Leading a healthy lifestyle is more than just losing weight, trying that new diet trend, and exercising until all the muscles in your body ache. It’s about feeling good every single day so you can keep a positive attitude and a healthier self-image.
In this increasingly fast-paced world, it can be very difficult to break bad habits. We don’t even think twice about them. However, when you have decided to start building healthier habits, remember that every small decision you make adds up over time. Begin with the tiniest thing and work your way up. Sooner or later, all these healthier lifestyle choices will come easily for you.
To help you start, we’ve compiled a list of simple habits for you to add to your list:
1. Drink More Water
Feeling lethargic? Do you always deal with those pesky sugar cravings? Suffering from sick skin? All of these signs and symptoms might be pointing you to one thing: you’re not drinking enough water!
Water does everything for your body, from keeping your temperature normal to getting rid of the waste building up inside you through urination, sweat, and bowel movements. It even lubricates and cushions your joints to help you move freely. With the number of functions water has in your body, it’s crucial to stay hydrated with at least two to three liters of water a day.
For those who despise plain water, you can always add flavor to your drink to help your intake.
2. Exercise Even At Home
If you don’t have time to hit the gym or if you want to burn calories even when you’re on your period, get some housework done! It’s a great way to increase your daily movement while keeping everything in your household clean and organized.
Shovel snow, rake leaves, work in the garden, mop the floor—while these may not seem like vigorous exercise, they can still keep you moving.
There’s no need to buy expensive workout equipment when you can take advantage of the things around your house. For a strong cardio workout, walk up and down your stairs repeatedly. Begin with a limited number of repetitions and, once you’ve got the hang of it, increase your goal.
Grab a gallon of water or wine bottles and use them as weights. For tricep dip exercises and planks, simply use a kitchen chair.
3. Take A Few Minutes to Walk
Speaking of movement, give yourself time to walk. Even just a 10-minute stroll around your neighborhood can help boost your cardiovascular health. When you’re at work, take a walk during your lunch hour or practice the art of walking meetings with your colleagues.
Always give yourself the chance to walk. While on an errand run, find the farthest parking spot and walk from there. Walk your way up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Just think about this: even the number of steps adds up.
4. Go To Bed Early
So many of us underestimate the importance of sleep. A good night’s sleep doesn’t just give you more energy, it also aids you in achieving your healthy eating goals. The science behind this is that when you lack sleep, your body reduces its production of hormones that suppress your appetite. Less sleep equals weight gain. Other than that, untreated insomnia or sleep apnea may lead you to illnesses such as heart diseases, obesity, and high blood pressure.
If you have a set sleep schedule, try hitting the hay 30 minutes earlier than usual. Don’t bring your phone to bed and wind down with a book instead. You’ll find yourself drifting off to dreamland soon enough.
5. Correct Your Posture
If your parents raised you to correct your posture, let them know just how thankful you are. Sitting and standing straight up prevents aches and reduces stress on your ligaments. It also prevents muscle pain, backaches, and fatigue.
Here’s a neat trick: leave yourself a note to sit straight up at your office desk. Every time you walk, remind yourself to put your shoulders back and keep your head held high. Sooner or later, these little nudges will become an unconscious habit.
6. Start The Day Healthy
When you begin your mornings the right way, you’ll feel better all day long! Maybe you’ll even eat better along the way. For a delicious and nutritious breakfast, choose something high in fiber as this will help keep you full and energized.
Eating something in the morning also helps reduce brain fog, keeping your mind alert and awake for those morning meetings. If you’re tired of the same bowl of oatmeal, try adding different toppings to give it a splash of variety. Make yourself a breakfast burrito or some peanut butter protein pancakes—the options are endless!
7. Make Creative Substitutions
Snacking is not a sin, but try not to eliminate processed and junk foods that are high in calories with little to no health benefits. Don’t deprive yourself of them though! Just treat them as an occasional treat.
For substitutes, opt for low-fat dairy, healthy oils like olive and avocado oil, whole grains, and natural sweeteners like fruit.
The best way to keep new habits for a healthier lifestyle is to make gradual changes instead of introducing a major overhaul. Be gentle with yourself as all of this will take time. Keep your eyes on your goal and if you ever slip along the way, it’s okay to begin again.