6 Healthy Lifestyle Habits to Adopt in the New Year

Healthy habits are hard to learn and too easy to forget. It's like a muscle…the more you train it, the stronger it will become. And if you neglect it, it’ll weaken over time. In general, healthy lifestyles bring immense benefits, such as feeling better, having more energy, maintaining a healthy weight, and even increasing the chances of living a longer life. So, take a look at these 6 habits that we recommend you adopt to start living a healthier life.

1. Set aside time for relaxation

It seems that inner peace is something that can only be mastered by yoga instructors. For the majority of the population, setting aside time for peace and tranquility simply doesn't seem possible. However, healthy habits like these produce serenity, which gives us the ability to enjoy life to the fullest and helps us to react to problems with more calm and less chaos.

With just 10 minutes each morning or afternoon, you could enjoy relaxing activities such as meditating, reading, writing, or any other pastime. When you look forward to something as enjoyable as a hobby, it is much easier to have a healthy life.

2. Set a time to sleep

Another healthy habit that you can begin to put into practice is to establish a sleeping schedule that really gives you enough time to recharge your energy for the next day. These healthy habits make a huge difference in your quality of life.

The Sleep.org website recommends that you have consistency with your schedule, that you make gradual adjustments, and that you dim the lights before bedtime. An online tool that can be very useful is Sleepyti.me. Basically, the total time we sleep is composed of sleep cycles. Their website mentions that "sleepyti.me works by counting back on sleep cycles. Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle leaves you tired and dizzy, but waking up between cycles leaves you feeling refreshed and on alert!" It's simple to use the site; you simply tell the application at what time you would like to wake up and this calculates the ideal time to go to bed.

3. Decrease sugar consumption

One of the most important healthy habits you can adopt in the new year is to consume less sugar. Doing this will help you live a healthy life with benefits such as losing weight, more stable energy levels, and better digestion. The Mayo Clinic has 3 tips to help you live a healthier lifestyle, and decrease sugar consumption.

  • Opt for low-calorie or sugar-free drinks instead of sugary drinks. Better yet, drink water (smooth or bright).
  • Enjoy fruit for dessert instead of cookies or cakes.
  • Read food labels and research the menus of online restaurants. Avoid options with high sugar content.

4. Get your heart pumping

Another of the most important healthy habits that we should put into practice is more physical activity, for example, jogging, swimming, riding a bicycle. In addition to presenting an opportunity to have fun, the benefits of moving more include improving sleep, improving muscle health, and even improving mental health. The American Heart Association advises:

  • Go for a walk before breakfast, after dinner or both! Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes.
  • Park farther away from the mall and walk the extra distance. Wear your walking shoes.
  • Make an appointment with a friend to enjoy your favorite physical activities. Do them regularly.

5. Smile more often

With an innumerable amount of benefits from simply smiling, let's take a moment to analyze things. When you visit a playground, it’s likely that you’ll see children playing and laughing, while parents have more serious expressions, due to the worries of daily life.

This is a clear example of how daily routine affects us. However, smiling more often releases endorphins in the brain, which lowers our stress level and even helps people cope with chronic pain.

6. Use smaller eating portions

An easy way to start living a healthy life is to use smaller portions when you eat. Some recommend buying smaller plates to help you not surpass the serving limit. If you master this habit, you will enjoy benefits like consuming fewer calories, increasing your energy, and even saving on your budget, since you’ll be cooking less food.

In short, creating routines and habits similar to the health tips mentioned here not only contribute to a healthy life but can also come to benefit you with reduced prices of your health insurance.

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