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25 Healthy Habits for a Fitter Body and Happier Mind

25 Healthy Habits for a Fitter Body and Happier Mind

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word habit as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” We often think of ‘bad’ habits when we hear that word, however we can use the very nature of a habit to our advantage by integrating good ones!

If you want a healthier, more fit body and happier, healthier mind, this article is for you! Here are 25 habits divided into different categories to give you a healthier, happier life.

Fuel Your Body

1. Water First Thing

Hydration is so important, and while many of us think of a hot cup of coffee or tea first thing in the morning, we are better off to start our day with a big glass of water. This helps to hydrate, lubricate joints, kickstart gastrointestinal tract movement, increase mental alertness, among other things.

Room temperature or warm water is best first thing in the morning, prior to breakfast, coffee or tea.

Tip: Drink your glass of water as soon as you hop out of bed, then hop in the shower while the coffee is brewing!

2. More Veggies

Many physicians, dieticians and health specialists (including me) believe that a healthy diet should be based on a foundation of varied vegetables and fruits.

A wide variety of fruits and vegetables is essential to get most of the required vitamins, minerals and nutrients our bodies need daily. Not to mention most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, thus aiding in maintaining a healthy weight while helping us to feel full.

Tip: When meal planning, start with a vegetable or fruit, and build your meal around it!

3. Don’t Succumb to Fads

There are so many fads in the diet and fitness industry that it is hard to determine what is true and what is not. One thing that has stood the test of time is that fruits and vegetables are a staple.

There are healthy fats that our bodies require, and others that are detrimental in large quantities. Diets that are extremely strict and leave no room for indulgence, often leads to psychological disappointments and guilt – something which should not be part of a diet.

Tip: Eat well and enjoy!

Move More

4. Moderate Exercise

Not only does moderate daily exercise keep us lean and healthy, but it flushes our body with blood and lymph and helps to remove toxins and bring nutrients throughout.

Cardiovascular exercise keeps our hearts and lungs healthy, and resistance or weight exercise keeps our muscles and bone strong.

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Tip: We don’t need to spend hours at a fancy gym to reap the aesthetic and health benefits, only a few home items and our own body weight.

5. Get Outside

Being outside in nature is good for body, mind and soul. Our grandparents were right, fresh air really is good for us! Natural daylight has various positive effects on the human body, such as elevating your mood, and speeding recovery.[1]

Tip: Make it a point to schedule in even a 10 minute outside activity during your day.

6. Walk

Walking is the most natural movements of the human body and can be done anywhere, for free, at your own pace. Not only is it good for your body, but it often gives you a chance to clear your head and get back to your work with a fresh outlook!

Tip: Try combining getting outside and walking daily, rain or shine, and you’ll be sure to notice the difference!

Brain Games

7. Sleep

We know how important sleep is, and as working parents, we often giggle at the prospect of trying to get more sleep (enter the ever-waking toddler who keeps us up all night then wakes us 2 hours prior to when we would normally need to wake).

Getting more sleep really can be elusive, however, it can be done. Here are a few tips to do so:

  • Make daily napping a priority, whether it’s in your car during your lunch hour, or at your home office during a break, or a quick shut eye right after picking the kids up.
  • You know that old saying: “sleep when the baby sleeps”? Leave the laundry, cleaning and other jobs and truly sleep when that baby sleeps. Even if you elicit quiet time with the other kids and just lie down and rest, it is still helpful.
  • Ask for help, whether you and your spouse take turns, or hire a sitter, take some time and rest.

8. Have Fun

Remember when you were a kid and you enjoyed playing or riding your bicycle? When we grow up, we often get so caught up in adulting that we forget to do fun things that bring us joy.

Having pure fun is an excellent stress reliever and let’s face it: fun is just, well, fun!

Tip: Try out some different hobbies and find what you like.

9. Get Rid of Guilt

Guilt can be an important feeling, but it can often be overblown and unnecessarily stressing. Worrying over unnecessary guilt serves no purpose except for causing the body to react mentally and physically, so it’s best to let go of stress that is not serving you for the better. Try these tips to let go of that guilt and move forward:

Tip: Acknowledge and honor your right to protect your self-interests. Recognize the legitimacy of standing up for your rights. Tell yourself that, even if they’re at odds with another’s, there’s nothing wrong or bad about diligently pursuing your own goals.[2]

10. Journal

Journaling can help you to be thankful for what is already in your life, as well as helping you goal set for your future. Seeing your thoughts, goals and actions written out can often help us work through and solve issues in our lives.

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Tip: Keep a journal at your bedside and make a point to journal first thing in the morning or just before you go to sleep.

11. Meditate

Meditation is close to number one

in terms of stress management, and with good reason – it can lower heart rate and blood pressure and calm the mind. Practicing meditation can be done anywhere and can be as simple as closing your eyes, deep breathing and simply observing your thoughts.

Tip: Don’t stress about clearing your mind when you meditate – simply let your thoughts pass and breathe deeply while sitting or lying in a relaxed position. Set a timer for 10 to 20 minutes, and if you fall asleep, that is okay too! Take a look at this meditation guide: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

12. Organize

Keeping your home, vehicle and office organized can really help decrease stress because you can find what you need when you need it, as well as it gives you a sense of control of your surroundings. As you sort through items, you can donate things that no longer serve you – this will help clear out clutter and less clutter equals less to deal with.

Tip: Take a week (or as long as you need) and focus on one room or area of your house per day. Get rid of items that you haven’t used / worn in longer than one year.

13. Be Mindful

We are often thinking in terms of what’s next, or reviewing something that happened yesterday, but we rarely just enjoy the moment. Being in the moment allows us to be fully present in our lives and experience the here and now fully without the added stress of what comes next.

Tip: Before an event such as an outing with friends, a movie, dinner, etc., remind yourself to enjoy being there and focus on the words coming from the big screen or the conversation with friends. Really listen to what is being said and try not to focus on what you are going to say or do next.

14. Smile

Smiling causes your body to release endorphins and serotonin – which are naturally produced pain relievers and feel good neurotransmitters! Even when the last thing you feel like doing is smiling, research has fond that a false smile can cause the very same reaction. So, as a good friend of mine always says: “fake it ‘til you make it!”

Tip: Spend some time each day “practicing” a smile in the mirror. It seems silly but remember you are doing your body good with this exercise. After a while it may seem so silly you start to smile and giggle at yourself which is a bonus! Not to mention it helps you perfect your selfie game!

15. Deep Breathe

If you are like most of us, your normal breaths are very shallow. A full, deep breath increases the oxygen supply to your brain, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and promoting a state of calmness and relaxation.

Tip: Spend 10 minutes first thing in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, and another 10 minutes before sleep practicing deep breathing every day.

16. Positive Self-Talk

What we say to ourselves is so important – our daily self dialogue has a lot more to do with how we view ourselves than we realize, so it’s important to observe what we say and make positive changes as needed.

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Tip: Each morning as you get ready, point out the great things you like and admire about yourself. Try and pay attention to your self-talk – when you notice something negative, change it right away by replaying the thought with positive intent. Try these 15 Ways to Practice Positive Self-Talk for Success.

17. Do More of What You Love

Do you love baking? Is gardening or pet care your Zen? Make time to do what you like every day – doing things you enjoy helps to relieve stress and gives us a sense of purpose and joy!

Tip: Schedule 30 minutes at least 3 times per week to do the things you enjoy – if you can do more – go for it!

Take Charge

18. Balance Work Life

We’ve all burnt the candle at both ends – or so to speak – when work is so busy that it spills into our personal life. This can make stress skyrocket if we aren’t getting enough down time.

Often, we just need to take a step back and look at what we can get off our work plate. Other times, we just need to learn to politely say no.

Tip: Learn your most productive times of the day and use them to your advantage – don’t answer emails or the phone for short periods during these times to focus on tasks and check them off your list!

19. Find Your Zen

For some, a hot bath by candlelight is what gives them peace; and for others, a movie and glass of wine does the trick. Whatever it is that brings you comfort and peace – make it a daily or weekly ritual and let your loved ones know that you are not to be interrupted during this time or self rejuvenation.

Tip: Trade off with your partner – if you have children, pets or loved ones to care for, take that hour to yourself while your partner looks after everyone, and make sure to give them that time to themselves too.

20. Make Your Home Your Sanctuary

Your home may be big or small, old or new, but make sure that you decorate it your way and fill it with décor that makes you feel at home.

Maybe this is as simple a fresh cut flowers on the kitchen table daily, or maybe it’s redecorating your entire kitchen – but don’t let anyone dismiss the importance of your home reflecting you!

Tip: Start with your bedroom – make sure you have the right curtains, sheets, throw pillows, whatever you fancy to make you feel cozy and safe in your own space.

21. Get a Pet (And Be Responsible for It)

Getting a pet can make you healthier in many ways – it will decrease feelings of loneliness, may decrease blood pressure and cholesterol, and help you be more active.[3]

22. Wash Your Hands

We all know how germs are passed, but did you know that human hands are proven to have more germs than a toilet seat?

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Keeping your hands clean before letting them near your face or mouth, helps to prevent the spread of influenza, the common cold, and many other contagious illnesses.

Tip: Wash your hands as soon as you come into your home after any outing.

23. Rest

People talk far too much about how busy they are – and not about how they unwind and relax (which would serve us far better.) Rest is when your body and mind take time to rejuvenate – and that is important to be able to function properly at work and play.

Tip: Make bedtime a priority – give yourself some wind down time 45 to 60 minutes prior to be with no screens – this will help your body produce melatonin and make you sleepy. Try to build a bedtime routine that fits you.

24. See Your Doctor Annually

It is an important not only to rule out disease, but to check in with your doctor so they can observe any health changes you may not be aware of.

Tip: Make an annual physical check up appointment even when you are feeling great – keeping on top of your health will keep you at the top of your game!

25. Put Yourself First

It may seem counter-intuitive but making sure your needs are met helps you to make sure you are in top shape to care for those around you. If you don’t take care of you, who will?

Tip:  While journaling, make a regularly updated list of your needs – check in weekly to make sure they are getting met!

Final Thoughts

There are many things you can do to help you stay healthy physically and mentally – choose a few goals (or all of them if needed!) from this handy list and keep them visible so you can work on them daily.

Want more great info on a healthy mind and body? Check out these articles:

Featured photo credit: Stage 7 Photography via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Laura Barr

Laura is a registered clinical massage therapist & certified fitness consultant specializing in holistic nutrition, injury & weight management.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2020

50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

1. Believe It to See It

Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

3. Keep Looking for Solutions

Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

6. Always Ask Productive Questions

It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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9. Maximize Your Strengths

Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

10. Be in It to Win It

Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

11. Know That Success Attracts Success

People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

14. Be a One-Off Original

Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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20. Accept Challenge All the Time

Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

21. Make Your Own Luck

In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

22. Ignite Your Initiative

While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

24. Champion in Communication

Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

25. Plan Your Life Strategically

Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

28. Live by Core Values

Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

30. Don’t Get Carried Away

Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

34. Change Opens New Doors

People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

41. Swim Against the Tide

Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

48. Follow Through

Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

More About Success

Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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