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Kick These Habits for Better Health

Drinking soda and sugary drinks

Soda consumption remains the leading source of sugar in American diets although it has decreased in the past few decades, replaced by sports drinks and coffee beverages. Choosing drinks without sugar and drinking soda and sugary drinks in moderation can reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, tooth decay, gout and arthritis. While switching to diet soda offers less or no sugar, it can affect digestion and activate sweet cravings. Drinking four to six, preferably up to eight, cups of water per day will keep your brain and body in peak performance.

Insufficient sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the most common health problems. Most adults need seven to nine hours a night of uninterrupted sleep. Adequate sleep helps you feel more satisfied with life and has numerous health benefits. Sleep strengthens your heart, boosts your immune system, helps prevent weight gain, improves your mood and memory, and increases productivity and performance. Plus, it avoids the dangers caused by lack of sleep, including increased health risks and accidents.

Sedentary lifestyle

Physical inactivity poses one of the greatest health risks. In the U.S., about 25% of people are inactive. Engaging in moderate activity such as walking or strengthening exercises can improve health in many ways, including controlling weight, preventing diseases, boosting energy and promoting better sleep. People who exercise regularly are also happier and more satisfied with their lives because it improves mood and feelings of well‑being.

Nicotine use

Quitting smoking is key to improving your health at any age. Even if you’ve smoked for many years, you will benefit from quitting. You’ll also be protecting others from the risks associated with secondhand smoke. Quitting reduces the risk of disease and premature death from heart disease, stroke, cancer, emphysema and other health conditions. After quitting, the nicotine receptors in your brain return to a normal level in a few weeks, rewiring your brain and breaking the cycle of addiction. Plus, quitting minimizes vision complications, clears up skin blemishes, and strengthens your immune system among other numerous health benefits.