More than 40 percent of the actions you take every day are based on habits. Unfortunately, a good portion of those habits are bad ones for most of us. Smoking. Drinking. Eating like crap.
You get the drift.
Change your habits, and you’ll unlock the key to a healthy life. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Eat home-cooked meals.
Eating out is one of the biggest sources of unhealthy foods in our diets. Stay home and cook a healthy meal instead.
Drink a smoothie every day.
Here’s an easy habit that will help you get 2-3 more servings of fruits and veggies a day: mix up a healthy smoothie for breakfast every morning or after a workout. And toss in a handful of greens for an extra kick of vitamins and nutrients (you won’t even taste them).
Carry a water bottle wherever you go.
Water helps flush your body of toxins and carries essential nutrients to your cells. Buy the biggest bottle you can find and aim to drink two or three of them each day.
Do body weight exercises.
Push-ups, squats, pull-ups, and lunges are among the best total body exercises for a quick and effective workout.
Take fruits to work.
Skip the trip to the vending machine. Bring a piece of fruit and some nuts as a snack instead.
Plan your action items for each day.
Planning goes a long way toward helping you achieve your goals, form good habits, and live a healthy life.
Find an exercise that you enjoy.
The best exercise advice I ever got about fitness was this: find something you love doing. Whether it’s yoga, boxing, swimming, or playing basketball, pick an activity you really like and start doing it several times per week.
Floss every day.
Flossing has a number of health benefits you may not even be aware of. Here’s one: it’s actually good for your heart.
Smile and laugh whenever possible.
Make an effort to smile and laugh more. Choose to be happy now.
Stretch during commercials while you’re watching TV.
Commercials are a great opportunity to get up and move around a bit. Stretch tight muscles or do some body weight exercises like squats or push-ups.
Use chopsticks to eat slower.
Eating mindlessly is one of the most detrimental habits to your health. Grab a pair of chopsticks and you’ll eat your food much slower.
Exercise with a friend.
Working out with a friend is a great idea because he/she will help hold you accountable and motivate you when you feel like sitting on the couch instead.
Call a different person you haven’t talk to in a while at least once a week.
One of the most important things you can do to live a healthy life is keep in touch with the people you love. Call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while every week. You’ll be glad you did.
Mix in whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats to your meals.
Eating healthy is easier than you think. Here’s a simple rule to follow: if it doesn’t come from nature, limit how much you eat. Eat more real foods like whole grains (oatmeal, popcorn, etc.), lean proteins (fish, turkey, chicken), and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, avocados).
Take a break every hour at work and do a lap around the office or stretch out.
Sitting down all day is terrible for your health. So get up and move. Take a stroll around your office and take regular stretching breaks. Your body will thank you.
Bike to work once a week.
This one may not be reasonable for everyone but biking to work just once a week is an amazing way to get some extra exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and live a healthier life.
Do housekeeping yourself.
Sometimes doing chores stinks. But you can burn serious calories doing everyday housework–around 225 an hour on average.
Park farther away.
While I’ll be the first to admit getting the first spot is one of the great joys in life, try making a habit of parking farther away. Those extra steps add up.
Do something nice for a total stranger.
One of the easiest ways to improve your life and someone else’s is to do something nice for a complete stranger. Try it today and see how good it makes you feel.
Fill half your dinner plate with vegetables.
This advice from the USDA is simple and an easy habit you can implement to live a healthy life.
Pack your lunch.
Going out to lunch every day puts a damper on your health and your wallet. So start packing your lunch instead and save money and calories.
Read something uplifting every day.
Your attitude and emotions are important factors in whether or not you experience a life filled with health and happiness. So read something inspiring every day.
Eat out selectively.
The average restaurant meal has 1,128 calories. That alone should be incentive to be very selective about how much you go out to eat.
Have a weekly meal schedule.
Planning your meals goes a long way toward developing healthier eating habits.
Do 5 minutes of exercise every day.
Look, we’re all busy. But even the busiest among us has 5 minutes a day to spare. You have 1,440 minutes available in each day. Commit to spending just 5 of those every day on exercise. The point is to develop the habit of exercising, so it becomes routine.
And that should be your goal: to cultivate habits so you don’t even have to think about it. The best time to get started is now.