Healthy Habits

Getting into healthy habits

What are healthy habits?

A habit is a behaviour that becomes second nature over time, usually by repeating it frequently. Like skills, therefore, habits can be formed at any time in life although they tend to be easiest to take on when young because the brain is more open to generating the neural pathways necessary to make behavioural patterns stick. Of course, habits can be good and bad. As such, healthy habits are all about making new patterns of behaviour that are good for both our mental well-being as well as our physical health. Scientists reckon that the average daily repetition it takes to form a habit – healthy or otherwise – is 66 days although some people will achieve this much sooner and, others, much later. Deciding to commit to a healthy habit in the first place is the key to being able to get into them.

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Which healthy habits should you think about adopting?

Daily exercise is one of the healthiest habits that you can form. Not only does this mean that your heart rate is increased for a period which is good for your cardiovascular health, but it allows endorphins to be released in the brain which is known to lift the mood and to stave off conditions such as anxiety and depression. Another good healthy habit of getting into is to eat a balanced diet which can help your body to repair itself when needed and to prevent the build-up of toxins. Getting into the habit of eating at least five fruit and vegetables per day is scientifically proven to help with preventing obesity, too, something which is associated with a wide range of conditions. Of course, another healthy habit that is known to save lives is to inspect your own body for unusual lumps or skin blemishes which are sometimes the early warning signs of cancer.

Why have healthy habits?

Feeling fit and healthy is often regarded as its own reward. Therefore, getting into healthy habits is a good idea even if you have no particular outcome that you are seeking. However, for people who would like to lose weight or to enjoy a diet that is a bit more diverse, healthy habits make even more sense. Some people do it, so they bring others on board, too. Adopting a healthy habit along with a friend or family member often encourages them as well as making it easier to stick to in the long term.

How can you get into healthy habits?

Stay disciplined and set out your target for the first month or so. Soon, adopting a healthy habit won't be something you even think about – it will be second nature. Join in with others, so being healthier becomes a part of your social scene. Don't be overly ambitious at the start. Keep it simple and work up.

Can healthy habits lengthen life?

Yes, they can. Adopting healthy habits when young can lead to very long and enjoyable lives. Turning to them later in life can make a difference to longevity as well as the quality of life, too. As such, it is never too late to pick up some healthy habits and to give up on bad ones, like smoking, for instance.

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