Improving one part of your health, such as your diet, is great. But it takes more to improve your overall wellness. It takes a variety of healthy habits to create a strong, healthy body and mind. It’s interesting that there is a combination of things that we must do to achieve the overall level of health and happiness that we desire.
We can’t regularly cancel out pizza with extra gym time (oh I wish it was so!), but we can focus on a few small, everyday health tips that can help improve our health even when we’re fighting unhealthy habits. That way if you miss a workout or binge on something bad, you can still appreciate the good habits that you DID do for your body that day.
Healthy Habits You Should Develop
I cannot talk enough about how important it is to drink lots of water. (In fact, I need to drink some more water right now!) It helps our bodies function better in so many ways because our bodies are made mostly of water. Drinking lots of it can improve skin complexion, help you feel full (which can lead to weight loss), improve digestion, benefit the immune system, and more. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness and confusion. Even mild dehydration can alter your mood. You want to make sure you’re getting at least 8 full glasses of water a day. I’ve written previously about some of my best techniques for drinking more water. I recommend implementing them and tracking your water intake to make sure you’re never suffering from simple dehydration.
Eat Smaller Meals More Often
It can put a lot of work on our digestive system when we eat three large meals a day. It’s better to eat smaller meals more often, up to 5-6 times a day. Some people believe this keeps the metabolism running, which in turn aids weight loss. This has been shown to NOT be true, but there is still some good behind eating smaller meals more often. The main thing is that you feel less hungry throughout the day, so you are less likely to overeat at any given meal. You’ll also be more likely to eat the correct kinds of foods. Since you won’t be so hungry, you’ll be less inclined to just grab whatever’s quick and easy. This gives you more awareness of what you eat and can help you make better diet choices.
Limit TV Time
This one is SO HARD for me, and I’m TERRIBLE at it. I LOVE TV. I like to watch it in the evenings, during meals, even while I’m working! Not only is TV distracting, it is also usually not very informative, or at worst misleading! Watching TV can be relaxing and comforting, but in order to truly focus on your mental and physical health it’s best to limit the amount of time you’re watching the screen. Getting sucked into a Netflix binge not only keeps you inactive, but can also keep you distracted from the goals you want to accomplish.
To develop good habits like this, set a daily limit for yourself and make sure you follow it! If you’re like me, and you LOVE to watch TV ALL the time, start by just cutting back a little bit. This is one of those health tips that you can just quit cold turkey (in my experience). You’re not going to be able to jump from 10 hours to 1 hour overnight. Just cut it back a little and as you become used to watching less TV, cut it back even more.
Even if you live in the city, going outside and breathing fresh air can help you feel a little bit better every day. Getting sunlight improves vitamin D levels, which can boost your mood. Ideally, you’re able to visit a park and explore some nature. Spending time in nature can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones. This leads to a healthier, more relaxed body and a calm, happy mind.
Sleep 7-8 Hours
I seriously don’t understand how people function on less than 7 hours of sleep. Getting sufficient rest is obviously essential to the next day’s energy levels. But it can also affect memory and cognitive ability. If you’re exercising regularly, your body is doing most of its recovery processes while you sleep, so it’s important to have good habits at night. Good sleep is one of the most common healthy habits of successful people.
It’s been studied over and over, and proven that practicing gratitude leads to greater happiness. It’s one of many good habits that takes up almost no time in your day. This is one of many mental health tips that works as a one-off when you’re feeling down. But it is even more powerful when practiced every single day. And it’s so easy! Take a quick moment, RIGHT NOW, and name one thing you’re grateful for. (Tell me what it is in the comments below!)
So there are a few things you can start tracking every day to start living a healthier, happier life! The best way to develop these healthy habits is to write everything down every day. And I’m here to help with that! Click here to get my Daily Healthy Habits Tracker and 20 Daily Wellness Tips. You can print it out and mark it up or type directly into the PDF! Whatever you need to do to make sure your tracker and health tips are always with you, and you’re always using them, will help you start to develop a myriad of healthy habits!