5 Advantages to Healthy Habits–Start This Holiday Season!

What are healthy habits? What are the benefits of these habits? Being physically active, eating well, and avoiding harmful substances lead to benefits of better mental, physical and emotional health. You feel more positive, energized and ready to come up with solutions to life’s problems more easily. Changing your mindset to develop healthy habits is challenging. Your unique motivation and ways of creating these habits will lead to five benefits.

Control Your Weight

Managing calories and eating a healthy diet helps control weight. A healthy breakfast is the most important meal which can stop you from becoming overly hungry during the day and overeating later or resorting to fast food. Regular physical activity combined with the right meals can help you avoid excess weight gain. Even if your goal is not losing weight, physical activity can boost your immune system, keep you energized and improve cardiovascular health. Do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week–such as walking or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Avoid sodas and fruit juices that are high in calories, and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily meals and as snacks. The high level of water and nutrients and low calorie density help weight control.

Improve Your Mood

Doing right by your body pays off for your mind as well. The Mayo Clinic notes that physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet, as well as being physically active, will improve your fitness level. You’ll feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem. Short-term benefits also include decreased stress and improved cognitive function. Besides daily activity and healthy eating habits, social connections are a key habit that can lead to better mental and physical health. Emotional well-being is boosted through a number of additional activities, such as volunteering, acts of kindness, forgiving, practicing gratitude, and doing hobbies. Spending time with positive people and people you love, your friends, and family, will not only improve your mood, but also your physical health and boost your longevity.

Prevent and Treat Diseases

Healthy habits can help you prevent and treat high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and depression, among other chronic disease–also called lifestyle related diseases. Inflammation in your body that can lead to cancer, arthritis and many other conditions is lowered through a plant based whole food diet and daily physical activity.

Power-Up Your Energy Level

We all want to take a nap after eating unhealthy food. When eating a healthy diet, the body receives the fuel to manage our energy levels and keeps us awake. Vegetables, fruits, legumes whole grains are the main components of a healthy diet. Eliminating red meat and weaning down other animal protein, while increasing plant based whole foods is key. Doing regular physical activity also improves muscle strength and boost energy levels. Your cardiovascular system will work more efficiently, because of the oxygen delivered more efficiently, so you have more energy to tackle and fully enjoy life.

Insufficient sleep can cause variety of problems such as bad mood and tiredness. It can also be responsible for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Having a schedule for waking up and going to bed at the same time every day will improve sleep quality. Maintaining cool room temperature at night, getting enough sunlight during the day, avoiding alcohol and large meals late in the day, getting physical activity earlier in the day, and keeping device screens out of the bedroom will help you get to sleep. Feeling emotionally well will also help you avoid early morning awakenings.

Increase Your Lifespan

When you practice healthy habits, you boost your chances of a longer life. The American Council on Exercise reported on an eight-year study of 13,000 people. The study showed that those who walked just 30 minutes each day significantly reduced their chances of dying prematurely, compared with those who exercised infrequently. Looking forward to more time with loved ones is reason enough to keep walking. Start with short five-minute walks and gradually increase the time until you’re up to 30 minutes.

The Outcome

When you start adopting healthier lifestyle, you will feel the benefits in a myriad of ways. Healthy habits help you improve your physical appearance, physical and mental health, and emotional state, and keep you energized. Be patient. Start with small steps. Do what you can confidently do. Gradually build up until you reach your healthy lifestyle goals. These habits are lifetime supports to the only place you live: your body. This holiday season give yourself a gift of self-love by doing what you can for your health and happiness now! Start by savoring the joys of the holidays!

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