Living a fabulously healthy life is easier than you think. You don’t need to completely overhaul everything to get to a healthier place. You simply need to incorporate a few healthy habits into your life and work from there. Here are our 7 best tips for enjoying a healthy life.
1. Get Yourself on a Sleep Schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is one of the healthiest habits you can adopt. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If you’re the type of person who has difficulty falling asleep, it may be time to assess your sleep hygiene. Do you stare at screens right before going to bed? Try turning off your TV, computer, tablet and phone an hour or two before going to bed. During that time, focus your attention on a relaxing bedtime ritual. Take a bath, read a book, light some candles, have a cup of decaf tea, or do some light stretches. You’re more likely to sleep better if you exercise regularly and if you say no to caffeine after your morning coffee. Give yourself time to wind down and make sure your room is a comfortable temperature. Taking sleep seriously will have a seriously positive impact on your overall life.
2. Slow Down
Life can be crazy. Between traffic, deadlines, bills, social events, families, houses and long hours at work, it can be difficult to find time to even take a deep breath. But taking deep breaths throughout the day and finding other ways to be still is important for your health. Taking the time to be calm and reflect inward will help you to feel less anxious and stressed. Learn to meditate. Take a yoga class. If that’s not for you, simply light a candle and read a book. Leave your phone at home and go outside for a walk. Write your thoughts and feelings down in a journal. Take a little time for yourself each day to do whatever makes you feel calm.
3. Say no to Processed Food
You don’t need to give up chocolate and hamburgers and pizza to be healthy. You simply need to eliminate as much processed food from your diet as you possibly can, and focus instead on whole, fresh ingredients. Craving pizza? Put a little marinara sauce and cheese on some whole wheat pita bread and load it up with veggies. Treat your sweet tooth with berries and dark chocolate. Make a burger yourself using lean ground beef, turkey or a black bean burger. Skip the mayo and indulge instead in avocados and jalapenos. Whenever you have the choice between real fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins or something that comes in a box or bag, choose the former. Learn to love to cook. Put healthy spins on your favorite meals and shave calories, sodium, fat and cholesterol in the process. We promise you there’s a healthier way to make any food you’re craving, whether it’s cake or macaroni and cheese. When you eat clean, fresh food, you feel better. When you eat processed food or fast food, you feel crappy. It’s as simple as that.
4. Find an Exercise You Love and Do it Regularly
For the love of goodness, if you hate running, stop trying to force yourself to become a runner. Same goes for Pilates, Zumba, biking, boot camp, or that barre class all your friends are talking about. Stop thinking of exercise as a punishment and start thinking of it as a reward to give yourself every day. Exercise can be your time to unplug and unwind. It can be just for you or it can be social. It can be relaxing or it can be hardcore. You get to decide. It’s your body. Find the exercise you love so much it doesn’t even feel like exercise. Whether it’s swimming, trampoline aerobics, boxing or walking, there’s a physical activity out there with your name on it. Find it. Repeat it often.
5. Laugh Every Day
Renting a funny movie, meeting up with your friend who always tells hilarious stories, or laughing at yourself when you trip over your feet in step aerobics class all of these will help you become a healthier person. Laughter reduces stress and has even been shown to help with short-term memory. So go ahead, click on that YouTube video you know will cause a chuckle. That chuckle is good for you.
6. Get Outside
Computers and electronics have become such focal parts of many of our days, but there’s still no better medicine than good old-fashioned sunshine and nature. Take a walk outside and you’re likely to feel the stress of the day melt away. People who exercise outside are generally happier than those who work out in a gym. Being in nature can lead to improved mood and self-esteem, reduced stress, and a boost in creative thinking. If you’re ever feeling stressed or frustrated in the office, take 15 minutes and walk outside. You’ll return calmer, happier and one step closer to a solution.
7. Drink Enough Water
You hear this over and over again, but that’s only because hydration is so important. Eight glasses of water a day can help control your appetite, give you energy, and make you feel focused. Plenty of water can also help to combat hangovers and colds. There’s nothing simpler than drinking water, so do it right now and thank yourself later.
Whether you follow one of these tips or all seven, you’ll start to feel fabulously healthy by making a few small changes. Being healthy doesn’t mean having no fun in fact, being healthy means having as much fun as possible. Relax. Laugh. Eat well. Sleep well. Take care of yourself and everything else will fall into place.