The way I approach the sixth of my Six Simple Rules, “Be Healthy,” is closely connected to the fifth, “Be a Lifelong Learner”. I regularly read health-related articles to keep up on the latest science around eating well and exercise, and work on new habits according to what I learn. As always, I make new habits by using the formula for making habits that stick: I break them down into small pieces and work on one at a time for the 21 days it takes to form a new habit.
What follows are summaries of, and links to, several health-related articles you may wish to read, and which contain ideas you may wish to add to your list of goals—a list you can then choose from as you add new habits to your life.
Eating Nuts: I eat nuts every day. Eating nuts is one of the easiest habits to add to your life (as long as you don’t have a nut allergy) because they are delicious (most people I know feel this way), and they are easy to keep on hand. I eat walnuts most mornings, usually before or during breakfast, and I eat almonds or other nuts as a snack many afternoons or evenings. Eating nuts appears to have had a positive impact on the numbers in the blood test results from my annual physicals. Read this: Nuts may lower your risk for heart disease.
Sitting too much: Do not sit all day. Read this: Standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood, combat lethargy and even dull hunger pangs.
Health from Exercise: Many people do not add exercise to their daily routine because of a perfectionism mentality—they feel it’s all or none—either they exercise a lot, or not at all. I developed my exercise habits over time by slowly increasing the amount of time, and the types of exercise I do. Perhaps this article will help those of you who fear a small amount of exercise isn’t worth the effort. It is! Read this: Even light activity may increase your chances of living longer.
Happiness from exercise: It’s not just our health—it’s also our happiness that will be impacted by even a small amount of exercise. Read this: People who work out even once a week or for as little as 10 minutes a day tend to be more cheerful than those who never exercise.
Health from happiness: And it’s a two-way street—happiness activities can improve your health because actively cultivating positive emotions may boost the immune system and counter depression. Read this: Positive Thinking May Improve Your Health and Your Lifespan.
Soda is poison: As I have written many times, soda is poison. Stop drinking soda. When I say soda, I include diet soda. Read this: Diet Soda Might Contribute to Diabetes.
Genetics are not everything: In addition to lifestyle choices (how you eat, exercise, smoking), genetics plays a role in our health. If you’ve been dealt a bad hand when it comes to heart health genes, do not give up. Read this: Even people who are at the worst risk can benefit by not smoking, exercising moderately and eating a healthy diet.
What is the next habit you are going to adopt? Please join the conversation with your comments…