So you want to live a healthier life, but you’re not sure where to start. Your old habits are so ingrained into your days that even if you know they’re bad for you (or at least not as healthy as they could be), it’s still hard to make changes. Yet you must make changes if you want to be healthy. What can be done? It could feel as though you’ve painted yourself into a corner, and you can’t see a way out.
There is a solution. The key is to find new habits that you can either add to your day or use to replace bad habits with. Do this bit by bit, taking your time and not rushing into any big changes, and you will find that it’s not as overwhelming as you might have thought at first, and that these healthy changes in your life are easier to implement than you might have realized. By implementing these changes you are sure to achieve good health. To monitor your progress, you can consult a functional medicine lab, as it provides an individualized plan to help you make the most of your nutrition, lifestyle, and supplement regimen. With that in mind, here are some great ways to get started; these simple ideas can quickly become part of your routine.
Drink Water When You Wake Up
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? You might hit the snooze button, you might look at social media, you might read the news, or check your emails. However, the best thing to add to the top of your immediate to-do list each morning is to drink a glass of water.
The great thing about drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up is that it has so many benefits, but this powerful tool to help you get healthier is so simple. It’s even better if you prepare the water the night before and have it ready as soon as you open your eyes.
Our bodies are about sixty percent water, which means we have to keep as hydrated as we can as much of the time as we can to keep everything functioning correctly. If you have been asleep for around eight hours or so, you will be dehydrated when you wake up. Having that first drink as quickly as you can will kickstart your metabolism and ensure that your body and brain start working properly a lot more quickly. You’ll be more alert, have more energy, and you’ll be more easily able to digest your breakfast, helping those nutrients you ingest do their job as well.
On top of this, drinking water in the morning will help your body flush out any toxins, so you can start the day fresh and healthy.
Our bodies need regular exercise to stay fit and healthy, and adding some physical activity to your day is another useful health habit to be aware of. This can be tough to do when you’re busy, as going to the gym takes a lot of time (not to mention expense). However, there are alternatives, so there really should be no excuse.
You could walk or cycle to work, for example, or you could join a fitness class. You could follow online videos – they’re free, and you can exercise whenever you have a spare moment; just ten to fifteen minutes is enough as long as your heart rate increases as you’re moving.
Just why is exercise so good for us? Why does it need to be part of our daily lives? There are a number of different reasons. One is that it will help you to keep your weight in check – it ensures you can more easily lose weight but build lean muscle at the same time. When you are at a healthy weight, there is less strain on your heart and other organs, so they will be healthier, and you’ll stay safer all around. Exercise should help you not only live longer but to live better while you do.
Another reason is your mental health. When you exercise, your body creates endorphins which are released into your bloodstream and head to your brain. These endorphins are natural mood enhancers, and that’s why you’ll often feel so good after a workout. When you exercise regularly, your mental health will improve, and that is only ever a positive thing.
Remember, though, that trying to do too much at once is going to be bad for you. You could get injured, or if you get tired or don’t see results right away, you might become less motivated. It’s best to start slowly and build up over time for these reasons and because your strength and stamina will improve too. If you’re unsure about what to do and what’s safe, always speak to your doctor first.
Change Your Diet
In order to be as healthy as possible, you need to eat a balanced diet full of all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to work in the way it should. Unfortunately, it’s really easy to get into the habit of eating badly, especially when fast food and processed food taste good and when we’re busy, so ordering food to your home or going out to eat seems like a better option than cooking from scratch.
However, if you want to be healthy, a daily habit to get into is cooking your own healthy food and eating much better. You might have to change your whole diet for this to happen, and that’s why things get difficult.
As with everything, the slower you take it, the easier it will become. Start by cutting down on how much you eat out or order in. You don’t have to cut it all out immediately, and in fact, this would probably not work. You would miss it too much and start to crave it, eventually giving in. If you take things slowly, it will be easier, and you’ll have fewer cravings.
When it comes to cooking, you don’t have to make fancy meals that take hours to prepare. You can create some very simple dishes that only have a few ingredients (making them a lot cheaper than eating out anyway) and that take less than thirty minutes to make. Search online, and you’ll see plenty of examples. You can start making these kinds of recipes if you’re not used to cooking from scratch, don’t have much time, or are on a tight budget, this is ideal.
You can also investigate more about batch cooking. This means that you cook a lot of food – more than you need – when you have the time to do so. You then freeze or otherwise store the leftover food so that when you have less time, or you’re tired, for example, you simply have to thaw your food and reheat it. Some people take one day each month to do this and cook enough food to keep themselves and their families fed for weeks at a time.
Once you notice how much healthier your body feels, how much more active you are, and how much money you’re saving, you’ll soon see why this is a good idea for so many reasons and why it’s an easy daily habit to get started with. You might even find you enjoy cooking, making it even better.
It’s common for people to experience stress in their lives, and if you feel stressed from time to time, this is perfectly normal (even if it isn’t very much fun). However, if you are constantly stressed, this is something you’ll need to deal with because it can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, and mental health issues, among other things.
Therefore, a great habit to get into for your health and wellbeing is to destress when you can. There are so many different ways to do this that it should be a simple thing for anyone to do.
Begin by thinking about the things that are worrying you and take steps to deal with them. Perhaps you keep meaning to organize dental implant insurance; now’s the time to do it. Maybe your job is causing you stress; look for another or speak to your boss. Could it be finances? What would solve the issue?
Once you have dealt with these things, try to get into a destressing routine. This might be taking a warm bath with essential oils, it could be going for a walk, or exercising. Read a book, listen to music, chat with friends, watch TV… the list goes on.
If you always feel tired and as though you could take a nap, it’s likely you’re not sleeping enough. Most adults need around eight hours of sleep a night (sometimes more and sometimes less, but this is the average amount). If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be at best, groggy and irritated, and at worst, you’ll be dangerous to yourself and those around you, especially if you are driving or have to operate heavy machinery.
Getting into the habit of sleeping more isn’t too difficult. It begins with rearranging your evening routine to ensure you get to bed at the right time. To work out when the right time is, work backwards from when you know you have to wake up and determine when you have to go to bed to achieve around eight hours of sleep.
You also need to make your bedroom conducive to a good night’s sleep. It should be completely dark and without any screens in it. It also needs to be as quiet as possible (although some people find white noise helps them sleep), and it shouldn’t be too warm, even in winter. Plan your bedroom and change things around to ensure it’s optimum for the best sleep.
If you still have trouble sleeping, it’s wise to speak to your doctor, as they can assess you and work out if there are any underlying medical conditions that might be leading to insomnia.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.