5 Secrets of Healthy People

Article posted in: Lifestyle

Health doesn’t just happen. There are those among us who know that in order to be healthy—to feel great, to have lots of energy, to be able to do what you want when you want—you need to work at it. And they know there are certain things they can do to bolster their health, things that pay high returns. Here are five things every healthy person does:

1. They Eat Superfoods: Healthy people make it a point to include nutrient-dense foods in their diets, minimally-processed goodies high in vitamins, bioflavonoids and oils that promote heart health, muscle repair and digestive health. Most of the foods are plants, including avocados, leafy greens, berries, nuts and whole grains. Plant foods have the added benefit of containing a relatively high amount of water, which can make you feel more full than other foods. Animal foods such as fatty fish like salmon, eggs and Greek yogurt are great sources of protein and, in the case of yogurt, calcium that helps build strong bones.

2. They Get Different Types of Exercise: The US Centers for Disease Control’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggests that adults age 18-64 get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking each week and at least two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities, or 1.5 hours of vigorous activity like running and two sessions of muscle strengthening. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll work your muscles as well as your heart and lungs. Countless studies have shown that people who get the amount of exercise recommended by the CDC live an average of three to seven years longer than couch potatoes and have a higher quality of life than those who don’t exercise, quality being defined as an absence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

3. They Sleep: We’ve all heard that we need at least seven hours of sleep a night for optimum health, because getting sufficient regular, restful sleep improves mood, memory and regulates the levels of hormones that regulate hunger and the feeling of satiety. But studies have shown that some people can thrive on six hours of sleep while others need at least eight to feel their best. In a British study, people who lived to be at least 100 years of age reported regular snoozes of ten hours over the course of their lives. Your best bet to sleep well is to go to bed earlier rather than sleeping in, and shutting off your electronic devices at least 30 minutes before lights-out.

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4. They Drink Enough Water: Water is one of the building blocks of life, and as such is a daily requirement. Proper intake of water helps your body regulate its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. On average, 60 percent of our body weight is water. You lose water every day through sweat and even simple acts like breathing, and you lose more in hot and dry weather. You’ve probably heard that you should drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water every day, which seems like a good average. However, you’ll need more if you live in a dry climate, or if you exercise a lot; you may need less if you have a small build. Your best bet is to let the color of your urine be your guide: if it is colorless or pale yellow, you’re probably getting enough to drink.

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5. They Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude: Health researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found that people who engage in positive self-talk tend to have better levels of health and well-being than those who engage in negative self-talk. This doesn’t mean you’re not paying attention to or accepting life’s challenges, it simply means you approach those challenges expecting a more optimistic outcome. The Mayo researchers are continuing to study mental attitudes and health but posit that people who think positively have greater immunity to the common cold, increased life span and lower incidents of depression.