A new study shows you can cut your risk of depression by more than half simply through adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge studied more than 300-thousand people and identified seven habits that make a real difference.

They are:

  1. A good night's sleep -- A good night’s sleep should leave you feeling refreshed, alert, and ready to begin the day. If you happen to wake from a deep sleep, you may need a few minutes to wake up properly  People with healthy sleep patterns find it easy to fall asleep and experience minimal nighttime awakenings.
  2. Regular exercise -- Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. Each week adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity, according to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
  3. Good nutrition -- Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Includes a variety of protein foods such as seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, nuts, and seeds. Is low in added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.
  4. Avoiding tobacco -- Most deaths and diseases from tobacco use in the United States are caused by cigarettes. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, and many types of cancer.
  5. Limiting alcohol consumption -- According to the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women, when alcohol is consumed. Drinking less is better for health than drinking more.
  6. Limiting sedentary time -- Set time limits on sedentary behavior. It might be that you limit television to an hour in the evening or that you ban yourself from reading emails or using the internet for a certain period in the day.
  7. Cultivating social connections through hobbies.-- Social hobbies are leisurely pastimes that emphasize interactions with fellow humans. They create an atmosphere where people can comfortably come together to learn and develop new skills while enjoying conversation and connection. Think activities like: community theater, team sports, board games or cards, continuing education, festivals, music, etc.

The study found that people who maintained five or more healthy habits reduced their risk of depression by 57-percent.


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