Starting healthy habits can be hard, especially if you’re already living a busy life and dealing with lots of responsibilities. But starting small can help make things easier, especially if you focus on making your new routine something that doesn’t take much time or effort at all. This article takes you through the simple healthy habits to start today for a healthy and happy life. These habits may seem easy, but they can have big benefits in the long run.
Healthy Habits to Start Today
1. Get regular exercise
Regular physical activity is an essential part of a healthy and happy life. Research shows that staying physically active can promote physical and mental health and help you live longer.
Exercise promotes happiness by decreasing feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. It also increases brain sensitivity to norepinephrine and serotonin, the two hormones that ease feelings of depression.
Additionally, when you exercise, you increase the production of endorphins, chemicals that trigger positive feelings in the body.
In a review of 19 studies, researchers found that withdrawing from regular exercise even for a few weeks resulted in poor mental health, including increased symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Examples of physical exercises include swimming, walking, jogging, running, or strength training. Your activity of choice doesn’t really matter; as long as you’re doing it regularly, you should experience the benefits. 8 Life-Changing Benefits Of Exercise
2. Eat nourishing foods
More than anything else, what you eat plays a significant role in influencing your health and happiness. Someone once said, “Exercise cannot outdo a bad diet,” and that’s very true!
It doesn’t matter whether you are following everything else on this list; if your diet is highly processed and full of sugar and other additives, it will only harm your health. Vegan Brain Booster Foods
Food is energy; it supplies the cells and dictates what the cells need to do. A healthy diet will dictate health and nourishment, while a bad one will dictate inflammation, oxidative stress, cell damage, and disease formation.
To stay healthy and happy, begin by making a change in what you eat. How To Transition To A Plant-Based Diet?
3. Sleep 7-8 hours a night
While sleep provides external and physical rest to the body, internally, this is the moment different processes that keep you healthy and happy come to play.
For instance, sleep improves immune function and promotes cellular repair. This helps the body fight infection and facilitates proper cell functions. This means a lack of sleep will lower your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections.
A lack of sleep can make you short-tempered, irritable, and prone to stress and depression, but the opposite is true. Getting enough sleep can increase your happiness and wellbeing in different ways, including sharpening your attention, improving mental clarity, increasing performance, and helping you address issues effectively. How To Sleep Better?
4. Avoid social media anxiety
Social media has made it easy to stay connected with family and friends from any part of the world. However, it has also increased the risk of depression, loneliness, self-harm, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
Social media may affect your health and well being by promoting negativity in different ways, such as
- Creating the fear of missing out, making you think others live a fun and better life than you.
- Making you feel inadequate about your appearance or life in general
- Increasing feelings of loneliness, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania
- Cyberbullying, especially for teens. This may result in long-term emotional pain.
- A series of thoughts and selfies shared on social media may cause one to be self-absorbed by creating an unhealthy self-centered nature that distances one from real-life connections.
If you have to be on social media, make sure you understand who you are as an individual to avoid being swayed by online pressure. Limiting your social media exposure may also improve your mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether you are prone to social media pressure or not. Should I take Ashwagandha?
5. Do something meaningful each day
Engaging in something you enjoy every day, or at least most days of the week can help you focus your energy on the things that matter. As a result, it will make you feel fulfilled, accomplished, and happy.
6. Practice journaling
Journaling refers to the act of writing down your thoughts, emotions, and feelings to understand them more.
It’s also the best way to deal with overwhelming emotions so you can express yourself better.
Journaling is an excellent tool for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. It also provides an opportunity to do positive self-talk, identify damaging behaviors and thoughts, prioritizes problems and concerns, and track your symptoms, triggers, and how you can deal with them.
7. Manage your stress
Stress is a killer. It can compromise your health in different ways, such as
- Lowering your immune system
- Causing insomnia
- Inducing high blood pressure
- Causing heartburn
- Digestive problems like nausea and abdominal pain, among others
- Hormonal imbalance
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increasing your risk of heart attacks
- Increasing the production of stomach acid leading to heartburn
- Rapid breathing
- Triggering and intensifying tension headaches
- Increased risk of depression
- Spend some time in nature
Research shows that anxious and stressed men have up to 3 times more risk of premature death than those who are more relaxed and composed.
Similarly, stressed and anxious women are twice as likely to die from lung cancer, stroke, and heart attack than their less-stressed counterparts. How To Reverse Adrenal Fatigue
8. Practice gratitude
Saying “thank you” may seem like a small gesture, but it can tremendously improve your health and happiness.
It has been shown to boost the immune system, improve mental health, promote better relationships, and increase optimism.
Easy ways to practice gratitude include writing a thank you note to someone, keeping a gratitude journal, thanking someone mentally, taking time each week to reflect on your blessings (in this case, you can say a prayer of gratitude).
9. Drink enough water
Drinking enough water throughout the day is another simple habit with numerous health benefits. Water is essential for life. If you don’t drink enough of it, you can experience serious health issues.
Here are just some of the many benefits drinking water has on your health: It helps flush out waste from kidneys and intestines, which helps prevent constipation; It helps keep bones strong by increasing calcium absorption; It boosts metabolism by helping burn fat faster; It regulates body temperature, so you stay cool in summer and warm in winter, and it makes you feel full so you eat less throughout the day.
Plus, if you drink enough water, you’ll consume fewer calories than through sugary drinks, which can lead to weight gain. At about eight glasses a day for women and 13 for men, it’s easy to make sure your body is getting its hydration.
Staying hydrated is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for people trying to lose weight. When you’re dehydrated, your body is more likely to retain water, and when that happens, it becomes harder to burn calories.
Drinking plenty of water throughout your day also helps you eat less—especially if you want a way to stave off hunger pangs between meals. Try filling up your water bottle before heading out for a walk or reaching for one as soon as you sit down at your desk.
10. Take the stairs
When you take stairs instead of an elevator, you’re doing more than burning calories and boosting your metabolism—you’re also reducing stress on your body, including your knees and back. That makes going up a flight of stairs one of the best ways to fight fat—and one that doesn’t require any exercise! Consider incorporating two to three minutes of stair-climbing break into your day for a quick dose of exercise.
11. Keep a food journal
Keeping a food journal is a simple and effective way to ensure you’re on track with your diet and exercise goals. When you write down what you eat, you become more aware of your eating habits—and that helps eliminate mindless snacking or overeating. It also makes it easier to identify unhealthy eating patterns (like falling into a routine of drinking sugary sodas in front of a TV at night) so that you can make healthier choices in the future.
12. Find a support system
Find someone who shares your health goals. This way, you’ll hold yourself accountable for your daily habits. A partner can also help you push your limits and try new things outside of your comfort zone!
If finding a physical partner isn’t an option, there are many online support groups with people trying to live a healthier lifestyle or have similar interests in health/fitness/nutrition and join them on their journey.
Social support is key when it comes to sticking with your long-term goals. Studies show that having a network of people you can turn to when you need encouragement helps you to be more successful at achieving your health-related goals.
13. Set realistic goals
Many people set goals that are too aggressive and end up feeling stressed out. When you start to feel like nothing is going right, it’s easy to lose motivation or give up on your goal entirely. If you don’t want your goal to lead to stress, be realistic with yourself about how long it might take you to reach your final destination.
14. Keep a positive mindset
It’s easier to keep a positive attitude when you feel good about your body. But even when you fall behind your goals, try to maintain a positive attitude. Take time each day to focus on what’s going right in your life and take pleasure in little things.
Staying positive isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it! When negative thoughts start creeping in, stop them immediately. If necessary, write down these self-defeating thoughts so that you can tackle them later with a more positive mindset. Instead of telling yourself I can’t do that, try telling yourself I don’t know if I can do that yet; I haven’t tried.
Or instead of thinking There’s no way I can lose weight before my vacation, remind yourself that you have four weeks to get there. Just by changing your language from negative to positive, you can alter your entire perspective—and make it much easier for others around you to be supportive as well.
How to stay motivated when starting a healthy lifestyle
One of the biggest challenges when trying to start a healthy lifestyle is staying motivated. It can be difficult to stick to a diet or exercise plan when things are going well, but it can be even harder when things are tough.
There are many ways to stay motivated when starting a healthy lifestyle. One way is to set small goals. For example, instead of trying to lose 20 pounds in one month, make it a goal to lose 5 pounds each week. This will help you feel more successful and less overwhelmed.
Another way to stay motivated is to focus on the long term. Rather than focusing on your current situation or where you’ve failed, focus on the level of health you want to experience in the future. This will help you stay motivated and see the bigger picture.
Finally, it is important to have support from friends and family when trying to change your lifestyle. They can be a great source of encouragement and support.
Being healthy and happy is a desire for most people, if not all. But to achieve such goals, one must be intentional about what they eat and how they live their lives in general.
A few things you can do to stay true to your journey of health and happiness include engaging in regular exercise, eating healthily, practicing gratitude, managing stress, overcoming social media pressure, engaging in the activities you enjoy, journaling, and getting adequate sleep.
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