When it comes to health and wellness, too often we focus our attention on the number on the scale—and not overall health. While the number on the scale can indeed be used to identify the need for a healthier weight, being at the “right” weight for your gender, age, and height—doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
Healthy Habit #1: Hydrate
Not all beverages provide hydration. For example, soda and processed juice don’t provide you with adequate hydration. Set a goal to drink a minimum of 64-ounces of hydrating beverages each day. You’ll require more hydration in hot temperatures, humidity, or during aggressive workouts. As a bonus—water-filled fruits and veggies will contribute to your daily hydration. Aside from plain water, also consider:
- Herbal teas
- 100% natural coconut water
- Fresh-squeezed fruit and veggie juices
- Minimal amounts of electrolyte-filled sports beverages
- Water flavored with natural ingredients—lemon, lime, cucumber, lavender, etc.
Healthy Habit #2: Get More Sleep
One of the largest challenges in getting an adequate amount of sleep is electronics in the bedroom. Not only are your mobile devices disruptive for sleep, but the bright LED screen before bedtime is a stimulant.
Healthy Habit #3: Move More
A common misconception sold to us time and time again is that we have to head to a gym or fitness studio to work out. While a gym or fitness center is indeed an excellent way to take your fitness to the next level—do not underestimate the importance of:
- Stretching—Stretching is even more important if you’re seated most of the day
- Walking—Walking is an excellent way to burn calories, so look for more daily opportunities to walk.
- Standing—If your job requires you to work at a desk, stand for a couple minutes each hour. This will not only burn more calories than sitting, but will improve circulation and reduce your odds of stiffness and soreness.
Healthy Habit #4: Prioritize and Balance
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is not only essential for maintaining perspective, but when all is said and done—it is the “life” part of life that makes life worth living. This means you should schedule in more time for:
- Lunch with friends
- Your favorite hobbies
- Date night with your other half
- Relaxing activities
- Time in nature
- Unplugging from electronics
Healthy Habit #5: Choose Whole Foods
When I say “whole foods”, this doesn’t mean the grocery store chain, but instead real, unprocessed foods. A surprising trend in America is malnutrition—even for those who eat 3 or more meals a day—even for some who are quite a bit overweight. This can occur when the food products consumed are high in calories, sugar, and fat—and low in, or void of, essential vitamins and nutrients found in whole foods.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to develop all of the healthy habits above at once. Instead pick one, and once it becomes a habit—move on to the next!
Written by Joanne Silatei