20 good habits to adopt to be healthy

In the dictionary, a habit is said to be “behavior created in someone by repeated action.” It is in this last adjective, “repeated”, that habits take on their full importance.

Indeed, whatever actions are taken to maintain one’s health, it is in the repetition of these that the key to success is found. Running a half marathon once a year will give you an endorphin kick , at best, or a new boo-boo, at worst. On the other hand, 30 minutes of walking or jogging, several times a week, all year round, will undoubtedly work miracles for your quality of life and your health.

In short, to help you improve your physical and mental health one day at a time, we offer you 20 healthy habits. Ideally, choose just one, then wait until it’s well established in your routine before adding another!

MOVEMENT

1

To walk

Whenever you can. To go to the grocery store or the office, to get some fresh air at lunchtime or to visit a city. Walk. The minimum number of steps recommended is 10,000 per day. It’s not a small number, but every minute of walking counts and brings you closer to your goal. It’s like a game!

2

Get up regularly

In North America, prolonged inactivity is just as, if not more, a problem than lack of exercise. Sitting for long hours in a row compromises the body’s ability to use its fats and sugars, which poses several health risks. Fortunately, the solution is very simple: interrupt inactivity as often as possible by getting up regularly. Walk to your colleague’s office, talk on the phone while standing, or use the stairs. Any excuse is good to break daily inactivity!

3

Play outside

Getting some fresh air every day is one of the easiest and most enjoyable things you can do to improve your health. Recent studies have shown that exposure to daylight can have significant positive effects on health. [1] Plus, spending time outdoors helps with stress management. [2]

4

Stand up straight

Set yourself regular reminders (alarms or notes) so you don’t forget to straighten up! Return your neck and pelvis to a neutral position, then pull your shoulder blades back to open your chest. Having good posture allows each muscle to work properly and reduces pressure on the joints. In the long term, you will reduce your risk of developing back pain and, in the short term, you will feel more confident and energetic and you will breathe better. [3]

5

Use your muscles

Whether it’s to counteract age-related muscle loss, prevent osteoporosis [4] or back pain, or simply to make it easier to perform all activities, we all have an interest in maintaining our muscles by using them as often as possible. Taking the stairs, hiking in the mountains, adding a few push-ups or a yoga class to your day are just a few ways to do this!

6

Stretch

Without having to stretch for an hour, you can maintain your mobility by moving your body differently, for a few minutes a day. By incorporating one or two stretches into your daily routine, you will improve your range of motion in your joints, thus reducing your chances of injuring yourself during a false move. What’s more, you will get an instant boost of energy due to the influx of oxygenated blood sent to your muscles and brain.

7

Move with friends

It’s a two-in-one: it’s fun and motivating. Indeed, motivating others is one of the best ways to motivate yourself. Then, by moving with friends, you will associate being active with a feeling of pleasure, which will encourage you to repeat it regularly!

FOOD

8

Eat in good company

Put the screens away and take a moment to connect with real humans. Not only will you strengthen your social connections, but having a conversation will encourage you to eat more slowly. This will give you time to put down your fork when you are full, but not too full.

9

Fill half the plate with vegetables and fruits

Many of us are aware of this recommendation, but far fewer apply it. When making your menu, think about salads, soups, soups, raw vegetables, gratins, purees and stir-fries or fresh fruit, smoothies and compotes. Nutritious, low in calories and inexpensive, plants should be the predominant elements of a healthy diet!

10

Track your hunger and satiety signals

How much food should you eat each day? The answer to this question varies greatly depending on your weight, gender, age and level of physical activity. That said, a good way to ensure you’re eating just enough to meet your needs is to simply listen to your hunger. When your stomach growls, you eat. When you’re full, you stop. Even if there’s food left on your plate. Even if you’re offered a second helping.

11

Vary your food

By adding variety to our menu, we benefit from the unique benefits of a wide range of ingredients. We can, for example, change wheat toast at breakfast by trying overnight oatmeal made with oats or even add several vegetables of different colors to our grocery basket.

12

Lunch > Dinner > Supper

Since we need all our concentration and energy during the day, it is advisable to eat a filling breakfast, a medium lunch and a light dinner. This way, we go to bed more comfortably and wake up with a little hunger, just what we need to… start again!

13

Drink water

Water is essential to staying well hydrated and avoiding unnecessary headaches, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Carry a reusable bottle with you and leave it in plain sight so you remember to take small sips often. Unsweetened tea, herbal tea and coffee are also good options.

14

Bet on the lunch box

Whether you’re at work, school or on the go, you’ll always win when you prepare your own meals and snacks for a quick bite to eat. Not only can you save several dollars, but you’ll also avoid the excess sodium, added sugars, fats and chemical additives found in fast food chains.

15

Take the time to cook

Cooking is a big word! Here, we’re talking about choosing a time in the week to prepare a few simple and tasty dishes that will save you a lot of time during busy days. In two hours, you have time to bake 12 muffins, cut a melon and raw vegetables, marinate tofu and cook quinoa without any problem.

WELL-BEING

16

Sign out

Putting your cellular unit aside for at least an hour a day can be a real challenge for some. However, being connected 24/7 can have detrimental effects on memory [5] , creativity and productivity [6] . Unplug for at least an hour a day and give your brain a well-deserved break!

17

Breathe

Take the time to stop and breathe deeply. Too often, in the hubbub of everyday life, we only breathe on the surface. Taking the time to breathe properly can calm the mind, of course, but it is also beneficial on a physical level. Indeed, by lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, deep inhalations and exhalations will help you manage your stress.

18

Take a micro-vacation

Every day? If possible, yes! Half an hour is enough. A micro-vacation simply means a moment in the day to completely disconnect. Lie down and stare into space. Let your brain wander without any occupation. You will be surprised to see the positive effects on your creativity and energy!

19

Sleep

Sleep, along with exercise and a healthy diet, is one of the main pillars of good health. Sleeping well (between 7 and 8 hours per night) regularly will positively influence your mood, your memory, your longevity as well as your cognitive and physical performance. [7]

20

Smile

This is an easy habit to adopt, but which will nevertheless have very positive effects on your mood. Simply raising the corners of your mouth will produce endorphins, giving you an instant dose of happiness!

In short, the advantage of adopting healthy lifestyle habits is that it is possible to maintain them forever, unlike more extreme solutions which can only be temporary. By choosing the first option, you ensure success in the short term, but also in the long term!

 

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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