We all have bad habits. Some of them are due to laziness, or we plain hate the thought of giving up those bad things we love so much. Or maybe it wasn't a bad habit at some point, but it has now become one. But no matter what the bad habit is, it's hard to get control and change that bad habit. But the bottom line is they are called bad habits for a reason. They are bad for us!
Change is hard. Really hard. We tell ourselves that we will do better. But it's a struggle even to get started. I can tell you that change is not any more comfortable when you realize you have no choice but to break certain bad habits for your own good health. Sometimes we have no choice in the matter. We must change. Our health and our doctor tells us change is necessary.
So why do we keep putting off making the necessary changes? What stops us from creating those new habits that we need and ditch those bad habits that are oh so bad for us?
The answer is that the bad habits have become such a normal part of our daily life. We do them automatically without much thought. They are ingrained into our daily routine. And it will require readjusting and changing certain habits.
Having had a heart attack recently, I want to encourage everyone to take a good look at their lifestyle. Don't put off changing your bad habits for good habits. Get consistent with living healthier.
My list of the essential good habits for Your health would be the following-
Smoking is one of the worst habits we can take-up. I adopted that habit when I very young and stupid. But I also smartened up years ago and dropped it.
So as one of the worst habits to have, I say to you drop that smoking habit. Even though I dropped it quite a few years ago, I wish I had stopped it much sooner. Or better yet, never started smoking.
Smokers reach for a cigarette after a meal or with a cup of coffee. When I was a smoker, I would grab my cigarettes before making a phone call. Yes, it was a habit.
So to help in dropping the smoking habit, you have to replace it with something else. So maybe when the phone rings, you grab your coffee minus the cigarettes. Or your water bottle. Most of us don't consume enough water. Keep mints or gum handy as a replacement for the cigarette.
Exercise is another vital habit to have.
Setting small goals sometimes helps. For example, Instead of going all-in at establishing a full-blown exercise program, why not just make your goal something simple. How about I will start walking for 20 minutes every day. That doesn't sound nearly so intimidating. And even better, it sounds like something that will you can easily accomplish.
And once you have achieved that goal, add another doable fitness goal. Add more time to your daily walking. Then add some push-ups and sit-ups and some weight training.
Exercise is so vital to our health. Get some cardio in daily, and help strengthen your heart. It gives you more energy also. You will not regret getting in some exercise every day.
Regular Doctor appointments-Get in the habit of scheduling your annual doctor appointments. That one is easy for me. My primary care physician's office will call and schedule an appointment for me. It seems we are required to have an annual check-up with our primary care physician if we wish to remain their patient.
Never doubt the importance of keeping your yearly doctor visit. Take the time to make the appointment and then go. It is for your own good. Ask questions and always let the doctor know if you are having any issues with your health. No matter if you think they are no big deal. Pick up any referrals you may need. I always get one for my yearly mammogram.
Healthy eating is critical to your health. Diets high in sugar can lead to high triglyceride, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure. Too much sugar can increase your chances of heart disease. And too much sugar can also cause joint pain. These are things we want to avoid as we age.
Drop that habit of eating an overabundance of junk food. Yes, I know all too well how hard it is to give up that sugary fattening stuff. It is not easy. But I am working on it gradually, and I am making progress. Allow yourself one of your favorite treats now and then and always in moderation.
And then there is the issue of sodium. Stay low key when to comes to the use of salt. Less is better. Experiment with other spices. Avoid processed foods that contain a lot of salt.
And then we get to the fat in our diets: the good fats and the bad fats.
The bad fats are pretty much the fat in all of those foods we love the most.
The trans fats are in all those gooey delicious sugary baked goods we love to consume. And they are also in those fried foods like french fries. Yep, we need to cut these out or at very least cut them down. Limit them!
The saturated fats might not be quite as bad, but still harmful and can cause our bad LDL cholesterol to rise.
And that means limit the amount we eat of ice cream, cheese, beef, and butter, to name just a few of the popular goods that contain a lot of saturated fat.
I am by no means an expert on any of this healthy living stuff. I am learning as I go, and believe me, it's slow going. Will I ever be living a 100% healthy life? No, Probably not. But I am aiming for at least 75%-80%. I am not sure the cardiologist would agree, But it would be a significant improvement.
I realize that most cardiologists would strongly encourage the whole plant diet. But I have to be realistic. That's not me. But, who knows, maybe one day.
I think I would be setting myself up for failure if I was to commit right now to a total plant-based diet. Right, now, I don't see myself never eating a slice of pizza or having some ice cream and yes, even an occasional steak. But, as I said, maybe someday. But I am paying more attention to what kinds and how much fat is in the foods I eat. I aim for less sugar and salt. It's a journey.
I urge everyone to take control of their health. Get in some daily exercise, and eat a healthy diet filled with vegetables and fruits. Please don't put it off. Start now. Get informed.