Posted on May 22, 2023, 12 p.m.
Living a healthy lifestyle is important for your overall well-being, but you don't have to overhaul your life to make healthy changes. If you focus on developing one healthy habit at a time, the changes will be more sustainable. Consider starting with these five habits to see how they improve your health.
1. Drink More Water
Our bodies are mostly comprised of water, so staying properly hydrated is vital for feeling our best. However, one study found that 75% of American adults are chronically dehydrated. Most doctors recommend drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, so if you aren't drinking enough, try to slowly increase your intake until it becomes a habit. If you don't like the taste of water, try using flavoring packets a few times a day to keep up with variety and keep yourself from getting bored.
2. Go for a Daily Walk
Regular exercise is crucial for good health, but you don't have to visit the gym every day or get in a high-intensity cardio workout to reap the benefits. If you move your body a little each day, you can easily increase your physical activity even when you have a busy schedule. Little habits such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from the store can drastically increase your step count. Going for a 20-minute walk each day is another great way to get in some quick exercise while enjoying the fresh air.
3. Eat More Whole Foods
Everyone knows that healthy eating is important for good health, but you may not know what constitutes healthy foods. There are dozens of diets, and many of them restrict foods that you generally consider healthy. This makes it difficult to nourish your body properly to improve your physical and mental strength.
In general, it is best to consume foods that are close to their natural states. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. It's okay to enjoy your favorite processed foods such as cookies and ice cream every once in a while but limit your intake to keep yourself from filling up on processed foods. You may find it helpful to plan out your meals every week to help you stay on track.
4. Create a Healthy Environment
If you want to live a healthier life, you must set up your living space for success. Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks instead of junk food, and learn how to use items around your home for exercise. Create a space specifically for you to be alone so that you can clear your mind through meditation. You can even use essential oils and reduced lighting techniques to minimize stress.
5. Reduce Your Drinking
Though there’s nothing necessarily wrong with kicking back with a drink occasionally, however, many Americans struggle with drinking to excess. If you’ve repeatedly tried and failed to curb your drinking on your own or have other substance use issues, there is help available. Explore local drug rehab options online to find a facility near you that can help. It may seem impossible, but you can move beyond problematic drinking.
If you want to make a sustainable change in your overall health, it's best to start building better daily habits by making better choices, and focusing on developing one new healthy habit at a time.
This article was written for WHN by Scott Sanders who is the creator of Cancer Well, which provides resources and support for anyone who has been affected by any form of cancer. He is also the author of the book Put Yourself First: A Guide to Self-care and Spiritual Wellness During and After Cancer Treatment.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
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