Healthy Habits for Healthy Living

Living a healthy life isn’t hard! Keeping your body and mind happy and healthy is so important. There are many ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Here are some habits you can hopefully add into your daily routine to improve your quality of life!

Healthy diet:

The best way to start working on some healthy habits is to form a healthy eating style. Having a healthy diet will protect the body from various diseases like obesity, diabetes, and other forms of cancer. There are so many ways to incorporate healthier options into your daily life.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables for snacks. Pre-cut your snacks and put them in baggies so they are easier and more tempting to eat (throw in a fun dip to go with them as well). Incorporate fruit into a dessert if you need to satisfy a sweet tooth!
  • Break the habit of drinking sugary beverages like sweet teas, soda, etc. Have fresh, clean water accessible in your home. Use a filter to make sure the water doesn’t have anything harmful in it. Add a lemon or other fruits to your water for a natural flavor with no fake ingredients.
  • Avoid foods high in sodium and saturated fat. Sodium controls the fluid balance in the body. It also maintains blood volume and pressure. Consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and fluid retention. High sodium foods include: packaged food like Ramen, canned soups, frozen meals, pizza, salad dressing, cheese, cereal, and more. Instead look for low-sodium foods like yogurt, eggs, unsalted bread/bagels, rice, pasta, fresh potatoes, etc.
  • Meal prepping is a great way to encourage healthy and consistent eating throughout a busy week. Set aside some time on the weekend to plan out your meals, buy what you need at the grocery store, and cook accordingly. Use Tupperware to store meals in the fridge for easy access and proper storage.

Regular exercise:

Adults need at least 150 minutes (around 2.5 hours) of moderate exercise per week. Or 75 minutes of intense activity. Participating in some form of physical activity has many positive health benefits like reducing the risk of various diseases, improving muscle strength, and so much more.

  • If you have any existing health conditions, make sure to consult your doctor before starting any sort of fitness plan. A doctor will be able to make suggestions and help you find ways to reach your goals without harming your body in any way.
  • Create your own goals! Figure out what you want to improve on and find ways to accomplish it. Whether it be stronger legs, lose five pounds, or even exercise three times a week, every goal matters and will hopefully motivate you to continue living a healthier life.
  • Invest in durable and comfortable workout clothes. Shorts, sneakers, leggings, and t-shirts all serve as the perfect gear to help you get the best exercise possible. Try looking at sporting goods stores for the best fabrics and deals.
  • Understand and calculate your BMI to find out if you are under, over, or at a normal weight for your height. Body mass index is a great guide to help you start your fitness journey and understand what your body needs.

Mental health awareness:

A recent study found that around 450 million people currently suffer from a mental disorder with about two-thirds of people never seeking help from a professional. Mental illness is very hard to cope and live with. Here are a couple ways to keep your mental health in check:

  • If you are feeling sad, depressed, anxious, etc, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. This could be a monumental step in the right direction to possibly change your life. Finding a therapist can be daunting but it’s imperative you try to get the help you need. Focus on what some of your root issues are and look for a professional that can cater to you specifically.
  • Work on having some “you” time. This could really be anything, but you have to make sure it’s doing something that you love. Read a book, write about your day, get a massage, cook, go for a run, or even meditate. It is important to remember who we are as people and what we love about our lives. Set aside some time each week to do something just for yourself. You won’t regret it.
  • If you’re a little too nervous to be alone with a therapist, think about joining a therapy group. There are so many different types and it might make you feel a little less alone. Look in your area for local meetings and show up whenever you feel ready. Hearing other people share their stories and struggles might make you feel more comfortable opening up and receiving help.

Get some sleep:

This may sound like old news, but sleep actually has a ton of health benefits. It keeps your heart healthy, prevents various forms of cancer, and reduces stress and depression. Sleeping around 8 hours a night is ideal for any adult, but are you actually getting a good night’s sleep? Here are some ways to incorporate quality sleep into your everyday life.

  • Find a bedtime that works for you and stick with it. If you work a steady job with the same hours, this shouldn’t be too hard. Make it a point to try to be in bed at the same time every night so your body is trained to go to sleep and get the proper amount of hours.
  • Dim or avoid blue light about two hours before you go to bed. Blue light is emitted from smart phones and computers. Exposure to this light at night will decrease your body’s melatonin, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
  • Make your room as comfy as possible for sleep. Street lights and traffic can disrupt your sleep pattern making it harder for to fall asleep and stay asleep. Use darker curtains to block any overnight lights that bother you. Softer lights will also help make your bedroom more relaxed and ready for sleep (Christmas lights, small lamps, etc.)
  • Never go to bed angry, upset, or stressed. Try to ease your mind as much as possible before bed. Taking a hot bath is the perfect way to relax the body. Reading and meditating are two other ways to bring your mind to a better place before you plan to sleep.

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