Thirteen Healthy Habits

Linda Tanner, via Flickr

Joshua Leo and Ruby Jones look at thirteen habits that will lead to better health.


Voice 1

Thank you for joining us for today’s Spotlight. I’m Ruby Jones.

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And I’m Joshua Leo. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live. 

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Some people believe that the number 13 brings bad luck. But instead, today, the number 13 is going to bring you health!

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On today’s Spotlight, we will share thirteen different ways to improve your health.

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Sometimes it may seem difficult for people to improve their health. We are either too busy, too tired or we simply have no desire! The first step is good health habits - actions we do every day, without thinking. Anyone can add these thirteen habits to their lives.

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Healthy habit number one: eat breakfast every morning.

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Research shows that eating a meal in the morning results in less body fat, lower cholesterol counts and less chance of over eating. Eating breakfast can help people feel better physically and mentally through the day. And, children who eat breakfast are usually more awake and do better in school! A good breakfast includes foods from many different food groups like fruits, vegetables, and grains.

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Healthy habit number two: eat fish.

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The American Health Association suggests eating fish two times each week. Fish is low in bad fat, or saturated fat. Saturated fat can fill your arteries. The arteries carry blood through the body. But fish has good fat, or omega-three fatty acid. Research shows that Omega-three fatty acid can reduce the risk of heart disease. Omega-three acids may also help people with allergies. Allergies cause a person’s body to react badly to things in the environment - like pollen from plants, dirt and animal hair. Some people do not like fish. And some people cannot easily get fish. If this is your situation, try to eat soybeans, nuts, or flaxseed!

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Healthy habit number three: get enough sleep.

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Poor sleep quality can affect our memory and learning. It can also cause traffic accidents! Studies show that people who do not get enough sleep seem to get in more accidents. So stay safe and sleep! Experts advise getting at least seven hours of sleep a night.

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Healthy habit number four: make social connections.

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Spending time with other people can also improve help. David Jenkins is a doctor. He says that being social like this can be very helpful to our health. Social groups can provide support. They might include church or religious groups, sport teams, art or music groups. The people in the group can offer advice. They can help each other in difficult times. And they give members a sense of belonging in the community. Also, being involved in a group keeps your mind busy. An active mind is a healthy mind!

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Healthy habit number five: exercise.

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Exercise is very important for good health. It helps control a person’s body weight. Weighing too much can cause problems. Exercising also helps grow healthy muscles, bones, and joints. It reduces the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Exercising reduces the risk of death from heart disease. And it provides mental well-being. Exercise helps people to think and move better. It helps manage stress, improves emotions, and gives people lots of energy!

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Healthy habit number six: care for your teeth.

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Research shows that taking care of your teeth can add over six years to your life! The blood supply to your mouth and teeth is linked to the rest of your body. If our teeth are not healthy, often our hearts are not healthy. That is because bacteria from our mouth can enter our blood system. Then it can travel to our hearts! So remember to wash, brush and clean between your teeth!

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Healthy habit number seven: have a hobby.

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A hobby is something that you enjoy doing. It could be running, reading or making something with your hands. Hobbies help people to relax and rest. Hobbies bring us joy. Everyone could use a little more joy in their lives!

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Healthy habit number eight: protect your skin.

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The sun produces ultraviolet, or UV rays. These rays can harm our skin. UV rays can cause wrinkles and dryness. Too much sun can also lead to painful sun burns and cancer. Experts suggest always protecting your skin with protective skin substances, or clothing. They also suggest avoiding the sun between ten in the morning until three in the afternoon.

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Healthy habit number nine: eat healthy between meals.

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Eating between meals is called snacking. Many people snack on unhealthy foods - foods that are high in sugar, salt or fat. Fruits and vegetables are a better choice. Fruits and vegetable can help the body fight sickness. They keep the heart healthy. And they improve memory and reduce the risk of some cancers! Remember an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

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Healthy habit number ten: drink water.

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Our bodies are made of mostly water. In fact, our bodies are sixty to seventy percent water! Water helps our bodies work right. Water helps to clear our bodies of harmful waste materials. Eight glasses of water a day does a body good!

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Healthy habit number eleven: drink tea.

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There is some evidence that drinking tea may help improve memory. Tea may prevent problems with our teeth. And we have already learned about the importance of caring for our teeth! Tea may even help prevent cancer and heart disease! It does not matter if you like tea hot or cold, it is good for you either way!

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Healthy habit number twelve: take a walk every day.

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We have already discussed the importance of exercise. Walking is an easy way to add exercise to our lives. Instead of taking your car, try walking to where you need to go. Instead of meeting friends for a meal, meet them for a walk. Show your children the beautiful world around you - take them for a walk. Once you try, you will find that adding a walk into your daily life is very easy.

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Healthy habit number thirteen: have a plan.

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Sometimes being healthy may seem difficult. We get busy. We forget. We feel tired. There are many reasons why people are not healthy. But, there are so many more reasons why people should be healthy. Our lives depend on it. So, the best way to be healthy is to make a plan.

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Plan on the days when you will exercise, and exercise on those days.

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Plan healthy meals. Make a list of the healthy foods you need. Only buy the foods on your list.

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Plan to go to bed on time. Make sure you get enough sleep.

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Plan a walking date. Find a friend who likes to walk and meet him or her a few times each week.

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There are many ways to stay healthy. All it takes is knowledge and a plan!

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The writer of today’s program was Rebekah Schipper. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. Computer users can visit our website at This program is called “Thirteen Healthy Habits.”

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How do you stay healthy? Do you have a health plan? Write us and tell us about your health habits at


How do you stay healthy? Do you have a health plan?


Avatar Spotlight
Adrian Molina
said on June 18, 2009

You are great…. Thank you for your help to learn english….

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said on September 04, 2009

that was an interesting article for remembering us,imortant things for improving our health.
of course instaed of eating fish, we can say eating healthy food such as green vegetable and milk and ...

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said on October 11, 2010

I need some questions by prepage discussion in the class and an introduction to a subject.It is the way .Iwill use its in the key.

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said on October 12, 2010

And where’s most important of all healthy habits: have a sex? Scientists have proved that having regular sex prevent heart disease and extend lifespan!

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said on October 12, 2010

i’m agree with rhcp..however, the other thirteen habits are also important..
ps: this site is very good to improve english ;-)

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lam thao
said on October 13, 2010

Thank you so much. This writing bring a great deal of benefit for me and many other friends.

Julie Ppark's avatar
Julie Ppark
said on November 03, 2011

I eat breakfast every day and drink different teas during the day. But I don’t like drinking water because it makes me feel disgusting.ã… ã…  Um,8 glasses of water a day,I’ll try to do this.^^

humble71's avatar
said on November 08, 2011

Thank you, I live without sense of health. and you gave me great counsels to be healthy..  It’s great to know about to sleep well..7 hours per hard for me..I have sleep disorder…and I liked the phrase” an apple a day keeps the doctor away “. And I began to drink water a lot in my office too…to clean my blood…  The most difficult for me is to get a plan and do it day by day… the information is so valuable and helpful ..I will share with people around me…
Thanks for making so valuable programs.

From Ecuador ...I’m very grateful to Rebekah Schipper and all the members of Spotlight.

Luis Piedra's avatar
Luis Piedra
said on January 04, 2013

I think the thirteen healthy habits are good for all people.
Good Program
Thanks Spotlight

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said on January 04, 2013

Simply great..I’m gonna do this plan for my life. 13 good tips. Although I was already practicing some of them, for instance drink water during the day is good I make feel better and healthy.
To eat an apple evey day I didn’t know I ate it hardly ever.
Definitely these are a great help for our health.
Thanks for this program I’ve learnt a lot and I want to learn more of course.

Good night

Avatar Spotlight
said on February 03, 2014

This simple advises do works if they become habbits. It is not easy, but it is right way.
Thanks for good program. By

Avatar Spotlight
said on February 03, 2014

Hello spotlight. This is my daily healthy habit:
I wake up anmd exercise my body around 35 minutes, then i take a walk around fiveteen minutes, then I wait 15 minutes until have my breakfast.
After that, I take a shower and brush my teeth, it’s very important to keep them clean.
Then I Go to work in a part time job, so it’s important to me to do this cause I’m studying at the university now and I need to pay the cost of be studying.
When I come back home I rest a little while and I start reading a good book. It keeps my mind away from thinking.
And finally I go to sleep It’s important to me sleeping over 7 hours at day, If I want to be fine at the morning.
Thanks soptlight, U R The Best.

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said on February 04, 2014

Thanks for the 13 healthy habits. To me the best habit is make a plan and then do exercise, drink water and drink tea. Other things I have to do everyday, but take a walk and sleep over 7 hours I can not do and not sure can do because I am busy. Healthy need a plan so the plan is the best important. Thanks Spotlight.

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said on February 04, 2014

These rules really are excellent, I think most of people know them and try to follow them, however, all of us are not always successful. Today’s modern time is too hectic, hurried and because of it we often forget to take care of our health. We certainly should retrieve this fault!
Thanks for the great article!

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said on February 06, 2014

In the life when our health is good we can do workings. We have activities. We do our responsibilities and duties. Our health is our precious property. When our health is bad we can not do workings. We can not have activities. We can not do our responsibilities and duties. We try much to improve our health. We need good physical health to be able to do workings. We need good spiritual health to be able to do beautiful good things. Beautiful good things are precious. Beautiful good things exist.

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said on February 10, 2014

it’s helpful

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Phuc Doan
said on December 30, 2014

My plan daily is learn, excercise, and sleep, and smile with life. hehe

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said on December 31, 2014

I like this article so much.I remembered that “Early to bed,early to rise ;makes a man healty,wealthy and wise.”

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said on February 25, 2015

Before,I didn’t have plan to keep my body healthy.So I had often had flu or desease whenever the weather changed.I felt so tired and weak.I couldn’t work well with bad mind.After,I have planned doing exercise every early morning about 30 minutes unil now.And my health is improved.I feel better.

Learning Everything's avatar
Learning Everything
said on February 27, 2015

This is very good plan for someone who want to improve their health. After a long time to take night sleep, our body digest all most of food that we ate in a day, so the morning we need to get more energy for whole day working.

Optimist thinking is also a way to re-build healthy that push to work hard, play hard and have a deep sleep at night.

Fish is better than meal, vegetable also like that, try to eat twice per week…

Following thirteen habits above, I believe I get a good healthy in short time.

Thanks Sportlight.

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said on June 22, 2016

Good programme

Kaleb Kolaibi's avatar
Kaleb Kolaibi
said on June 23, 2016

I always trying to keep and improve my health.
I making planes for that including kinds of food and onther stips such as sports but I dont committe for all stips, sometime for neglecting, sometime not money, and onther reasons.
However, I still trying and I will always trying.
God bless you

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on June 25, 2016

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To: spotlight programme
Subject: answer to the question above
Date: Saturday 25, June 2016
São Paulo SP Brazil

Dear Ruby Jones, Rebekah Schipper, and Joshua Leo:

Thank you very much to bring us readers and learners of English more one great article.
1 - I stay healthy with the whole ingredients in which you wrote above in this article. So, I go to bed more early that I can to sleep very well because next day I have to get up early to go to the gym to exercise.
2 - I have a plan to control my time to do everything without hurry so to do everything in a good way. Each minutes from my schedule is important to me. However, I have a time to do everything to avoid stress.
3 - Besides, when I go to the supermarket I do a list to buy just necessary foods susch as: fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, tea, and coffee. Coffee is my favorite drink in which I drink two cups of it everyday.
So, I drink a cup of coffee in the morning during my breakfast and another one after lunch. Therefore, I follow that way to stay healthy.

Yours regards,
Severino Ramos

Avatar Spotlight
said on December 01, 2016

This is great article, and has a wide plenty of important information.
Many thanks and go a head!