Nutritionist reveals 5 habits to maintain healthy lifestyle
05/19/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Nutritionist reveals 5 habits to maintain healthy lifestyle

You’ve probably heard health experts say time and again that your health is an investment. Though it sounds like a cliche, there’s truth to this saying. Investing in your health by practicing healthy habits, such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, ensures you enjoy a longer and happier life in old age.

But in order to get to that point, you’d have to patiently practice healthy habits and incorporate them into your day-to-day life. To achieve good overall health as you age, start practicing these healthy habits:

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1. Know what feels good.

You may have found yourself sticking to diets and exercise routines that make you miserable. You’re not required to stick to eating plans or routines that make you feel worse instead of better.

Listen to your body. If your diet is so restrictive that it leaves you too hungry to function, try a healthier one. If your exercise routine is too complicated or demanding to maintain every day, trim it down or try a different routine. A key part of establishing healthy habits is knowing what works for your body and what doesn’t.

2. Establish a routine and follow it.

The word “routine” usually has a negative connotation. It conjures up images of waking up at a very early hour in the morning, making breakfast or heading to the gym at a set time and restricting leisurely activities, like watching a movie or reading a book, to only a few hours every day.

But routines shouldn’t feel punishing. You should be consistent enough that you eventually do things like making your bed, eating breakfast and exercising without forcing yourself to. But you shouldn’t be so obsessed with your routine that it feels like a military drill. Find the right balance between consistency and flexibility.

3. Make time for self-care activities.

Your mental health is a key part of your well-being. Making time for self-care activities is crucial to keeping yourself grounded. If you’re too busy, you risk feeling burnt out eventually.

So take care of your mental health by setting aside time to do things that make you feel good. Dine out with friends, visit your family or run a hot bath and soak for a couple of minutes.

4. Learn how to set boundaries.

Taking on too many commitments because you simply can’t say no or set boundaries is a recipe for burnout. It can take a huge toll on your mental health, making you more susceptible to nervous breakdowns or mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

Learning to set boundaries with your time and energy allows you to allot more time to things that truly matter, like connecting with friends and loved ones or working on your health and well-being.

Here are some tips on how to set boundaries:

  • Give yourself permission to set boundaries. Don’t feel guilty about turning down commitments if you know they’ll stretch you thin or if they make you feel uncomfortable. Being able to set boundaries means you have self-respect.
  • Identify your limits. You can’t set boundaries if you don’t know your limits, to begin with. Identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits. Consider what you can and can’t tolerate.
  • Tune into your feelings. If something or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s a sign you should step back and make a note of what boundary you think is being crossed.
  • Be direct. Boundaries are best set by being direct when communicating. Don’t beat around the bush. If you feel someone crossed a line, say so. Being open means you don’t let negative feelings build up inside. If left to fester, negative feelings could turn into mental health problems.
  • Be mindful. Boundaries are all about being in tune with your feelings and honoring them. If you think you’re slipping and not upholding your boundaries, look at the situation and consider what you or other people are doing. What’s making you uncomfortable? What will you do about it?
  • Seek support. Setting boundaries isn’t easy, especially if you’re used to doing the opposite. If you have trouble setting boundaries, consider asking help from friends, family members or counselors.

5. Prepare a loneliness “game plan.”

Just because you have a healthy routine going on doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be immune to bad or lonely days. Unhealthy things you do during these days, such as indulging cravings or ignoring your exercise schedule, can undo weeks, if not months, of hard work. So it helps to have a game plan for when you’re not feeling your best.

Prepare a list of concrete things to do when loneliness or a bad mood starts to settle in. And be honest with yourself about your weaknesses. For instance, if you turn to food or online shopping when you’re sad, have healthy snacks on hand or divert your attention by writing in a journal. You can also try going for a walk or doing an errand that gives you an excuse to move about.

Achieving good physical and mental health doesn’t happen by accident. You have to work at it consistently and patiently over a period of time. But don’t fret. It’s not as daunting as it sounds. Try the tips on this list for a happier and healthier you.

Sources:

MindBodyGreen.com

PsychCentral.com

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