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New Year's resolutions are so last year. Sometimes the best time to make a change is now! Don't wait for specific day or time of year; start improving your health with lasting healthy habits.
Resolutions to adopt a healthier lifestyle may still be in vogue, but they usually don't last long. If you're not totally committed or are just feeling pressured to announce a resolution, it does little to bring about any lasting change. If you are aiming for a better physique, a sounder mind and holistic well-being, we've compiled some tips. Practicing these top 10 habits can improve your health.
1. Wake up with the Sun
Many scientific studies have inferred that waking at dawn is ideal. This may be a tad too demanding for some people, but give it a shot! Exposure to sunlight first thing in the morning has many benefits. If not at dawn, try to wake up with the sun. It is impractical to advise any specific time to people across the country and around the world. The exact time of sunrise varies from one region to another. There is some debate about the biological clock; that the body of a person adapts to the daily lifestyle including sleep cycle and mealtimes. Those who work nightshifts or have changing work hours may not be able to practice this habit but everyone else should wake up with the sun, every day of the week throughout the year. There can be some exceptions, such as holidays or a wild party the previous night.
2. Exercise Regularly
You should have a daily exercise routine. It could be an hour or more in a gym. You may be a yoga enthusiast. You could do aerobics, go swimming, run three miles or walk five miles. You can work out at home. It does not matter what form of exercise you prefer. What’s important is that you exercise every day. You can take two days off every week but try to keep it no more than that. Make it fun and less of a chore!
3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You can start your day with a jog or long walk. You may also hit the gym early in the morning. You may also begin your day with a healthy breakfast and work out in the evening. A healthy breakfast is imperative regardless of your schedule. You should focus on carbohydrates for breakfast. Do not go for processed foods. Choose wholegrain cereals or other healthier carbohydrates. Breakfast is the best time to consume carbohydrates as you will use the calories throughout the day. This will help you to watch your weight. Piling up on carbohydrates at night will lead to excessive adipose tissues and the fat cells will grow larger, facilitating weight gain. You can also include fruits, veggies and lean meats in your breakfast. A balanced meal is always better.
4. Prioritize Protein During Lunch
Unless you are on a strict diet or a vegan, you should go for proteins during lunch. It is best to exclude proteins, especially heavier forms, for breakfast and dinner. Lunch is the time when you need energy but you do not need an excess that will not get used in the remaining hours. Protein during lunch is imperative for those who work out in the evening. Here again, you can go for a balanced meal instead of just a steak. The purpose of segregating carbohydrates and proteins during these two mealtimes is to emphasize on how the body uses calories. Consuming more carbohydrates during lunch can eventually lead to weight gain.
5. Moderate Drinking and Quit Smoking
You should moderate drinking and quit smoking. The occasional night out is fine and social drinkers are usually well under the recommended limit. However, if you drink every day, it might be time to reconsider. If you smoke, it is best to quit now. Seek help and at least start to reduce the amount of cigarettes or other tobacco products you consume. In addition to healthier lungs and longer lifespan, a heavy smoker will save hundreds of dollars every month by quitting smoking. Similarly, excessively drinking can really add up fast so consider reducing the amount you consume.
In addition to hitting your bank account hard, drinking can contribute to unwanted weight gain. The majority of alcoholic drinks are usually full of empty calories. This leads you to giving your body calories, but none of the necessary nutrients our bodies crave. The simple sugars found in beer and mixed drinks can also lead to excess belly fat. Another interesting pitfall is that alcohol lowers our inhibitions and impairs judgement. This can result in eating way past the point of satiety.
6. Eat Less, but More Frequently
Numerous studies have shown that eating three heavy meals a day is antiquated. Most nutritionists now recommend eating several small meals throughout the day in addition to healthy snacks. This helps prevent your blood sugar from crashing and soaring. It also helps keep your metabolism balanced. Going too long in between meals can push you to overeating once you can finally sit down.
It is pointless to consume one heavy meal every five hours. Instead, you should eat smaller servings of healthy foods every three hours. You can start with a breakfast and enjoy a healthy snack a few hours later. When you're ready, have a protein-packed lunch and reach for some healthy munchies in the late afternoon. Finish your day with a nutritious dinner. Five small meals a day will keep your metabolism going, especially for those who have a natural metabolic rate that is already low.
7. Avoid Unhealthy Snacks
Try to avoid snacks such as:
- Processed meats
While it's ok to enjoy them in moderation, try to replace them with nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggie snacks. The damage caused by the useless calories and various synthetic ingredients is immense and there are long term health consequences. Many of the chronic lifestyle diseases in the modern world are owing to unhealthy food habits.
Instead of soda or sugary fruit drinks, try an herbal tea.
8. Eat Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber Rich Foods for Dinner
Almost everyone knows eating dinner early is healthier. You do not want a belly full of food when you head off to bed. Eat early and prioritize vitamins, minerals and fiber for dinner. Go for vegetables and fiber rich foods. Prioritize salads, stews or soups, boiled and sautéed veggies. Lean protein will help you stay full so don't be afraid of adding some steak, chicken, or tofu to your plate. Whole grains and dark, leafy veggies will help give your body ample nutrients.
Need some dinner inspo? Browse easy-to-make recipes like a stir fry. A delicious one pan meal that you can cook in a large frying pan or traditional wok.
They are just perfect for busy nights when you just want to whip something up quick and relax. The best part about this recipe is it's so easy to customize. Think of the components as building blocks and sub in your favorite ingredients. Looking to try a new veggie? Swap out one of your tried and true choices and see how it goes. Same goes for tofu, if you're not already in love with this protein-rich food. Give it a try and save the chicken or steak for another night. You already know you love the sauce and rest of the dish so why not?
9. Relax and Recharge
The stress of everyday life can really take a toll on your mental health. Did you know it can also negatively affect your body, too? Taking time out of your busy schedule to simply take care of you is important. Many people have different ways to relieve stress, such as:
- Reading a book
- Lighting a candle
- Coloring or drawing
- Writing in a journal
Even just taking 10 minutes to simply close your eyes and breathe in and out can be beneficial. It's all too easy to get caught up in the day and never take any time for yourself. What you may not know is that all your stress can accumulate and have negative side effects. Constant stress can weaken your immune system, cause headaches, and trouble sleeping, just to name a few.
10. Drink Plenty of Water
Last but certainly not the least, drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will benefit your skin, organs, brain, and so much more. Water should be the main beverage you enjoy throughout the day.
Do you practice any of the above tips? Share your healthy habits down below!