Daily Health 2015-10-09 Health Benefits of Having a Routine Main Article Content Breadcrumb navigation All/Daily Health/Health Benefits Of Having A Routine Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle People are creatures of habit, and routines offer a way to promote health and wellness through structure and organization. Having a routine can greatly improve your health. Many people who don’t have any type of routine suffer from: Stress. No routine often means having the constant worry of “when will I get it all done.” Poor sleep. Without a daily routine at work and/or home, you may find yourself playing catch-up with yesterday’s to-do list. If you’re always behind on what should have been done the day before, you’re likely also staying awake worrying about what didn’t. Poor eating. Unhealthy diets (like eating lots of fast food) become the norm if there isn’t time scheduled for grocery shopping. Quick, unhealthy substitutes become the next best food option. Poor physical condition. Working out usually requires some advance planning. Ineffective use of time. Often, no routine means you simply run out of time, leaving things undone and not making the most of your time. Routines Can Be Fun Routines can be fun and don’t need to be boring. Their health benefits will make you wonder why you didn’t start one earlier. Some ways a routine can help include: Better stress levels lead to improved mental health, more time to relax and less anxiety. A lack of healthy stress management techniques can put you at greater risk for heart disease and negatively impact your overall health. Better sleep will leave you refreshed. Your daily routine influences your quality of rest. Your sleep schedule and bedtime habits affect your mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being and energy level. It’s best if you can maintain a consistent time for waking and going to bed. Better health is a result of just a little extra planning. Set the alarm a little earlier and you’ll have time to exercise and eat breakfast, fueling your body for the day. Even a quick (and healthy) breakfast will get you energized. Whether you like to just go for a run or go to the gym for a bigger workout, it’s important make time for exercise. Good example setting will encourage others to try a routine as well. You demonstrate its importance and the positive effect it has on health, motivation and self-esteem. Kick-Start Your Life Everyone is unique. Not everyone requires a fully scheduled day to reap the health benefits of a routine, so make the choices that work for you, knowing they’ll only make you healthier and more efficient with your time. Interested in hearing more from Northwestern Medicine? Sign up for the Healthy Tips E‑Newsletter for everything from health and wellness ideas to patient breakthroughs to academic and medical advancements. 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