At some point in our lives, we all crave healthy habits that will lead us to a blissful and stress-free life. Realizing this is not so difficult. What is a real issue here is creating healthy habits and sticking with them? First of all, a perfect life is a healthy life. And to lead a healthy life, we must induce some healthy habits. These habits are concerned with all the essential aspects of our lives – our diet, sleep, water intake, physical exercise and stress level. When we introduce these habits into our lifestyles, the key is to stick with them. This is the most difficult part of the whole process.
1. Introducing healthy habits
It isn’t easy creating healthy habits. The first step towards a healthier and more content life is recognizing which existing aspects of our lifestyles need change. The second step is doing our best to introduce these modifications.
Since up to 60% of our body is water, it is clear why the liquid intake is quintessential for a healthy diet. Being hydrated at all times keeps the necessary level of water in our body and it makes our skin glow. What is the proper amount of water we should drink on a daily basis? Scientists agree that the ideal amount of liquid we should take in is about 2 liters per day. The choice of liquid is important. We should definitely avoid unhealthy drinks such as fizzy drinks, which are packed with sugar and other unhealthy substances. Instead, we should stick to fresh water, fresh fruit juices, home-made soups and herbal tea. The lack of liquid is usually seen in headaches, constipation and joint pain. If you can’t remember to drink enough water, nowadays there are plenty of apps that will do the job for you!
When thinking of where to start with some healthy changes, most people think of their diets. People are aware that consuming junk food isn’t healthy, but they still do it because of the lack of time, too much stress or not enough will. In order for our body to be healthy, we need to take in enough vitamins and minerals through fresh fruit and veggies, fiber through whole grains, lean proteins from beef and fish. Sometimes the food itself isn’t enough so we have to add food supplements as an addition to our diets. For example, adding slow-digesting casein protein to your diet provides your body with all the amino acids it needs as well as it reduces muscle breakdown while sleeping. Besides what we choose to eat, a healthy habit is also influenced by when we eat.
Taking care of our shape via some physical exercises should be on top of our lists. Walking at least for half an hour every day can bring about positive effects. Any kind of physical exercise is better than no physical exercise at all. Today’s modern and busy lifestyles dictate that we lead our lives by spending much time in front of the computer, as a work requirement. That’s why it’s necessary to introduce some kind of physical activity into our daily routines. It will reflect in positive mood changes and general state of mind. Choose an activity that you like and you won’t consider this as a burden but as something you enjoy doing. When setting your time limit, start from small goals and build up the time and difficulty along the way.
Besides our physical health, our mental health is important too. When our body is healthy so is our mind and vice versa. The hectic lifestyle we lead can easily become burdensome at some point and that can affect our mental well-being in a negative manner. That’s why we need to find a way to cope with it. A good way to deal with everyday stress is to indulge in meditation. Take a few classes or find a suitable online tutorial and learn how to calm yourself through some breathing techniques. It does miracles! It will make you mentally stronger and resilient. Meditation not only reduces stress but it also helps you focus and it boosts your memory. How to make it a habit? Choose a time of the day that works perfectly for you, find a quiet place, and voila – you can start practice meditation at the same time and the same place every day.
Our skin, being the largest organ of the human body requires special treatment, which we usually fail to see. We are not careful enough about the products we apply to our skin. You should try switching to natural cosmetics, which will have the same effects as any other cosmetics but without the negative and perhaps poisonous substances hidden in them. These products are all-natural solutions for skincare. The range of totally organic products is quite wide nowadays so you can easily find all-natural make up such as foundations, mascaras, lip liners and lipsticks and other beauty products such as body lotions, hand cream and hair products.
Our bodies need from seven to eight hours of sound sleep every night to recharge and to be able to function normally the next day. If we lack sleep, we tend to be in a bad mood, nervous and anxious, impatient, slow and unproductive. Generally, if we don’t sleep enough we are unable to function properly. Our brain function and emotional well-being highly depend on getting enough sleep. Physical conditions connected to sleep deficiency include high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney diseases and others. It’s also important when you sleep. The earlier you go to bed, the earlier you’ll get up and be able to seize the day.
2. Sticking to healthy habits
Now that you have done the first few steps of recognizing the changes you need to introduce, you need to make them your regular, everyday habit that you stick to no matter what. This is usually more difficult than the first step, and that’s why you need to make an extra effort and try to persist.
Visualize your goals
Getting healthy starts in our head even if we don’t realize it. Before taking actual action, we think about the changes we need to make, the effects we will achieve and the best ways to introduce these healthy habits to our lifestyle. When you have all of this figured out, you’ll be ready to take the next step and to actually implement these behaviors into your daily routines.
The thing is to introduce small changes to some aspects of our lives and to consider the long-term advantages they will bring eventually. It is essential to make these long-term goals achievable. Build up a routine that you can stick to easily, with all your daily obligations. In this way, you will still achieve your goals by making these healthy changes feel like a lifestyle and not like something you hate but must do.
Take small steps
As we learned from a popular fable, a slow and steady wins the race. Remember that nothing worthwhile can come quickly and effortlessly in real life. It is the same here. Only small and gradual steps will lead you to your desired goal. For example, if you’re trying to increase the physical activity you do every day, start by walking for 10 minutes every day. If you want to eat healthier food, start by adding one fresh veggie to your lunch. It may sound easy, but that is actually the key. Over time you will slowly increase the efforts and it won’t seem like it has been too hard for you to develop this healthy habit.
It is important to segment the goal you’re trying to reach into steps. In that way, by completing step by step you’ll build your way to the goal you aim to accomplish. Consider these as the building blocks for your ultimate goal. For example, your goal is to go to the gym for 1 hour, 5 times a week. Start by choosing an adequate gym, joining the gym, working out for 10 minutes once a week, working out for 15 minutes twice a week and slowly build up the time until you reach your goal.
Problems along the way
Everybody faces a time when their motivation levels are low. And that’s perfectly normal. You need to develop some strategies and techniques to cope with these times. You can do this by posting reminders, creating back up plans and seeking support from friends and family. Eventually, motivation will return once you notice the benefits of the changes you’ve made and stuck to.
It is always easier when we have a friend, partner or a family member we report to. But eventually, we must learn how to be accountable to ourselves. You can achieve this by keeping the track of your progress, identifying what was the cause of your problems and how you managed to solve them.
By identifying the changes you need to make in order to lead a healthier life and by following these strategies which make healthy habits stick, you’re on the right track of becoming a healthy and happy person. True success lies in the fact that this new lifestyle becomes the choice you gladly embrace.
Fiona Adams is a freelance lifestyle writer inspired by traveling and colorful world around her. Different cultures, people and food make her want to stay on the road forever.