Healthy lifestyles come in different shapes and sizes. But whether you’re a regular on the Spartan racecourse or a rookie in the gym, there are certain actions you can take each day to lead a healthier, happier life.
And if you don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Here are five things healthy people do every day, and which you can easily incorporate into your daily life — starting now.
They Work Out in all Weather
Healthy people don’t wimp out on their workouts. Come hail or heat, they take their commitment to their health and fitness seriously.
“No matter the time of year, and whether it’s raining or snowing, you still find a way to work out,” says Brooklyn-based personal trainer and SGX coach Morit Summers. “If you’re a runner, you gear up if it’s cold out or you find a gym. You don’t make excuses. You find a way around the barriers to make it happen.”
They Schedule Sleep
The benefits of a good night’s sleep are no secret. But many of us still sidestep a regular eight-hour slumber, and often for nothing more than surfing late-night TV or scrolling through our Facebook feed.
And if you’re in training, research has also shown that slacking on Z’s can interfere with muscle and central nervous system recovery.
They Fuel Up
Healthy people ditch dieting and eat for energy. “Many people claim they forget to eat or don’t have time,” says Summers. “But in order to be active, you must have fuel in your system.”
Sure, folks are busy, but regularly running on empty is an unhealthy habit to cultivate. Studies have shown that those who frequently skip main meals of the day are more likely to be overweight, and it can even increase risks of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
But if you often get to the end of the day realizing you’ve forgotten to feed yourself, do as the healthy do, says Summers, and “actively schedule it into your life to make sure you always have fuel in your body.”
Whether it’s being hunched over our work desks and digital devices or slumped on the sofa binging on Netflix, our modern lifestyle encourages sitting down for lengthy periods. But this can lead to bad posture, chronic back pain, and a decline in range of motion.
One way that healthy people combat this is to stand up and stretch. Recent research from the Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul, in São Paulo, Brazil, revealed how stretch breaks in the work setting can improve flexibility and grip strength, and reduce musculoskeletal complaints.
And according to Dr. David Behm, professor of sports medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland — and author of The Science and Physiology of Flexibility and Stretching — even stretching for as little as 5-10 minutes per day can pay off with a positive difference in your mood, muscles, and ability to move with ease.
They Scare Themselves
One of the most important things healthy people do every day is venture outside their comfort zone. Whether this involves learning a new skill or signing up for something that scares them — like a Spartan Beast when they’ve only ever run Spartan Sprints — doing something that scares you helps you grow as a person.
The reason for this, according to Dr. Patrick McGrath — an expert in anxiety and OCD and the author of The OCD Answer Book — “In order to really overcome stressors, we need to learn that we can handle the discomfort that we experience when confronting that stressor.”
According to McGrath, facing down your fears — or moving beyond perceived limitations — can help you become more confident, more content in yourself, and better prepared for any new and unexpected changes in your life.
Originally published on Spartan.
Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.