The 10 Most Important Habits to Stay Healthy

Your health is your biggest priority. If you’re not healthy, you won’t be able to work, play, spend time with your family, or do all the other things you love.

There are many health afflictions that are practically unpreventable (and unpredictable), but many injuries, illnesses, and conditions can be prevented with a handful of beneficial habits. Putting these habits in place, early and consistently, is the best move to maintain your health long-term.

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Investing in Insurance

No matter how careful you are with your daily habits, there’s a chance you could suffer a major health affliction. That’s why it’s important to treat insurance as a proactive investment. The most straightforward approach here is to purchase health insurance, either through your employer or as an individual. Health insurance will cover many expenses outright (including regular checkups), and help you manage other types of expenses.

You’ll also want supplementary coverage in the form of critical illness insurance. Critical illness insurance provides you with a lump sum payment if you ever have to deal with an illness like paralysis, heart attack, or stroke. Get a critical illness insurance quote to start shopping around for the right policy.

The Most Important Habits

Even when protected by insurance, these habits are crucial if you want to preserve your health:

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  • Choose the right foods. Food choice plays a massive role in your overall health. “Good” foods tend to offer all the vitamins and minerals you need, as well as the right balance of macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. “Bad” foods tend to be high in sugar and low in nutrients. Prioritize complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and nuts.
  • Get the right amount of nutrition. Choosing good foods is a great start to mastering nutrition, but you also have to consider the amount of nutrition you’re receiving. Eating too much (i.e., eating too many calories) can lead to obesity, which in turn increases your risk of a multitude of different illnesses (and early mortality).
  • Drink lots of water. It’s a simple habit, but it can greatly improve your overall health—and in many different ways. Staying adequately hydrated will ensure that your organs function efficiently and properly. It can also help you feel better on a regular basis.
  • Physically exercise. Physical exercise comes with a host of benefits. If you’re getting a mix of different exercises (including both cardiovascular exercise and weight training), and exercising on a regular basis, you’ll remain at a healthy weight—reducing your risk for a number of different conditions. You’ll also improve your bone and muscle health, reduce your risk of depression, and reduce stress.
  • Reduce stress. Speaking of stress, stress can impact your life in many negative ways. Higher levels of stress are associated with lower wellbeing and a higher risk of many conditions, including heart disease. Reduce stress by eliminating stressors (like unnecessary responsibilities), taking breaks and vacations, and meditating.
  • Maintain good relationships. Having strong relationships, including partnerships, family relationships, and friends, is associated with many health benefits as well. You’ll live longer, have stronger mental and emotional health, and will get support whenever you’re struggling. Always make time to hang out with the people close to you and invest in new relationships as well.
  • Get ample sleep. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night can reduce your stress, improve your mental health, and keep your body in better shape. It’s hard to get this amount of sleep consistently as an adult with many responsibilities. However, if you make time for it and practice good habits, you can make it happen.
  • Limit substance use. Risky substances may be fine in moderation, but in high volumes, they can significantly harm you. Reduce your alcohol intake, don’t excessively consume caffeine, and try not to smoke cigarettes at all. Also, avoid doing hard drugs—though this should go without saying.
  • Spend time outdoors. Increasingly, studies show the benefits of spending time outdoors. Breathing fresh air and looking at natural scenery can greatly improve your mood and reduce stress. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for exercise.
  • Practice mindfulness and introspection. Practice mindfulness meditation, or any other form of routine introspection that works for you. This is a chance to clear your mind, mitigate the effects of negative thoughts, and reduce stress. On top of that, you’ll develop more patience and learn valuable insights about yourself, which can help you cultivate better habits.

If you adopt these 10 important habits, you can improve and protect your health for years to come. None of these practices require much time, effort, or attention (especially when practiced at moderate levels), so there’s no excuse not to adopt them.

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