“The ability to be disciplined and to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable prerequisite for success.” – Brian Tracy
Watch this video to learn about the most important healthy habits you need in your life.
People often ask me the question “where can I start to become healthier?” I’ve compiled a list of the seven ways you can become healthier. Pick one of the items on the list and start there. One will most likely pop out to you, so don’t overthink it. Just pick one and start doing it today.
Cook Meals At Home!
We all know eating out is expensive, but do you know exactly how much more you’re getting charged than if you were to cook at home?
A report on restaurant markups says that soda is marked up a staggering 800%. Potatoes are marked up around 977%, while pizza comes in at a 600-800% markup. Eggs cost less than 10 cents each, but an average egg dish costs $5 – $12.
Eating out is easy, fun, and quick, but if you find yourself indulging a bit too much, you may be pushing your wallet to the limit.
Let’s say you make $20 an hour. Your dinner out costs you $46.00. Do you really want to spend approximately 2.5 hours of your life for that ONE meal out? Reading the numbers makes dining out much less enjoyable.
You could get a bunch of groceries for that amount and make several meals that will last through the week.
Saving money and enjoying life is all about trade-offs. Sometimes eating out is worth it, and sometimes it’s not. That’s something you’ve got to decide for yourself. When you do eat out, make the most of it. Don’t choose items that you can make at home. If you eat out all the time because you don’t know how to cook, learn some basic recipes to help you start eating healthier.
Drink More Water
The body is about 60% water, give or take. We’re constantly losing water from our bodies via urine and sweat. There are many different opinions on how much water we should be drinking every day.
The health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses a day, which equals about 2 litres, or half a gallon. This concept is called the 8×8 rule, and it is very easy to remember. However, there are other health gurus who think we’re always on the brink of dehydration and that we need to sip on water constantly throughout the day, even when we’re not thirsty.
I think you should drink 1 litre of water per 22kg of bodyweight as a baseline. I try and stick to that, but it is perfectly natural to forget sometimes.
Many people claim that if we don’t drink water through the day, our energy levels and brain function can start to suffer. There are actually plenty of studies to support this. In one study, a fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise affected both mood and concentration.
Drinking water causes temporary increases in metabolism, which speeds up weight loss. Drinking before meals can also help to reduce your appetite, so you eat less.
The Los Angeles Times recently interviewed Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative. He invented the treadmill desk. Levine has been studying the adverse effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles for years and has summed up his findings in two sentences.
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
Levine is credited with coining that mantra — “sitting is the new smoking” — but he’s not the only one who believes it. Researchers have found that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Getting “back to nature” by going outside can really improve your health. Small activities such as taking a stroll through the park, can trigger electrochemical changes in your brain that give you a feeling of calmness and contentment.
When most people think of medicine, they imagine something material like a pill to be popped, a liquid to be swallowed, or an injection to be endured. Some might also consider surgery, tests, or procedures to be medicine since these high-tech maneuvres can help diagnose and treat disease. One of the best forms of medicine isn’t something you can buy at a pharmacy or get at the doctor’s office.
No one else can give you this medicine because it is the daily exercise that you do yourself. “Exercise is medicine” has become a popular slogan among health and fitness professionals. Find 30 minutes each day to participate in physical activity.
There are several benefits from these 30-minute chunks of exercise. Increasing your activity level will help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, type-2 diabetes, and prostate and breast cancer. You will improve your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and aerobic fitness. You will have better sleep, lowered stress, and reduced feelings of depression.
Walking, cycling and swimming are three of the best forms of exercise. Find one which is suitable for you.
Spend More Time With Loved Ones
Spending time with loved ones is good for your health. There are lots of benefits: decreasing loneliness, slashing stress levels and motivating people to stop smoking or over-eating.
Even Parenting Lengthens Life
According to a study of 21,276 couples from Denmark, being a parent is linked with living longer. The research showed that women who gave birth to children were four times less likely to die early from cancer, accidents, or circulatory disease.
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself,” we are often told. Mentally strong people exchange self-pity for gratitude. Whether you choose to write a few sentences in a gratitude journal or simply take a moment to silently acknowledge all that you have, giving thanks can transform your life. Our mind is the ultimate medicine, but it starts with being grateful for what we do have. From here it can only get better.
What do you think about these healthy habits? Is there anything you can think of to add to the list? Head over to the Fill Your Cup Facebook page and let me know.