Introduction to Healthy Living
Healthy living is a lifelong effect. The foods we eat, the amount of physical activity we get each day and other lifestyle choices have an impact on our health now and in the future.
But with so many different diets, supplements, books and exercise programs to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve provided some helpful information about healthy living for yourself or your family.
1. Adopt a Positive Morning Routine
Like many of you, I used to be a night owl. When I was in college, getting out of bed before noon on a weekend was an accomplishment. Even through my early twenties, I never got to sleep before 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m., and would often get up at 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning.
In recent years that has all changed, largely thanks to the positive effects of having adopted healthy morning routines . . . which actually started out as being forced upon me by circumstances beyond my control—a new job with an 8:30 start time meant that my late nights were over!
I’ve come to realize that there are huge benefits for those who choose to adopt healthy morning routines (as well as healthy evening ones), and these benefits are especially notable for those with depression and other mental health issues—I know this from personal experience as well as reading reports by others.
2. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness are great tools to help you live a calm, healthy and happy life.
To the modern ear, meditation sounds like something only ancient yogis do while sitting under a tree for hours on end. But here’s the thing: You don’t have to be an ascetic monk or get all bent out of shape with lotus poses in order to meditate. Anyone can practice meditation and mindfulness, no matter how old they are or what physical condition they’re in. And it doesn’t take lots of time, either! You can simply take 10 minutes out of your day, sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes and clear your mind. The key is to focus on your breathing and try not to think about anything else. Meditation puts you in control of your mind; when you’re constantly thinking about things that happened yesterday or will happen tomorrow, it’s tough to stay present in the moment—and that’s where true happiness lies!
Each day that you practice meditation will be different from the last one; some days will be easier than others. If it helps, start small by meditating for just 5 minutes at a time until you feel more confident and comfortable sitting still with your thoughts. The idea is not to eliminate all thinking but rather to tame unruly thinking so that you can develop better focus throughout the rest of your day (and life).
3. Get Adequate Exercise & Sleep
A good way to approach exercise is by focusing on movement, rather than exercise. Movement is a part of our everyday lives, whereas exercising can be an activity we do only once in a while. However, we can easily make movement a part of our day so that it becomes effortless and natural.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Walk or bike to work if possible.
Walk around your office during breaks and get up from your desk every 20-30 minutes for a short stretch or walk around the block (or just inside your office building).
Park further away from your destination and get some extra steps in as you walk to it.
Take a 10-15 minute walk after every meal. This has been shown in scientific research to help prevent weight gain, improve blood sugar control, boost mood, and even increase memory!
While these examples won’t “make up” for hours spent sitting at work or at school, they really do add up over time and can have profound effects on health outcomes when done consistently (over months or years). Even if you don’t lose weight or build muscle with this type of movement strategy, you will still benefit greatly!
4. Eat More Fresh Foods
It can be hard to eat fresh foods, especially if you are busy. Our lives always seem to be on the go and we don’t have time to cook meals from scratch. However, one of the best ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle is by eating foods that are fresh.
When you choose fresh foods, you are eating ingredients that have not been processed in any way. It also means that your food has not been frozen or canned for preservation purposes.
Another benefit of eating fresh is that it encourages you to eat local produce that is organic and in season. These three things will help ensure you are getting produce at the peak of its nutritional value and flavor profile. Eating local helps reduce the environmental impact of transporting your food from far away places, while also supporting local farmers who grow their crops without pesticides or other chemicals harmful to the environment or our bodies.
5. Drink More Water
What constitutes a glass of water? A common measure of one glass is eight ounces, so your daily goal should be between 64 and 80 ounces, or roughly two to half a gallon. If you work out or are more physically active than the average person, you may want to add another 16-32 ounces.
How can drinking more water help my health? Water helps maintain metabolism and helps your organs and tissues perform at their best. Drinking water before meals has been shown to help control appetite and boost weight loss—a study showed that adults who drank a half liter (17 ounces) of water about 30 minutes before each meal lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks than those who didn’t increase their water intake. Plus, it’s an important part of any fitness routine; make sure you drink plenty before, during and after your workout to stay hydrated.
6. Feel the outdoors
- Feel the outdoors. If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time indoors, especially during the winter months.
If you have access to nature, take advantage of it by going for a walk in the woods or by sitting outside and enjoying some fresh air.
When I lived in New York City this wasn’t always possible (especially when it was freezing cold or snowing) so I found ways to bring nature inside by putting plants in my apartment and by purchasing paintings of nature scenes that were calming.
Listening to the sound of rain outside is also relaxing, as is listening to birds chirping if that’s what you can hear where you live.
7. Laugh More Often, Smile More Often, And Find The Joy In Everything You Do
The final habit on our list is equally simple, yet equally as important. It is probably the most important habit of them all. It’s also the easiest to forget to do in a world that seems like it’s getting crazier by the day: laugh more often, smile more often, and find the joy in everything you do.
Laughing can be good for your health:
According to MayoClinic.com “laughter doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.”
Smiling has been shown to have some surprising benefits for both mental and physical health: According to Psychology Today “it will cheer you up,” “it will make others feel good too,” “it will boost your immune system,” “it will reduce stress,” and “it can help with stress relief” among other things.
Being happy is an integral part of healthy living! Appreciate life and everything that you have been given; see each day as an opportunity to be grateful for your health, family and friends, job or education, home… Give thanks every day for something new… this comes back around again with mindfulness! Find joy in every little thing you do – even if it’s something as small as listening to music while doing dishes or taking a walk outside on a sunny day! The smallest things can bring us so much joy; we just need to take notice of those moments when they occur!
If you want to be happier and healthier, it’s important to take action to create positive habits in your life
To start creating positive new habits, you first have to make a conscious decision to change. That is the all-important first step.
As long as you’re willing to put in the effort and take action, you can form new habits. The key is to start small and be consistent.
Think of it this way: the positive habits don’t happen overnight, but rather evolve out of small, repetitive actions that slowly become part of your routine and lifestyle. You can create these habits by consistently following through on your initial goals or intentions until they become second nature.
The bottom line is that if you want to achieve better health and well-being, it’s important for you to take action and start forming new positive habits in your life today!
You can use these habits to improve your health and well-being or take the knowledge you’ve gained here and create some healthy habits of your own. Remember, a habit is something you do regularly without consciously thinking about it. There’s no right answer or structure for creating a good habit, but repetition is key. A good way to get yourself on the right path is to allocate 5-10 minutes a day toward each new healthy habit until they become ingrained in your life and easier to work into your daily routine.
Habits and routines are the best way to make something part of your life, so come up with healthier habits for yourself today!