5 Healthy Habits

Looking for ways to improve your health can be overwhelming. Start simple with these five healthy habits that have many long-term benefits.

woman eating healthy outside

Establish healthy eating habits

Replace all of the fad diets with a renewed focus on nutrition for a new, healthier you. Try to make each plate more colorful than the next. Give bright fruits and vegetables a starring role in each one of your meals as a way to help ensure you get a variety of essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Most produce is packed with fiber, so you will feel fuller longer. You'll also avoid that between-meal energy crash because fiber helps to regulate blood sugar too.

Another benefit -- when you get the right balance of vitamins and minerals, you are less likely to fall victim to unhealthy food cravings. Since your body is getting what it needs, it won't trigger cravings to try and recover what it's lacking.

Establish an exercise regimen

An exercise program that includes aerobic and strength training is an essential healthy habit that will help you to maintain an optimal weight. It's also a great stress reliever! Exercise actually releases endorphins in the brain which help to improve your mood and self-image.

The only way to establish a long-lasting exercise program is to find something that you enjoy. Try new things, and don't lose heart if you do not find bliss on the treadmill. Read about some of the hottest fitness trends of 2012 here.

Take care of your skin

Good skin care can help to delay the natural aging process. Keeping your skin protected from UV rays can also help to prevent skin problems like age spots and cancer. A few easy measures you can take to make sure your skin is at its best are:

  • Always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible -- especially during the middle of the day when UV rays are at their strongest
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Keep your stress at a manageable level
  • Avoid harsh soaps and limit time in hot showers or baths
  • Always moisturize

For more healthy skin info, check out these tips for flawless summer skin and hair >>

Don't skimp on sleep

The Harvard Women's Health Watch suggests a number of good reasons to get more than six hours of sleep per night. Resting helps your body to boost immunity and recover from illness. Sleep also helps the brain with learning and memory.

Getting too little sleep can cause weight gain by affecting metabolism and appetite, can impact safety because you are more likely to fall or get into an accident and it can impact your mood and concentration level.

Find a hobby

A healthy habit for your total well-being includes finding a hobby or two that you enjoy. Activities that have meaning for you may contribute to a long life, as they reduce stress and provide a strong sense of purpose and self-satisfaction.

Not sure where to start? Check out our recommendations for 5 Hobbies to try this spring >>

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