Developing and prioritising healthy habits is an essential part of a balanced lifestyle. It can take a huge amount of practice and training to choose healthy habits for your life, but it’s well worth it to ensure that you can enjoy life to the fullest! So, what are some of the habits that you should look out for? From alcohol and fad diets, to healthy eating and exercise, then all the way to sleep and mental health, there are plenty of habits that you can work on to improve your health and happiness.
1. Determine an alcohol limit.
It can be tempting to increase your alcohol consumption around times of stress or when you have less to do. It’s good to keep in the habit of drinking on only certain days, or only one standard drink each time.
2. Keep an eye out for fad diets.
When a diet is telling you to eliminate a whole food group, severely restrict how much you eat, or avoid a particular nutrient for no good reason, it’s probably a fad diet. Whilst they may work in the short term, the damage that they to your body through loss of muscle mass, harm to your gut, and damage to your mental health is much more significant in the long term. Develop the habit of questioning any new diets that you see before you give them a try, your health will thank you for it.
3. Drink plenty of water.
An oldie but a goodie is to drink 8 cups of water throughout the day. Think of something that you do a handful of times per day, like get up from your desk, or check your emails. Each time you do this activity, grab a cup of water.
4. Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise can be a struggle for most of us, but it’s important for your mood, productivity, physical health, sleep health, and there’s really no substitute for it. Choose a few classes that you and a friend do together or get in the habit of putting your exercise clothes on as soon as you clock off from work.
5. Engage in incidental exercise.
Incidental exercise refers to any exercise that you get during the day as a part of your normal life. This includes trips to the kitchen, walking to the bus, walking your dog and cleaning. Try to make lifestyle choices that will add plenty of incidental exercise to your life.
6. Add veggies to every meal.
Getting in 5 serves of veggies a day can be a real challenge. A strategy that works well for many people is to get into the habit of adding vegetables to each meal (and snack) that you have during the day! This could be adding some sliced tomato to your toast, adding grated carrot or zucchini to your morning oats, or having some veggie sticks alongside your cheese and crackers.
7. Prep or plan your food ahead of time.
Set aside a time every weekend that you spend planning and preparing your food for the week. Set aside enough time for looking at what you already have in your fridge and pantry, browsing weekly specials, planning your meals, shopping, and then cooking.
8. Prioritise sleep.
Work on creating a habit of going to bed at the same time each night and make it a reasonable hour! Try to wake up at the same time each day, regardless of what you have on that day. Getting a good sleep impacts the way that your hormones work and plays a significant role in your physical and mental health.
9. Don’t ignore self-care.
Make a habit of regular self-care. This may include a weekly bath, going for a walk each day, prioritising your hobbies, or anything else that makes you feel calm, relaxed, and like you have given yourself the attention that you deserve.
10. Social and mental health are essential!
Checking in on yourself should be a regular habit that you practice. Ensure that you reach out to those close to you regularly to maintain your social health. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of reaching out to at least one person each day or week.
Your habits are what help you to achieve your goals. By doing a little bit for your health, happiness and future every day, you can build the life that you want in a sustainable and enjoyable way. So, try and prioritise these 10 habits and see where they take you!
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