Creating a Good Habit

By Denis Reynor

We all know that healthy habits, such as eating well, exercising, and avoiding harmful substances, improves your physical, mental, and emotional health. These habits improve your overall well-being and make you feel better, happier, and independent.

Throughout our lifetime we will go through a number of lifestyle changes, but did you ever stop to think about why we create habits?

Healthy habits are hard to develop and often require changing your mindset. But if you’re willing to make sacrifices to better your health, the impact can be far-reaching, regardless of your age, sex, or physical ability.

“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits” – William James American Philosopher

Habits works through the habit loop

  1. Cue / trigger: A location, a time of day, certain people, an emotional state,
  2. Routine: Watching TV, going to the gym, eating the same food, biting your nails
  3. Reward: The pleasure chemicals released in the brain because of the routine.

Because of the reward the habit loop is reinforced.

The loop is a self-reinforcing mechanism that over time becomes automatic.

 

Here are five benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

 

Improves your mood

Do something that makes you happy, life’s hard enough as it is. Always look into making room in your day that is so you can take that time doing something that’s enjoyable, beneficial and rewarding. I always take time before my shift 2-3 days of the week to walk my dog. This help stimulate the production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.

It’s not just diet and exercise that lead to improved mood. Another healthy habit that leads to better mental health is making social connections. If there’s physical distance between you and family and friends, use technology to stay connected. Pick up the phone or start a video chat.

 

Boosts your energy

Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to a better physique. You’ll feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem. Short-term benefits of exercise include decreased stress and improved cognitive function.

We’ve all experienced that guilty feeling after eating too much unhealthy food. When you eat a balanced diet, your body receives the fuel it needs to manage your energy level. A healthy diet includes:

  • whole grains
  • lean meats
  • Fish
  • low-fat dairy products
  • fruit
  • vegetables

Regular physical exercise also improves muscle strength and boosts endurance, giving you more energy to go about your daily activities. It also helps boost energy by promoting better sleep. This helps you fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep.

 

Insufficient sleep can trigger a variety of problems. Aside from feeling tired and sluggish, you may also feel irritable and moody if you don’t get enough sleep. What’s more, poor sleep quality may be responsible for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, and it can also lower your life expectancy. To improve sleep quality, stick to a schedule where you wake up and go to bed at the same time every night. Reduce your caffeine intake, limit napping, and create a comfortable sleep environment. Turn off lights and the television, and maintain a cool room temperature.

 

Controls your weight

Eating a balanced, calorie-managed diet can also help control weight. When you start the day with a healthy breakfast, you avoid becoming overly hungry later, which could send you running to get unplanned fast food.

Eating right and exercising regularly can help you avoid excess weight gain and maintain a healthy weight. Being physically active is essential to reaching your weight-loss goals. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, boost your immune system, and increase your energy level.

I always advise to have shorter workouts more frequently throughout the week than long workouts only once or twice.

“Getting three to four 30 minutes workouts throughout the week will have more results and improvements then one or two 90 minutes a week.”- Denis Reynor

 

Combats diseases

Healthy habits help prevent certain health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. If you take care of yourself, you can keep your cholesterol and blood pressure within a safe range. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Regular physical activity and proper diet can also prevent or help you manage a wide range of health problems, including:

  • metabolic syndrome
  • diabetes
  • depression
  • certain types of cancer
  • arthritis

Regular check up’s with your doctor to check your weight, heart, and blood pressure, as well as take a urine and blood sample. This appointment can reveal a lot about your health. It’s important to follow up with your doctor and listen to any recommendations to improve your health.

 

Improves longer Life Expectancy

When you practice healthy habits, you boost your chances of a longer life. An 8 year study in American with 13,000 people showed that people who took up 30 minutes of walking every day, and increased their vegetable intake in meals developed a stronger immune system and stronger bone density. The study shows a significant reduced of dying prematurely.

 

 

 

Final Word

Bad habits are hard to break, but once you adopt a healthier lifestyle, you won’t regret this decision. Healthy habits reduce the risk of certain diseases, improve your physical appearance and mental health, and give your energy level a much needed boost. You won’t change your mind-set and behaviour overnight, so be patient and take it one day at a time.