Looking to lead a more balanced lifestyle? We’ve rounded up a healthy habit guide with the most effective tips to help you build those routines.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle plays a significant role in prolonging life expectancy, according to a 2018 study, while those who don’t are more prone to premature death. While the process of building healthy habits might seem daunting at first, it really all boils down to a few small changes in our day-to-day routines. Here are 8 simple tips to help you navigate the everyday challenges of healthy living.
The body is made up of 60% water, which is why it’s so important to replenish your fluids throughout the day. Your body needs enough water in order to maintain proper functioning as dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, confusion, and low blood pressure. Drinking plenty of water can help to improve your skin, flush your body of toxins, and energise you throughout the day. Begin the day with a glass of water and keep a schedule to ensure you’re getting your day’s worth – experts recommend a daily intake of 6 – 8 glasses.
In a world filled with countless distractions, it can come as no surprise that so many of us end up eating mindlessly, whether it be eating on the go, in front of the television, or at your desk. However, a study from Harvard Health found that multitasking during a meal makes it difficult for us to listen to our body’s hunger cues. This can lead to overeating, weight gain, and indigestion, which is why it’s so important that we afford ourselves the luxury of having mindful, uninterrupted meals. Taking the time to focus on what you’re eating is a healthy habit that will leave you feeling more satisfied and in control of your appetite.
Make Your Own Meals
Though it may seem a daunting task, taking the time to prepare home-cooked meals can reap countless benefits. In order to stay healthy and functioning, your body requires a balanced diet of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Studies have also shown that a nutritious diet can even reduce symptoms of depression. Cooking your own meals means that you have control over exactly what you’re putting in your body and is the best way to ensure that you’re eating freshly prepared, healthy foods.
Cut Down On Sugar
Though it may be tempting to reach for highly processed junk foods, too much sugar only provides short-term energy boosts, which often lead to “crashes” that can leave you groggy and distracted. Instead, swap out sugary snacks for healthy alternatives to ensure that you stay physically healthy and mentally sharp. Avoid sugary drinks, too – a 2006 study also found that cutting your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to greater weight loss than cutting down on other foods.
Cut Down on Screen Time
Nowadays, digital engagement is the norm, offering a seemingly endless stream of communication between you and others. However, studies show that too much screen time can be detrimental to physical and mental health. Cutting down on screen time can help you to destress and unwind, improving mental awareness and leading to better productivity in the long run. Deleting unnecessary apps from your phone can help minimise the distractions you face whenever you unlock your screen, leaving you more room to focus on the more important things in your life. Check out some other ways to detox digitally.
We all know the benefits of getting active – exercise helps your body to release endorphins that give you a feeling of happiness and has been known to alleviate anxiety. Being sedentary, on the other hand, can be detrimental to your mental health. However, it can be difficult to allocate time for physical activity in your busy life. Fortunately, you don’t need to hit the gym to be active. Making small changes and creating one healthy habit at a time, such as choosing to take the stairs rather than the elevator or standing up more, can lead to a big impact on your health. In fact, climbing the stairs burns more calories than jogging! There are also plenty of workout routines that can be done right at home.
While stress is a normal part of life, it is important to learn to manage it. Studies have shown that self-care is essential to maintaining our mental and physical health, helping to alleviate stress, increase productivity and promote feelings of happiness. By taking better care of your own wellbeing, one healthy habit at a time, you can learn to build a healthy relationship with yourself and, in turn, improve your relationships with others. Though most are aware of the importance of self-care, it can often seem like an elusive concept to actualise – but we’ve got you covered. Check out our favourite self-care strategies.
Get Enough Sleep
While going to sleep makes up the last part of your day, it’s certainly not the least important. According to a 2010 study from the University of Chicago, not getting enough sleep can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting. Meanwhile, getting adequate sleep can help you lose fat and control your hunger; it is also vital to our overall health and wellbeing and can lead to improvements in mental health. Developing healthy sleep habits can help refresh and energise you for the day, so make sure you’re getting enough rest – experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day. If you’re feeling restless, try these apps and podcasts to help you fall asleep faster.
Want more guides on productivity and work? Check out our Lifestyle section for plenty of helpful life hacks.