Achieving long-term good health is not an easy task and is often a result of lifestyle choices that may seem uncomfortable in the beginning.
We all strive to live a longer, healthier, and happier life but only a few are aware and willing to put in the effort required to achieve good health.
While our genes and DNA play a huge role in shaping our body type, the healthy habits we adopt today, not only affect our present state of health but also set a strong foundation for the future.
And by good health, we do not mean just good physical health, but also achieving sound mental and emotional health.
There's essentially no difference between bad habits and good habits, the only difference that matters in achieving good health is that of choice.
If we choose to incorporate healthy habits into our daily routine consistently and diligently, we will get closer to our goal of living a longer and healthier life, but the more we indulge in our bad habits, the farther we keep moving from our goal.
Read on to find out some essential healthy habits that you should practice regularly that will help you maximize your potential and make the most out of the gift of life, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Do not OverIndulge
Recent studies show that there is a strong link between our calorie intake and our longevity.
Our modern lifestyle makes it easy for us to access a wide variety of unhealthy food that is not only high in calories but also has a harmful impact on overall health.
Overeating or overindulgence in unhealthy food and drinks promotes excess body fat in the body, disturbs our digestion, aggravates the chance of getting endocrine diseases, and also introduces the possibility of impairing brain function.
On the other hand, a low calorie or restricted calorie diet has been known to cut down excess body weight, extend lifespan, and also cut down the chances of contracting diseases when adopted in moderation and is surely a healthy habit that you should incorporate in your daily life.
It is impossible to talk about healthy habits without mentioning the importance of staying hydrated. Drinking enough water daily is a habit that is often talked about but is significantly ignored when asked to put into practice by most of us.
It is recommended that the average individual consumes at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
There are endless benefits of staying hydrated as it helps with weight management, hair and skin health, filters out toxins, increases the efficiency of our body, etc.
The biggest benefit of drinking water is perhaps its effect on our metabolism. We often mistake being hungry when we are just feeling thirsty and fill up our bodies with excess food, which can be harmful in the long run.
Hydrating the body at regular intervals makes the mind more alert, amps up energy levels, and also avoids the need to indulge in cravings.
There is no point in keeping our physical health in check if we don’t pay attention to our mental state and emotions. Stress has a variety of negative health consequences that can also prove to be fatal if not brought under control on time.
Making use of relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing are healthy habits that can help tackle excessive stress and creates feelings of peace and tranquility in the body.
It allows us to calm the nervous system and helps keep your mental state in a happy place devoid of any anxiety, stress, tension, or worry.
By practicing meditation and breathing exercises daily, we equip our bodies to fight daily stressors so that we develop a positive outlook in life and live longer.
Eat more Protein
Protein is one of three key macronutrients that you need to consume in a healthy amount to survive. Protein not only supports the growth of muscle mass but also plays a vital role in transporting oxygen throughout the whole body.
It also cuts down the feeling of excess hunger in the body and helps us maintain our ideal body weight.
Eating more protein does not mean that you need to consume heavy amounts of eggs, fish, and chicken at every meal. Experts recommend that adding 20-30 grams of protein at every meal is a good place to start with.
As we grow older, our muscles need more support to repair and sustain themselves. By staying physically active we exert our muscles, which then need the help of protein to repair themselves.
In this process, protein helps in the creation and maintenance of every cell of the body. So try incorporating simple sources of protein like beans, nuts, meat, fish, yogurt, etc in your daily diet to stay healthy and add more years to your life.
Indulge in Self-care
We always prioritize our work and our responsibilities but fail to prioritize our happiness and well-being.
Many studies show that increased feelings of happiness can improve longevity and add more years of your life.
A sure short way to introduce more feelings of happiness in our daily lives is to take out more time for ourselves and for the ones we love.
By spending adequate time with ourselves and engaging in activities that bring peace and relaxation to our minds, we can effectively lower our overall stress levels and improve our well-being as we age.
Self-care also comes in the form of accepting and giving love and affection to our close ones and nurturing the bonds we possess with them.
Studies show that individuals who build and maintain healthy social networks can increase their lifespan by 50% and also significantly reduce their chances of experiencing an early death.
Practicing gratitude is also an important aspect of the healthy habits every individual should inculcate and helps bring us back to the present moment to appreciate all that we have.
It is highly effective to regulate our emotional health and all the self-care practices mentioned above should not be ignored at any cost, no matter how hectic our lives might get.
Life is a precious gift. It needs to be nurtured and cherished so that we live happily and fulfill our true potential. Proper mental and physical health is key to live a balanced and healthy life, and we should not corrupt our bodies with an unhealthy diet and unnecessary stress to make our time here worse.
There is no sure short way to predict when we might die, but there are healthy habits that we can adopt to improve the longevity of our life.
These habits might seem simple and basic at first, but the real challenge is not to read up about them but to apply them in our daily life to reap the benefits in the long term.
Apart from the basic habits mentioned above, there are also other things that you can adopt into your routines to sustain a healthy lifestyle and add more years to your life.
Some additional practices to take note of are - incorporating more fiber into your diet, practicing mindfulness, having a good sleep routine, cutting down on alcohol, practicing yoga, making use of herbal medicines and drinks, doing good deeds, making meaningful connections, etc.
Authored By : Tanya Thukral
Tanya is an Ayurvedic doctor who has a deep interest in spreading the message of healing and restoration through the age-old systems of Ayurveda and Yoga.