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What Are Healthy Habits?

author image Kate Richey
Kate Richey has been active in the health and fitness fields since 2005. Following completion of her M.S.Ed in exercise science and wellness from Old Dominion University, Richey obtained her physical activity in public health specialist certification and health fitness specialist certification through the ACSM.
What Are Healthy Habits?
A family is biking together. Photo Credit Kane Skennar/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Underneath all the latest and greatest diet schemes and exercise fads are tried-and-true ways to achieve and maintain a healthy and active life. A habit is a practice that you engage in on a regular basis. Consistently eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting adequate amounts of sleep are all healthy habits.

Watch Your Diet

Your diet focus should be less about what you are excluding and more about the healthy foods that you do consume. Food is powerful. What you eat affects your heart health, weight, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. By choosing a balanced diet focused around fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains, you are making a positive impact on your health.

Stay Hydrated

A large portion of your body is made up of water. In fact, water helps to control blood pressure, regulate body temperature, transport nutrients and numerous other tasks. Sugary beverages, like soda and fruit juice, provide scant health benefits and contribute to expanding waistlines. Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of plain water per day. If you find that plain water doesn’t appeal to you, add slices of fruit for flavor.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends healthy adults participate in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise weekly. This number may seem daunting, but exercise is cumulative. Build your endurance by participating in 10-minute sessions spread throughout the day. Gradually increase to continuous 30- to 45-minute sessions of cardiovascular exercise like brisk walking, running, biking, swimming and elliptical. To build muscle and add definition to your body, add two to three days of resistance training to your routine.

Get Some Sleep

Your body needs sleep to recharge as well as to repair wear and tear incurred throughout the day. Rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep is the deepest portion of your sleep cycle. Without adequate amounts of REM sleep, you can experience both mental and physical fatigue. Chronic deprivation of REM sleep can lead to more serious health issues. To encourage healthy sleeping habits, don't ingest caffeine four to five hours before bed and unplug from electronics about an hour before bed.

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