Practicing healthy living is so important because it impacts how our body functions on a daily basis. By creating sustainable habits that fit your lifestyle, you can drastically improve the quality of your life.
In my early 20’s, I was kinda healthy living and eventually transitioned to being a vegetarian for a little over 5 years. What I didn’t realize was that I still had very bad habits that really didn’t promote a healthy lifestyle that I could maintain.
I wasn’t eating chicken or pork but i was downing down a large fry from Wendy’s almost once a week. Talk about bad habits, right?
But my move to California developed push me to develop a healthier lifestyle. I was starting a new chapter and wanted to really achieve being the best version of myself as possible.
Healthy living does not mean that you have to give up everything you like or have to be overly strict with yourself. It’s more about being mindful of how you treat your body both physically and emotionally. Healthy living is about creating a lifestyle that continuously takes care of you.
So here are 12 tips or habits that you can practice for healthy living!
Drink More Water
Drinking water is so important for your physical health so it should be the one thing you’re consuming consistently.
Try to reduce your juice and soda intake and really stick to water as much as possible. The one sucky thing about juice is their sugar content, which is also just wasted calories when you really think about it. According to Healthline, soda can negatively impact your body including even your dental health. The acid in soda can make your teeth more susceptible to decay…gross!
Soda also is linked to weight gain and most of us do not want to put on weight so it really should be avoided as much as possible.
You should try to drink water throughout the day, but you can also load up before each meal. That way you kinda trick yourself into creating a habit that actually makes sense and doesn’t feel like a chore.
Eat More Vegetables & Fruits
Honestly to put it simply, just eat real food! It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Try to stick to real fruits and vegetables that you can find in the produce section of the grocery store. If you eat meat, try to make sure that 2/3 of your plate is veggies and 1/3 can be meat.
This will help you to have a balanced diet and make sure you are still getting all of your nutrients. So try having more fruit throughout the day. It helped me to start having at least one piece of fruit after each meal (thanks to my boyfriend on that!)
Toss Out The Bad Snacks
This goes hand in hand with just eating more real food. I think most of us tend to indulge from time to time but we don’t really a bunch of bad snacks lying around. Not only is it unhealthy for you, but by having bad snacks nearby, it makes it that much easier for you to indulge.
So start with a personal inventory of your kitchen and all the snacks you have. Do you need 5 bags of different chips or cookies? Probably not, so just get rid of it!
It’s okay to indulge sometimes, but you want to make it a habit to reduce your bad snacking.
And trust me, I get that it can be really difficult. I’ve been slowly buying more snacks because I’m in the house a lot more due to Covid-19, but I know that’s going against the habits I want to have. Purge soon come!
And this leads me to my next point…
Being more mindful is a great step to start practicing living healthier. By definition, mindfulness refers to the state of being conscious or aware of something.
Now apply that to living healthy and it’s that simple!
Try to make it a habit to be mindful of what you’re doing every day. and what you’re consuming. Are you eating right? Are you staying active or working towards any personal goals you have?
The point is that you can apply mindfulness to every facet of your life. It also means you can be mindful of your relationships and how they impact your healthier lifestyle.
If all your friends or family wants to do is eat out, that can impact how health you eat and what you actually feed your body. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not wrong or bad at all to share a meal with your loved ones. But practicing mindfulness is how you stay aware of what you entertain and allows you to make adjustments accordingly.
Setting Your Intentions
Setting your intentions really allows you to focus on the positive side of things, and set realistic expectations for yourself. Try to start each day or even each task by stating your intentions before you get started.
By constantly setting your intentions, you can stay focused on what you expect out of the day and remain positive when things maybe go astray.
Your intentions can be about you, how the day will go, what will happen, etc. It doesn’t mean that everything you say will definitely happen, but it will keep you centered no matter what happens.
You can also try to journal your intentions if that helps you walk through them a little easier. I’ve noticed that this has helped me when i feel overwhelmed and I’m not sure where to start.
Control Your Food Portions
So we already covered the types of food we should be eating more of but food portions is equally important. Even when eating healthy, you want to make sure you don’t continuously overeat, especially if you’re not actually hungry.
Overeating means eating past your limits or eating when you’re not actually hungry. Either way is not healthy and can really lead to bloating, stomach aches and even weight gain. Try to control your portions by making sure not to overload your plate with food. Just eat what will fill you up and make you feel content.
If you want to stay organized, try to think of your portions in parts. If you eat meat, vegetables and fruits try to aim to have 2 portions of veggies/ fruits for every 1 portion of meat. After having one plate, take time to think if you’re hungry for another plate or if you’re just being greedy (hey i get it, food is delicious!)
What I like to do is make a smaller plate first, drink water before and after and actually take a few minutes to consider if I’m still hungry. Sometimes I am so I’ll grab a little more food but sometimes I realize I’m full and I just wanted more because the food was good. Don’t fall for the latter!
Listen to Your Emotions
Healthy living not just about the physical. It’s also about how we take care of our emotional and mental states as well.
It’s important to make sure that you practice listening to your emotions and be mindful of when your not emotionally feeling your best. It is not an easy habit to develop sometimes, but it is a necessary one to have to ensure you’re operating as your best self.
Emotional control isn’t just about burying your emotions or keeping things to yourself. But it’s more about listening to how you’re doing internally and working through them, even if it sometimes means it can be painful.
By practicing mindfulness and listening to your emotions, you can be more aware of when you are feeling heightened emotions and work to not let that impact situations that you’re involved in.
Exercise, exercise, exercise! This is such an important one if you want to maintain good physical health. When you’re younger it may seem like you have all the time in the world but realistically you want to create good habits now, that you can continue to use later in life.
I used to love working out in the gym several times a week but now that I live in Southern California, I let the outdoors be my gym.
I try to run outside at least 5 times a week but I usually average closer to 6 times a week. On the days I don’t feel like working out, I still go for a long walk for at least 30 minutes. The point is the more you move your body, the better.
Even if it’s going on long walks, runs or hitting the weights. You want to stay active and keep your body moving.
Also, what has helped me a lot is my Apple Watch because it has an activity tracker where you are encouraged to Close Your Goals such as:
- Move (how many calories you burned)
- Exercise (how long you exercised for)
- Stand (how many hours of the day you stood for at least a few minutes)
Try to focus on getting at least 30 minutes of day of exercise and make sure to make it fun so you’ll keep doing it!
Related Post: Running for Beginners: 10 Tips To Get You Started
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep should always be your friend, seriously! Sleep gives your body and mind the time it needs to rest and refuel for the next day.
You should aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. I know it can be hard for a lot of us who work, go to school, raise kids or all of the above. But you still want to get as much sleep as you can because it is so vital to your overall health.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you are going to lose in a lot of other areas in your life. You may feel sluggish, lazy or less productive when you’re operating on less sleep than you need.
I would also say to try to go to sleep at normal times and maintain it consistently. For me, I’m in bed by 8pm, I take an hour to wind down and try to fall asleep by 9pm.
I wake up at 6am the next day and I usually feel pretty rested. It’s like clockwork and it really helps me have a consistent sleeping pattern.
You definitely do not have to go to bed early or wake up early if it’s not your thing. The biggest point is finding true consistency so your body knows exactly what to expect!
Ditch Social Media
I am definitely someone who has a lot of social media, both for personal and business. But i will say it is healthy to put your phone down from time to time and ignore the crap we see on social media!
I know I’m guilty of getting riled up due to something horrible I saw online and that’s when i realized how impactful social media can be on our mental health. No go!
It’s also crazy with just how caught up we can be in other people living their lives, that we forget to focus on ours. Don’t worry about someone else’s journey, you have your own journey to live.
So try taking breaks from social media throughout the day. Make blocks of time when you scroll social media and other times where you focus on other things. Time blocking is also a great way to focus on one thing at a time and not get overwhelmed in the process.
Social media is definitely fun to use but don’t let it overpower you. Your mental health is way more important than seeing what’s on the Explore page of Instagram. It’ll be there when you get back.
Listen To Your Body
We all have to spend more time listening to our body and making sure it gets what it wants and needs. If you’re feeling down, take a break. If you’re not feeling confident, do something you enjoy doing that you’re good at.
The point is to be mindful of what your body needs and listen to it.
Sometimes when I’m juggling a few different things, I get overwhelmed and don’t know how to slow down. What has helped me is to pay attention to what my body is saying to do instead of what I think I should do.
I carry stress in my lower back so sometimes when I start to feel that back pain creep up, I know it’s time I slow down and take a break. There are other times i’ll feel pain from a long run and i’ll try to push through instead of listening to my body, and trust me it’s more painful that way.
By not listening to your body, you may overwork it and end up hurting more in the process. Pay attention to your body and it will carry you a whole lot further in life.
Practice Self-Care Often
Taking care of you as much as you can is one of the simplest ways to practice healthy living. Self-care can be whatever you make it to be, just make sure you do it.
The relationship you have with yourself is one that should always be nurtured. Sometimes we often spend a lot of time handling our external relationships, we lose sight of the one we have with ourselves.
Self-care can be going to get your nails done or simply journaling at the end of the night and getting all of those negative feelings and thoughts out. Self-care can also be you saying no to people just because it doesn’t fill you up the way you need.
Try spending some time with just yourself and you’ll realize how peaceful it is. Think of ways and better habits that put you first and everyone else second (may not work all the time, but still good practice). Sometimes we just need a reminder to take care of ourselves and that’s okay.
I’m here to tell you that healthy living may not be easy at first, but it is important to create a sustainable lifestyle that makes sure you’re the best version of yourself continuously.