Your health doesn’t happen by accident. For the best results, you have to put in effort to improve your overall well-being on all levels of your body, mind, and spirit. You don’t have to change everything about your lifestyle at once, though; here are ten tips that can help you slowly but surely enjoy better health through healthier habits.
1. Drink Water
Drinks such as coffee, soda and alcohol are full of empty calories. Instead, drink water to stay hydrated and improve your health. Water also keeps you feeling fuller longer than sugary drinks, making it easier to stick to your diet. If plain water isn’t appealing, try adding slices of citrus fruit or cucumber for flavor. You can even infuse your water with fresh mint or basil leaves for an extra kick! For maximum benefits, make sure you drink enough water every day. Health experts recommend that men consume around 3 liters (or 13 cups) of total beverages each day and women should aim for 2.2 liters (or 9 cups).
2. Eat more Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods that fill you up without filling you out. Fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that boost your health. Try to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. It’s easy to do if you include them in meals, snacks, or even dessert! If it’s hard to fit them into your diet in large quantities at once, try eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day. This way, you’ll be sure to get enough nutrition with less calories.
3. Listen to Your Body
Just because you’re tired or stressed out doesn’t mean your body actually needs food. The next time you have a craving, step back and ask yourself: Am I hungry? Or am I just bored/lonely/stressed out? If it’s hunger, eat something healthy! If it’s not hunger, try one of these other tips to help get you through. In fact, sometimes getting active can be all you need to feel better. So go ahead—take a walk outside instead of sitting on that couch watching TV. You might find that after an hour or two, those feelings are gone and you don’t even want to snack anymore! (If they do come back though, we have some great ideas below.)
4. Workout Regularly
It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do. As long as you get your heart rate up on a regular basis, it will help improve your overall health. If you don’t have time to go to a gym or if you can’t afford a personal trainer, check out YouTube videos that demonstrate how to perform exercises correctly. There are also plenty of apps available that offer workout routines and diet plans for free. If you feel like getting fit is going to be too expensive or time-consuming, think again! You can save money by doing small things like walking instead of taking public transportation and parking farther away from stores so that you have to walk more. Exercise doesn’t need to be complicated—it just needs to happen regularly!
5. Keep Up with Exercise Routine
If you’re trying to maintain good health, you can’t skip out on your exercise routine. Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your body in shape and healthy, so it’s important that you make time for it each day. You don’t have to spend hours at a gym; just get outside and walk around every day or do some simple stretches while watching TV. Just do something! Remember: It doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming—just stick with it!
6. Participate in Yoga
To create an exercise plan that works with your schedule, it’s good to try out different activities until you find something you like. For example, if you haven’t participated in yoga before, take a class and see how it goes. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t feel bad about switching up your routine—you just need to do what makes sense for you. And remember: It doesn’t matter which activity you choose; what matters is that you’re active every day!
7. Stay Away from Bad Habits
Eliminate bad habits, like drinking or smoking, to get your body in better condition. Bad habits can have an especially strong hold on you if they are related to a stressful event in your life. If you’re feeling stressed out and need some relief, try exercising more often or taking up a new hobby. You’ll be less likely to turn to bad habits when you feel good about yourself and your life.
8. Maintain a Good Mood
Keeping a positive outlook helps lower stress and improves your ability to deal with life’s challenges. Focus on things you enjoy, and surround yourself with loved ones who also have positive outlooks. These can be simple ways to keep depression at bay! For example, do something nice for someone else every day (even if it’s just bringing them coffee or giving them a ride). It may seem like nothing, but studies show that people who do kind acts regularly are happier than those who don’t.
9. Practice Deep Breathing Techniques
Focus on your breathing and make sure to take slow, deep breaths. Breathing helps control stress by lowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety, both of which can prevent heart attacks and strokes. In addition, proper breathing techniques can help you sleep better at night. A study published in Chest found that people who practiced proper breathing techniques had better lung capacity than those who didn’t—and that could help them sleep longer. It’s also important to remember that rapid or shallow breathing is often a sign of panic or fear, so try not to let yourself get worked up if you’re feeling anxious about something. Instead, focus on taking long, slow breaths and calm down before things get out of hand.
10. Eat Smaller Meals More Often
Smaller meals spaced out over an entire day can have numerous health benefits, including increased fat burning and better insulin control. Experiment with intermittent fasting if you find yourself struggling to lose weight or maintain it. Intermittent fasting is simply restricting your eating to a certain time period during each day (e.g., only eating between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m.). The key is sticking to that small window of time during which you eat—and not overeating outside of that specific timeframe. You’ll likely be surprised by how easy it is to fast when eating at home, but once you start dining out things get tricky! You may want to try skipping breakfast or limiting your lunchtime calories until dinner—when most restaurants are less busy and easier on your wallet than they are in the evenings (and easier on your waistline).