7 healthy habits to improve your body and mind
7 healthy habits to improve your body and mind
Out with the old, in with the new. It’s a new year, so why not start fresh with some healthy habits?
Here are seven simple habits you can create to improve your overall health. They are all quite simple and shouldn’t take much time out of your schedule. And, hey, you might already be making some!
1. Skip the juice and go for the fruit
A glass of orange juice in the morning may seem like a good idea, but it’s not the best way to get fruit for the day. “It takes six to eight oranges to make a glass of orange juice,” said Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, cofounder and CEO of Pandia Health and a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council (WHAC). “You’re just injecting the sugar directly into your blood. If you eat the orange instead, you get less sugar and get the fiber and satiety.
2. Practice gratitude
Being grateful is not only good for your character, it’s good for your health. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude daily can improve sleep, mood and immunity. Even the feeling of gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety, difficulty with chronic pain and risk of disease. You don’t have to change your life much to start practicing gratitude. You can start by incorporating a gratitude mindfulness practice into your morning or by simply thinking about what you are grateful for each day. You can take it a step further and spread joy by sending thank you messages to friends and family every night to cap off the day.
3. Eat at the same time every day
Why ours circadian rhythmsmetabolism and nutrition are closely linked, research shows that eating food at the same times each day helps our systems synchronize, leading to a more rested, nourished and balanced system.
“Do your best to have your meals at the same times every day. Our bodies love schedule and regularity,” Yen said.
4. Take a light walk after a big meal
Even just a short 10-20 minute walk after a big meal has health benefits. It can help you feel fuller, reduce heartburn and acid reflux, and help check blood sugar. “Walking after a meal helps digestion by speeding up the time it takes for food to reach the small intestine,” she said Isa Kujawski, MPH, RDNa mind-body functional nutritionist and author of “The Korean self-care book.”
5. Write in a journal
THE The mental health benefits of journaling are enormous. Research has shown that not only can journaling help reduce stress and anxiety and help you cope with depression, but it can also help you prioritize problems so you can better cope with challenges.
Angel fucka psychotherapist, recommends keeping a journal handy to track your successes and mistakes so you can get back on track.
“Seeing where you are or are not successful can help you process your thoughts and emotions faster than keeping them in sharp focus in your mind, and allows you to see that even when you are having a tough time, you have successes and small wins,” Ficken said.”Journaling can be a wonderful strategy for our overall mental well-being and, when practiced consistently, can accelerate your progress in battling stressors.”
6. Practice mindfulness (even just while brushing your teeth)
“I think one of the keys to good mental health is mindfulness, or just, practicing being in the moment,” she said Susan Whitman, MS, PA-C, NBC-HWC, a faculty member of the integrative health and wellness program at the University of Vermont. Recommend mindfulness as a daily habit. “Choose one activity a day that you will do ‘mindfully’. It doesn’t have to be long, but you have to work to do just this one thing and give your full attention to it.
Sure, you can whip out your yoga mat and have a full meditation session, but you can also practice mindfulness while brushing your teeth.
“As you brush your teeth, bring all of your energy and attention to the act,” Whitman said. “Smell the toothpaste. Feel the bristles against your teeth and gums. Notice how your hand moves. Watch your movements in the mirror. Listen to the sounds it makes. Notice the thoughts that come to your mind, any judgments, and let them go, bringing your attention back to all the sensations of the moment.
7. Recognize and reward your positive habits
“Determine which rewards are meaningful to you and use them to link positive behaviors to desired outcomes,” Ficken said. “It’s not just for kids. Rewarding yourself can be a great way to help you develop positive habits and stick with them.”
Rewarding yourself doesn’t have to feel like overindulgence. It can just be self-care. Start that new book you’ve been meaning to read, enjoy a bubble bath, or spend some time doing nothing.
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