Creating a healthy life for yourself doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the small choices you make every day that adds up to a healthy lifestyle. Your daily routine impacts your weight, your mood, your stress level, and so much more. Although it’s tempting to try to make major changes all at once, it’s better to start slow and make small changes over time. Starting with a few small changes will help you stick to your long-term goals for a healthy lifestyle. Here’s a look at 12 healthy habits to start for a healthier you.
Table of Contents
1. Drink More Water
Water is critical for good health and hydration. Your body is 60% water, and every cell of your body needs hydration to survive.
Low levels of hydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and increased sugar cravings. It’s important to drink water throughout the day, especially in the morning.
Before you drink your first cup of coffee, drink a small glass of water. It’s cleansing and refreshing and will help with your digestion and metabolism.
2. Eat More Plant-Based Foods
You’ve heard it before. Eating fruits and vegetables is key to weight loss and long-term health. Natural foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds nourish your body and provide the vital nutrients you need to survive and thrive.
Consider adding more colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet. Eating more plant-based foods and cutting out processed foods can help you feel better and prevent disease.
Cut back on animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy. Avoid overeating sweets and simple carbohydrates. Balance in your daily habits is the key.
There’s no need to deprive yourself of your favorite foods altogether. Including healthier choices in your diet will help you look and feel your best.
If weight loss is your goal, a medically assisted program is an effective way to lose weight in a safe and healthy way.
3. Eat Breakfast
Hectic mornings often lead to poor breakfast choices or no breakfast at all. It’s easy to rush out the door with a cup of coffee or grab something on the run or at the office. But you need the right fuel to get you through a busy day.
Starting the day with a protein-rich breakfast gives you the nutrients you need to tackle the day and keep hunger at bay. Taking a few minutes to plan your breakfast the night before can help you start your day on a positive note.
Some good choices for healthy eating in the morning include egg whites, oatmeal with fruit, or a protein smoothie.
4. Set a Bedtime for Yourself
A good night’s sleep is critical to feeling and looking your best. Going to bed around the same time each night helps you establish a consistent sleep routine and may help you fall asleep faster and sleep better through the night.
When life is hectic, the first thing people sacrifice is sleep. But sleeping less than your body needs is bad for your physical and mental health.
Sleep is restorative. Without it, your body can’t function as it should. Too little sleep can lead to food cravings, mood swings, insomnia, and higher stress levels.
If you have trouble falling asleep, establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Take a warm bath or shower, turn off electronics, or try reading for a few minutes before turning off the lights.
5. Move More During the Day
If you have a job that requires you to sit for a large portion of the day, you may feel like you can’t burn any calories during the workday. But a few simple changes to your daily habits can get you moving more throughout the day.
Try stretching at your desk or taking a walk during your break. Stand up and move around as much as possible.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the back of the parking lot at the office or grocery store. Take every opportunity to get in a few extra steps.
Get your family involved. Go for a walk after dinner or play outside together. Even when life is busy, you can find ways to increase your activity levels at work and home.
6. Stick to an Exercise Routine
There’s no perfect way to exercise. The exercise that’s right for you is something you will do and enjoy.
If your current activity level is low, it’s not time to hit the gym for an hour each day. If you jump in too fast and do too much, you’ll burn out and quit.
Instead, start slow. Try to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a week. Go for a swim, ride a stationary bike, walk around your neighborhood, play tennis or do anything you enjoy.
Try signing up for a Yoga or aerobics class at your local gym and go once a week if you enjoy it. If you love watching TV in the evenings, try walking on a treadmill or doing strengthening exercises as you watch.
The key is to get moving. If you try something and don’t enjoy it, don’t give up. Try something new.
Try to establish a consistent routine. It won’t take long for you to notice the many benefits of regular exercise.
7. Eat at Home
If you’re like most people, you probably eat out too much. Restaurant portions are large, and those calories add up quickly.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to cook and eat at home. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore.
It can be fun to plan what you want to eat and make your own healthy meals. You don’t have to be a chef to make a delicious, healthy dinner.
Cooking your own food helps you control the fat and calories you consume. And it gives you an appreciation for and a connection to your food.
Becoming more mindful of your eating habits can help you make healthier choices and lose weight. Consider cooking as a form of self-care and one of the healthiest habits you can establish.
8. Find Time to Destress
Does your busy life cause you to put yourself last? Do you come home from work carrying the stress of the day with you?
If you do these things, you’re not alone. A stressful lifestyle is a big reason people fail to take care of their health.
Stress can consume you and make you sick if you don’t take measures to decompress and lower your stress levels. Set some time aside in your day to focus on yourself.
This can mean different things to different people. Take time to meditate, read, watch a funny video, play with your pet, take a bubble bath, or do something you enjoy.
The key is slowing down and making yourself a priority for a few minutes each day.
9. Make Time to Connect
Social connections are vital to your mental health. Having a connection with others is associated with better physical health and longevity as well.
Strong relationships with family and friends give you a sense of belonging and support. It’s important to know you aren’t alone in the world and you have someone to rely on in times of stress.
If you’re feeling isolated, there are ways to reach out and form new connections. Volunteer in your community, join a club or gym, or reach out to a friend or family member.
If you’re feeling sad or depressed, it’s okay to seek help. Talk to your doctor or a therapist about how you’re feeling.
10. Spend Time Outdoors
Getting outside can be great for your physical and mental health. If you’re stuck indoors during your workday, take some time to get a little fresh air and sunshine whenever you can.
Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones and a strong immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to bone and back pain, fatigue, depression, and a weakened immune system.
Getting a few minutes of sunshine each day can help you get the vitamin D you need in a natural way. Nature is calming and has a healing effect on the body and mind.
Taking a walk, heading to the park, or going to the beach are ways you can get outside, unwind, and enjoy the world around you. No matter the season, try to get outside and soak up the sun for a few minutes every day.
11. Put Your Phone Away
Look around you wherever you go and you’ll see people engrossed in their smartphones. Staying connected 24/7 has become a way of life, but it has its drawbacks.
Constant connection and stimulation can be stressful and harmful to your mental health. When you’re constantly glued to your phone, you lose sight of the people and things around you.
If you tell yourself you don’t have time to work out or go to the gym, consider all the time you spend texting, checking emails, surfing the web, or looking at social media.
You may realize you are wasting time that could be better spent doing things that benefit your health. The constant bright light from your phone can suppress the body’s melatonin production and disrupt your sleep at night.
Instead of staying on your phone late into the night, try turning it off an hour before bed and giving yourself some time to unwind. Monitor how much time you spend plugged in.
If it’s way too much, make small changes to get off the phone and be more present in your own life.
12. Don’t Procrastinate
Many people live reactively rather than actively. They put off the hard or unpleasant tasks until the last moment.
There’s a problem with this habit, however. You’ll worry about those tasks while you choose not to do them.
Living a reactive life is stressful. It can affect your self-confidence if you feel you don’t have control of your life.
Instead, it’s better to live your life actively. Take charge of what you need to do and don’t put off tasks you know are important.
Making small changes like being on time, opening your mail right away, returning phone calls, and taking time to exercise can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself.
Make an effort to prioritize things in your life. Tackle the tough stuff first and save yourself a lot of the stress and worry that comes with procrastinating.
13. Practice Self Care
If you find yourself focusing on work and other people more than yourself, you may need to be kinder to yourself. It’s okay to put your health and wellbeing first sometimes.
Make time to nurture your physical and mental health. If you can carve 15 minutes for yourself into your busy schedule, that’s a good start.
When you make yourself a priority, you’ll have more energy for all of your other obligations. Think about what you need and what makes you happy. Give yourself permission to practice self care.
A few ideas for some me-time might include:
- A bath with candles and essential oils
- A nap
Taking a few minutes each day to recharge your batteries is a great way to center yourself and remember that you matter too.
14. Be Grateful
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of the day and forget about what matters most. If you’re constantly focused on what’s ahead, it’s easy to become dissatisfied with the present.
Gratitude is a fundamental part of a happy and healthy lifestyle. It helps you get through the rough patches and live happier in the here and now.
Focus on the positive aspects of your life. Be present and notice the people in your life who matter to you.
Enjoying the little things helps you worry less and find more joy in everyday living.
Healthy Habits to Start Today
No one can completely change their life overnight. Take it slow and find the right daily healthy habits to start your path to healthy living.
Nothing is as important as your health and wellbeing. The decision to make your health a priority is one you won’t regret.
If you’re looking for a safe and effective weight loss plan, we would love to help you. Contact us today to learn more about medically assisted weight loss.