This post is simple. Five healthy habits to become a healthier you. These are 5 habits that you should try to focus on incorporating into your everyday life. These are:
- Drink enough water
- Get plenty of sleep
- Reduce your stress
- Eat healthy
- Exercise daily
Let’s focus more in depth on each point.
Drink plenty of water
We all know that water is good for you but I don’t think people realize how important it is to drink just the right amount. Too much and you can make yourself poorly. Too little and you’ll suffer the side effects. By drinking enough water you avoid dehydration. Dehydration effects you both physically and mentally. You will feel tired, sluggish, you won’t be able to concentrate properly and you may get headaches.
Drinking plenty of water also helps with general headaches and constipation as well as nausea, sickness bugs, and cold/flu. Being hydrated avoids UTI’s in women, prevents hangovers, helps with weight loss and can even help treat kidney stones.
Drink water as part of your daily necessity but also try to drink more every time you feel hungry or unwell in order to make sure you’re not just thirsty and showing early signs of dehydration. Try to avoid fizzy drinks and choose water over anything else as your main fluid. The recommended daily amount of 8 has been scientifically debunked over the years and is considered a general guideline over a need. Just listen to your body and learn the right amount for you. Don’t forget we also get water from other things we consume in the day so depending on how healthy you eat you might not need as much water as say someone who eats lots of fast food.
Get your beauty sleep
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason guys and girls. Your skin and body repair themselves when you’re in deep sleep. For clearer skin, you need the right amount of sleep. Getting enough sleep reduces stress levels, makes your more alert, decreases your chance of suffering from depression. Research has shown that getting enough sleep can help prevent cancer, memory loss and sleep disorders. Listen up women, sleep effects your hormones and monthly cycle as well. So, if you want things run like clockwork make sure you sleep like clockwork. If not you may find your mental health a struggle. Especially if you already have a hormonal imbalance. Read my blog post about the connection between mental health and hormones here to investigate further.
The recommended daily is between 6 – 8 hours but it’s different for everyone. I feel my best on 7, any less than that and my anxiety is an issue. It’s also important to note that too much sleep can have just as much negative impact on your daily life. People who sleep longer are statistically more likely to meet their grave at an earlier age, women who sleep longer are more likely to struggle to conceive and sleeping more than is needed can even make you gain more weight than if you slept the recommended amount.
Practice stress management
Stress is a tool that is meant to take us out of a situation, similar to that of flight or fight. Stress is what triggers this response. It’s a reaction within us that protects us from something we don’t necessarily deem as safe because our sole purpose in life is to survive. Over the years, this has remained but instead of being stressed over hunting for food and not being eaten, things have changed and we now stress about money, work, and home life as the three main influences but there are many things people stress about.
Now, we know that stress is bad. In the right circumstances it can be very good and can protect you in a life or death situation but on a day to day basis stress can cause high anxiety levels (something I personally experience), depression, brain fog, lowered immune system, irritability, sleep troubles and changes in appetite such as excessive hunger. Practicing stress management techniques is an important habit to maintain your level of stress allowing you to cope in stressful situations and manage the day to day grind without it affecting you quite as much. Techniques can include, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, therapy and various forms of medication and herbal remedies. It’s about finding the best technique for you.
I would highly recommend therapy as a go-to for rough patches and in order to teach your brain how to respond to triggers. Deep breathing is also a very important technique and more of a daily habit as well as exercise and healthy eating (see below). Practice stress management techniques as a healthy daily habit.
Move those feet
Another one that we all know about. Exercise. It’s a term that many of us dread. Some of us don’t work out at all. It’s something I’ve struggled with over the years and still do to this day. At the minute I’m in a pretty good routine, I get up and do my workout without thinking about it because I know it’s good for me. Lack of exercise can be as deadly as smoking. Think muscles wasting away, cardiac issues, excessive fat which can create further issues such as heart disease, gallbladder problems etc. There’s also intestinal issues. This is just the effects on your body. Your mental health takes a big hit when you’re inactive causing high levels of stress, anxiety, depression and a multitude of risks of having other mental health issues including eating disorders.
There are so many risks involved with not moving your feet that the only logic daily habit is to work out every day. Don’t aim for the guideline of 5 times a week. Aim to work out every day for 30 minutes a day at least. That way if one day you just can’t do a workout you have still done 5-6 good workouts that week so a rest day is ok. It’s good to get into a habit of doing it every day, possibly as part of a morning routine to get yourself and your body ready for the day ahead.
Working our controls your weight helps with heart health, reduces your risk of diabetes and some cancers, makes you psychically stronger, improves your mental health and overall mood and best of all, working out regularly increases your chances of living longer. Working out regularly helps your health, body, and mind.
Food is fuel
In simple terms, food is fuel for your body. I have talked about this before quite a bit and it’s the easiest way to frame your mind in order to eat healthily. Food, put simply, is providing your body with the necessary vitamins, fats etc to work at 100% of its capabilities. If you don’t do this then you get negative side effects such as being overweight, tooth decay, high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even some forms of cancer.
By eating healthy and allowing yourself treats once in a while in a healthy manner it means that you regulate your weight, live longer, enhance your mood and have a much healthier body and mind overall. Practice healthy eating habits everyday by swapping your favorite sweet treats for healthier alternatives and reducing your portion sizes.
These healthy habits just are incorporated into your daily life. You may notice many of the side effects and positive effects are similar across all of the habits. That is because they’re what I would consider the baseline for a healthy and mature adult life. They’re a daily requirement for your body and mind to work at 100% allowing you, in turn, to work at 100% of your capabilities.