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Good health can be underrated, and we might not really appreciate it until it’s gone. How can you maintain your health in the long term?

There’s no shortcut or magic solution. It basically comes down to achieving consistency in your habits. Establishing healthy habits now will have lasting benefits for tomorrow — 1, 5, and 10-plus years into the future.

What are the key areas to take care of yourself? 

you are what you eat

Strive for a clean healthy diet; what you put in your body matters! So what does this mean?

“Eat the rainbow” of fruits & vegetables to make sure you’re getting a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. For example: red tomatoes, oranges, yellow squash, greens (lots!), blueberries, and purple eggplant. Cut back on sugar, fat, and simple carbs; eat whole grains and lean protein.

exercise

Exercise can be as easy as going for a daily walk outside. You don’t have to run marathons! A walk does double duty, since being in nature lifts your mood too. As you get older, it’s also important to pump up the cardio (to get your heart rate up) and strength training (to rebuild muscle tone).   

sleep

Sleep is important; it’s the way that your body and brain can rest, recover, and repair. Chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease, and negatively impact your immune system, cognitive function, and ability to concentrate.

Your body responds better to consistency, so try to wake up at the same time every day of the week. And don’t skimp on sleep!

stress reduction

Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but chronic stress is detrimental to health. When you are stressed, the body goes into high alert as it prepares to deal with a threat, and returns to normal when the crisis passes. But, being in a continually heightened state of stress can lead to heart disease, anxiety, and problems with sleep, digestion, and weight. 

It’s important to deal with stress healthfully. Eating ice cream and pizza or having a glass of wine may be a quick fix, but when done in excess, it can be damaging to your health. Some healthier ways to cope include exercise, meditation, breathing exercises, stretching, yoga, and journal writing. 

engagement

Our minds need care too. Mental stimulation and social interaction are important. Spending time with a good friend or challenging your brain with a puzzle will make you feel happier and more engaged.

road to longevity  

Living a long and healthy life is about balance and consistency, and this starts with good habits. Developing holistic routines for a healthy mind and body when you’re younger makes it easier to stick to them as you age, building stamina over your life. Slow and steady wins the race!

 

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