3 Simple Healthy Habits To Start Working On Today
Do you want to be healthier, but the thought of all the changes that need to be made seems insurmountable? Don't lose hope! Creating new habits to improve your health doesn't have to be a difficult process. Even tiny adjustments can add up to a healthier lifestyle over time. When beginning a new habit, small ones are more easily obtainable and sustainable than beginning a complex habit system. Let's take a look at the answer to the question, "What are some simple healthy habits to start working on today?"
Healthy Habit #1: Movement
As you know, it is very important to move your body every day. If you have an active job or lifestyle, then this is already easily accomplished. However, if you find yourself sitting much of the time at work or home, then regularly making more movements throughout the day can be a great healthy habit to begin. (Before starting any new exercise program, consult with your doctor to make sure you are adding in movement safely.)
Getting your heart rate up at least 30 minutes a day has many health benefits and decreases your risk of certain diseases. If you can't commit to a 30-minute workout in one stretch of time, then adding in some short, quick aerobic movements throughout the day is a great way to still get those benefits! Remember, we are going for simple healthy habits that you are easily able to begin today and maintain during your lifetime. Here are some ideas of exercises you may be able to do throughout your day, no matter where you find yourself.
- Jumping jacks: Do a minute or two of jumping jacks every hour.
- Skipping rope: If you have a long lunch break, take 5 minutes to go outside and do a quick jump rope routine.
- Jog in place: If you begin to feel that after-lunch drowsiness, you can stand up and jog in place for one minute.
- Power walk: Similar to skipping rope, this is something that can easily be done during a lunch break. Walk at a brisk pace to get your heart rate well above resting.
The adage, "Use it or lose it" is aptly applied to lean muscle mass. As your body ages, a natural loss of muscle mass occurs. If you are not working your muscles regularly, then you will not be gaining new lean muscle to replace what you are losing. Some easy muscle-building healthy habits to try throughout the day are:
Instead of building bulky muscle mass, yoga helps to slowly build lean muscle mass. Some of the best poses for increasing strength are the half-moon pose, chair pose and boat pose.
Similar to yoga, modern bodyweight exercises are a quick way to increase your strength. You can either do a set number of repetitions or a set amount of time for them. Some easy exercises that use your body weight are pushups, squats, planks and lunges.
Free Weights and Wearable Weights
One of the simplest ways to add resistance for better muscle strength is to wear weights. Put on some ankle weights before you leave the house for the day, and each time you walk somewhere you will be working toward stronger muscles. Similarly, if you carry some light free weights with you, then you can easily build arm strength anywhere you go.
Healthy Habit #2: Hydration
Most people know about the general recommendation of eight 8-oz glasses of water per day, but it is important to listen to your body when it comes to hydration. One of the simplest ways to gauge your hydration level is to look at your urine. The optimal color is a pale straw-colored or transparent yellow. If your urine is completely transparent, with no color at all, then you may be drinking too much water, which will flush needed electrolytes from your body. If your urine is dark yellow or honey-colored, then you need to be drinking more water.
Now let's look at a few ways you can make hydration a part of your daily healthy habits.
- Drink one or two cups of water upon waking, before doing anything else. As you sleep, your body is still losing water, so you'll want to replenish any loss that occurred overnight. A great time to drink those full cups of water is while your morning coffee is brewing.
- Try infusing your water with some fruit. If the lack of flavor is one reason that your water intake has not been optimal, then a fruit infuser water bottle can be a great motivator to drink more.
- Set a timer to remind you to drink at regular intervals. Start with every hour so your water intake is spread out throughout the day.
Healthy Habit #3: Rest
It is a well-known fact that adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep at night. Knowing how much sleep you should get and actually getting that sleep can seem like two drastically different tasks! With just a few easy adjustments, you can begin to add this to your ever-growing collection of healthy habits.
- Move your "lights out" time 30 minutes earlier tonight.
- Create a calming bedtime routine. Remember to shut off as many electronics as you can at least an hour before you want to sleep.
- Don't eat too close to bedtime, especially carb-heavy snacks. They can make you get a burst of energy and work against the goal of being tired when it is time to go to bed.
- Set a consistent sleep and wake schedule. Your body will adjust to the routine, and you will begin to both feel tired at bedtime and more alert upon waking.