Ever since we were young, we’ve been told to eat our veggies, sleep and wake up early, and never try smoking–ever. But despite our deeply ingrained knowledge of how to live more healthily, we continue to make unhealthy choices.
To put it into perspective, a shockingly low percentage of Americans (2.7%) live a healthy lifestyle. This recent study by Mayo Clinic Proceedings used only four parameters to define “healthy living”: a non-smoking lifestyle, exercise, diet, and body fat.
If you think that you aren’t part of the 2.7%, don’t fear–there are a lot of us who aren’t. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something about it.
Here’s a refresher on how to be the picture of health.
Don’t Take Sleep for Granted
The importance of a good night’s sleep can’t be stressed enough. Despite that, one in three adults across the country don’t get enough sleep.
From working multiple jobs to binge-watching our favorite shows, there are various reasons why we aren’t sleeping properly. No matter what it is, we should all try and get some shut-eye for at least seven hours.
Preventing unhealthy weight gain, improving memory and energy, and getting sick less often are just a few of the benefits of a full night’s sleep.
Brush and Floss
Besides sleep, we often take our dental hygiene for granted. Have a toothache? You can’t chew without wishing for an apocalypse. Have an untreated cavity? Then you have yourself a painful abscess.
You shouldn’t wait for gum disease or tooth decay to happen just to know how important good oral health is. By brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily, you can keep bacteria at bay.
We are all taught the advantages of drinking water. But if you’re still skeptical of water’s many wonders, think of it like this: 60% of your body is composed of H2O. It sustains life, and it’s essential for proper bodily functions–from regulating our internal thermostats to digesting last night’s dinner.
Feeling hungry? Drink water and see if you’re mistaking thirst for hunger. Feeling sleepy? Gulp down a glass of cold water to kickstart your morning.
Make Every Calorie Count
MLMs and health and wellness stores are persistently selling us the idea that we need this vitamin or this mineral to live longer, have better skin, or what have you.
But you don’t have to waste hundreds of bucks just to get your daily dose of nutrients. You can find it in Mother Nature’s gifts: fruits and vegetables.
Apart from consuming leafy greens and an apple a day, you’ll have to cut back on sugary or/and processed foods. They’re simply not good. Period.
Break a Sweat
Speaking of food, ever stopped to think how easily accessible it is? Especially when you compare it to how hunter-gatherers back in the olden days had to starve for days before eating.
We eat more and do physical activities less.
When you start working out regularly, you can enjoy better endurance, stronger muscles, and more energy, among many others. So turn off your TV, get up from your couch, and go out and walk. Do it regularly, and your body will thank you later.
Quit Smoking, Cut Back on Alcohol
Your efforts to live a healthy life will all go to waste if you indulge in vices galore. You know they’re bad, but they feel good.
For those who have gotten addicted to nicotine, quitting is difficult. There are many ways to stop smoking, but only quitting cold turkey is arguably the most effective.
When it comes to combating alcohol and drug addiction, it’s best to seek the help of a medical professional.
Moderation is key to wellness. It’s easier said than done, but when you start taking baby steps every day, you’re on your way to living the good life.
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