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Home » HEALTHY HABITS: 10 daily habits that changed my life (science-backed)

HEALTHY HABITS: 10 daily habits that changed my life (science-backed)

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Table of Contents

Why Daily Habits Are Game-Changers for Your Health

Good daily habits are not just routines; they are the building blocks of a healthy and fulfilling life. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into 10 transformative daily habits that have significantly impacted my life across multiple dimensions—physical health, emotional well-being, and cognitive performance.

A Note on Consistency Over Perfection

It’s important to note that these life-altering habits are the culmination of gradual changes made over the last five years. While the aim is to practice these habits daily, life happens. Stressful periods may disrupt your routine, and that’s okay. The key to long-term success is consistency, not perfection.

Habit 1: Hydrate to Energize—Start Your Day with a Glass of Water

The Science of Morning Hydration

Starting your day with a glass of water is more than a ritual; it’s a catalyst for boosting your energy levels. After 6-8 hours of sleep, your body is in a mildly dehydrated state. This dehydration can lead to feelings of fatigue and sluggishness, hindering your ability to kickstart the day effectively.

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How to Incorporate Hydration into Your Morning Routine

After completing your morning bathroom rituals and brushing your teeth, make it a point to drink a glass of filtered water. If you’re looking for a zestier start, consider adding a slice of lemon to your water. Not only does it add flavor, but lemon also offers additional health benefits like aiding digestion.

Habit 2: Cultivate Mental Clarity Through Daily Meditation

The Proven Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is not just a wellness fad; it’s a scientifically-backed practice with a multitude of health benefits. Studies have shown that regular meditation can reduce anxiety, enhance immune function, and even alleviate pain.

Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

If you’re new to the world of meditation, don’t fret. Starting with guided meditation sessions can make the practice more approachable. There are several user-friendly apps like Calm and Headspace that offer a range of guided sessions tailored for various needs.

Habit 3: Embrace the Outdoors with Brisk Walking for Cardiovascular Health

Why Walking is More Than Just a Leisure Activity

A brisk walk is not just a simple outdoor activity; it’s a powerful mood booster and a form of cardiovascular exercise. Walking has been shown to improve both mental and physical health, making it a holistic exercise option.

Seasonal Considerations for Canadians

If you’re residing in Canada or any region with harsh winters, daily outdoor walks may not be feasible year-round. However, whenever the weather permits, seize the opportunity to get some fresh air and natural sunlight. Seasonal adjustments like indoor walking or treadmill use can also keep you active during colder months.

Habit 4: Strengthen Your Body and Mind with Weight Training

The Undeniable Importance of Weight Training

Weight training is not just for bodybuilders; it’s an essential component of a balanced fitness regimen for people of all ages. As you age, you naturally lose muscle mass and bone density. Weight training helps counteract these effects, making it crucial for long-term health and mobility.

A Beginner’s Guide to Weight Training

If you’re new to weight training, the first step is to consult a certified fitness professional. They can guide you through the proper techniques and help you create a tailored workout plan. You can start with body weight exercises like push-ups and squats or use free weights for added resistance.

Habit 5: Go Green—Incorporate Leafy Greens into Your Diet

Why Greens are a Nutritional Powerhouse

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula are nutrient-dense foods packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporating them into your diet can significantly improve your overall nutrient intake.

Simple Ways to Add More Greens to Your Meals

If you’re not accustomed to eating greens, a smoothie is an excellent gateway. Blend some spinach or kale with fruits like banana and berries for a nutrient-packed, delicious smoothie. It’s an easy and tasty way to get your daily dose of greens.

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Habit 6: Add a Splash of Color to Your Plate with Brightly Colored Fruits and Veggies

The Science Behind the Colors

The vibrant colors in fruits and vegetables are not just for show; they indicate the presence of various phytochemicals. These natural compounds offer a range of health benefits, from boosting your immune system to reducing inflammation.

How to Incorporate Colorful Produce into Your Diet

Aim to consume at least two to three servings of brightly colored fruits and vegetables each day. Whether it’s red bell peppers, purple cabbage, or orange carrots, diversifying the colors on your plate ensures you’re getting a broad spectrum of nutrients.

Habit 7: Unwind with the Healing Power of Music

The Scientific Connection Between Music and Relaxation

Listening to relaxing music or nature sounds has been scientifically proven to reduce stress hormones like cortisol. This can lead to improved mental well-being and a more restful sleep.

How to Integrate Relaxing Music into Your Evening Routine

As you wind down for the day, create a playlist of your favorite calming tunes or nature sounds. Whether it’s the sound of rain, ocean waves, or soft instrumental music, taking the time to listen can significantly enhance your relaxation and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

Habit 8: Keep Your Brain Sharp and Engaged

The Importance of Mental Stimulation

As we age, our cognitive abilities naturally decline. However, engaging in mentally stimulating activities can slow down this process and even improve brain function.

How to Keep Your Brain Active

Whether it’s reading a book, learning a new language, or watching educational videos, the key is to keep your brain engaged. Apps like Duolingo for language learning or platforms like TED-Ed for educational content can be excellent resources.

Habit 9: Quality Over Quantity—Spend Meaningful Time with Loved Ones

Why Quality Time Matters

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to be physically present but mentally absent. Quality time means being fully engaged and present with your loved ones, which has emotional and psychological benefits for everyone involved.

How to Ensure Quality Time

Put away distractions like phones and tablets when spending time with family and friends. Engage in meaningful conversations, play games, or simply enjoy each other’s company. The aim is to create memorable experiences rather than just passing the time.

Habit 10: Avoid Phones Before Bed for Better Sleep Quality

The Detrimental Impact of Blue Light on Sleep

Smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices emit a type of high-energy visible (HEV) blue light that has been shown to interfere with the body’s natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin. When melatonin production is disrupted, it becomes more difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, and experience restorative, deep sleep cycles. The result? Poor sleep quality, increased sleep latency, and even potential long-term health risks like increased stress and weakened immune function.

Scientific Backing

Multiple studies have confirmed the negative impact of blue light exposure on sleep. According to research, even just 30 minutes of exposure can delay the onset of REM sleep, the stage of sleep associated with dreaming and memory consolidation.

Practical Tips: How to Minimize Blue Light Exposure Before Bed

Switch Off or Use Flight Mode

The most straightforward way to avoid blue light exposure is to switch off your phone or put it in flight mode at least an hour before bedtime. This not only eliminates the blue light but also reduces the temptation to check emails, social media, or news, which can also be mentally stimulating and counterproductive to relaxation.

Use Blue Light Filters

If you absolutely must use your phone before bed, consider applying a blue light filter or using a blue light screen protector. Many smartphones come with a ‘Night Mode’ feature that adjusts the color temperature of the screen to reduce blue light emission.

opt for Traditional Alternatives

Instead of scrolling through your phone, opt for more traditional bedtime activities that don’t involve screens, such as reading a physical book, journaling, or practicing some light stretching or meditation to help you unwind.

By taking these steps to minimize blue light exposure, you’re setting yourself up for a better night’s sleep, which is crucial for overall health and well-being. Remember, quality sleep is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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