Written and provided by Julie Morris

According to the 2015 report of the National Health Interview Survey, only 20.9 percent of US adults met the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity as well as muscle-strengthening activity. Most Americans have unhealthy eating habits and lead a hectic (albeit sedentary) life. Even though it is recommended that you engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily, less than 5 percent of Americans follow it. So what exactly separates this 5 percent from the rest of the US population? These physically fit people do not have more hours in a day; they just know how to make the most out of their time. Here are the six habits that very healthy people engage in every single day.

You Snooze, You Lose

Healthy people always get up when the alarm rings, they do not hit snooze in the mornings. There is a reason why you have set the alarm for that time. No matter how difficult it may be, healthy people ensure that they get up on time. Getting up late just wreaks havoc on your daily schedule – you may not be able to finish all your daily tasks. If you find that you are dazed in the mornings, you need to change your lifestyle. Avoid caffeine at night and do not have a heavy meal a couple of hours before bed.

Prioritize Exercise

These people know exactly how important exercise is for leading a very healthy life and they treat it as such. They plan the day factoring in the 30 minutes needed for physical exercise. Exercise is as important to them as their work and social life. When you consciously make exercise an indispensable part of your life, it becomes as automatic as breathing.

Understand the Importance of Sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in your physical as well as mental well-being. Insufficient sleep has also been linked to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, suicide, and depression. Healthy people understand how important sleep really is, and they value it. No matter what their schedule is like, they will ensure that they get a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep.

Get a Pet

Believe it or not, pets are great for our health. They help improve heart health and lower blood pressure. They also improve mood, reduce stress, and can be therapeutic for those suffering from depression or other mental health disorders. If you don’t have a pet, consider getting a four-legged buddy to snuggle and play with. If for some reason you can’t have a pet, you might seek out other ways to spend time with animals. Become a pet sitter, volunteer at an animal shelter, or offer to help an elderly neighbor with their pet. Regardless of how it happens, the time you spend with animals will be time well spent.

Food is Nourishment

Whenever you are feeling stressed or depressed, you are likely to eat junk food that is high in sugar as well as fats. At the time, these foods do make you feel better but they can have disastrous effects in the long run. People who are committed to living a healthy life will identify the craving and choose healthier foods over processed foods every time.

No Meals are Skipped

Healthy people think of food as nourishment and fuel that is essential for day to day life. This is the reason why they never skip any meals whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. When you eat three meals every day and cultivate a habit of eating healthy snacks, you will realize that your cravings for junk food decrease.

Moderation is the Key

If you want to live a vigorous life, it does not mean that you are supposed to abstain from your favorite desserts. You do not have to give up drinking alcohol entirely either, but you do need to be aware of the signs of addiction if your desire to drink becomes a need. The key to eating and staying healthy is moderation – eat and drink what you want but stay within limits. This is exactly what healthy people do!

Cultivate these habits, and you will no longer have to worry about diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart problems. Being healthy is a choice – choose to exercise irrespective of weather conditions, eat healthy, and sleep well. Imitating these habits ensures that you lead a life that is physically and mentally healthy.