Healthy Habits for a Happier and Longer Life
Let me start off by saying, that this will be a work in progress. I am of the mindset that we as human beings, will constantly evolve and work to better ourselves. Creating and adopting healthy habits does not happen overnight! It takes time. But the desire to better ourselves, to be the best and the healthiest we can be, is the first step. And it is what will keep us going and helping us work towards achieving our health goals!
The truth is that a lot of our body make up is DNA, it is our genes. But also, it is also true that with making better choices and turning them into habits, we can be healthier and live longer.
You don’t have to make drastic changes to see results. It really is making small but effective healthy habits that add up and get us closer to our goals.
Do not stress about it and overthink it! It doesn’t have to be hard. Start by making small changes in your daily life and in no time, you will see and most importantly feel the payoff.
To start off, pick one or two of the following healthy habits and apply them to your daily life this week. Once you feel you master those and feel like second nature, pick another one or two and start building up from there. You can do it! I know you can!!
I mean, I know you have heard this endless times, but water is so amazing for our body. It flushes out toxins out of our bodies. Water helps us lose weight; it also helps us have clear skin. Did you also know water is a natural cure for headaches? It boosts our immune system, and it helps with regularity and kidney health. Ideally you should try to have between 64oz and 100oz per day. This is the magic spot where you get enough to be properly hydrated but also not flush nutrients out that are beneficial for you. To help motivate you and help you get your daily water intake, I highly recommend this water bottle. I love it and it helps me a lot!
Eat small meals.
Research shows that eating small meals approximately every 3 hours is the way to go. As we age, our metabolism slows down and eating small meals often rather than larger meals, tends to help our body stay in constant fat burn hence speed up our metabolism.
How much activity you do per day it is totally up to you. Whether you like to walk, run, lift weights, bike, swim or etc. We are all different. I know for myself, I hate running. Not unless is to TJ Maxx or another store :). So, I know that setting a goal of running daily is not realistic for me. I will not keep up with it and I will fail. That never feels good. I love walking though. I can walk miles and miles. So, my daily goal is to walk at least 3 miles weather and time permitting. I have found that listening to my favorite podcasts really helps me and sometimes I catch myself not even realizing I have walked for that long. Give it a try. If you are new to walking, set up a small goal, perhaps a mile a day, or a mile twice a day and take it from there. It is proven that being active can improve your brain health, help manage your weight, reduce the risk of disease, and strengthen your muscles and bones.
Take the stairs
This is a small change in your daily life that you can make that can make a huge impact overtime. Try to make a conscious decision and an effort to skip the elevator in your office building or your apartment building. Instead, opt for the stairs. Stair climbing is good for your heart. It helps improve muscle strength and joint flexibility. It is a great stress reliever and increases heart and lung function.
Get between 7hrs and 8hrs of sleep.
This can be somewhat challenging depending on the life stage you are in. I know when my kiddos were little, there was no way I was sleeping even remotely close to that. Now, thanks for the automated “next episode” feature on Netflix, I find myself going to bed much later than I should. When you don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, you might have a higher risk of heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. Not getting enough sleep reduces your body’s ability to produce hormones that suppress appetite which can lead to unwanted weigh gain.
Try to go to bed at least a half an hour earlier than your usual bedtime. Turn off the tv and turn off your phone. What helps me wind down is reading. Invest in a kindle perhaps. It is such a convenient way to read. I have my Kindle for years now and I love it! I love reading but it also helps me relax my mind and fall asleep easier.
Don’t skip breakfast.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is. It is easy to skip it sometimes because you are having a late start of your day and you need to get out the door quick, or that morning coffee/tea cup is filling your belly up, but eating breakfast is proven to start your day right and helps you eat better throughout the day and helps lower your risk of diabetes and overall heart health. Look to have something low in sugar, high in fiber and protein to keep you full and energized for longer.
Find healthier substitutions for unhealthy foods.
I just recently had this exact same conversation with my dad. His sugar is high, and he really needs to watch what he eats, but having a bowl of ice cream at night is his weakness. So, we looked for some healthier options. We found a sugar free ice cream that he loved. It is actually amazing how much the market has changed. There are healthier alternatives for almost all of our favorite but not so healthy food items. Try and look for that better and healthier substitution next time you are in the grocery store.
Stop drinking soda.
Soda is high in sugar and acid level. It offers absolutely no nutritional benefit. It adds empty calories to your daily calorie intake. Consuming too much soda may lead to diabetes, weight gain and heart disease. Soda can also cause tooth decay. Instead opt for a sugar free substitute or since that can be costly overtime, I suggest making your own soda. We have this soda machine, and it is great! We get sugar free flavors to add to the soda water and you can control the fizziness. It is amazing!
New habits are not easy to adopt, and they take time to form. Be patient and be consistent and in no time, they will become your natural behavior. Celebrate the small wins and the small steps you take and be proud of every little achievement! You are worth it and your health is so important and I hope you find this healthy habits list helpful!
Thank you for stopping by!