Coffee is a popular beverage that has been consumed for centuries. Some studies have suggested that drinking coffee may have some health benefits, while others have raised concerns about potential risks.
Here are a few possible health benefits of coffee:
However, it is important to note that more research is needed to confirm these potential health benefits, and it is not clear how much coffee is needed to achieve these benefits.
On the other hand, excessive coffee consumption may have some negative effects on health. For example, drinking large amounts of coffee may increase the risk of certain health problems, such as insomnia, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations. It is also important to note that coffee can interact with certain medications and may not be suitable for everyone.
In general, it is recommended to consume coffee in moderation, as part of a balanced diet. If you have any concerns about the effects of coffee on your health, it is a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider.
Believe it or not, simply deciding to lead a healthier lifestyle is a significant first step to enjoying one. But, knowing where to start and how to make lasting changes can be daunting. Luckily, by taking things one step at a time, you can easily incorporate healthy habits into your life.
Here are four simple steps to help get you started on the path to better health.
Step One: Eat Healthy Foods
One of the most important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle is eating nutritious foods. Fill your plate with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Also, limit processed and sugary foods as much as possible. Not only will eating healthily help you reach and maintain a healthy weight but it will also reduce your risk for health issues cropping up like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Remember, there are so many healthy choices that you don’t need to force yourself to eat foods you don’t like.
Step Two: Get Plenty of Exercise
In addition to minding your diet, staying active is another critical component of a healthy lifestyle. Aim for thirty minutes of physical activity – such as walking, swimming, or jogging – most days of the week.
Regular exercise will help you stay in shape and keep your weight under control. It can also improve your mood, sleep quality, energy levels, and more. Be sure to pick the activities you know you will enjoy. For example, if you love to dance, you don’t need to go to the gym; just start dancing around your house.
Step Three: Practice Stress Management Techniques
Living a healthy lifestyle involves taking care of your mind and body. Finding ways to reduce stress can help promote better mental health while lowering your risk of developing chronic health conditions. Try incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. Balancing your mental health is key to enjoying a healthier lifestyle.
Step Four: Get Regular Checkups
Staying up-to-date on your health screenings and immunizations is another critical factor in living a good life. By being on top of your health checkups, any potential health issues will be found early on by seeing your doctor regularly and getting the treatment you need. Schedule an annual physical exam and keep up with recommended screenings, like mammograms or colon cancer screenings.
When you take these four simple steps seriously, you can easily make healthier choices and enjoy all the benefits that come with them. Just remember to take things one step at a time and be patient with yourself. If you ever need a little extra help and guidance on your journey to better health, ensure you talk to your doctor or qualified healthcare professional. Whether it’s answering questions about nutrition or helping you find the perfect workout routine, they can provide the support you need to achieve all of your health and wellness goals.
A healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming or dull and boring for many. These feelings can make it highly difficult to commit to it and stay healthy. However, more times than not, not enjoying your healthy lifestyle may just mean you are doing something wrong.
Just because a certain habit, routine, or diet works from someone else doesn’t mean it is the best for you. Finding a healthy lifestyle that you truly enjoy takes time, and just because you are healthy does not mean life has to be boring.
The following are five key elements to embrace in order to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Only Eat Foods You Truly Enjoy
You don’t have to eat something just because it’s healthy. Healthy doesn’t need to consist of torture. There are enough fruits and vegetables for you to find your favorite. When you find ones that you love, incorporate them as much as possible.
Start by trying one new healthy item every single time you visit the store. If you don’t like what you tried, it’s not a big deal. Eventually, you will discover more healthy foods that you like. However, it is important to note that tastes can change as you transition into new diets, so always give foods a second chance later.
Make Physical Activity Enjoyable and Rewarding
Like the foods you consume, you don’t need to perform exercises that lack inspiration or motivation. There are many different ways to exercise. For example, walking in nature, going to the gym, or participating in a sport. Or you can go for a short run, march in place, or find someone to play basketball with. In other words, if you don’t enjoy going to the gym, then don’t. Find different ways to get moving throughout your day instead.
Commit to Awareness and Take Responsibility
To be truly healthy, you need to be actively aware of what you are doing and not doing, while taking full responsibility. Likely, the only one that got you to the position you are today is you –no one else. So don’t put the lack of motivation on anyone else but yourself. The more responsibility you take, the more action steps you will seek.
Focus on Proper and Consistent Sleep
Your sleep schedule can impact your life in many ways. For example, poor sleep can spoil your mood, make it harder to make proper decisions, and ultimately make you lose sight of what you truly enjoy as you are too lethargic to care. Poor sleep can also disrupt your metabolism, making it difficult to maintain or decrease weight.
Don’t Forget about Sunlight and Hydration
To further improve your mood, proper hydration and sunlight are essential. These resources fuel your body with vital nutrients that keep you energized. The more energized you are, the more motivated you will be to make better choices throughout your day.
As you can see, enjoying a healthy lifestyle is readily at your reach. However, it takes a deep understanding of what you truly want in life to go out and get it. Even if a food item is healthy, it doesn’t mean you have to stick to that one thing. There are many different foods and activities that you can incorporate to make your healthy lifestyle more enjoyable and sustainable.
The place that your health is in right now can be attributed to the sum of your habits. If you want to change them to better your health it’s going to take some deep understanding and more important action. The following checklist can be used a guide to help you on your way:
1.Keep a log of your daily behaviours for a week or two so that you can source where your potential triggers are coming from.
2.Once you spot a trend, record where you are, who you are with, what you just did, the time it was and the likely emotion you were feeling. After a few weeks see which cue stands out. This is most likely what is triggering you to do a habit.
3.To change a bad habit, consider can you choose a better alternative, increase the friction so that it makes it harder for you to do, avoid it completely by changing your environment or by building accountability.
4.To build a good habit, make it easy, make it attractive to do, reward yourself for doing it or join a culture that is already doing the habit you want to do more of.
5.Before picking where to start, clarify the exact goal such as “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “walk 5,000 steps a day”.
6.List all the potential behaviours that you think could work toward your goal.
7.Keep the behaviours that you think can realistically work for you right now considering your current abilities and commitment. Get rid of the ones that don’t “match” very well for you right now.
8.Pick a prompt that is likely to remind you to do your new habit. Think, alarms, post it notes or add it to a behaviour you already do.
9.Track your progress each day using a habit tracker, digital or physical can both work. If you notice you’re not doing them consistently, make them easier to do until the consistency improves.
10. Accept that habits take time to form and you will have to patience. Keep putting your reps. Every one you do moves you closer to making a new behaviour last.....
While one habit that may not be so healthy for one person may actually be a healthy behaviour for another person. For example while watching box sets for hour may not be the best idea for someone who wants to lose weight, it might the only thing that helps someone with high stress to unwind. What you’re really trying to do when trying to break a bad habit is move your behaviour towards a different place.
Habits aren’t “bad” per SE, it’s the consistency of their effect on the person that’s doing them that causes the most harm. So in essence habits only become “bad” when they’re done for a long a period of time.
There are some real practical steps you can take to break the cycle. Below are the most common and effective ways to approach it.
Limit Your Exposure
One of the best ways to start is to limit your exposure to the triggers may be causing you to do a habit over and over again. For example, if your goal was to eat less to lose a few pounds and you find when you drink more than a couple of drinks of alcohol it leads you to binge on fast food on the way home.
Then limiting your exposure to alcohol or at least keeping it conservative is a good idea. Similarly, if you find yourself getting the urge to grab a kebab with all the trimmings each day from the local fast food joint, you’ll likely benefit from taking a different route home thereby limiting your exposure to the temptation.
Choose A Better Alternative
This one might seem obvious but it’s often an overlooked effective strategy. One of main reason e cigarettes have taken off is that have provided an alternative to smoking real cigarettes. Albeit the research isn’t clear of there long term effects, it is clear that that the uptake in them has grown massively since their existence.
This is largely because people can still practice their smoking habit but in a different way. Therefore, it makes change easy for people to switch and one of first rules you can stick buy when starting a new habit is make it easy (more on this later).
There are many ways to make things better than they were while forming a better habit at the same time. For example, many people would do well to switch to lower calorie options if there goal were to lose weight. Going from coke to diet coke, crisps to quavers, large to small portions and so on. If it is better alternative but only a slight change then this is another good place to start....
In order to form healthier behaviours and break unhealthy ones, we need to be able to become self-aware how behaviour works, habits, of course, are just learnt behaviours that we’ve become accustomed to doing overtime, and most of the time we don’t realise we’re actually doing them. Therefore, journaling by looking back over your day and writing down everything you did during that time is the best way to source what could be triggering you to behave a certain way that’s impacting your health.
To illustrate the point, I want you to think of a habit right now that you feel is not helping your health. It could be anything like sitting down for most of the day, buying unhealthy snacks to what you do at the weekend.
Ready? good, grab a pen and paper now and insert the habit
Now answer the following questions:
>What time does this usually happen? ________________________
>Where are you when this happens? ___________________________
>Who is there with you? _____________________________________
>What did you just do? ______________________________________
>What are you usually feeling? ______________________________
One of the above 5 is the CUE.
According to leading professor Charles Duhigg. The two most common cues are TIME and ENVIORNMENT, pay attention to these.
For example, if you wrote that eating too much cookies was the habit you want to change, and you are usually in the kitchen when you eat them, then the way the kitchen environment is designed is likely the cue.
The cookie jar may even be positioned at a place where you notice instantly when you step inside this location, like on the counter tops or next to the kettle.
This visual trigger leads to a physical trigger and a routine evolves. Every time you enter the kitchen, make a cup of tea (or both), you grab a cookie at the same time. The combined taste of sweetness, sugar and fat lights up the reward sensors in the brain the neurological loop get reinforced (this is worth it) once again....
So how do we actually form habits then? Well, first we need to understand how habits work because if we don’t then it’s very difficult to build ones that last. Essentially all habits work the same way, it all starts with a cue, something that triggers a response in which we act on that leads to some sort of reward. This is known as the habit loop system and the more we do the behaviour the more the “loop” gets reinforced until eventually, it all becomes automated.
For example, consider someone who’s walking down the street and suddenly they sense a smell (Cue) of their favourite food, the smell triggers a craving to seek out the food and before you know it, they’re getting stuck into a full-size pizza! (reward).
Now consider if the same person, walks the same street and every day gets triggered by the same cue, can you see how easy it is to fall into the same patterns of behaviour and eventually form an unhealthy habit?
This is why it is important to notice the cue that trigger us during our day, cues can be many things, emotions we feel, the people we are with to the environments we spend most of our time in – All can impact how we behave and how we act overtime. That’s why it’s important to notice what the cues are first and set your own triggers that are align with your goals.
One of the biggest mistakes people make every year when it comes to forming healthier habits is relying on will power alone to stay consistent with their new behaviours. If you think back to all the times you tried to start something healthier only to realise after a few weeks in that you just don’t have the “willpower” to stick at it you can probably list more than one where it didn’t quiet work out the way you thought it would.
The problem is that there is isn’t a button you can press that instantly turns willpower on. It simply isn’t on-demand, and there isn’t an endless supply at any given time.
The human brain is literally wired to seek out the highest amount of reward for the least amount of effort. The caveman and women got really clever at setting traps so that they could feast for days off animal meat as opposed to wasting tons of energy running after it hoping it would tire itself out and die.
The brain had to get really clever at choosing when you use willpower and when to reserve it. The issue with humans today is that we are often get distracted with the cognitive loads that work, family and everything in between throws at us and willpower inevitably depletes in quick time.
If you’ve ever had healthy intentions at the start of the day (or night before) but as soon as you arrived home from work sat on the couch and ordered a takeaway, you now understand that you couldn’t just press the willpower button to power you up.
Therefore, willpower needs to be treated with caution, being careful how you use your time, energy and decisions during the day is a real conversation you should start having with yourself now. It’s best not rely on willpower as you sole strategy and there isn’t enough to go around. At least now you know focusing on the more practical steps in setting up habits instead offers much more opportunity.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Healthier Habits Made Simple
If you want to become healthier, fitter, and stronger not just for summer holidays or the Christmas night out, you are going to have to build sustainable habits. Habits that you find yourself doing without thinking about it. The problem is however is that most people do not understand how habits work. They fall victim to relying on “self-motivation” thinking that once they start Monday (because any other day would just be wrong) everything will just start to fall into place and they will mindlessly. I probably don’t need to tell you that adopting this approach simply doesn’t work and only leads to waste of time, money and heartache of 99% of people.
All is not lost though, once you understand the science behind building healthier habits along with the practical steps you can take to protect them you’ll be able to reap the rewards not just physically but psychologically also. The great thing is you won’t have to wait very long to build healthier habits in your life because what you’re about to learn is very easy to implement once you understand the simple science behind habit formation. Let’s dive in.