Have you thought about how the habits you create towards your health could affect you later on in life? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are four destructive health habits that can lead to the development of America’s most common chronic diseases.
These 4 habits are:
- Poor eating habits
- Minimal physical activity
- Using tobacco
- Consuming too much alcohol
These four simple habits—together and alone—can lead to the development of serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. Just as bad habits can be replaced with good ones, it can be worthwhile in the long run to rethink your habits and move forwards towards better health. Here are four ways to create better habits this new year:
- Eat Cleaner
An easy way to start eating better is to focus on incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins and low-fat dairy foods into your diet. Try to lessen the amount of sodium, sweets, saturated/trans fat you eat on a daily basis. Challenging yourself to one healthy swap a day—like ordering whole-wheat bread on a sandwich instead of white—is a simple way to create better habits over time.
- Find time to be more active
150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is the recommended amount for healthy adults. Exercise doesn’t have to be intimidating—you can start with a short 10-minute walk or workout and gradually increase the time until you reach the recommended amount.
- Quit tobacco
Stopping tobacco use will go a long way towards ensuring your overall health as you age and reducing your risk of disease. By quitting, you’ll also be protecting the health of others around you by reducing secondhand smoke exposure. One of the best ways to quit is to set a date and make a plan to quit, gradually cutting down as you reach your set date. Making an appointment with your doctor to help you quit and keep you accountable is another great way to create healthier habits.
- Cut back on drinking
The recommended drinking amount is no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks for men. For some people, it may be best to drink less or simply not at all. If you find it difficult to cut back on drinking, try changing up your schedule to fit activities not associated with drinking. Instead of going out for drinks after work with friends, try alcohol-free activities like seeing a movie, taking a dance class or going shopping. If you find you’re having difficulty lessening your drinking amount, see a doctor.
We create and reinforce new habits every day. Ensure the habits you’re practicing will lead you to a better tomorrow with these four tips.
For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.