Healthy Habit No. 10: Drink Water and Eat Dairy

Water and milk are essential fluids for good health, but they can also help with shedding pounds.
The body needs water to keep properly hydrated and individuals vary widely in how much water they need. Joints need it to stay in motion, and vital organs such as the heart, brain, kidney, and liver need it to work properly.

If you don't get enough water, the body goes into emergency mode, and clings to every single water molecule it can find, reports the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center. The stored molecules appear as extra weight. The weight is only released once the body gets enough water.

The calcium in dairy, on the other hand, is known to be important for strong bones and teeth. Studies have also shown it can help prevent high blood pressure, kidney stones, heart disease, and colon cancer.

In the weight loss arena, three 8-ounce glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk appear to encourage body fat loss while maintaining muscle mass, according to the ADA. The dairy consumption must be part of a balanced reduced-calorie meal plan.

Healthy Habit No. 9: Snack the Healthy Way

The ADA recommends five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day as part of a healthy diet. These plant foods can do many things to boost good health, including:

* Reduce the risk of some cancers
* Beat the signs of aging
* Improve memory
* Promote heart health
* Enhance the immune system

One way to incorporate fruits and veggies into your diet is to have them as snacks. "If you can do one thing [to improve your health], concentrate on getting fruits and veggies," says Johnson. "They are low in calories and high in nutrients."

She says baby carrots and cut-up produce make tasty, convenient munchies. Other healthful snacks include low-fat yogurt and nuts (in moderation).

The best time to snack is when you are hungry between meals, says Johnson. But beware: Cravings could easily be mistaken for hunger cues, especially for people who are dieting.

Healthy Habit No. 8: Protect Your Skin

Our skin starts to age as soon as we are born and, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the best way to protect it and look younger is to stay out of the sun.

The sun has harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause wrinkles, dryness, and age spots. Overexposure can cause sunburn, skin texture changes, dilated blood vessels, and skin cancers.

Avoiding the sun, however, is not always ideal or practical. To reduce the risk of skin damage, the AAD offers the following tips:

* Always wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
* Don a hat with a brim and wear other protective clothing.
* Don't deliberately sunbathe.
* Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Healthy Habit No. 7: Take Up a Hobby

Look up the word "hobby" in the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, and you will find the definition as "a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation."

Since they are relaxing activities, hobbies are usually enjoyable. Some people find joy in craftwork, bird watching, sports, going to flea markets, walking in the park, or playing cards.

The joy may help people live healthier and recover better from illness. For one thing, taking part in hobbies can burn calories, more so than just sitting in front of the TV.

In a study of people who had undergone surgery, Jenkins found that people who were involved in hobbies before their operation had better recovery six months later, compared with people who did not have hobbies.

The participants with hobbies tended to have more drive and interest in things and other people, says Jenkins. "It was a more active orientation to life."
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