Healthy Behaviours for Living Longer
Newsflash: smoking, eating junk food, being inactive and drinking excessively are bad for you…but you already knew that. A new study shows the harmful 4 may be worse for you than you thought.
A team of scientists in Ottawa have found that combined, these unhealthy behaviours contribute to 50 per cent of deaths in Canada. It’s an alarming statistic—and it should be. But, the numbers revealed something even more astonishing. Apparently, those who have extra healthy lifestyles live around 17 years longer than those who have the least healthy lifestyles.
In the name of improving your health and lengthening your life, let’s look at a few key healthy behaviours to adopt, and some unhealthy ones to drop.
Adopt These Behaviours…
- Get physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, everyday. Raining outside? Take it indoors. No excuses. Consistency is the way.
- Short on time? Try HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to get the most bang for your buck. Learn more about it here.
- Start with the fresh stuff at the grocery store. Fill up on bright fruits and veggies first, before moving to your default, quick and easy comfort foods.
- Snooze for 6-8 hours a night. Your mind and body with thank you.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate…and then hydrate some more. Drink 1 L or more of the good stuff a day to keep your muscles happy, your brain clear and your cravings at bay.
Drop These Behaviours…
- Hitting the couch immediately after work. You know it and I know it…once you sit down, you’re not getting back up—at least not for anything physically active. Go for a walk or hit the gym before you call it a day.
- Drinking a glass or a few a night. A couple ounces of red wine might do your heart and waistline good, but any more than that and you’re looking at a ton of extra calories and strain on your liver.
- Eating while watching TV. You’re less likely to pay attention to how your food tastes and even less likely to feel full. Turn off the tube and focus on your plate. Mindful eating is a big part of the health picture.
- Sleeping with the lights on. Studies show too much light at night can stop your body from resting properly. You can keep your circadian rhythms in good standing by going dark after hours.