Bad habits can be hard to break. These basic health tips will help.
Ever heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Most of the time, people make excuses for improving their quality of life because it isn’t easy and they’ve become accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Well, OneShare Health wants to put an end to that negative way of thinking as we lay out some easy and doable health advice and tips for all you guys and gals trying to break some unhealthy habits.
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These days, convenience is a cornerstone of our community: with smartphones and other devices, we can shop for groceries online, order our food in advance, sell things we no longer have use for – and we rarely, if ever, have to leave the couch to do any of it!
But convenience is a double-edged sword. While we might be able access limitless goods and services from the comfort of our homes, this unmitigated availability can often breed some damaging lifestyle habits, like spending more than our monthly budget allows, relying on food delivery services instead of making meals at home, scouring social media well into the wee hours of the morning, and sacrificing thoughtful and personal interactions for brief exchanges via text.
Starting today, let’s break the mold and become more accountable in our living by following these five tips:Establish a regular sleep schedule. A good night’s sleep is highly underrated. And, despite what you may think, it isn’t entirely true that the older you get the less sleep you need (adults, on average, still need about 7 hours of sleep every night!). A good night’s sleep sharpens your mind, improves your mood, promotes heart health, enables you to maintain a healthy weight, and also steadies your blood sugar levels. In fact, WebMD recommends 7-8 hours of sleep every night in order to achieve “peak health benefits.”
Turn off all devices 30 minutes before bed. The Sleep Foundation reported that 90 percent of people in the U.S. admit to using a technological device during the hour before turning in. “The truth is, using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep.” So, how do you remedy this? Set an alarm on your smartphone (ironic, right?) that goes off at least 30 minutes before you’re ready to hit the hay. Turn off your TV, close your laptop, unhook your headphones – basically, whatever you need to do to create a peaceful environment that doesn’t rock your brain boat.
Always look for the silver lining. A positive attitude is such a valuable resource. Not only does it breed happiness and motivation to achieve your goals and dreams, the Mayo Clinic reports that it has numerous health benefits as well, including an increased life span, lower rates of depression and distress, a better psychological and physical well-being, better cardiovascular health, and better coping skills during hardships.
Stress has harmful effects on the body, mind, and soul, so seek out the good every opportunity you get. For instance, are you having connectivity issues while working from home? Instead of getting frustrated by the disturbance, think about what rebooting your computer means in the interim – a miniature and much-deserved break for you (and your sanity).
Avoid snacking before bedtime. In an article written by the Washington Post, Kelly Allison of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Center for Weight and Eating Disorders found that “when food is consumed late at night — anywhere from after dinner to outside a person's typical sleep/wake cycle — the body is more likely to store those calories as fat and gain weight rather than burn it as energy.” Eating late at night can also cause a person to exceed their recommended daily caloric intake, which will also lead to weight gain. If you want to avoid the urge to eat late at night, make sure you are eating regularly throughout the day!
Find small windows in your day to exercise. Live in a two-story house or an apartment complex? Hike up and down those stairs for a few minutes every day to get the blood pumping; and, if you’re thinking, “No way, it’s too hot!” wait until the evening time. You could also get some extra steps in by making a concerted effort to check the mailbox daily. Figure out when the post man drops by, then set a reminder in your phone to walk to the mailbox every day! Who knows – the weather might entice you to take a quick stroll around the block before heading home.
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“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches and Glory in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 (ESV)
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