cold, it is stiff and not very pliable. Stretching is a great way to warm up the muscles and gain flexibility. Being flexible reduces the risk of pulled muscles and injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, benefits of stretching include increased flexibility, improved range of motion, improved circulation, and stress relief. Yoga and Pilates are both excellent forms of exercise that stretch and lengthen the muscles, improving flexibility.

Hobbies for Mental Health

Hobbies support mental health. It's also a way to get out, get involved, and meet like-minded people. In her article, “Hobbies Support Healthy Mental Functioning”, Amy B. of Associated Content, notes that when individuals engage in a hobby, they gain a sense of accomplishment. Being successful in these small endeavors provides a sense of control. Having a sense of control reduces stress, but more importantly, hobbies are a way to have fun in our leisure time. Taking time to get involved in a hobby stimulates the senses and creates positive mental energy and happiness.

Eating Well and Staying Away from Processed Foods

It’s a given that healthy people eat well. Eating well is all about choices. Processed foods are a contributing factor to many of the health problems and weight loss struggles that many Americans face. The body depends on whole, nutritious foods to stay healthy and achieve ideal body weight. Loading up on fresh fruits and vegetables, eating lean protein, monitoring carbohydrate intake, and skipping out on refined sugars help to support a healthy functioning body. Reading labels, avoiding fast food, and shopping at an all natural or organic grocery store, are ways to avoid processed foods.

Getting Enough Rest and Sleeping

The body and mind both suffer when people don’t get enough sleep. Getting adequate sleep every night is important to staying healthy and coping with the stressors of daily life. Harvard Health Publications published an article on the importance of sleep, listing six reasons not to scrimp on sleep. According to the publication, learning and memory, mood, metabolism and weight, cardiovascular health, and the ability of the immune system to fight disease are all directly connected to getting enough sleep.

Getting Sun and Protecting the Skin from Harmful Rays

With warnings about the risk of skin cancer due to harmful UV rays, some believe it's best to avoid the sun when possible. However, a moderate amount of sun is actually beneficial. In her article, “The importance of moderate sun exposure for increased health, appearance, and mood,” Meghan Hart of Examiner.com explains that, “Ultra violet rays enable the skin to produce vitamin D and increase endorphins, which are both important and necessary for good health.” Vitamin D is needed but it's also necessary to heed the warnings about skin cancer and protect the skin by applying sunscreen. Sunburn is never healthy.

Focusing on the Positive

Healthy people focus on the positive. When people have a negative attitude they immediately set themselves up for defeat and failure. People with positive attitudes have a much easier time navigating difficult situations because they find a way to learn and grow from their experiences. Positive people open themselves up to possibilities of happiness and success. Positive mental energy leads to health and overall well being.

Establishing a Routine

None of these healthy habits would be possible to stick with without the establishment of a routine. Healthy people are proactive about their health. Establishing a routine of healthy habits provides a sense of control. Individuals that feel in control of their health gain a sense of accomplishment in knowing that they work to support a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy habits are vital to creating a healthy life. It’s never too late to develop healthy habits and stick with them.

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