9 Healthy Habits To Improve Your Health And Wellbeing
It’s important to focus on your health and wellbeing no matter what time of year it is; sometimes though, positive healthy habits can go out the window when things get a bit hectic during busy celebration periods!
Being too busy is not an excuse for bad habits though — in fact, it’s during these times that it can be even more important to make a conscious effort to have healthy habits in place and to know how to be healthy, in order to help you feel your best.
What are healthy habits?
Healthy habits are recurring, sometimes unconscious behaviours that benefit your physical, mental or emotional health and wellbeing.
It’s important to note that every person is different and we are each working from our own unique reference point — what might be considered an ‘unhealthy’ habit for one person might be a ‘healthier’ habit to somebody else. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to try to develop healthy habits that will suit you and your lifestyle.
How to be healthy
Try to be patient — incorporate some of these simple healthy habits into your daily routine and you can improve your health and wellbeing, one step at a time.
Remember these tips and they can help you to stick to your healthy habits:
- Focus on committing to one new habit at a time and take little steps.
- Plan ahead — each morning, think about how you will achieve this habit at least once during your day.
- Avoid negative triggers, where possible.
By slowly working towards positive healthy habits, this can make them easier to stick to in the long run. As one habit becomes second nature to you, perhaps choose another one to incorporate into your life. Also, remember that like any new habit, it will take time!
1. Drink more water
One of the easiest healthy habits that you can have is to drink water, regularly. Your body needs water for everything — it helps you to fight off illness and helps to regulate your body temperature. If you don’t drink enough of it, your body may not be able to work to the best of its ability. Even mild dehydration can have a negative impact on how well your body and mind performs, which is why it’s so important to stay hydrated.
How can you make sure you drink more water? Try to have a glass of water before every meal and make sure you carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. If you struggle with your water consumption, be sure to check out our tips on how to stay hydrated if you hate water.
2. Practice healthy eating habits
This doesn’t mean having to eat only vegetables all day every day! As we’ve mentioned, healthy habits, including healthy eating habits, begin by making minor changes to your routine. You don’t need to overhaul your entire diet and change your lifestyle completely but do try to incorporate small, manageable changes each day.
Start small by trying to add extra vegetables into at least one meal a day, even if it’s only a small serve. For example, include some baby spinach in your morning smoothie or add an extra vegetable to your dinner meal, such as capsicum in a healthy roasted vegetable pizza.
3. Make healthy food swaps
Sometimes, it’s the little things that count — and when it comes to making healthy habits stick, in the long run even tiny changes can make a big difference to how you feel.
Try choosing complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads, rice, pastas and cereals instead of simple carbohydrates, such as white rice and white bread. Complex carbohydrates are high fibre foods, so they can benefit your gut health, and because they are low-GI and tend to have undergone less processing, they can keep you fuller for longer and often contain more nutrients.
4. Cook more meals at home
This can benefit your health, as well as your savings! Eating out regularly can be a costly activity — and dining out a lot can have a negative impact on your health in the long-term because of any added ingredients or extra oils that chefs may cook with to enhance the taste of their meals.
Now if you love dining out, it probably isn’t a reasonable option for you to cut it out completely. However, you can cut back at least a little each week. Perhaps you might choose to stick to a meal plan for your weekly lunches, or cook from home one extra night a week. By making this an enjoyable activity with a loved one or friend, you can help this to become a positive healthy habit that you maintain.
5. Develop healthy sleep habits
Having a restful sleep allows your body to repair and restore itself, which can help to provide you with the energy to get through your day with ease. In the long term, consistently poor sleeping habits can lead to a range of chronic diseases and health concerns — that’s why creating healthy sleep habits is so important for your health, both physical and mental!
Most adults require around 7-9 hours of sleep each night, so this should be your goal. Work towards this by adding some healthy habits to help you sleep better into your routine. Choose one calming bed routine that will help you to settle down and better prepare you for a restful night of sleep.
Some examples might be reading a book for 15 minutes before you go to bed, following a guided meditation, making yourself a herbal tea, or even just going to bed 20 minutes earlier than your usual time. Like we’ve already mentioned, starting small can make it easier to commit to routines changes.
6. Exercise regularly
Exercise can have a range of benefits on your physical, as well as mental, health. However, beginning an exercise routine isn’t always easy, especially if you haven’t worked out for some time.
Start out slowly — for example, by trying to squeeze a short workout in a couple of times a week. You can then build up the number of workouts you do over time, to help you make working out part of your regular routine.
Choose a time of day that you know will suit you and each day, schedule a workout in like an appointment. By starting small, it may seem less daunting to do, which can make you more likely to do it.
For example, set aside fifteen minutes each day to do a brisk walk around the block. Once you’ve done that successfully for a week or so, you might like to extend your time to walk for longer, or you might like to increase the intensity of the workout by incorporating short bursts of running into your daily walk.
Alternatively, you can try out alternative forms of exercise during this time block, to help you discover which training style is right for you. The main thing is to stick to at least some form of activity, every day.
7. Stay active
While it’s really important to try and have a regular fitness routine, when it comes to healthy habits it’s also just as important to try and be active throughout the day. Each day, try to move your body a little more. Commit to one thing per day that requires a little more activity than usual and then build it up over time.
If you work in an office, healthy habits might include getting up from your desk every hour to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water or to stretch. It could be parking your car a little further away than usual, walking outside on your lunch break or taking the stairs — every little thing counts. A fitness tracker can be a really useful tool to help yourself set goals and monitor your activity levels each day.
8. Try something new
Another way to build healthy habits is by pushing yourself a little out of your comfort zone. Just as progression is important for your workouts, personal growth can occur through trying new things. Trying new things can help you to open the door to a range of positive feelings, such as increased self-confidence and gaining new skills.
Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do? Maybe it’s learning a different language, trying out a new sport or workout, or going to an art class — there’s nothing to lose from putting yourself out there.
9. Do one thing for yourself every day
Developing healthy habits can also come in the form of daily activities and behaviours. Trying to be more present in the moment by engaging in mindful activities is believed to have a range of positive benefits on your mental health.
Whether you choose to run around the park with your pet, dance in your kitchen, listen to a funny podcast, or sing in your car at the top of your lungs — each day, choose one thing that allows you to be present in the moment, helps you to let loose and release any inhibitions.
Tips for successfully creating healthy habits
Remember not to be too hard on yourself when you are trying to create healthy habits in your life. It’s only natural for you to fall back into old habits every now and then. If this happens, just remind yourself why you’re trying to create these healthy habits for yourself and keep trying. The more you try, the easier a healthy lifestyle will become!
What are some healthy habits you have found beneficial? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.