When it comes to living well, certain healthy habits to adopt are essential to achieving your best level of health. As a nutrition student, I decided to study all arenas of health and learn about different avenues for health than just food alone. What I learned was food is not what makes us healthy, though it is an important part. I studied multiple books, cultures and arenas of health, and one of my favorite books was the book by Integrative Nutrition. Integrative Nutrition is a holistic nutrition school in New York City. Even if you’re not into nutrition, I strongly recommend the book, as it was essential to me learning about all areas of health in my life. You can find a purchase link in the sources below if you're interested. After learning healthy habits to adopt into my own life, I can say I found a well-rounded balance to achieve ultimate overall wellness.
One of the most important healthy habits to adopt for a better quality of life is honesty. Honesty will give you internal peace that keeps you healthy in more ways than one. When you’re honest with yourself and others, you free yourself from the stress of dismaying and deceiving. Being an honest person can also enhance how well you sleep and eat since it affects your stress levels, and we all know sleep is a healthy habit must!
2. Meditation or Spirituality
Each of us has part us inside that can benefit from some type of meditative time or spiritual practice. I won’t dive into religion as that isn’t what I’m referring to. I’m referring to the deeper part of yourself that can be tied to religion if you choose, but also to the part of you that needs quiet time, time to reflect and time to meditate on your dreams, thoughts, morals, convictions, hopes, plans and feelings. Take 20 minutes each day to dedicate to this area. You’ll sleep better and feel less stressed throughout all areas of your life
3. Being Aware at Meal Time
So many people eat in their cars, while they are on their computers, on the phone, or watching television in today’s fast-paced world. Yet, taking time to be aware of your food at meal times can not only help you connect with your food, but also help you become more in tune to your own hunger and nutritional needs. One of my favorite ways to do this is to eat outside in the summer under a shade tree or on a picnic table outside at work. I love being in nature and just enjoying that I’m being provided healthy food to eat. In winter, I like to eat in front of a fire place with just the quiet as my company, or just by the window in the mornings when the sunlight beams in. This also allows you to digest food better since your digestion works better with less external stress and distraction.
4. Eat Plenty of Produce
One of the most important healthy habits to adopt that we all know about is to eat plenty of produce. Fruits and veggies should make up the largest portion of your meals. They are filled with nutrients and antioxidants that cleanse your body, feed it and supply it with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals not found elsewhere. They also help to prevent obesity and disease in a healthy, well-rounded diet.
5. Drink More Water
Your body is essentially made of more water than anything else. You must keep it hydrated to keep it working well. Consume water through plain water, or add some lemon if you need flavor. You can also hydrate by eating water rich fruits and vegetables, drinking herbal tea or flavored waters made with fruits like berries, lemons and limes. Water cleanses your cells and your digestive tract, hydrates your organs, keeps your fluids and electrolytes at the right levels, takes care of your kidneys and intestines, and keeps you from overeating.
6. Social Engagements
A happy life is essential to being healthy and having a social life is a big part of that. You need to be social with others, even if it is only a few times a week. I’m a homebody, I’ll admit, but I do love getting out and being social. I love meeting other people and connecting with others, even though I need my down time. Social media is not the same either, if you’re wondering! Having a group of friends is essential to your well being and a very important mechanism to combat stress and depression.
7. Aerobic Exercise
You didn’t think I’d forget exercise here, did you? Exercise is a must for living a healthy life! I am not asking you to run 2 miles a day, but any type of aerobic exercise will do. Think brisk walking, fast paced yoga, dancing, jumping on a trampoline or rebounder, or just doing housework or gardening; any type of aerobic exercise is important to living well. It works your heart and strengthens it, along with enhancing your respiratory system, joints, bones and overall energy levels. Weight training is also important for women, so try to incorporate both at least three times a week each.
I love learning about health and sharing my passion with others, but I also love hearing from others! What are the essential habits you use to lead a healthy life?