Creating a healthier life for yourself takes intention and focus. It may seem obvious to focus on exercise and diet, but areas like sleep, mindfulness and recovery are just as important to overall health. Take the time to make the following healthy changes daily habits in your life and get on your way to a healthier you.
1. Think About Nutrition
Developing healthy eating habits can help you feel so much better as you go through your day. Think about food as fuel for your body and make food choices based on the nutrients that makeup your foods. When you think about food this way, it’s easier to develop healthier eating habits. Planning out meals in advance and prepping food on the weekend can also offer a huge advantage when trying to make healthy eating choices.
Having an understanding of what macronutrients makeup your foods will also help you make decisions that are right for your body. Think about protein when you’re preparing meals for yourself. Those exercising regularly and looking to build strength should be eating approximately one gram of protein per pound of body weight. It can be hard to meet this goal, so try adding in high impact whey protein shakes or snacks that offer extra protein. After considering protein, find a good ratio of fats and carbohydrates that works well for your body and your routine.
2. Exercise daily
Exercise goes hand in hand with nutrition. Even if you regularly engage in some type of exercise, you should still be active throughout your day. Get up from your desk and move around every hour or go for a walk at lunch.
Incorporating fitness and movements into your whole day will give you more energy overall and put you in a better mood.
3. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule
Good sleep habits are so beneficial to overall health. Getting enough sleep, at least seven or eight hours, is really important and so is sleeping constantly. Having a regular and unvaried sleep and wake time promotes healthy and quality sleep. When you sleep, your body moves through sleep cycles and you want to get as much restorative sleep as you can. Drinking alcohol, drinking caffeine late and eating large meals near bedtime can also take away from getting restorative sleep. Investing in a sleep tracker can help you see the quality of your sleep and make adjustments to your habits.
4. Stay Hydrated
No one says it enough! Drink a lot of water. There are all sorts of different benefits to drinking water. Drinking water impacts energy levels, brain function and helps fuel physical performance. Water is needed for cells to function correctly and to help digest food. The amount of water you need can vary based on how much you sweat and what sort of climate you live in. For most people, between 90-125 ounces a day is a good goal. If that seems like a lot of water, try a water reminder app to get alerts and reminders when it’s time to take a drink and to track your daily intake.
5. Stretch and Recover
Every day, take the times to stretch your muscles and show your body some love. Doing a few minutes of yoga is great for flexibility, muscle recovery and to practice mindfulness in your breathing. Even if you can’t take a timeout for yoga, taking a moment to stretch will help prevent injury and muscle stiffness the next day. Stretch post workout or after a hot shower, when your muscles are still warm.
6. Show Gratitude
Use a gratitude journal. You don’t need a special journal to practice gratitude, although you can use one. Any notebook will do, as long as you take a moment, either before you go to bed each night or when you wake up in the morning, to write down one thing you’re thankful for. Practicing gratitude is scientifically proven to have positive benefits. A gratitude journal can lower stress levels, help you feel calm and give your life perspective.