Change is almost never easy, but sometimes implementing healthy changes even without this urge can be a great thing for your future self. These are only some of the habits you might want to think about to help yourself avoid some lifestyle problems in the future.
1. Change your bad habits
Easier said than done, right? Not as true as you might think. Habit change works on psychological mechanisms that are based on pure repetition and exposure time. So, the longer you have been exposed to something, the more you get used to it, and this habit becomes a behavioral pattern. It has been known for decades now that these habits are easily broken when you stop exposing yourself to them. It’s only a matter of how often you do it. There is also the magical number of 21 – meaning the number of days it takes for any habit to be broken. This might not be true in some cases, especially when it comes to smoking or other forms of addiction, but it’s about right for most things. Once you decide to quit a bad habit, all you have to do is be persistent, and the change will come on its own.
2. Think about what you eat
A healthy diet requires a lot of research, time and effort, but you’ll be doing your future self a great favor if you start thinking about what you eat. Our bodies need different kinds of nutrients on different occasions. So, if you are having a long, stressful day, don’t drink another cup of coffee, but eat a protein bar or drink a cup of black tea instead. Your brain uses glucose as an energy source, and it needs sugar to work well. Make an eating schedule for each day of the week so that you are not tempted to eat a last-minute slice of pizza. Make your own food and take it to work. You’ll learn new recipes, you’ll know what you eat, plus – you’ll save money by saving on that pizza slice.
3. Sleep more
Sleep is one of the main pillars of health. Irregular, insufficient and restless sleep can cause many health problems since this is the only time your body has to fully recover from everyday stress. Seven hours of sleep per night is the absolute minimum you should set for yourself. You might think you don’t have time to sleep enough because you have too much work, but there is a paradox to this thought. When you get more sleep, your body and mind are better recovered and prepared for work, making you more efficient and able to finish your work with less effort. So, sleeping more gives you more energy and saves your health as well.
4. Exercise regularly
Most people think of exercise as spending 7 hours a week in a gym lifting weights. This is not necessary at all. On the contrary, the World Health Organization’s recommended level of physical activity for an average adult is 150 minutes per week. This includes any physical activity that gets you moving. After a training session, make sure to help your body recover properly. If you need to relieve sore muscles, you can use a magnesium supplement. Magnesium is a much-needed mineral that can be found in foods such as fish, avocados or whole-grain seeds, but cannot be used by the body well enough this way. Sugar and proteins are much-needed nutrients to keep your muscle volume, so make sure you eat before each workout. Do a blood test to see which minerals you lack and consult your doctor about which supplements to use.
5. Spend more time with friends
Spending time with good and positive friends is a great way to relieve stress. Make sure you don’t focus your time on negative talk only; try to find positive meaning together and have fun. The more memories you make, the happier you’ll be when you remember them in the future. Nurture your social relationships as much as you can. Good friends who know how to listen can sometimes be as efficient as psychotherapy – but for free!
Thinking ahead when it comes to lifestyle changes is not only an improvement, but it saves lives as well. Some bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and a constant stressful atmosphere links highly to cancer risk, heart disease, and other health issues. Give yourself a head start by improving your lifestyle while it’s already good. Don’t wait for it to go bad.