Habits for a healthy life

Habits for a longer, healthier life

Our lives are constantly changing and it feels like we’re always on the go. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with healthy habits to make sure we’re doing what’s best for our body and mind.

In this day and age, people are living far longer lives than they would have been several decades ago. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II had only licked and stamped 40 birthday cards to Aussies who had turned 100 years old. In 2017, this number was more than 4,400.

We’ve taken a look at various simple habits to help you live a longer and healthier life – you too could receive a birthday card from Her Majesty!

1. Prioritise your sleep

We know this, but we are still constantly tired. Sacrificing sleep in order to fit more into our days is something we are all guilty of doing. However, this little habit is definitely not a beneficial one.

Adults need approximately 7-9 hours of sleep each evening to be able to function at their best potential. One study from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School shows that too little sleep over a several nights can leave you depressed, anxious and unable to concentrate. If this continues, adults are increasing their risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

2. Less screen time

Staring at screens has been embedded into our lives. Workplace desktops, iPads, iPhones, TVs, personal laptops … the list goes on. But how does this actually affect us?

Too much time in front of a screen means less personal interaction, less focus on the moment, less time reading physical books and a large increase in sitting.

And too much sitting means fewer years on your life. Try a new experiment when you go home: set up an actual alarm clock to wake you up and charge your phone in a different room than where you sleep.

3. Get a furry friend!

WebMD highlights the link between pet ownership and health which suggests that owning a four legged pal can help reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and even improve the odds of surviving a heart attack. Additionally, dogs owners are more likely to be physically active in order to make sure their pooch is getting their daily amount of walkies.

4. Manage stress

Physical health and staying fit is something that society concentrates heavily on. But have you ever taken a step back to think about your mental health? A little bit of stress is a natural and normal response to daily life. Heathline.com looks at the effects of stress on your body, including being detriment to your digestive system, your cardiovascular system, your immune system and many other aspects of your bodily functions.

So the next time something is stressing you out, recognise it, take a time out and dedicate your energy into something that will benefit you in a positive way.

5. Treat yourself somewhere else

Taking a break from work benefits you in the long-term additional to the short term. Studies have shown that those who have failed to take their annual vacations were more likely of having heart attacks or developing coronary artery disease.

If you’ve been umming and aahing about a certain holiday for quite some time now, make the decision and take it!

How could you ever regret going on holidays?

Hopefully those little tips have inspired you to go on and make the most of your life! And if you want to add a further protection to your lifestyle, consider Virgin Life Insurance.