Quality of life is just as important as longevity. Most people have trouble balancing the two, and quick and easy solutions to problems often trump more time-consuming lifestyle changes. But, healthy people are able to make the most out of each day without cutting corners where it matters. Start mimicking their behavior by following the below 10 habits that healthy people have in common:
1. They exercise.
This one may seem obvious, but truly healthy people don’t have to be professional athletes. Even exercising for 20 minutes a day can have health benefits. A recent study published on the British Medical Journal website showed that regular physical activity was most strongly correlated with longevity, adding an average of two years onto a person’s life, vs. someone who led a sedentary lifestyle.
2. They regularly practice yoga.
While different exercises and fitness activities work for different people, yoga in particular has been known to have overarching health benefits for the majority of the population. In a study posted by the National Institute of Health, yoga has been shown to reduce low-back pain and improve function, reducing heart rate and blood pressure, and it may help to relieve anxiety and depression.
3. They value sleep.
In the same vein as yoga’s meditative aspects, sleep is important to leading a healthy life. While everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a good night’s sleep, getting enough sleep will help ensure that a person is ready and alert for the day ahead. Equally as important as sleeping for the right amount of time is consistency in a sleep routine, as going to bed at different times each night is draining.
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4. They prioritize relationships.
Social people are happier, and not only because friends make life more interesting. Numerous studies prove that having a strong social network helps to both decrease stress and enables people to deal with stressful situations. Social support is an important coping mechanism.
5. They drink water.
The majority of our body is made up of water, and water helps to carry essential vitamins and nutrients to organs and brings toxins out of the body. When people are dehydrated, they become tired and lose energy. For that reason, drinking enough water is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Most experts recommend eight cups of water per day, but that number can fluctuate based on the number of water-based foods a person consumes and the amount of time they exercise.
6. They stay positive.
Focusing on negative situations or failures will only breed more pessimism. Healthy people are practical, but they are also able to lift themselves back up after a setback. The first step to doing that is keeping a positive mindset.
Related: 11 Habits of Truly Happy People
7. They sign off.
Healthy people are often rock stars at their jobs, but they also know the importance of signing off. Too much screen time is not a healthy habit. At the very least, people who wait an hour between waking up and checking their phone will go on to have a clearer, focused day.
8. They don’t skip breakfast.
A hearty, healthy breakfast will set you up with the energy you need to get through the day. But, not all breakfast is created equal. Make sure to start the day with a protein-rich meal.
9. They journal.
Journaling isn’t just for angsty teens, and science is getting on board. Writing in a daily journal has been proven to spark both creativity and confidence. A recently report from the University of Victoria showed a link between regular writing and increased intelligence, because it allows people to expand their vocabulary. In addition, journaling can help people to achieve goals, practice mindfulness, and work through stressful situations.
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10. They wake up early.
Waking up well before you have to start the day gives you time to accomplish small, but equally important tasks. Something as simple as making your bed each morning will bring a sense of accomplishment, and that feeling will remain with you throughout the day.