10 Habits for a Longer and Healthier Life

Here are some practical habits we can acquire to be healthy. Try this list and share it with a friend.

1) Eat six small meals a day. Most nutritionists recommend that we eat six small meals a day. For example, you can have a light breakfast at 7 a.m., light snack (a banana or an apple) at 10 a.m., lunch at 12 noon, snack at 4 p.m., dinner at 7p.m.., and bedtime snack (tea and cookies) at 9 p.m. This schedule will help reduce sudden surges in your blood sugar. It will also prevent you from overeating because of hunger. It’s easier for the digestion, too, and can prevent stomach ulcers from missed meals. Eat several times a day, but just a little. A banana or an apple can be considered a snack already.

2) Drink 10 glasses of water. Doctors have to tell patients again and again the importance of drinking enough water a day. But it seems many patients, especially women, don’t listen. Drinking water can prevent kidney infections, kidney stones, migraine headaches, and constipation. My wife, who only drinks three to four glasses of water a day, learned a painful lesson. She developed severe back pains from kidney stones. Now, she drinks a whole lot more.. And did you know that water can prevent wrinkles and make your skin soft and glowing

3) Rest at least eight hours a day. Sleeping and resting is the best way to boost your energies. If you feel tired, take a 15-minute rest to replenish your strength. At night, try to go for eight hours of sleep. If you can’t sleep, just lying in bed and thinking happy thoughts can relax your mind and body, too. It’s not as good as sleep, but it’s the next best thing.

4) Climb one to two flights of stairs. Exercise for your health. Moderate exercise has been proven to prevent diabetes and obesity, and reduce arthritis. If your office is just on the second or third floor, use the stairs. It’s good for your heart and your joints. It also helps you get some exercise in between your work. As you grow older, try to avoid high-impact exercises like basketball and badminton. Swimming, taichi, walking, and climbing stairs are gentler for the body.

5) Live a clean life. By “clean” living, we mean not just physically clean. We should also try to avoid unhealthy behavior like smoking, drinking alcohol, using illicit drugs, engaging in risky sex, and gorging on fatty foods. Smoking kills. Alcohol destroys brain cells. You may have tried them, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. So why continue the habit? Avoid risky habits and prolong your life.

6) Be a veggie and fruit lover. You are what you eat. And the healthiest foods out there are vegetables and fruits. Green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, pechay, kangkong, camote tops (talbos), and spinach, contain so many vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant chemicals. Vegetables can prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, bowel problems, irritable bowel syndrome, various bowel cancers, and kidney stones. Eat veggies every day.For the healthiest fruits, we have bananas, apples, carrots, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. Bananas are rich in potassium, vitamin B6. and folic acid. Likewise, tomatoes have high amounts of antioxidants, including lycopene. Citrus fruits like suha (pomelo) and dalandan are teeming with healthy vitamin C.

7) Laugh 15 minutes a day. Laughter is, indeed, the best medicine. A study from the University of California Irvine College of Medicine reports that after watching a funny video, the viewers’ mood improved dramatically.. Depression and anger dropped by 98 percent, fatigue fell by 87 percent, and tension was reduced by 61 percent.What happens inside our body when we laugh? The level of stress hormones, called cortisol, decreases, and the good hormones, called endorphins, increase. Endorphins are natural substances in the body that make you happy and boost your immune system.

8) Be enthusiastic about your work. Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Try to find ways to enjoy your line of work. A nurse’s job can be messy and tiring, but at least you are caring for someone. A secretary’s job may be just about setting appointments, but without her diligence, the boss would never be as successful. Be creative. Think long-term. What does your job really mean to you? An enthusiastic attitude can make a difference.

9) Have a lifetime partner. Statistics show that married persons live longer than single persons. If you have someone to share your burdens with, it will lessen your stress. Single persons living alone may have no one to attend to them in case of an emergency. To compensate for the lack of social support, single persons can acquire a circle of close relatives and friends.

10) Share your blessings. In President Bill Clinton’s book Giving, he explains the whys and the hows of giving. Give big or give small, and the benefits will come back to you. Similarly, Prof. Peggy Thoits’ study at the Vanderbilt University showed that people who volunteered and helped others had higher levels of happiness, self-esteem, and better physical health. If you want to receive P2,000 worth of health and happiness, try donating P2,000 to your favorite charity. Helping the poor and the sick will surely give you a different high. It may not make you live longer, but it can surely make life worth living.

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