What Are The Top Five Healthy Habits?
Welcome to the new web log (“blog”) for Founders Family Medicine & Urgent Care. Here, we’ll provide useful information and advice to help keep you and your family as healthy and strong as possible, all throughout the year. We’ll also address the most commonly-asked health-related questions.
This month, we want to give one good answer to a question many people are asking these days: What are the top five healthy habits?
Any internet search will give you lots of answers to this question, and you’ll find many lists of health habits recommended by medical and wellness practitioners. There are lots of good ideas on these lists, but we hope to provide you with a practical list of five daily habits which help summarize and condense the information in a way that’s easy-to-follow – and simple to use.
You may have heard the expression “First, do no harm” – and that’s good advice to follow with regard to your daily habits. First, make sure you eliminate habits which are harmful, such as use of tobacco or overconsumption of unhealthy substances (drugs, alcohol, or junk food).
Once you’ve eliminated the negative, it’s important to give some attention to five positive habits which will help keep you and every member of your family in top physical health.
To make it easy to remember, we call this list “The NEWSS.”
Get The NEWSS For Good Health
Small changes in your daily habits around Nutrition, Exercise, Water intake, Sleep, and Supplementation can go a long way toward helping you gain and maintain greater vitality, strength, and stamina.
If you’re overweight, the NEWSS habits will help you lose pounds. Your focus shouldn’t be solely on weight loss, though, but rather on overall health and wellness. When you’re healthy, you’ll find it much easier to get to – and maintain – a good weight.
Here are some brief suggestions for “baby steps” you can take in each area of the NEWSS, starting today:
- Nutrition. Many people think strong nutrition means avoiding bad snacks and junk food – and that’s a good start. But in order for your body to perform at its best, you need to consume more of the good stuff. It’s true that you need to eat your vegetables – Mom was right about that. Fruit’s good, too, but avoid overeating the most sugary stuff. And, of course, protein and good fats are essential to a healthy nutritional approach. Ask your family doctor for dietary tips that match your specific health requirements.
- Exercise. This is a stumbling block for many people who know they need to “get in shape” or increase their energy and stamina. Many will tell you they just don’t have the time (or energy) to work out. But it doesn’t have to be a major undertaking – at least, not at first. If you can simply go for a brisk walk, or even jog, for about 20 minutes a day… just three or four days a week… the increase in your heart rate will pay big dividends in your overall health and well-being.
- Water. This one’s easy. Simply make sure you’re drinking two liters of water, every day. (Men might need a bit more; women, a bit less. Kids need less, until they reach their teen years.) Good hydration offers a long list of health benefits, from helping your body’s metabolism do its job, to cleansing your liver and digestive system.
- Sleep. Are you getting your eight hours per night? Some people need more. Some folks actually need a little less than eight hours every night, and many people think they can get along with much less. But good sleep habits are key to reducing stress and helping your body function properly. If you stop consuming caffeine and alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime, that will be a great start on getting better sleep on a consistent basis.
- Supplements. You don’t need to bust your budget or go pill-crazy, but it’s a simple fact that you’re unlikely to get your body’s full requirement of nutrients from the food available in our world today. Supplementation is important. The “baby step” here might simply be to take a good multi-vitamin every day. There are good “gummy” vitamins available on the market for the kids, too.
Especially with the approach of the holidays, it’s important to start developing good health habits today. Even a small change in each of these five areas could make a big difference in your health. Check with your family medical practitioners for more tips, and ask them how the NEWSS might help you and every member of your family, for many healthy years to come.