Five Good Habits To Have: Daily Health Routines
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
Healthy people know a secret: being healthy isn’t a single action, it’s the cumulative result of numerous good habits done each day. If you approach your health from this standpoint, changing your body becomes more accessible, even if you feel like you haven’t been successful with past attempts.
Learning how to adopt good habits is more about setting realistic, achievable goals one at a time. In this manner, you can gradually find yourself living a completely different lifestyle in a very short period of time.
To learn which habits will help promote total health and wellness, we need to first understand the parameters that establish us as either healthy or unhealthy. Let’s talk about the hallmarks of wellness, and which habits can help us achieve a higher level of health.
How Do We Measure Our Health?
For many of us, stepping on the scale is the single deciding factor of whether we consider ourselves “healthy” or not. Although maintaining a healthy weight is a good indicator of our health, it isn’t the only deciding factor. Here’s a look at what makes up our health as a whole.
More than your total body weight, your waist measurement can be an indicator of your health, and can also help assess your risk of developing certain diseases. While it doesn’t necessarily indicate obesity, waist circumference is a definite marker of unhealthy weight.
A waist measurement of greater than 35 inches for women, and greater than 40 inches for men is considered dangerous. People with these measurements have a higher risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Most of us don’t pay attention when our blood pressure reading is rattled off to us during a checkup, but the number we’re given by our medical professionals is important. Unhealthy blood pressure (higher than 130/80) places us at higher risk for heart disease, coronary artery disease, stroke, and damaged arteries.
High blood pressure can even affect your kidney health, vision, and your sexual performance. Diets high in salt, fat, and cholesterol can promote unhealthy blood pressure numbers. You can also have high blood pressure due to other diseases, hormone imbalances, or because you’ve inherited susceptibility to it from a parent.
High cholesterol sometimes seems to go hand in hand with high blood pressure, and there’s a reason for that. High cholesterol can be a risk factor for developing high blood pressure.
Cholesterol itself isn’t the bad guy. Your body needs cholesterol to help make new cells, synthesize vitamins, and create hormones. That said, too much bad cholesterol (LDL) compared with your circulating levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) places you at risk for developing heart disease and stroke.
Blood Sugar Levels
It’s been only recently that we’ve learned to focus our attention on blood sugar levels. The incredibly sharp spike in type II diabetes (especially among children) since the early 2000’s has proven that our blood sugar levels can help us determine if we are at risk of developing insulin resistance.
When we eat food, our blood glucose levels rise. Our pancreas then produces insulin to help regulate our blood sugar, moving it to the cells that need it for energy, and storing the excess in the muscles, adipose tissue, and liver as glycogen.
If your blood sugar levels are too high, it could be a sign of insulin resistance, which means your body either isn’t producing enough insulin to keep up with the glucose in your blood, or your body has simply become tolerant of the insulin you produce. Either way, high blood sugar places you at a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Amount and Quality of Sleep
Sleep is vital to your health, and it’s a two-fold requirement. You need both enough sleep, and quality sleep. Most adults will need between 7-9 hours of sleep depending on their activity levels.
During sleep, you cycle through five distinct phases. You should repeat this cycle around five times per night (if you’re getting enough sleep, that is!). To get quality sleep, you need to experience each phase of sleep several times. There are two factors that affect your sleep: your circadian rhythm and your sleep drive. Both are dependent on one another to help produce quality sleep.
Your overall activity level plays a role in your total health. Exercise is beneficial to every part of your body, and benefits you both mentally and physically. Regular exercise helps keep your heart and lungs healthy, helps to oxygenate your cells, and keeps your bones and muscles strong.
You should aim to get between 2.5 and 3.75 hours of cardiovascular exercise per week, coupled with intermittent strength training.
You are what you eat, and that’s true in terms of your health. If you eat bad food, your health takes a nosedive. Bad diets lack the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients to nourish your body and keep your cells functioning properly.
The amount of water you drink also plays a role in your total health. Water keeps us hydrated, which is important since 60% of our bodies are made up of water.
Five Good Habits To Improve Your Health Markers
You can improve your health, feel better, and get better reports from your yearly doctor visits simply by adopting small changes that, over time, make huge impacts.
1. Make Bedtime and Wake Time Priorities
You hated them when you were a kid, but they can really help you now. Setting a regular bedtime can help ensure you get enough sleep, and help keep your circadian rhythm on track. Good sleep hygiene also involves waking up at a regular time.
Your cortisol levels naturally rise through the night, eventually waking you up in the morning. By 9:00 a.m., your cortisol levels peak, and you are most alert. Skipping coffee until later in the morning allows your body and brain to fully awaken, and may keep you more energized throughout your day.
2. Drink Water
Most of us are dehydrated. Even if you think you drink a lot of fluid, you could still be missing the mark. Drinking coffee and tea throughout your whole day isn’t the best option because they contain caffeine, which is a diuretic and can cause dehydration.
Drinking water helps your body with digestion and metabolism and can even help ward off hunger pangs.
3. Eat Your Veggies
We are a people addicted to prepackaged food and DoorDash. Blame it on our busy lifestyles, which scarcely leave room to sit down and enjoy a meal, nevertheless prep one. It’s hard to get the proper nutrition when your schedule is jammed. However, simply adding vegetables to your menu can make up for a multitude of dietary pitfalls.
Vegetables contain vital nutrients and vitamins our cells need to function properly. Just adding a serving to every meal and opting for vegetables for snacks can increase your daily intake of vitamins and kickstart your health.
4. Move More
If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle, get up and go for a walk. Increase your movement each day until you’ve reached a healthy movement goal, about 150-225 minutes (2.5 to 2.74 hours) of cardiovascular exercise per week, coupled with intermittent strength training.
Exercise keeps our blood pressure low, our heart and lungs functioning properly, and benefits every aspect of our body.
5. Take a Supplement
Supplements can help fill in dietary gaps, strengthen our cognitive abilities, and even support healthy energy levels. However, there are three requirements every supplement should have:
Research. Scientific studies should support that it does what is says it should do
Purity. Prioritize your supplements to those that contain pure ingredients and don't utilize unnecessary additives or fillers.
Need. Not all supplements are beneficial. Focus on those that contain essential ingredients that your body needs to stay healthy.
One supplement that meets all three and can help with every aspect of your health is fatty15.
fatty15, the Little Supplement With Powerful Results
Bettering your health starts with dolphins. Yes, you read that right.
Researchers studying how to continually improve the health and welfare of aging Navy dolphins discovered that healthier aging dolphins had a diet higher in pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0. When poorly aging dolphins were provided a fish diet higher in C15:0, their age-related conditions improved.
They brought their research to humans and discovered it has the same effect on us.
C15:0 is an odd-chain, essential, saturated fatty acid found in whole fat dairy products and some plants. A growing body of research and more than 20 peer-reviewed studies indicate it's the first essential fatty acid to have been discovered in more than 90 years.
fatty15 is the first and only supplement to give you the pure, vegan-friendly version of pentadecanoic acid, known as FA15™.
Just one capsule a day can help:
- Support your health on a cellular level
- Help you age healthfully
- Encourage restful sleep
- Promote healthy metabolism and liver function
- Balance mood, appetite, and immunity
Taking fatty15 is a habit that is both easy and sustainable for any lifestyle. Resolve to something that supports all aspects of your health and get started with the fatty15 30-Day Trial Kit here.
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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