15 Healthy Habits For 2015By Cordialis Msora-Kasago
Published: January 12, 2015
Health + Wellness
Welcome to 2015! A new year and another chance to get things done right. If you are like most people, you have made a commitment to do something better than you did last year. If improving your health is on your agenda, here are 15 habits to incorporate in your lifestyle and get the new year started on the right foot.
- Drink more water. Take your weight in kilograms and multiply that number by 35. The answer you get is the amount of water in millilitres (ml) you should aim to drink on a daily basis. For example, if you weigh 65kg, you should aim to drink 2275ml (2.2 litres) every day.
- Exercise Vigorously. Engage in a weekly minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise. What is moderate to vigorous intensity? It is exercising at a pace at which holding a conversation is difficult. If you are able to talk comfortably, you are not working out hard enough. So work up a sweat and move faster.
- Sleep a little longer. Research indicates that women who slept less than 5 hours a night, were 32% more likely to experience significant weight gain than those who slept at least 7. If you find yourself lying wide awake in bed, try turning off your laptop, smart phone, television and other screens at least 1 hour prior to bedtime. Turns out the bright light of our rather addictive screens may reduce the production of melatonin, a hormone important for inducing sleep. Use the time away from the electronics to relax, read a book, write a journal, spend time with the kids or chat with a loved one.
- See a dentist. Did you know that by the time you start to experience dental discomfort, it may be too late to save your teeth? Get a full examination and cleaning done at a qualified dental clinic so as to identify and possibly prevent any gum or tooth problems. Speaking of dentists, did you know that flossing daily reduces the amount of gum disease causing bacteria which if left in the mouth can enter the bloodstream, thicken artery walls and potentially cause heart disease? Floss daily for better health.
- Clear the pantry. Most of us will agree that a cookie in the kitchen must be eaten. Reduce temptation by keeping fatty and/or sugary foods of low nutritional value out of your home. If you find yourself craving cookies, ice cream, chips and other junk food, you can always go to the store and buy a single serving that can be consumed at one sitting.
- Get fitted for the right bra. Feeling a little pain in the back? It could be that you are wearing the wrong bra size. According to the British Chiropractic association, 47% of women complaining of back pain related the pain to their breast size. Wearing the right size bra provides support, reducing strain on the back. Find your correct bra size by following this easy guide.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Work, home, family, friends, money issues and all of life’s qualms can all take a toll on your health. Don’t let everything that poses a challenge break you. Pick your battles and only choose to fight those that are truly worthy. If you try to fight all of them, you will only find yourself distressed, anxious, unhappy and disappointed. Not every problem deserves an answer.
- Avoid excessive alcohol intake. Too much alcohol intake not only causes you to act silly when drunk but it contributes to poor health and accidents. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Moderation is defined as no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink for women.
- Quit the tobacco habit. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, smoking damages nearly every organ in the body and causes many diseases. Quitting dramatically reduces these risks.
- Eat real food. In today’s world of “now” and creative food marketing ploys, healthy eating can be a challenge. Keep your diet simple by eating foods as close as possible to their most natural state. Buy foods with ingredients that you recognize and can pronounce. As much as possible, steer away from processed, pre-packaged foods and take control of what’s in your food by opting to do your own cooking.
- Play with your friends. There is something wonderful about spending time with friends. They have the uncanny ability to lift your spirit and bring out your radiant self. Keep depression at bay by making regular play dates with your girlfriends. Find a few trusted pals to be your confidants so you can pour your heart and frustrations out and reduce the stress that comes along with keeping things bottled up.
- Get your annual physical. Prevention and early detection are key components of health. An annual physical with your healthcare provider can help determine if you are at risk or have a chronic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and some forms of cancer. See a doctor this year to your know your numbers and get screened for a variety of diseases you may be prone to.
- Practice safe sex. Be faithful to your sexual partner and make sure that he is faithful to you. Use condoms, spermicides and other forms of contraceptives to reduce disease risk and pregnancy.
- Listen to your body. Oftentimes, your body sends you messages that you may choose to ignore. Seek to understand the underlying causes of the aches, pains, blemishes and bruises you experience. They can be warning signals of deeper medical problems. Monitor their frequency, causes and characteristics and report any patterns to your medical provider.
- Wash your hands often. As useful and helpful as they are, hands can be a vector for carrying disease causing germs. Reduce the risk of infection by washing your hands frequently. But just splashing water is not enough. You must use soap to create a lather and rub your hands together for at least 15 seconds. Don’t have a watch? Sing the “happy birthday” song twice while washing your hands.
Getting healthy does not have to be challenging and complicated. Follow any or all of these tips to create a healthy new you in 2015.
Here’s to your health!
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