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Living healthy should be a part of your lifestyle. Not only physical health, mental health is also an important aspect of good health. And good health is important to live a long and active life.
Not leading a healthy lifestyle elevates the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer. To reduce these health risks all you need to do is look at the little yet effective habits the world's healthiest people have in common and see how you can implement them in your life. Read on.
1. They don't smoke
Giving up smoking can add years to your life and make you live longer. Smoking cigarettes, marijuana and even pot smoke isn't considered safe and damages your lungs  ,  . And also second-hand smoke is known to increase 25 to 30% greater risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. So, stay away from smoke.
2. They follow a plant-based diet
Including plant-based foods into your diet such as whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and vegetables will lower the risk of chronic diseases. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, plant-based foods reduce cardiovascular risk by 16% and premature death by 25%  .
3. They exercise regularly
Physical activity is required for the body to increase heart rate and proper functioning of other body parts  . We aren't telling you to go to the gym but, you can do low-intensity exercises like walking, playing sports, going on a bike ride, and so on, as these will keep your body physically active.
4. They consume fish
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics, fishcontains omega 3 fatty acids that are known to have a long list of proven health benefits including promoting heart health. According to a study in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, consuming fish can lower the risk of colon cancer  .
5. They socialise
Having a close social group of family and friends keeps you happy, which in turn helps you lead a healthy life. According to the researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, an increase in happiness is directly linked with a reduction in mortality  .
6. They do not stress out
The healthiest people do not stress out and that's what keeps them healthy and happy. Chronic stress is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, mental illness and shortens your life span as well  .
People who are healthy know how to manage stress by keeping themselves positive, sleeping on time, avoiding nicotine, and being around positive people.
7. They maintain a healthy weight
According to the National Institute of Health, maintaining a healthy weight is one of the top-most healthy habits that can add nearly a decade to your life. A person who is obese has a higher risk of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
8. They drink alcohol in moderation
Drinking alcohol in moderation is what most healthiest people have in common. As per a study, the more a person drinks alcohol, the higher the risk of heart failure, stroke, premature death and fatal aneurysm  .
9. They spend time outdoors
The healthiest people spend a considerable time in the midst of nature. In fact, spending time amidst nature (nature therapy) is known to have a significant impact on the mental and physical health of an individual. This is known to improve the immune system, lower stress hormones and slow down the heart rate and keep your mind active.
10. They spend time alone
Spending some quality time alone is essential for health and mental well-being. Activities like reading books, meditating, going on a solo trip, can actually build mental strength, increase productivity and creativity. It is one of the best and simplest ways to keep yourself healthy.
11. They sleep on time
According to a study, sleeping eight hours at night increases longevity and reduces the risk of premature death. Researchers found that people who sleep less than seven to eight hours were at an increased risk of death from all causes  .
12. They limit time on social media
Frequently being on social media can make a person increasingly unhappy and isolated in the long run. Looking at pictures and reading updates from friends makes you want to compare with your worst self to their best selves and this affects your mental health largely. So, the less time you spend on social media the more you will be happy.
13. They help others
Healthy people take out time for others to provide service and do charity on a daily basis. According to a study published in BMC Public health, healthy people who volunteer and help others live longer  .
14. They are optimistic
Always being optimistic is another common trait of healthy people. Optimism helps an individual cope with the disease, avoid mental illness and recover from surgery. According to Harvard Medical School, optimism is linked to better physical and mental health function.
-  Saha, S. P., Bhalla, D. K., Whayne, T. F., Jr, & Gairola, C. (2007). Cigarette smoke and adverse health effects: An overview of research trends and future needs. The International journal of angiology : official publication of the International College of Angiology, Inc, 16(3), 77–83.
-  Memedovich, K. A., Dowsett, L. E., Spackman, E., Noseworthy, T., & Clement, F. (2018). The adverse health effects and harms related to marijuana use: an overview review. CMAJ open, 6(3), E339–E346.
-  Kim, H., Caulfield, L. E., Garcia‐Larsen, V., Steffen, L. M., Coresh, J., & Rebholz, C. M. (2019). Plant‐Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All‐Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle‐Aged Adults. Journal of the American Heart Association, 8(16), e012865.
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-  Duke-NUS Medical School. (2018, August 27). Happy older people live longer: New study among senior Singaporeans suggests happiness may be key to longevity. ScienceDaily.
-  The Lancet. (2017, January 11). Study unveils how stress may increase risk of heart disease and stroke. ScienceDaily.
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