Growing older is a fact of life. We all want to live long and happy lives, but unhealthy habits can put a kibosh on the quality of those years. Listen, I know that you are busy. I’m busy too! But living healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. To equip your body for the marathon that is life, incorporate these five habits into your normal routine.
1. Aspire to Eat Clean
If you take a close look at a carrot, you’ll notice a lack of an ingredient list on its back. Just pure carrot. When you eat food that comes out of a box, a can or a take-out container, “pure” is instantly thrown out of the window. Instead of fueling your body with preservatives, chemically altered fats, extra sodium and artificial flavors courtesy of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, eat foods that are closest to their natural state as possible. Aim to get the majority of your daily calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, minimally processed whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, lean meats and fish. A body that is fueled operates better (and longer!) than a body that is just fed.
2. Drink More Water
The advice varies—while some suggest drinking the classic eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, others say to take your body weight, divide it in half and drink that many ounces. What we do agree on is that drinking water—lots of water—is a must-have healthy habit. Because water is our body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 perfect of our body weight according to the Mayo Clinic, water should be our drink of choice over sugary, calorie-laden drinks. Yes, Coca-Cola can provide a temporary caffeine boost, but it falls short in all other benefits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that water helps your body maintain a normal temperature, lubricates and cushions joints, protects the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and gets rid of waste. Make a water bottle your fifth limb and continually refill it to hydrate your body the entire day.
3. Move More and Move Often
A 30-minute daily trip to the gym is good, but adding constant movement throughout your day is even better. Instead of finishing a workout and calling it quits for the day, activity should be a 24/7 priority. By now, most of us have heard that sitting is the new smoking and long bouts of inactivity really is the kiss of death. The Sax Institute’s “45 and
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