You know that healthy habits, such as eating well, exercising, and avoiding harmful substances, make sense, but did you ever stop to think about why you practice them? A healthy habit is any behavior that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health. These habits improve your overall well-being and make you feel good.
Healthy habits are hard to develop and often require changing your mindset. But if you’re willing to make sacrifices to better your health, the impact can be far-reaching, regardless of your age, sex, or physical ability.
Importance of Trends in Human Disease and Condition:
Numerous human diseases and conditions have been linked with exposures to environmental contaminants, some more strongly than others. Identifying diseases that might be associated with environmental contaminants, and determining the existing data sources available for them, is a key part of the effort to better characterize links between environmental exposures and adverse health outcomes.
Tracking overall rates of disease in the United States, independent of exposure, enables the evaluation of disease patterns and emerging trends. It may identify diseases, conditions, and possible risk factors that warrant further study or intervention and can help identify where policies or interventions have been successful.
Because the United States has a diverse population, an important component of such an analysis is identifying disparities among people of different races and ethnicities, genders, education and income levels, and geographic locations.
Health outcomes for which environmental exposures may be a risk factor.
By this time, we learned that food choices involve consideration of multiple attributes such as nutritional values, freshness, the safety of storage and packaging, limits on specific ingredients which may cause sensitivity or be unhealthy, and accounting for point of origin. In the same fashion, product choices should consider multiple attributes.
Consider the life cycle of products you purchase — what are the impacts of material extraction and manufacturing, transportation use and disposal. Often we make purchases in a hurry and focus on the tag price without considering the costs associated with a product’s use or disposal. Buying products with recycled content reduces the impact of material extraction and helps build the market for recycling. Reusing products and buying durable products reduces impacts all along the life cycle, so that is an even better choice.
It is sometimes better to pay a little more for something initially, and use less of it or reuse it. Planning purchases is important so you buy what you need but not more than you need. Little decisions made every day can add up to big changes in your eco- and healthy- lifestyle.
Some choices, such as retrofitting with LED lamps or paying for regular maintenance of equipment, may seem like money you don’t want to spend at first. However, when looking at the cost over a longer-term, these choices make excellent financial sense. When re-lamping, get a redesign at the same time. Your workspace may have been modified since the original design and you may need fewer fixtures when switching to LED lamps. Along with energy savings, new lighting also provides an updated look and can contribute to higher productivity.
Similarly, better-quality and more flavorful foods can satisfy in lower quantities. If the food you eat is better quality, it may be more expensive, but planning to eat less of it allows you to stay within your budget.
Regular maintenance checks result in cost savings for HVAC, compressed air and steam systems. Maintenance of systems helps ensure that little problems don’t become big, expensive problems. It takes a little discipline and labor cost but pays big dividends.
Wellness initiatives also include “maintenance” style exercise, where little bits of exercise is built into your day. People try to put exercise into their daily routine by parking far from the door, taking the stairs, and getting up from their desk to talk to a colleague rather than use the phone or email. People are also encouraged to have a regular exercise routine of walking, jogging, cycling, aerobics or a lifetime sport. Studies have shown exercise improves a person’s physical and mental health, paying big benefits for small, routine efforts.
Planning is essential to healthier eating. Purchase healthy foods so junk food is not available to eat. Eat regular meals to avoid over-eating due to getting too hungry. An additional benefit to planning and purchasing for smaller meals is the reduction of food waste. Excess food constitutes about eight percent of what we throw away in this country.
Planning takes some time but saves money and resources. Planning food purchases allows you to capture sales and avoid waste. The time spent planning once per week also makes daily food preparation easier. Another strategy is to drink more water and eat more water-based soups to fill up on low-calorie foods and eat fewer high-calorie foods. By replacing our food intake with lower-calorie equivalents, we can reduce our overall calorie intake.
Electronic communications are like soup. They help keep the message going without the calories (or in this case, without the environmental impact.) Also, paperless transactions save money on the paper used, printing and postage, while providing convenience for customers and lowering handling costs.
Likewise, limit portion size. When printing is necessary, can the size of the paper be smaller? How about the number of copies? Only print what is needed. Go through mailing lists before purchasing printed materials so you don’t have extras. This not only saves printing costs but postage and storage space for left-over materials. With proper planning, buying higher-quality 100 percent recycled-content paper will be within the budget. Reduce.org offers additional tips on reducing paper in an office.
Other choices for healthy lifestyles include avoiding toxins, such as BPA in food containers and hazardous chemicals in cleaning supplies. Many schools are leading the way in using green (non-toxic, biodegradable) cleaners to better manage their inventory and provide a safer environment for students and employees.
Engaging in a healthy lifestyle and going green requires a conscious effort, planning, and systematic changes, but both can be done using similar techniques and both can yield beneficial results. Just as multiple attributes should be considered when making choices, multiple benefits are achieved. The benefits may not always be immediately obvious but will be realized over time.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors impacting behaviours. It encompasses the assessment and control of those environmental factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. This definition excludes behaviour not related to environment, as well as behaviour related to the social and cultural environment, and genetics.”
Bad habits are hard to break, but once you adopt a healthier lifestyle, you won’t regret this decision. Healthy habits reduce the risk of certain diseases, improve your physical appearance and mental health, and give your energy level a much-needed boost. You won’t change your mindset and behavior overnight, so be patient and take it one day at a time.
Stay tuned for my next blog!
I am your Wellness LifeStyle Real Estate Advisor.
Broker/ Owner: Cynthia McGuire
Real Estate License Number: 3279376
Office Address: 7000 W Palmetto Park Rd # 210
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Contact #: 561 – 542 – 2262
Email: [email protected]