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8 Habits to Live a Longer, Healthier Life

1. Eat Breakfast Every Morning

Research shows people who have a morning meal tend to take in more vitamins and minerals, and less fat and cholesterol. The result is often a leaner body, lower cholesterol count and less chance of overeating. To get the full benefits of breakfast, a meal with carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of fat is recommended.

2. Get Enough Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than two-thirds of older adults suffer from sleep problems and many American adults don’t get the minimum amount of sleep needed to stay alert. Sleep is vital to good health and to mental and emotional well-being.

The NSF reports that people who don’t get enough slumber are more likely than others to develop psychiatric problems and to use health care services. Plus, sleep deprivation can negatively affect memory, learning and logical reasoning.

3. Make Social Connections

Group activities can help keep the mind active and maintain desirable levels of serotonin – the brain chemical associated with mood. Social ties have many benefits, including emotional support and offering a sense of belonging.

4. Exercise For Better Health

According to the National Cancer Institute, exercising helps control weight, maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints, reduces risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes, promotes psychological well-being, reduces the risk of death from heart disease and reduces the risk of premature death.

5. Take Up A Hobby

Some people find joy in craftwork, bird watching, sports, going to flea markets, walking in the park or playing cards. An eight-year study of 13,000 people showed that people who walked 30 minutes daily had a significantly reduced chance of premature death compared with those who rarely exercised, reports the American Council on Exercise.

And there are plenty of opportunities to move those legs, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the store, window shopping at the mall, leaving your desk and visiting your co-worker and walking and talking with friends instead of meeting for a meal.

6. Snack The Healthy Way

The ADA recommends five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day as part of a healthy diet. These plant foods can do many things to boost good health, including reducing the risk of some cancers, beating the signs of aging, improving memory, promoting heart health and enhancing the immune system.

7. Drink Water

Water is essential for good health. The body needs water to keep properly hydrated. Joints need it to stay in motion, and vital organs such as the heart, brain, kidney and liver need it to work properly.

8. Plan

Planning goes a long way in incorporating healthy habits into your everyday life. To eat healthy, for example, it would help to set aside time to draft a menu, make a grocery list, go to the store, prepare meals and pack breakfast and lunch.

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