Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to try to change the comfortable patterns we have settled into. There is an old proverb that is helpful in this situation. “The greatest time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second greatest time is today.” Don’t waste another day without perusing our list here and incorporating a few of these salubrious and accessible habits.
It is never too late to get started on your wellness journey or to improve the good things you’ve already got going. Get started with something new today!
1. Get Active Each and Every Day
You absolutely, positively have got to move if you are trying to promote longevity. Not only is movement and physical activity good for your bones, muscles and joints, it also exercises your heart and moves lymph around your body. Exercise is a great cardiovascular strengthener, and it gives your immune system a marvelous boost. This doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or pump iron 7 days a week. Getting active means raising your resting heart rate by a little bit every day – so a brisk walk or some light aerobics is a great way to get started if this is new to you. Even a solo dance party counts as exercise if you break a sweat!
2. Get Enough Water
Drinking water is another one of those daily habits that might seem cumbersome at first, but it won’t be long until you can’t live without it. A good way to begin is to carry a water bottle with you and just start sipping. Aim for at least 64 ounces daily, but don’t cut yourself off if you hit that number. If water isn’t your favorite, try flavoring it with sliced fruit or veggies like cucumbers, melons, berries, or citrus. Herbs like mint and basil are delicious too. On the whole, up your tea intake, and reduce your caffeine. Proper hydration helps with digestion, metabolism, blood flow maintenance and inflammation reduction.
Staying hydrated enough can be easier if you invest in a stainless steel water bottle that you can carry around with you during the day as well. This way you are less likely to forget about drinking enough and when you are thirsty, it is readily available to use. Consider buying some in bulk for everyone in your family.
3. Develop Healthy Sleep Habits
It is unrealistic to expect to get 8 hours of sleep a night, every night, for your entire lifetime. Things happen! Whether it is school or work responsibilities, family obligations, or good old fashioned insomnia, we all go through bouts of sleeplessness.
The trick is to average out with between 6-9 hours overall. Too little sleep can be detrimental to your health, especially long-term. We simply need this time to let our brains recuperate from the rigors of the day. Also, too MUCH sleep can be bad for us. Aim for a happy medium.
If you have trouble sleeping, consider trying to take natural supplements that promote good sleep such as melatonin. Taking supplements that are natural are not only healthy for you, but you are far less likely to worry about other negative side effects associated with taking something extra.
4. Wear a Mask and Practice Good Personal Hygiene
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we all know how communicable illnesses and infectious diseases are spread. We know that breathing, coughing, sneezing and more spray droplets into the air, and if we are sick we will pass our illness along in this manner. Masks are one key factor in stopping the spread of disease, especially Covid-19. (Other tips are to maintain social distancing, regularly wash your hands, and stay home and get tested if you feel ill.) Don’t just settle for any run-of-the-mill mask either. Science is showing us that using an n95 respirator mask is the smart way to go to minimize disease transmission.
5. Don’t Smoke
This is as straightforward as it gets. Smoking is so bad for you across the board. It is bad for your breathing, blood flow and immune system. It is also bad for those around you. There are no redeeming qualities to smoking cigarettes. Just don’t do it.
6. Adopting New Habits
If there is one “pro-tip” to take with you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle, it’s to take these slow and steady. You don’t need to master all this and more overnight and instantly transform into a different person. That is a surefire way to burn out altogether and not incorporate anything moving forward! Moderation is key. If you miss a day or even a week, just try again tomorrow. Do your best, and soon you will have some healthy habits in your toolbox that you can’t live without. You can do it!