Without my health, I am of little use to anyone; my family, my work, my community, and the list goes on. So, I have a big responsibility and interest in staying healthy. I can achieve this by building good health habits.
Living a healthy lifestyle
One of the greatest assets that you have is your good health.
Much of what causes illness is within our control. Some things can’t be controlled (your age, family history of diseases, gender). But there are certain things that you can control in your pursuit of creating a life of healthy habits. And those things aren’t a huge surprise — you already know not to smoke, skip your exercise routine, drink too much, or make poor dietary choices.
It is interesting, though, how all of the major diseases are caused by the same things: smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol and stress.
These are the healthy habits you need to make
1. Reduce stress.
Stress is a risk factor for heart disease and high blood pressure, which is in itself a risk factor for stroke. Learn to be efficient with your time and delegate or eliminate whenever possible those tasks that stress you out. Exercise every day to relieve stress.
There are so many good ways to relieve stress, get organized. Start your week in the best possible way. These are the Monday morning habits of people that are working towards a stress free life.
You don’t need me to tell you to exercise, but listen to this: lack of exercise is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, colon & rectal cancers, diabetes, breast cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you don’t have good exercise habits, you’re just asking to get a major disease. It is almost a magic pill: do a bit of exercise every day, and you will be healthier. You don’t need much — start with 5 minutes every morning.
I am being absolutely serious when I say start with just five minutes each day. It has to be very easy to start with, so that the sustainable habits can be ingrained without any perceived pain.
3. Drink more water.
Most people don’t drink enough water. Keep water on your desk or at your side at all times and you will find you will be reaching for it more often. Like the old saying goes…”Out of sight, out of mind.” I make sure that I full up a 2L jug every night before bed, place it in the fridge. My weakness is a cup of coffee in the morning, I will admit it, I enjoy it. But I make sure I start each day with a glass of water before I exercise and have my coffee.
4. Eat more fruits & veggies.
This is obvious, but it’s amazing how few veggies most people eat. Try substituting the pasta or potatoes with broccoli or cauliflower. Eating fruits and veggies reduces your risk of several leading diseases, and it’s one of the easiest habits to form. Eat a salad for lunch. Eat fruits with breakfast and as snacks.
Big one for us all, kick the sugar habit now!
5. Monitor your own blood pressure.
Keeping an eye on our own blood pressure is like watching the oil pressure gauge in your car. It can prevent many major illnesses before they get out of hand. Take responsibility for your own health.
These are the habits you need to break to be healthy
1. Stop smoking.
This is by far the most important habit to break, as it affects almost every single one of the leading causes of death. It’s also the hardest of these habits to change.
Join our community and share your journey with other people that are also on a mission to break these bad habits.
2. Eat less. (if you’re overweight).
The best habit to form to lose weight is to eat less. Or eat more of things that don’t have a lot of calories, like fiber, fruits and veggies. Being overweight is just below smoking the worst risk factor for many diseases.
3. Drink less alcohol.
Heavy drinking increase the risk factors for many diseases. That’s more than 2 drinks of alcohol a day for men, and more than 1 drink for women. A glass of red wine is a good thing, but too many and you’re greatly increasing your risk of disease.
Surprisingly there are benefits of having a beer or a glass of red wine. You might really enjoy it after a tough, honest days work and that you find a glass of red might reduce your stress levels. I have been blessed enough to have represented a number of sports teams and if we were to have a beer or a glass of a fine red, we would encourage each other to 'earn your beer.'
4. Eliminate fast foods and any processed foods.
Eating red meats, and processed meats like sausages, bacon, canned meats and so on, is a risk factor for colon/rectal cancer, stomach cancer, and high cholesterol, which in turn is a leading risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. Try eat stuff that grew on a plant, not stuff that was processed in a plant.
Even better build your own veggie box, and watch them grow.
5. Reduce salt, and saturated/trans fats.
Salt and saturated or trans fats are found in so many processed or prepared foods, and they increase risks of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which increase risk for heart disease and stroke. Cook for you and your family, it does take time and forces you to be more organized. Prepare on a Sunday night or the night before what you will be eating, these are the daily habits of successful people.