When you’re feeling healthy and confident, your overall quality of life improves. Feeling strong, energized and physically fit can go a long way toward making everyday activities, work and even workouts, more enjoyable. Here are five lifelong habits to form if you want to take care of your whole body and keep it functioning its best.
1. BREAK A SWEAT WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Staying physically fit will help keep your energy levels up, your weight down and your blood flowing. It will also support your joint, heart and mental health. Whether it’s a Pilates class, lifting weights or just taking a walk, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five times a week, along with two days of strength training, will improve your aerobic health and muscle strength.
2. TRAIN YOUR BRAIN
Your mind is like a muscle and keeping your brain in shape is just as important as keeping your body in shape. After all, your brain controls every aspect of your body. Challenge yours with memory games and new activities that require you to learn new skills and information. Keeping your brain on its toes will help keep it on point. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet can also support brain health, because it plays an important role in the production and function of neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers that relay signals between your brain cells. Aim for at least 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily from foods like oranges, broccoli and peppers. A daily supplement can also help.
3. EAT SMART
Foods loaded with antioxidants, including fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts, help support skin, eye, cell and immune health. Aim to eat a variety of these foods, especially dark, leafy greens like spinach or kale and colorful fruit, to ensure your diet is full of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc and selenium.
4. GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP
Clocking enough hours of sleep every night is crucial for maintaining health and feeling good throughout the day. Sleep reduces stress, allows muscles to recover and helps your body to recharge for the next day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults over the age of 18 should sleep for at least seven hours per night.
5. FORTIFY YOUR BONES
Consuming foods rich in calcium and vitamin D strengthens your bones, which can help you avoid osteoporosis later in life. Your body stores 99 percent of its calcium in your bones and teeth to help make and keep them strong, and vitamin D helps your body better absorb calcium. By eating a diet that provides the right amounts of calcium, vitamin D and protein, you can give your body the building blocks it needs to maintain strong bones. Consider taking a daily vitamin supplement if you’re not getting enough calcium or vitamin D through your diet.