While regular exercise and proper nutrition are important for our health and well-being, there are so many, often overlooked, behaviours that also contribute to feeling and looking great.
The 5 habits that don’t include diet and exercise are:
- Sleeping at the same time every night
While this may be challenging for those who work in shifts, having a regular bedtime is a great way to ensure you get a regular baseline level of sleep, both from a quantity and quality perspective.
This is because we have internal clocks and are creatures of habit, so if your body know 11pm is bedtime it will consistently be tired and prepare to shut down for the night. Whereas those with sporadic bedtimes may find it difficult to feel tired even when they know they should be sleeping at a certain time in order to get 7-8 hours in.
Some ways to ensure you do this is to set a reminder on your phone about 30-60min before your set bedtime to account for any time that it takes to get ready for bed.
- Getting sunshine early in the morning
Getting sunshine early in the day is especially important for those who spend time indoors for most of the day and perhaps don’t have many windows where they live or direct sunlight reach them early on.
Our circadian rhythm is your internal clock and one way to trigger your brain to realize it’s time to be awake and active is by getting sunlight into your eyes. Therefore, taking a short walk in the morning either before work or a couple hours later can be a great strategy for feeling awake and ready to tackle the day.
- Wearing and reapplying sunscreen daily
Any dermatologist will tell you that the first thing you need to include in your skincare routine is a sunscreen with broad spectrum of SPF 30 or higher. There are several reasons it’s important, with the most important being skin cancer.
Over 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed a year in Canada and wearing sunscreen on all exposed areas is the best way to prevent this.
Additionally, sun damage is one of the factors of ageing and wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen will prevent or delay the onset of ageing related changes in your skin. This is also why it’s important to not only sunscreen your face, but also your neck and hands as well!
- Take frequent breaks from screens
Screens are everywhere and have enabled us to do so many incredible things including working from home, connecting with others and for entertainment. However, our brain and our eyes are such important organs, and they often would like a break from all the stimulation.
Try spending a couple minutes every couple hours looking away from the screen, maybe it’s to do some chores or just close your eyes and rest or to have a conversations with someone around you. In addition, try opting for screen-free activities during the hours when it’s not required.
Some ideas could include, going on a walk, listening to a podcast, building a puzzle, reading, baking or playing a board game.
Staying healthy and being your best isn’t just about eating leafy greens and getting 10K steps a day, it includes so many other facets of our life that are just as important to helping us thrive as individuals.