12 Health Habits Worth Adopting Now
Posted on January 13 2020
One of the defining factors on how well you age is the good health habits you develop while you are young. Of course, getting to age 100 is far more likely if your parents (genes) did. But the general consensus of experts in nutrition, obesity, cardiology and other health disciplines is that the lifestyle and health habits we form during our youth may have a dramatic effect on how well we age.
Neglecting to take care of yourself during your younger years can negatively impact health later on in life. By starting good health habits now, you can put yourself in a good place to stay healthy for a long time. However, if you're an older person it can't hurt to start these healthy tips now. Let find out how - below.
Create good health habits now!
1. Eat Less Sugar
Sugar is the enemy of everything healthy and it's sad because we love our sweets to death - ask the people who have Type II Diabetes. High sugar diets positively correlate with age-related diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Studies have shown excess sugar consumption can cause dangerous levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad type!), increased plaque deposits in the arteries, and breast and colon cancers. Reducing processed sugar in your diet may delay the aging process by preventing metabolic diseases and improving general health. "If you need to add sugar, natural honey is a better option, as is stevia," says endocrinologist Dr Sophie Chan, an Australian endocrinologist located in Sydney.
2. Lower Salt Intake
Salt is an essential electrolyte to life in human beings and is used universally in cooking, seasoning, and preserving processed food stuffs around the world. Many manufactured foods use large amounts of salt and over 75 per cent of daily sodium intake comes from salt found in processed foods. Let's face it, Sister girl, it's killing you, but before it kills it speed up the aging process, scientists have discovered for the first time it's linked to the cellular aging process. “Lowering salt intake, particularly if you're overweight may slow down the cellular aging process," says Dr Michelle Johnson, of Atlanta. In her study, Dr Johnson's team divided 766 teenagers aged 14 to 18 into different groups according to their reported sodium intake.
Scientist also found that overweight or obese teenagers who ate the most salt had significantly shorter telomeres (compound structure at the end of a chromosome) than those who ate the least.
Low-intake teens consumed an average of about 5g of salt per a day, compared with more than 10g grams for the high-intake study group. The results showed the majority of teenagers exceeded their daily limit, mainly through eating bread and cereal. But high salt intake did not have a great effect on telomere shortening in normal-weight teens. Although the salt link was only found in obese people it is the first time that salt has been shown to affect cellular aging.
3. Alcohol Consumption
The studies have shown that people who live to 90 or older drink moderate amounts of alcohol. The study linked drinking two glasses of beer or wine every day to an 18 percent decreased risk of dying prematurely...
This study also shows that people who live longer can handle alcohol consumption because they are healthier in general. But for most people as you age you start to metabolize alcohol at a slower rate. The longer the alcohol stays in your system, the more booze builds up in your bloodstream, which puts you at greater risk for its damaging effects such as cardiovascular disease, multiple types of cancer and liver damage.
Your liver works hard to detoxify the body from alcohol by creating more free radicals than the body’s antioxidants can handle, which leads to something called oxidative stress. Other research has shown that oxidative stress is a big contributing factor in aging.
Another reason to lower your alcohol consumption is it’s one of the main culprits for those extra pounds you’ve been putting on. Not only do booze often contain empty calories with little or no nutrients, but drinking alcohol has cause people to increase food consumption and become fat.
4. Stop Smoking
If you want to live a long, happy and healthy life, just join the nonsmokers population. If you smoke you increase the chances of heart disease, osteoporosis, emphysema, other chronic lung problems, and stroke. Smoking makes breathing during exercise much harder and enjoying activities in general become less and less. It appears to compromise memory, too.
5. Eat Healthy
Nutrition science is complicated and debated endlessly, but the basics are well established: Eat plenty of plant foods, go easy on junk foods, and stay active. The trick is to enjoy your meals, but not to eat too much or too often.
Don't eliminate any food groups but practice portion control. Portion control doesn’t have to mean eatting tiny portions of all foods - it's quite the opposite. The trick here is it's okay to eat larger portions of healthy foods like vegetables and fruit and smaller portions of meats. No one ever got fat from eating apples and carrots.
6. Floss Every Day
We may not be able to reverse the aging process, but some healthy habits can slow it down, like flossing. The practice helps prevent some of the diseases that can cause premature death, including heart disease and cancer.
A 2008 New York University study showed that daily flossing reduces the amount of gum-disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. This same bacteria is thought to enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease and aging.
7. Exercise Regularly
Scientists have discovered how humans can slow down the aging process and shave almost a decade off their biological age—vigorous exercise. In a study of 5,823 people, Larry Tucker, a exercise science professor from Brigham Young University compared telomere length with levels of physical activity. Telomeres are protection caps found at the ends of chromosomes. The results showed significant differences between those who did regular, vigorous exercise and those who did not. "The more physically active we are, the less, the aging process takes place in our bodies," the professor said.
Drinking water can help you lose weight, improve your mood, and more. Want some suggestions on how to drink more water during the day? Check out these ways to hydrate more.
9. Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep doesn't just leave you exhausted—it also comes with a host of health consequences. But young people may be particularly prone to neglect because they feel it's easier to get by on a few hours or rebound from all-nighters, when in-fact, you should be getting 8 to 9 hours of shuteye nightly.
By not getting good sleep the drawbacks of sleep deprivation aren’t just limited to next-day irritation and brain fog. If you’re already prone to health issues such as anxiety and depression, chronic sleep deprivation could get you into trouble. How? What if you're driving while tired, your drowsiness could not only put your life at risk but others.
10. Practice Mindfulness
One good health habit is practicing mindfulness, scientists have discovered that the technique helps improve not only physical health, but mental health as well. Mindfulness helps relieve stress, treats heart disease, lower blood pressure, and reduces chronic pain. Studies have also shown it improves sleep, and alleviates gastrointestinal issues .
There are times when we all want to zone out. But mindfulness has been associated with lower levels of stress, extra brainpower, and other positive side effects (like not eating a whole box of cheese crackers) before Superbowl halftime.
11. Practice Safe Sex
Having sex is fun (and good for you), but STDs can cause infertility issues —or even more serious health issues. So if you're having an active sex life, you need to make use of rubbers in your life (we recommend one of these pleasure-optimizing condoms). And if you haven't partner about when he or she was last tested, it's time to get proactive in defending your life.
12. Get Tested Regularly for STIs
Today, with all the info out there, it's cray-cray getting an sexually transmitted infection, but even scarier to actually get one, and don't know you have it, and let it go untreated. As stated above, some STIs can lead to pain and fertility issues if they're left untreated. Please, talk to your primary care physician or ob/gyn about which STi tests you should be taking, and how often.