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A Healthy Living Habits Checklist

People jogging for healthy living.

 

Healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated! See if you’re on track with SoClean’s healthy habits checklist.

Every day, we make small choices that impact our lives. Stay up late, or go to bed early? Drink water or juice? Clean the house or leave it for another weekend? While these little decisions may seem inconsequential, they add up – and making some simple swaps can build a healthier life for you and your family.

Building a healthier lifestyle starts with adopting healthy habits. Despite its many benefits, practicing healthy living habits can seem easier said than done. Thankfully, changing even a few parts of a normal routine can help you and your loved ones live longer and healthier lives. Healthy habits can be as simple as getting outdoors or learning something new. To get started on the right path, make some of the basics below a regular part of your routine.

Healthy Living Habit #1: Take Exercise Breaks

When it comes to healthy lifestyle habits, few are more important than exercise. In fact, just 15 minutes of exercise a day can increase life expectancy.[1] If the thought of joining a gym and getting on a treadmill doesn’t appeal to you, that’s okay! Find a form of physical activity that you enjoy: whether it be dancing, yoga, or just a brisk walk through a local park. As long your preferred choice of exercise is moderately intense, you’ll be getting those all-important health benefits. What does moderate intensity exercise feel like? As a rule of thumb, you should have a light sweat going and just barely be able to carry on a conversation.[2]

Healthy Living #2: Drink Plenty of Water

Although most people know that staying hydrated is an important habit and part of a healthy lifestyle, over 1/3 of adults in the U.S. don’t consume enough water.[3] Why is drinking water so important? Here are just few roles that water plays in our bodies:

  • Lubricating joints
  • Digestion
  • Protecting vital organs
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Transporting nutrients throughout the body

So, how much water should you be drinking? Recommended water intake varies by age, environment, and activity level, but in general, men should drink around 15 cups a day while women should drink 12 cups.[4] Try adding a squeeze of lemon or a slice of cucumber to jazz up your glass and make it feel more indulgent.

Healthy Living Habit #3: Prioritize Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene is often called a “window into overall health.” Your gums and teeth can reveal health conditions that you may not otherwise notice, like diabetes or osteoporosis.[5] Healthy habits like regular brushing and flossing can help rid your mouth of germs and bacteria that can cause infections.[6] Believe it or not, good dental health can reduce the risk of conditions like cardiovascular disease, endocarditis, or even pregnancy complications.[7]

In addition to practicing daily dental hygiene, make sure to schedule regular check-ups with the dentist, too – even if everything seems fine to you. (Dentists recommend two dental visits a year.[8]) The best way to stay healthy is through preventative measures rather than reactive ones. With a busy schedule, non-essential appointments can sometimes feel like a waste of time. But rest assured, taking the time to check in on your teeth will pay off in the long run.

 

Healthy Living Habit #4: Snack Smart

Following a healthy diet, which includes lots of real food like fruits, vegetables, and proteins, can increase your life span and reduce the risk of illness or disease.[9] While snacking outside of meals isn’t a bad thing, some snacks will give you more health benefits than others. Making simple swaps to your typical snacks is an easy way to live a healthier life. Here are some smart snacking ideas:

  • If potato chips give you a satisfying salty crunch, try making your own lightly-seasoned popcorn instead, which is lower in calories and a high-fiber whole grain.[10]
  • When you need something sweet to get you through the day, reach for an apple or an orange instead of cookies. You’ll still get a boost of energy from the sugar, along with important fiber, vitamins, and minerals.[11]
  • Need chocolate? Rather than a candy bar, pick out a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. Dark chocolate has antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory benefits.[12]
  • Love ending the day with a bowl of ice cream? Try putting some frozen fruit on top of Greek yogurt, which is high in protein and has gut-friendly probiotics that aid digestion.[13] Give it a stir and it’ll transform into a sweet frozen yogurt treat.

If you’re new to a healthy diet, check out our guide to getting started here.

 

Healthy Living Habit #5: Work on Your Sleep Hygiene

Anyone who has suffered from a rough night of poor-quality sleep can attest to the importance of sleep. If you’re juggling a full-time job, taking care of a family, running a household, or trying to live a healthy life – especially if you’re doing more than one of those things – you likely know how hard it can be to get a full night of shut-eye.

Scientists recommend, at minimum, getting seven hours of sleep. Regularly getting less than that can lead to negative health outcomes: weight gain, heart disease, and depression.[14]

However, it’s not just about the time you spend asleep, but the quality. Here are some tips for better sleep:[15]

  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol before bed. Stick to water a few hours before bedtime.
  • Stick to a schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and try to get up at the same time every morning – on the weekends, too!
  • Make the bedroom an electronics-free zone. Remove TVs, computers, and even your smartphone from the bedroom.
  • Keep your sleeping area clean. Not only does this minimize the risk of germs, but it can create a peaceful, mindful space. For the ultimate clean, use the SoClean 2 to clean your sleep equipment and ensure you’re ready for a restful, healthy night of sleep with the touch of a button.

Building Healthy Habits

If a healthy lifestyle feels daunting, don’t fret! Healthy habits are built one choice at a time and one day at a time. Making these small changes to your daily routine can help you live a healthier, longer, more productive life. By eating and drinking intentionally, moving around, and practicing good oral and sleep hygiene, you’re well on your way to bettering your life. These proactive, preventative choices can protect your health – and the people you love – for today and tomorrow.

[1] Harvard Medical School

[2] Mayo Clinic

[3] CDC

[4] Mayo Clinic

[5] American Dental Association

[6] Mayo Clinic

[7] Frederick Health

[8] Cleveland Clinic

[9] Harvard Medical School

[10] Heart.org

[11] Harvard School of Public Health

[12] UMiami Health

[13] HealthLine

[14] PubMed

[15] CDC

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