We all want to live our healthiest and happiest lives. But with our busy schedules and life always throwing the unexpected at us, it’s sometimes hard to stay focused. So today, I’m going to give you 10 healthy habits for a better you and a better life.
1. Positive Self-Affirmations
Get your mind right first thing in the morning.
Before you even get out of bed, tell yourself everything you like about yourself. Tell yourself everything you like about your life. Tell yourself that you are worthy of living a healthy, happy, and prosperous life. And mean it!
A 2004 study published in The Royal Society found a link between positive thinking and boosting health, building skills, and improving work efficiency.
In a more recent study published in Psychological Science and conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, a positive attitude was linked to enhanced problem-solving abilities and better memory.
Get your mind right first thing in the morning with positive self-affirmations. If you can’t think positive because you’re struggling with stress, you need to learn how to manage it with these five ways to reduce stress.
2. Drink More Water
Once you get your mind right, start getting your body right.
I want you to drink a glass of water in the morning, preferably with lemon. Now, there are some benefits to lemon water.
Lemon contains antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system. Lemon water can also help decrease inflammation in your body. Lemon water has citric acid, which can help prevent kidney stones (Read more on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of kidney stones).
According to Healthline, drinking lemon water can promote weight loss and hydration, improve the quality of your skin, aid digestion, and even freshen breath.
Throughout the day, I want you to stay hydrated. Most people should drink between two and three liters of water per day. That’s anywhere from four to six 16-ounce bottles of water.
However, if you have a medical condition that requires you to limit the amount of liquid you have each day, you don’t want to drink too much water. If you’re suffering from heart failure or kidney failure, be sure to consult your physician.
Most people should aim to drink two to three liters of water per day to stay hydrated. You’ll know you’re well-hydrated if you are frequently urinating, and your urine should look clear, almost like water, just with a slight tinge of yellow.
Drinking water and staying hydrated can help detoxify your body and aid with digestion. Staying hydrated can also give you a clear, glowing, and healthy-looking skin complexion. Drinking more water is a major healthy habit for better living.
3. Set Daily Goals
Have a purpose for each day.
I want you to write a things-to-do list with both short-term and long-term goals, and I want you to set realistic deadlines for these goals. Yes, I want you to set deadlines even for the long-term goals.
Because if you don't, those things are not likely to get accomplished. A purpose-driven day leads to a purpose-driven life, which is one of the healthy habits for a better you and a better life.
According to a study by psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews from California's Dominican University, you are 42 percent more likely to achieve goals if you write them down.
4. Be Physically Active
Move your body.
Exercise improves overall cardiovascular health, which keeps heart disease at bay and prevents a stroke (Read more about the warning signs of a stroke). Exercising regularly also reduces blood pressure and promotes weight loss.
A 2017 study led by researchers at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) showed that physical activity and brisk walking lower the risk of death among women.
Exercise is the way. Now, you should be exercising for 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
What’s the matter? You’re not a gym bunny? Does the thought of putting on workout clothes just drive you crazy?
Don’t worry. There are ways you can exercise without actually going to the gym. I want you to set a goal to take at least 10,000 steps a day.
You can get a pedometer, or you can get yourself a Fitbit or an Apple Watch. You can even use your smartphone to download step tracking app.
There are ways you can easily get a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. For example, instead of getting a parking space that’s right there close to the grocery store, park farther away so you can get more steps in.
Or, for example, take a walk around the building on your lunch breaks at work. I want you to turn physical activity into one of your healthy habits for life.
5. Eat Healthy Foods
Eating healthy foods is all about putting the proper fuel in your body that leads to weight loss and allows you to maintain a healthy weight.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2018 found that eating a nutrient-rich diet reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
A 2012 study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School also established a link between a healthy diet and improved memory.
I want you to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables of many different colors. You may have heard the term “eat the rainbow.”
Fruits and vegetables with different colors have different nutrients which fuel your body in different ways. So, I want you to eat:
- Nutrient-dense greens;
- Whole grains;
- Foods with Omega-3 fatty acids;
- Foods with Vitamin D (Find out if you suffer from Vitamin D deficiency by reviewing the symptoms);
- Lean proteins (fish, skinless white-meat poultry, beans, peas, lentils, plain Greek yogurt, etc.);
- Foods with healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, oily fish, etc.); and
- Olive oil.
Also, low sodium should be a part of your diet because it helps lower blood pressure naturally. Avoid foods high in sodium such as ketchup, soy sauce, pickled cucumbers, pizza, sandwiches, shrimp, ham, smoked deli turkey, and many more.
Eating healthy foods is part of a healthy lifestyle for a better you, and one of the most important healthy habits to have.
6. Stop Smoking
Don’t smoke, seriously. Even vaping, e-cigarettes, and JUUL are bad for you.
Cigarette smoking is such a huge cause of mortality and poor health that I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to stop smoking if you are a cigarette smoker.
Smoking cigarettes can cause emphysema, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Cigarette smoking is also a risk factor for:
- Heart disease;
- Lung cancer;
- Uterine cancer;
- Cervical cancer;
- Pancreatic cancer;
- Kidney cancer;
- Colon cancer.
And I could go on and on. If you are smoking cigarettes or vaping, please consult your physician for recommendations to ditch this unhealthy habit for a healthier life.
7. Educate Yourself
Learn something new each day.
This is one of my personal favorites. I want you to always be learning. Keep your mind sharp. Read a book every day. If you have a low vision, listen to an audible book. Do crossword puzzles. Watch engaging and intellectual programs.
Have a conversation with someone who you think is completely different from you and see what you can learn from that person and what you can learn about yourself in the process. Learn something new every day to promote mental wellness.
8. Invest Time in Self-Care
Take a little time out of each day for some self-care and self-love.
Take care of yourself. It could be getting a 10-minute nap, getting a massage, or getting your nails done. You can also meditate or do slow, deep breathing. If you like dancing like I do, turn up the music and dance like no one’s watching.
If that's what makes you happy, do it. That’s called self-care. I want you to turn off your phone and dedicate some time for self-care each day. Stop doing everything for everyone else all the time. Learn how to say “no” to people.
Self-care is a healthy habit for a better you and a better life.
Get a good night’s sleep.
You should be getting from seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
According to a 2015 report by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), more than a third of adults in our nation do not get the recommended seven or more hours of sleep.
Lack of sleep can cause an increase in anxiety, higher stress levels, and a decrease in your immune system. A 2019 study found a link between sleep deprivation and heightened risk of fatigue, exhaustion, hopelessness, and thoughts about suicide.
Proper sleep is one of the most vital healthy habits for wellness.
10. Positive Self-Reflections
It’s all about thinking positive.
At the end of each day, I want to look in the mirror and tell yourself everything you’ve done right. I want you to go back and relive all of the moments that went well that day. Stay positive.
As for the things that did not go well, do your best not to stress about it. You’re not perfect; no one is.
Tomorrow will be a new day. I want you to wake up tomorrow and go through this checklist once again. On this note, I’m wrapping up my overview of 10 healthy habits for a better you and a better life.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel and to hit the notification button so you know when I’m doing YouTube lives where I answer your medical questions in real-time during a live Q&A. Be sure to download your copy of the free 10 healthy habits guide!