Keeping yourself healthy brings both physical and mental benefits. You have better energy and you stay mentally alert throughout the day. Your mood also improves, allowing you to experience a more positive outlook in life. However, some people find keeping healthy habits challenging because their days are filled with personal and professional responsibilities.
The most effective way to maintain a healthier lifestyle is by introducing small changes you can easily inject into your everyday life. Here are some practices you can start with.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day for adults and kids alike. This is because you get the bulk of your energy from what you eat the first thing in the day. It will also help jumpstart your metabolism and stop you from overeating later on. Also, having a good breakfast can help improve your heart health and lower the risk of developing diabetes. To do this, make sure to eat foods high in fiber and add some protein. You can have a bowl of oatmeal and add some fruit toppings. You can also make an omelet with green leafy vegetables. Are you in a rush? Prepare your breakfast ahead of time. You can make a breakfast burrito with whole-grain wrap, salsa, eggs, and cheese. For a light meal, grab a piece of fruit or a granola bar.
Choose Healthier Foods
It’s easy to be distracted by the colorful packaging of pre-made foods and snacks while at the supermarket. However, most of them are high in calories and low on the nutrients your body needs. Work your way into eliminating these kinds of food from your diet by eating them less often or only having them as an occasional treat.
Instead, choose foods that are low in fat, made from whole grains, and use healthy oils like olive and avocado oils. To satisfy your sweet tooth, select natural sweet treats like fruits rather than sugary pastries and desserts. Also, add more greens to your meals like lettuce and broccoli to get some fiber and protein.
Drink Lots of Water
Stay hydrated and drink an extra glass of water daily. It can help lubricate and cushion your joints, maintain your body’s normal temperature, and flush out wastes. To encourage you to drink more water, you can add some natural flavoring with slices of lemon, orange, cucumber, or watermelon. If you tend to reach for diet sodas, start replacing them with carbonated mineral water. Excessive consumption of sugary beverages can increase your weight and your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Squeeze in Some Exercise
Regularly exercising remains to be an important factor in keeping yourself healthy. Walking around the block for 30 minutes can do wonders for your body compared to having no physical activity at all. Add strength training like push-ups, lunges, and weight-lifting in your routine, too. They can strengthen your heart, muscles, and bones.
If you find it challenging to follow a daily exercise routine, you can do short bursts of physical activities throughout the day. Instead of just grabbing a cup of coffee, do some stretches and deep lunges to feel more alert. You can also turn errands into opportunities to squeeze in some exercise. Park in the farthest spot of the lot and walk from there. At work, use your lunch hour to take a walk or take the stairs instead of the elevator. These small efforts can help boost your cardiovascular health.
Go to Bed Earlier
There are many benefits of having a good night’s rest, including improving your mood, allowing your body to rest and recuperate, enhancing your focus, and sharpening your memory. It can also lower your chances of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. So, practice getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. To help you get into this habit, go to bed earlier than your usual bedtime and relax by reading a book. You might also want to place your phone away from you or switch it to silent mode to prevent you from being bothered by notifications. This can help prepare your body to slow down and you’ll fall asleep faster.
Take a Digital Break
Having healthy digital habits is also vital for your mental health. Constantly checking your social media notifications and email can add stress. So, it’s best to set a time in the day when you will put your phone down and do other activities you enjoy like preparing your favorite dish for or visiting your loved ones. You can also lessen your screen time by turning off the notifications on your social media accounts or news apps.
Spend Time Outdoors
A few minutes outside can be beneficial. You get some vitamin D from the sun, which can boost your mood and maintain bone health. Also, spending time outside encourages you to move more rather than just sitting in front of your computer or TV. You can visit your local park or take a trip to where you can enjoy a scenic view of natural wonders like lakes, forests, and mountains. Communing with nature can have a calming and healing effect. This is why some people recovering from illnesses choose to stay in areas where they can easily access nature. One example is attending a drug rehab Phoenix residents go to, so patients can enjoy outdoor activities while getting their treatment.
Including mindfulness practices in your daily routine can help ease stress, improve your mood, and even relieve pain. If you are new to mindfulness, you can start with a short meditation practice. Sit comfortably so you can focus on feeling calm and staying still. As a beginner, set your timer for about five to ten minutes. Inhale deeply and exhale naturally. As you do, focus on your breathing. When your mind starts to wander, simply return your attention to your breathing. Remember to be kind to yourself and that you don’t need to pressure yourself into perfecting the practice. The important thing is to do the activity as regularly as you can.
Try Something New
Continuous growth is important. By learning a new skill, it helps you look forward to something and keeps your brain in top shape. You can try learning how to play an instrument, signing up for a samba class, or attending a creative writing workshop. There are so many things you can choose from and it’s a good mental exercise to slow the signs of aging and prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Through small and consistent practices, you can make living a healthier lifestyle more sustainable. If you are new to some of these practices, do one every day and add another one each week. Soon, you’ll notice the improvement in your well-being.