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Healthy Habits

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Those who think they have no time for exercise, will sooner or later have to find time for illness

-Edward Stanley

Most of us know about the importance of developing healthy habits, but fail to do that because we don’t have the time or we feel lazy to get up from the couch.

But then think about how would it feel when you have to make time for an illness like Edward Stanley says. Forming healthy habits is important because those habits provide us with the energy to take care of our daily responsibilities in life while utilizing our full human potential.

10 daily health habits to have in life

Our habits determine how well we live our life. If you choose to listen to your mind consistently when it discourages you from taking action on your dreams, you are writing the story of your life.

You are making decisions every day. The decision to do a workout, the decision to read a book that has the capacity to change your life, the decision to smoke and ruin your health- all are decisions.

 Many of those decisions have become habits because you decided to start doing them at a point in your life. And when you consistently did them, they became habits. 

If you smoke regularly, you don’t think twice before lighting up a cigarette. You do it once you get the cue.

You can form any habit, good or bad, upon intention. If you are here reading this, I know you want to take your life in a positive direction. And starting with health and wellness is a good decision because it gives you the energy to change everything else in life. 

Now let’s see what some healthy habits are that can impact your overall well being.

1. Drink a tall glass of water upon waking 

Everyone knows the benefits of drinking water. But drinking water on an empty stomach as soon as you wake up has remarkable effects on your body. 

When we wake up, our body is dry and water helps to rehydrate it. It fires up your metabolism and also helps to flush out toxins from your body. Drinking water helps in digestion and regulates your bowel movement. If you suffer from constipation, try drinking a tall glass of water on an empty stomach consistently for a few days. 

I have been doing this for the past couple of months and I definitely see the benefits. I feel instantly energized. It wakes me up from the sleepiness and gets me ready for the day.

I used to feel tired a lot. But later on, I realized it’s a signal to drink more water. Drinking water first thing in the morning and drinking enough water throughout the day has definitely helped my energy levels.

Here are 10 healthy habits to start in life to enhance all areas like fitness, diet and general wellness

2. Wake up early

Before you roll your eyes, let me tell you. Waking up early has many benefits. One of them is getting extra time to prepare for your day. You get alone time that you can spend meditating, journaling or exercising. 

And these seemingly small activities can impact your life in a big way. The way you start your day affects your mood and productivity. And performing your morning routine that aligns with your life’s goals gives a head start to your day that night owls don’t get. 

I used to be a night owl so I know how groggy I would feel when I woke up at 10 or 11; even if I slept enough!

Studies show that morning people are more proactive. Proactivity is the quality of making things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. Proactive people take charge of situations instead of blaming them. They are driven by values and are action takers. They look for change and more opportunities which help them grow in life.

Another benefit is stated by Ayurveda-the science of life. It teaches us that one must wake up early before the sun and go to bed early. It helps in regulating your biological rhythm in alignment with nature and therefore leads to a healthy body and mind. Think about our ancestors who did the same and how healthier they lived!

To learn more, you can read my articles on how to become a morning person even if you are a night owl and how to start a morning routine to begin your day productively. 

3. Meditate daily

Meditation is one daily health habit that can change your life if practiced daily. You don’t need to do it for hours like the yogis. Just start by meditating for 5-10 minutes daily. 

It helps to reduce stress and increases your patience. When you do meditation, you are observing your thoughts without judging it. So you develop the ability to observe your feelings and not react on every stressful thought or, every fear that comes to your mind. 

Other benefits of meditation include:

  • You become more mindful and tend to live in present than in future or past
  • It helps to control anxiety
  • Helps to increase focus and concentration
  • Better sleep and memory
  • Build more resilience

Related: Benefits of meditation and how to start a meditation habit

4. Be more active

Incorporate more physical activity in your daily schedule. Find fun ways to move your body more often.

  • Walk when you are talking on your phone
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift
  • Walk your dog 
  • Clean your house 
  • Do jumping jacks and squats while watching TV
  • Do some stretching exercises for every hour of sitting

Related: How to start an exercise habit and stick with it

Here are 10 healthy habits to start in life to enhance all areas like fitness, diet and general wellness

5. Cut down on white flour and sugar

White flour and sugar can wreak havoc in our bodies. White flour is obtained from whole wheat grain after a lot of processing. Needless to say, after processing it gets stripped off its nutrient value.

Hence you get no nourishment in terms of the essential nutrients by eating foods made with white flour. 

Some examples of foods that contain white flour are white bread, pasta, donut, pizza, chips, cereals, cookies etc. 

White flour or refined wheat flour has a high glycemic index which causes a spike in your sugar levels. This can lead to an increased risk for type-2 diabetes. Consuming large amounts of refined flour also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, cancer, gut issues, fatty liver etc. 

Similarly, a diet high in sugar can stand in your goal of getting healthy. Bacteria and yeast feed on sugar, therefore the more sugar you consume, the more these organisms grow causing diseases to your body. 

6. Drink celery juice on an empty stomach

Wait, didn’t I just tell you to drink water first on an empty stomach? Then what’s the deal with celery juice?

Drinking celery juice is one of the healthy eating habits I formed recently.  Anthony William, #1 New York Times best-selling author of the book Medical Medium, started the global celery juice movement which is getting popular day by day. 

Look at what Anthony William says about celery juice,

Celery is truly the savior when it comes to chronic illness. I’ve seen thousands of people who suffer from chronic and mystery illness restore their health by drinking 16 ounces of celery juice daily on an empty stomach. That’s why long ago I started the movement of drinking pure, straight celery juice, and it’s why I want to be sure people know how to use this potent drink correctly and successfully.”

Why celery juice?

Celery juice has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. That’s the reason it is said to be a miracle cure for people suffering from inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. 

According to Anthony, celery is perfect for reversing inflammation because it starves the pathogens including unproductive bacteria and viruses such as Epstein-Barr (EBV), that create it. 

If you drink water first thing in the morning, you can drink celery juice 15-30  minutes after water or vice versa.

You can follow the Instagram page @celeryjuicebenefits to keep getting updates about the benefits of celery juice and experiences of people from around the world who are getting cured by this miracle juice.

Disclaimer: I started drinking this only recently to cure my own inflammatory diseases, therefore I can’t comment on the benefits yet. But I started drinking it because of the hundreds of testimonials I saw from people who drink it.  I am sure, it’s worth the try. And please note that Anthony Williams is a medium and not a licensed doctor.

Here are 10 healthy habits to start in life to enhance all areas like fitness, diet and general wellness

7. Plan your meals in advance to form healthy eating habits

 The best way to develop good eating habits like avoiding processed foods and include more whole foods in your diet is meal planning.

I am an avid planner in many areas of my life and I can vouch for the benefits of planning. 

You can plan meals on a weekly basis. When you plan, plan every meal including snacks. That way, you can prepare healthy make-ahead snacks to avoid grabbing the unhealthy ones loaded with sugar or God-knows-what!

how does meal planning help?

Planning your meals help you to buy only the necessary items when you go to the grocery store and avoid the impulse purchase of junk foods. So you save money and is able to stick to your diet.

Meal planning is one habit you must have if you want to lose weight and get healthy.

When you have a plan, you are in control of what you put inside of your body. You make conscious decisions and avoid giving into temptations. It helps you stay on track with your fitness goals. 

It saves you time too. Cooking is easy, but deciding what to cook daily for each meal can consume a lot of time. Planning your meals beforehand enables you to save the time taken for decision and also enables you to stock your pantry with the necessary ingredients. 

Would you like to check out the weekly planner printable on my shop?

8. Include more herbs and spices in your food

 In addition to adding a rich flavor to your food, herbs and spices provide innumerable health benefits.

Herbs come from the leafy green part of the plant. Eg: basil, rosemary, peppermint, oregano etc.  Spices come from parts of the plant other than the leaf, like – root (ginger), seeds (black pepper, coriander), bark (cinnamon), flower buds (clove) etc. Herbs and spices are powerhouses of antioxidants and they have anti-inflammatory properties. 

They help in boosting immunity, regulates metabolism, detoxifies your body, controls diabetes and blood pressure, inhibits tumor growth, boosts heart health etc. 

Hence, try to include more herbs and spices in your food. Toss them in your soups, stews, salads, curries, curries, and pasta. You can use fresh herbs for garnishing too. 

Here are 10 healthy habits to start in life to enhance all areas like fitness, diet and general wellness

9. Establish a basic skin care routine

Taking care of your health means taking care of your skin too, which is the largest organ in your body.  Good skin care can help prevent skin problems and help you maintain the natural skin vitality longer. 

Tips to establish a healthy skin care habit:

  • Use sunscreen daily.

Sunscreen protects your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. They help to prevent premature aging and sunburns, lowers the risks of skin cancer and maintains the health of the skin. Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays (Source: aad.org)

  • Do CTM daily

CTM or cleansing-toning-moisturizing is the basic skin routine one must follow to maintain youthful and healthy skin. It doesn’t matter what your skin type is, incorporate CTM routine (twice in a day) in your daily habits list to enjoy benefits in the long term. 

Cleansing helps to remove dirt, pollutants and makeup residue that get accumulated on your skin on a daily basis. Cleansing helps to clean your skin from all the impurities unclogging the skin pores. 

Toning cleanses your skin further. It hydrates your skin and restores the delicate pH balance. 

Moisturizing helps to keep your skin smooth and reduce wrinkles in the long run. You should use a moisturizer no matter what your skin type is. Moisturizing helps to avoid common skin problems like acne and blemishes. It also helps to balance the moisture levels on your skin.

  • Use eye cream.

The eye cream is not just for people above 30 or 40. The area around your eyes is very sensitive. Therefore, it is often the first place where aging starts to show in the form of wrinkles and fine lines.

They are also more prone to dryness (since they are thin) especially if you are in front of the screens a lot. Eye creams are different from the normal moisturizers. They tend to be thicker and are made to target skin problems specific to your eye area, like dark circles, dryness, puffiness and fine lines.

It is recommended that you start using eye cream from your twenties in order to prevent the signs of aging.

  • Always remove your make up before sleep 

It is understandable how you want to crash into your bed after a long day or a night party. But removing your make up before sleep is one habit you can’t afford to miss. 

Your skin renews itself during your sleep and when you sleep with your make up on it hinders this process.

And makeup contains oily ingredients which can clog your pores if left uncleaned overnight. It will lead to breakouts and acne which is a no-no. So, make sure you use a makeup remover to clean your face before sleep. 

10. have a good oral health routine

Your oral health is more important than you think. It has an impact on the health of your whole body.

Your mouth is home to different types of bacteria. Some are beneficial and some are not. therefore, if you don’t maintain proper oral hygiene, harmful bacteria can cause dental diseases like cavities, gum diseases, and other oral infections. 

If your immune system is weak, oral bacteria can cause infections in other parts of your body by traveling through your bloodstream. In fact, oral diseases like periodontitis have been linked to heart diseases and cancer. 

Your oral health and gut health are interrelated. Most of the allergies and autoimmune diseases are thought to come from the imbalance of good and bad bacteria residing in your gut. The digestive process starts with the microbes in your mouth and they interact with the gut microbes.

Since gut microbes play a crucial role in your immunity and overall health, oral health becomes important in establishing a healthy lifestyle.  

One healthy habit that has helped me improve my oral hygiene is oil pulling. The practice of oil pulling has been around for thousands of years. According to Ayurveda, it’s a cure for many diseases. Though it hasn’t been proved by research, there is no doubt about the fact that it definitely improves oral health.

Oil pulling helps to restore the pH balance in your mouth, kills the bacteria that cause cavities, beats bad breath and helps with gum diseases.

I like how oil pulling brightens my teeth (it doesn’t whiten but the surface stains are removed) and gives a clean mouth.

I also don’t like to use the chemical-laden commercial toothpaste. I make a remineralizing toothpaste from scratch to combat my cavity problems. If you want the recipe, here it is.

Tips to develop a healthy oral care habit:

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes. Never go to bed without brushing your teeth because you want to remove the bacteria that are ready to feed on the food residues that get stuck on your teeth.
  • Clean your tongue whenever you brush your teeth
  • Floss daily
  • Do oil pulling
  • Replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months 

conclusion

Everyone takes care of their health in different ways. What works for one, may not work for another. What would you like to add to the list? Please comment below.

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Here are 10 healthy habits to start in life to enhance all areas like fitness, diet and general wellness

 

 

One of the pillars of personal development is a healthy lifestyle. You can’t hope to improve your life without taking care of your health first.

Without health, even if you have the best resources in the world, you won’t be able to enjoy them. Of course, many people battle with different diseases in their daily life, including me. But we must try to achieve optimal health in spite of the diseases, to live your best life.

To start living healthy you must consider different aspects of it like, getting a good amount of sleep daily, eating good food and getting physical exercise. So easy to say!  I know how hard it is to implement in real life. Yet, there are people who are busier than you who accomplish all these, so you can too.

It all comes down to how you prioritize health in your life. Nothing worth having in life is easy. All those people who consistently post pictures of their smoothie bowls and six-pack bodies on Instagram, spend their time and energy to accomplish it. It is because they have made it a priority.

I don’t want to make it sound harder than it really is. I am an advocate of starting things small and working your way up from there. 

So let’s see how to change your lifestyle to be a healthy one.

1. Change your eating habits

When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need- Ayurvedic proverb

When it comes to food, there is no life without eating your favorite chocolate cake or pizza loaded with cheese. But save those for occasional treats. 

I do not believe in following trendy diets or any diet which helps you lose weight fast only to gain back double of it later. I believe in cleaning out your existing diet without compromising much on the foods you love. 

Clean eating should be more of a lifestyle than a diet. According to me, the word diet creates pressure on you and you feel bad when you cheat on it. 

WHAT IS HEALTHY EATING?

Healthy eating is, becoming more conscious of what you put into your body rather than just following your craving for instant gratification from sugary and processed foods. Healthy eating is, being mindful of what you eat and taking a decision to stop torturing your body with junk food.

To make sure you get all the nutrition you need, it’s good to plan your meals in advance. Make sure you include a different variety of fruits, vegetables, and protein in your weekly menu so that your diet is balanced.

Foods to avoid/ reduce in your diet:

Junk foods that do not provide any nutritional value, like

  • Processed foods
  • Sugary drinks
  • Foods that contain trans fat (donuts, cakes, fried salty snacks etc.)
  • Fast food
  • Soda and carbonated drinks
  • Packaged ready-to-eat food items
  • Foods containing artificial flavors

Foods to add instead:

  • Whole foods (foods that are unprocessed, unrefined and free from additives)
  • Lots of vegetables and fruits 
  • Healthy fats (avocado, nuts, fatty fish etc.)
  • Lean protein

How to start a healthy lifestyle? This article has tips on healthy living that will help you become your best self.

Simple Swap technique

Whenever I crave for sugar or junk food, I do a simple swap. That is, if I feel like eating a cake or some bakery food, I go grab a fruit. Or have a refreshing salad. In fact, you can start your healthy lifestyle journey with such simple swaps. 

Introduce healthy eating habits into your life by taking one meal at a time and one day at a time. 

Prepare healthy make-ahead snacks

Your environment has an influence on what you eat. Try going to the supermarket when you are hungry. You end up buying packaged foods that you never intended to buy. They never add any nutritional value to your body because all they provide is empty calories.

To avoid this, resist the urge to buy such packaged snacks. Instead, prepare healthy snacks at home that require only a few ingredients and no cooking. Instead of stocking your pantry with fried chips or other junk that you bought from the supermarket on a whim, place only healthy food ingredients. 

So when you are hungry, you have no other option but to eat those. You can also store nuts like cashew, almond etc in containers and keep them within your reach.

Once in a week, prepare make-ahead snacks so that when you feel low in energy, you can grab them easily without feeling guilty later. Here is a post on 45 easy no-bake energy balls.

You can also store nuts like cashew, almond etc in containers and keep them within your reach.

Make changes slowly

Since your aim is to start a healthy lifestyle and not a diet, make gradual changes over time. 

If you are used to drinking 10 cups of coffee a day, don’t reduce it to 3 cups at once. As I said, do simple swaps and reduce the intake of junk food slowly and gradually. After a while, you will crave for healthy meals more than junk.

2. Be more active

Starting a healthy lifestyle definitely includes taking care of your fitness by being more active and doing exercise. 

The human body is designed to move constantly. Therefore, try to be more active by doing what you love. It could be dancing, doing yoga, walking or lifting weights.

Some tips to stay active:

  • Walk small distances instead of using vehicles
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park your car away from the office and walk 
  • For every hour of sitting, stand up and do a stretching exercise for 10 minutes
  • Doing housework like cleaning, laundry, mowing the lawn etc. help you to burn calories and control weight.

How to start a healthy lifestyle? This article has tips on healthy living that will help you become your best self.

Doing regular exercise has many benefits for your body and mind. Exercise helps you control your body weight and helps to prevent many diseases. 

Exercise gives you immediate benefits like increased energy and mood and a feeling of well-being. Doing physical activity makes your brain release chemicals called dopamine, adrenaline, endorphins etc. These are feel-good chemicals that give you a high after doing exercise.

You feel renewed and fresh after a workout session because of these chemicals. They also help to reduce stress and improve your mental health. 

The Department of Health and Human Services states:

For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

Adults should also include muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

Hence, exercise becomes an unnegotiable part of your life if you want to start a healthy lifestyle.

Related:

3. Improve your mental health

There is no health without mental health.

If you are physically fit, but your mind struggles with issues like anxiety, emotional outbursts, depression, eating disorders etc, you need to cure it.

We all waste no time to get to a physician if our body gets sick. But due to the stigma surrounding mental health issues, many people suffer silently. But thanks to the new awareness many people now understand that having a mental illness is normal and it is absolutely okay to seek treatment.

Now even if you don’t suffer from a mental illness it is necessary to keep your mind healthy. 

How to start a healthy lifestyle? This article has tips on healthy living that will help you become your best self.

Tips to keep your mind healthy:

  • Research proves how meditation can change your brain. MRI scans taken from individuals who did regular meditation practice show that, amygdala (the brain’s center that triggers fear and anxiety), physically shrank!  Doing meditation regularly helps you to control stress, anxiety and mood swings. To learn to start meditating, you can read this article on how to start a meditation habit.
  • Eat foods that stimulate your brain like fatty fish (a rich source of omega 3s which is a building block of the brain), coffee and green tea (for antioxidants), dark chocolate, eggs, broccoli, avocado, blueberries, nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, flax etc.
  • Keep learning new things. Sign up for new courses and start new hobbies. It helps to keep your mind young and active. Learning new skills stimulates brain cells and lowers the risk of dementia. 
  • Do deep breathing. Deep breathing helps to oxygenate your body, activating the parasympathetic nervous system which brings relaxation. It also helps all your systems like the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, digestive system etc.

         The famous life coach, Tony Robbins include a breathing session in his morning priming (read more about it here). Because according to him, it helps to boost energy, relieve pain and remove toxins from our body.

          He recommends taking 10 power breaths three times a day in the ratio 1:4:2.

  • Spend time with nature. It helps to boost your happiness, reduce anxiety, soak in more sunlight and invoke creativity. Go for an evening walk in the woods or spend time in your garden daily to rejuvenate your mind.
  • Write in a journal. Journal writing helps you to unwind from all the overwhelming or disturbing thoughts and help clear your mind. I use my bullet journal to brainstorm new ideas and keep track of my daily activities. My new love is for printable planners that enables me to print readymade trackers and planner pages as much as I want.

4. Get adequate sleep

How to start a healthy lifestyle? This article has tips on healthy living that will help you become your best self.

Getting adequate sleep is an important pillar when it comes to building a healthy lifestyle. But it is also something that we neglect most because of our busy lifestyle.

Getting a good amount of sleep is absolutely necessary if you want to be at your productive best. Because sleep deprivation affects your brain’s ability to concentrate and perform at its best. 

Poor sleep is also associated with reduced immunity and many diseases. Therefore, no matter how busy you are, try to get 7-8 hours of sleep daily.

Starting healthy habits to establish a healthy lifestyle involve making incremental changes in each area of your life. Start small, and make the changes you really want in life. Feel free to ditch any habit that’s not working for you. Remember it’s a journey, not a destination.

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How to start a healthy lifestyle? This article has tips on healthy living that will help you become your best self.