9 Daily Telomere Habits for Health
Habits are a set of routine behaviors, repeated at a subconscious level, and generally dividing into “good” and “bad.” And while habits are innate, they are not necessarily lifelong. By breaking old habits and building new ones, telomeres can prosper and contribute to evolving and everlasting health.
9 Daily Habits for Telomere Health
1. Wake Up Thankful
Despite hardships you may be facing, try renewing your day by pondering on what there is to be thankful for, rather than fixating on past and foreseen stressors. Wake up thankful for a new day and give it your best effort to make it count. Additionally, particularly noticed in women, waking up with feelings of joy have been linked to more telomerase in immune cells.
2. Start with Breakfast
Although research has not directly implied breakfast as the most important meal of the day for telomere health, it is a beneficial daily habit to get into. And considering telomeres are largely impacted by nutrients and foods, starting with a nourishing meal stimulates motivation to make healthful choices throughout the day. Meals should be balanced with protein and fiber to increase satiety and regulate hunger. And if in a time crunch, whip up easy and healthy breakfast ideas for rushed mornings.
3. Eat Veggies
While the encouragement to “Eat your veggies!” may seem nagging, embracing nature’s colorful bounty should be a daily habit. And the more color the better serves true when it comes to their nutrient content, primarily related to the antioxidants they offer. Potent antioxidants are shown to nourish telomeres so include at least three to five servings of veggies each day, including roasting squash, snacking on carrot sticks, or throwing spinach into a smoothie.
4. Walk 10,000 Steps
Exercise is not only imperative for heart health and weight management (amongst other benefits), but for the health of telomeres. While putting in countless hours of the gym is admirable, it is not necessary to acquire such benefits. Telomeres can thrive from regular aerobic exercise, including staying active throughout the day and aiming for 10,000 steps, primarily to dismiss a sedentary lifestyle.
5. Drink Enough Water
Although confirmative evidence lacks regarding water and telomere length, replacing soda with water has, with research suggesting sugary beverages leads to shortened telomeres. Additionally, drinking enough water keeps cells hydrated and effectively functioning. And by “enough,” recommendations encourage healthy adults drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses per day.
Relieving stress is extremely beneficial to telomeres, with evidence showing reducing and reacting to it in a positive manner can combat against telomere shortening. Whether it be for 15 minutes or an hour before bed, try carving out meditation time for yourself each day.
7. Talk with Others
Isolation can be detrimental to health, including both mentally and physically. In fact, such reclusive environments may provoke depressive feelings and impede on telomeres. Whether it be a close friend and family member, talk with others to heighten mood and nourish telomeres.
Sleep is one of the most influential factors on telomeres. Generally speaking, long hours of sleep results to longer telomeres, with shorter hours resulting to shorter ones. And running along with recommendations from the National Sleep Foundations of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, telomeres start suffering under seven hours of shuteye.
“Eat, sleep, repeat!” After a well-rested night, try implementing the daily habits to optimize telomere health daily. And rather than driving in the fast lane, slow down and enjoy the ride!
Out with the Old, In with the New
It is important to realize habits tend to transform overtime, and requires breaking the habits of others. Use these tips for breaking old and creating new ones:
Create new habits by…
…making small changes.
Rather than biting off more than you can chew, make small, gradual changes. So rather than drinking eight glasses of water when two is difficult already, add a glass or two in each week and slowly build towards the large goal throughout a longer time span.
…synergizing with habitual foundations.
You may already have habits that do not necessarily need changed, but can be added to or modified to accommodate new ones. For instance, if you already wait for the coffee to brew during morning hours, use that time to accomplish a few minutes of meditation or drink a glass of water.
…relishing in the morning hours.
Starting off the day with a positive mindset and with healthful choices help set the stage for a day filled with positivity. (And just another reason to kick off the day with a nourishing breakfast…)
…just doing it.
Although easier said than done, you generally do not ever regret making healthful changes. So when conflicted or feeling unmotivated, just do it!
Change is not easy, and working towards and achieving victories are moments worth celebrating. So instead of continually thinking of what your next move should entail or what could be done better, step back, reflect, and honor the strides and efforts you have already implemented.
Break old habits by…
…increasing the brain’s ability to do so.
For actions to be implemented, the mind and body must be connected. Allow your brain to organize thoughts and develop plans for efficient execution.
…allowing the body to normalize.
Implement plans when the body is normalized and free of impeding conditions, including high stress and sleep loss. Listen to your body and learn to identify when conditions work best in your favor.
…creating a positive environment.
Consumed in a negative environment makes temptations more tempting and habits harder to break. Create and build a positive, healthful environment to limit temptations and nurture healthful habits.