Optimum Wellness Presented by King Soopers

Most women work hard to create a life that they love; where health and happiness predominate (most of the time) and there is a sense of joy, meaning, and connectedness about their lives. Though not everybody’s definition of “good health” and happiness is the same, there are certain behaviors and habits that have a direct and measurable positive impact on our bodies and minds. Here, we introduce you to 20 of those habits:

1. Daily Exercise: Compared to less physically active individuals, more physically active people report greater general feelings of excitement and enthusiasm (Penn State University research). Exercise also increases immunity.

2. Limit Alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant AND increases the risk for certain cancers, including breast cancer.

3. Quit Smoking (or Never Start): Smoking is linked to many health problems, including depression, which is increased in smokers.

4. Eat Breakfast: Breakfast eaters have greater success maintaining healthy weight. Skipping breakfast increases women’s risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

5. Embrace Napping and Prioritize Sleep: 20-40 minute naps can help restore energy, alertness, improve mood, and clarity.

6. Maintain Healthy Weight: Helps to maintain positive mood, energy, and health.

7. Forgive Others and Self: When we practice unconditional forgiveness, we release stress and negativity from our lives and extend our own longevity at the same time.

8. Eat Your Veggies: Greater whole vegetable intake, especially dark green leafy veggies, increases our overall vitamin and mineral status and cuts our risk for a long list of diseases.

9. Appreciate Your Body: After all, it’s the only one you’ve got. The more you love it, the more it will love you back.

10. Surround Yourself with Positive/Happy People – A robust social network (and I don’t mean Facebook) can exert positive influence and support in your life and encourage you to make better life choices.

11. Practice Gratitude: Those who practice gratitude experience more joy and happiness, and stronger immune systems.

12. Volunteering: Enhances the feeling of gratitude and elevates mood.

13. Laugh Often: Laughter is a natural “high” – an energy booster and also an immune system strengthener, so ditch the drama and indulge your comedic side.

14. Meditate: Science continues to demonstrate the many benefits of meditation including increasing our resilience to stress, decreasing blood pressure, increasing immunity, improving mood, and helping to reduce and relieve pain.

15. Drink Green Tea: Drinking green tea has been shown to reduce the risk for stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, certain cancers, and improve mood.

16. Power Walking: The number one best exercise in the world – and it’s basically free (minus the cost of shoes). Helps to strengthen our bodies and minds, reduce stress, and elevate mood.

17. Spiritual Community: Being a part of a community with a spiritual focus and foundation can support the growth of gratitude and enhance the feeling of interconnectedness of all things.

18. Take regular vacations: Studies show that women who take regular vacations live longer, experience better sleep, less stress, healthier physiques, and better sex lives.

19. Spend time in Nature: Recent research suggests that avoiding the sun puts us at greater risk of premature death than smoking. Sunlight hitting the skin helps create and activate vitamin D in the body. Greater levels of vitamin D lead to better mood, lower risk for osteoporosis, heart disease and certain cancers.

20. Hug it Out: Hugging for a good 10 seconds helps increase feelings of belongingness, love, and increases levels of dopamine (the feel good hormone and neurotransmitter), increases the hormone oxytocin, and lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.