With you’re already busy schedule, the last thing you may be thinking about is adding more things to your daily to-do list. However, prioritizing your health goals will positively impact your overall quality of life. Here are 13 daily habits for better health and happiness.
1. Moving Your Spine Daily
Our spines are healthy and fully functional when we are born, but our range of motion decreases as we age. Historically, this occurred with age, but some younger people are also guilty of leading fairly sedentary lifestyles in modern society. In fact, modern living can lead to imbalances in the muscles around the spine, including weakness and tightness.
Medical professionals claim ‘sitting is the new smoking,’ which isn’t an exaggeration. Your intervertebral discs collect fluid and tighten when you sit down, limiting your range of motion and increasing your risk of injury. Your body isn’t designed to stay seated for long periods, so it’ll suffer from doing so.
Staying in one position for too long can cause your muscles to shorten, tighten, lengthen, and weaken. The result is pain and reduced range of motion. It’s clear as day; the more you intentionally move your spine, the more range of motion you’ll have and the lower your likelihood of developing black pain. Ensuring you move your spine daily as part of your 13 daily habits for better health will ensure it gets the nutrients it needs to function optimally, potentially eliminating the need for chiropractic treatment.
2. Caring for Your Teeth
Neglecting your oral health can cause an accumulation of plaque and bacteria on your gums and teeth. Without periodontal treatment, the plaque hardens and becomes tartar, and gingivitis sets in. Gingivitis is usually the initial stage of gum or periodontal disease. Symptoms of this disease include pain while chewing, receding gums, loose teeth, red, bleeding, or sensitive gums, and chronic bad breath.
Gum disease, if left untreated, can result in tooth loss, oral infections, and other major dental issues like tooth decay. Unfortunately, the risks posed by periodontal disease don’t stop there. It’s caused by a bacterial infection that can advance past your gum line and affect surrounding tissues before finally infecting your entire body.
According to the CDC, heart disease is a leading cause of fatalities in both men and women in the US. If the bacterial infection affecting your oral health makes its way into your bloodstream, it can accumulate in your arteries and harden. The result is usually a severe form of heart disease known as atherosclerosis.
Bacteria can enter your body in ways other than your bloodstream. Bacteria enter your lungs instantly with each breath. After entering your lungs, oral bacteria raise your risk of respiratory diseases like bronchitis and pneumonia.
Besides periodontal treatment, you can also seek orthodontic treatment to improve oral health. From braces to Invisalign, you have various options to choose from. Not only will you get to enjoy better dental health, but your orthodontist can also give you back your beautiful smile.
3. Protecting Your Joints
Joint health is important for people of all ages. You may prevent, postpone, or reduce the agony of painful joint conditions like arthritis with regular, simple practices. Regular movement as part of your 13 daily habits for better health helps lessen pain, reduce stiffness, and strengthen the muscles around the joints.
Although it may be tempting to sit still when you experience joint pain, maintaining regular movement in your daily activities is better for your health in the long run. Additionally, it helps facilitate the transportation of waste products and nutrients to and from the cartilage that protects and cushions your joints. Incorporate short walks and stretches in your daily routine to keep joints healthy.
You should also look into low-impact exercises. They strengthen the body while putting less pressure on joints. Consider aquatic therapy, cycling, golfing, or walking. Most gyms also offer group fitness classes for people with arthritis.
The extra stress that being overweight places on joints causes significant pain, which can lower your quality of life. Being underweight may indicate that you aren’t getting enough nutrients to maintain healthy and strong joints. Consult your doctor for advice on a healthy weight range for your body and safe ways of losing or gaining weight.
If your joint pain is due to an injury you suffered recently, you may need to see a physical therapist. They’ll prescribe the best exercises for your situation to ensure you recover as quickly as possible and get back to your pre-accident range of motion. Treatment may involve strengthening and stretching exercises, hands-on therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, ice/heat, and more.
4. Limiting Alcohol Consumption
Limiting your alcohol consumption is a great addition to your 13 daily habits for better health. Whether you’re considering cutting back on your weekly alcohol consumption or feel like you want to give up the bottle completely with the help of an alcohol abuse therapist, there are plenty of valid reasons that can support your decision. You’ll probably notice an improvement in your overall mood after taking a break from alcohol.
Because you’ll no longer be experiencing the anxiety, tiredness, and low mood typical of the day after drinking, you’ll have more time to dedicate to the things and people that enrich your life. This may be taking a nice long stroll in your local park, exercise classes, or catching up with family and friends over Saturday brunch. If you’re always spending nights out drinking, you’ll always be scrolling through YouTube looking for ‘tips on how to relieve a hangover instantly.’
After a few weeks without consuming alcohol, you’ll likely notice an improvement in your day-to-day health. This can be attributed to the fact that alcohol weakens the immune system. As a result, if you do contract the common cold at work, after putting the bottle away, you may find that you’re better equipped to fight it off and heal more rapidly.
You may also notice an improvement in your sleep quality. You’ll start waking up feeling refreshed and full of energy to tackle the day ahead. This can improve your memory, concentration, and productivity. Even more good news is you’ll be able to make it to that morning weekend workout session you’ve been rescheduling for a while now, which will positively impact your mind and body and help you achieve the goals on your list of 13 daily habits for better health.
5. Challenging Your Brain to Stay Sharp
You may have noticed some subtle changes in your thinking. Maybe you’re often misplacing your keys or have trouble finding the right word to use in conversations. Before concluding that you’re developing a serious health issue like dementia, note that as your age, your brain changes in size and structure, which can and frequently does affect how effectively it functions over time. Luckily, there are things you can do as part of your 13 daily habits for better health to preserve important functions like memory, even as your brain’s volume decreases and its nerve cells become smaller and less capable of communicating with one another so you can delay the need for nursing home assistance.
Regular exercise is believed to help maintain optimal blood flow to the brain and lower your risk of a condition like high blood pressure, which is often associated with dementia. Living a physically active lifestyle will help keep your brain sharp and alert. Remember to choose activities you enjoy and gradually build up the intensity and time of your workouts.
6. Keeping Your Body From At-Risk Situations
As you set out to achieve the goals in your list of 13 daily habits for better health, note that some situations put your body at risk of all sorts of attacks, some of which can lead to the need for urgent medical care. Once you start prioritizing your health, you need to be all in to guarantee the best outcome. One thing you should watch out for is your physical activity levels.
Regularly engaging in even a minimal amount of cardiovascular exercise can help keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels low and reduce your risk of developing heart disease or stroke, all while improving blood flow. In this case, minimal means 30 minutes of brisk walking a day, five days per week. Living a sedentary lifestyle puts more strain on your heart and raises your risk of developing health issues as you age.
Although it may not seem significant, continuously sleeping fewer hours than what your body needs may lead to health issues, including obesity, stroke, and heart disease. On the other hand, getting enough shut-eye will allow you to wake up feeling energized and improve your overall mood. Sleep is essential for great health.
7. Care for an Animal
Most pet owners are aware of the instant joy of having companion animals in their life. However, not many know that cuddling with a furry friend can also positively impact the owner’s physical and mental health. Only lately have studies started to look into the advantages of the link between humans and animals from a scientific standpoint.
Animals have evolved to be highly sensitive to us, our behavior, and our emotions. For example, dogs can comprehend many of the words humans speak, but they’re far more adept at reading our body language, tone of voice, and gestures. A dog can look into your eyes, just like any good human companion would, to determine your feelings and thoughts. Taking them to checkups at a pet health clinic where they receive animal health care can also be therapeutic.
8. Reduce Your Media Consumption
Do you regularly watch the news? Checking social media at every opportunity? The media is a fantastic resource for information. However, it can also be unintentionally causing you to feel unhappy and unsatisfied with your life.
Review your media use and cut out anything that negatively affects your mood as part of your 13 daily habits for better health. See how much better you’ll feel after reducing your daily media use to one hour. Experiment until you find a balance that works for you.
9. Exercise Gratitude
The first step toward feeling more content and appreciative of your life is to make exercising gratitude a part of your day-to-day life. You may occasionally feel like you’re missing out on crucial things that can make you happy. However, you’ll notice your life is full of wonderful things if you just pay attention. Pick a moment to jot down three things you’re thankful for each day.
10. Eat Nourishing Food
Healthy eating is often seen as a weight loss strategy. The 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains is necessary for optimum energy levels. You truly are what you consume. To ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients, eat meals from all the dietary groups.
11. Keep Good Company
Spend as much time as possible with those who make you feel good. Connecting with people who are upbeat and share your interests will excite you. People you don’t connect with, who have pessimistic outlooks, complain frequently or make poor decisions, on the other hand, will deplete your energy reserves. Select the company you keep carefully. When among individuals that drain your energy reserves, it’s crucial to establish limits and boundaries for your protection and energy conservation.
12. Stop Smoking
Smoking is known to result in several health issues and may even cause premature death, according to Healthline. It’s never too late to quit. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start enjoying an improved quality of life.
13. 13. Get an Accountability Partner
An accountability partner should be someone who can check you when you’re slacking. For example, if you fail to go on your daily stroll in the park, they’ll check on you to find out why and push you to do so if possible. Having such a person in your corner will help you achieve your 13 daily habits for better health.
Good health is one of the most valuable assets you can have in life. You need it to accomplish the goals you’ve set out for yourself in life. Use this read as a guide for 13 daily habits for better health and happiness.