Top 10 Healthy, Happy Habits

You know that super-fit friend of yours who always seems to look so good? Or your friend who is rarely sick and looks happy all the time?  Even though they make you a bit nauseated, you also want to secretly be like them, too.

Making simple changes today will makes it easier to become a healthy, happy person. Life’s too short. You may not have control over everything in your life, but you have a remarkable amount of control over how long you live. Llifestyle is more important than genetics in determining how long you’ll live. And luckily, the lifestyle changes that can score you more years are easy to incorporate into your life. Here’s what super healthy people do to add years to their lives.

happy family

1. They smile. And laugh. And look on the bright side.
Healthy people are more optimistic than unhealthy people. They don’t waste time and energy complaining. If they need to make a change in their life, they do it. A positive mental attitude goes a long way toward promoting other healthy behaviors in their lives. They laugh a lot. It’s no joke that laughing helps decrease stress and reduce pressure. Healthy people don’t sweat the small stuff. They ask themselves if this situation is going to matter a year from now, and if it won’t, they let it go. They smile and they mean it. Smiling projects happiness, which directly correlates to your health. Try smiling at a stranger today. Not only do you get a smile back and feel good about yourself, you also just made someone’s day better. Healthy people understand the link between happiness and health, and they tend to walk around with smiles on their face, or laughter in their hearts.

2. They like to move.
Move around. Be active throughout your day. Don’t worry if you’re not a gym rat. Take the stairs rather than the elevator, change a meeting into a “walking meeting,” or consider a portable stepping or pedaling device that fits at your workstation. Include a 10-15 minute walk in your lunch hour. Those who see the biggest payoffs are the ones who go from doing nothing to simply walking around the neighborhood or local mall for about 30 minutes a day.  Be active for at least two-and-a-half hours a week. Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rate and that strengthens your muscles. If your kids see you active, they are more likely to move throughout the day as well. Try family activities that raise their breathing and heart rate and that strengthen their muscles and bones. Find something you like doing, whether it’s taking daily walks on a trail near your house, swimming laps in a pool, riding your bike, running, playing a few games of hoops each week, or doing yoga.

3. They prepare healthy meals ahead of time.
One of the downsides of being healthy is it definitely takes more time and effort. Being unhealthy is convenient. There are fast, cheap, unhealthy foods available all around us. That’s why healthy people spend time preparing healthy meals when they have moments to spare. This can mean prepping a healthy lunch the night before you go to work so you don’t have to go out to eat, cutting up veggies to take as snacks when you’re on the go, or freezing healthy foods to use at a later date. Pick one day out of the week to prep for the rest of the week. Many healthy people stick to a weekly menu so they know what to get at their local farmer’s market and can prepare the foods ahead of time.

4. They make health a priority in their life.
This is perhaps the most important habit of healthy people. They make a conscious choice to be healthy. They understand that their health is a gift and they don’t take it for granted. Aside from family, friends, and work, health is one of the most important priorities in their life.  They have learned to manage stress and balance work, home, and play.  They even do they simple things to keep healthy such as washing hands to stop the spread of germs. They also do the not so simple things such as planning ahead for the future. Yes, healthy people live longer, but they are also prepared for what life throws at them, too.

5. They do all things (in moderation).
Exceptionally healthy people don’t withhold anything from their lives. They don’t deprive themselves of the foods they love. They eat healthy most of the time which allows them to enjoy their favorite unhealthy foods every once in a while without feeling guilty. Granted, this doesn’t mean they splurge and eat an entire pizza every Friday night. But they may eat a couple of pieces and they’re perfectly okay with that. They leave the door open to any and all experiences – but they also don’t overdo it. Even healthy people aren’t perfect. They might miss a workout, or they might have a bad meal every once in a while. They understand there’s more to life than just trying to be healthy. Yes, they have a piece of cake every once in a while. So what – it makes them happy, and that’s part of what being healthy is all about.

6. They surround themselves with other healthy and happy people.
They know the importance of building safe and healthy relationships with family and friends. Healthy people have a tendency to participate in healthy behaviors with folks who share their sentiments. This means you’ll often find healthy people exercising with their other healthy friends. We all have unhealthy “enablers” in our lives, but healthy people make it a point to balance it out with other friends who also participate in a healthy lifestyle.

healthy happy

7. They don’t make excuses.
Healthy people live by the mantra: He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. – Benjamin Franklin
They take responsibility for their actions rather than blaming others and external circumstances for why they aren’t as healthy as they could be. They refuse to accept mediocrity in their lives and own up to their mistakes.

8. They relax.
Relaxing may sometimes seem impossible thanks to that inner dialogue in our head. But taking time to start and end your day with meditation is incredibly healthy. Take 5-10 minutes a day to focus on breathing and letting your thoughts drift. Breathe deeply through your belly. It lowers stress levels by increasing oxygen in your cells helping you to concentrate.

9. They floss everyday.

You hear this from your dentist all the time. But you probably didn’t know the flossing can help your heart. A recent study showed that daily flossing reduced the amount of gum-disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria is thought to enter the bloodstream and inflame the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease. Healthy people floss twice a day to get the biggest life expectancy benefits.

10. They eat fiber.
Healthy people eat a fiber-rich cereal for breakfast. Getting a serving of whole-grains, especially in the morning, appears to help folks maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day, according to a recent study. Those who do this have a lower incidence of diabetes, a known accelerator of aging. Fiber is found in fruits, veggies, legumes, and of course, whole grains. Those who eat fiber tend to maintain their weight, curb hunger, and feel fuller longer.

Just one simple change can trigger a healthier, happier life. Make it a priority to add some healthy changes to your routine. Just as driving to a destination is easier with directions, a healthy goal is easier with a plan. Try writing down a schedule on a calendar and map out meals, workouts, and relaxing. Invest in a healthier, more vibrant you.

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