Heading into the fall season, with kids back in school, I always feel like it’s important to get back to the basics. We tend to over complicate things when it comes to our health. With so many diets, lifestyles and health trends out there it can be overwhelming! Between Keto, Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, Intermittent Fasting, Carb cycling, the alkaline diet, etc…..it can really make a person’s head spin.
Let’s strip away the confusion and start with the foundations that truly create a healthy lifestyle. Below are 7 DAILY habits to start living your healthiest life. These may seem silly and obvious, but if you are able to nail these habits on a every day basis…you’ll make huge strides towards optimal health.
Eat the rainbow. For optimal health, we need a rainbow of nutrients and colors. In fact, the variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables have enormous healing powers. Eating a diversity of colorful foods can be an easy way to get a enough essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and more. Eating this way can help to protect against chronic diseases such as illnesses like the flu, cancers, digestive issues, declining vision, loss of bone density, and help with weight management. Beyond that, we can boost our mood when our plate is full of a variety of visually appealing bright colors versus covered in a dull, white, and plain blandness. It’s called color therapy!
Drink plenty of water. This one is obvious but drinking water is essential to our health. We are made up of mostly water so it’s important to sip on water throughout the day. We lose water in a variety of ways through sweating, breathing, etc. Water is importance for lubricating joints, regulating our body’s temperature, transpiration of nutrients and a catalyst for many of our body’s processes. If you sip on sugary drinks or energy drinks (this includes coffee) throughout the day, this may be contributing to you drinking less water and overall feeling fatigued. Even being slightly dehydrated can cause fatigue, headache, weakness or light headedness. Try replacing at least one of those with a glass of water. Water can actually energize you!! One of our favorite ways to drink water is to add lemon. Lemon has awesome detoxing benefits and a great way to jumpstart the day. So drink a big glass of lemon water first thing in the morning and your body will thank you!
Exercise every day. Daily movement or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Movement and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life and wellbeing. A minimum of 30 minutes a day can allow you to enjoy these benefits.
Get outside. Getting fresh air and soaking up sunlight are important for overall health. Being outside, in nature, can boost our creativity and focus, improve our mood and self-esteem, increase vitamin D levels (over 90% of us are deficient and essential for properly functioning immune system) and improve our workouts. Getting sun exposure during the rights times are so important for our natural circadian rhythms as well. Sunlight helps to release serotonin (our feel good hormones) which is a precursor to melatonin to help us get a better night’s sleep (see below about sleep).
Get quality sleep. Not just plenty of sleep, but QUALITY sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function, and recovering and repairing to maintain physical health. If you have trouble sleeping
Practice gratitude. There are so many benefits of practicing gratitude. Taking time to notice and reflect on the things we’re thankful for, we will experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. When we have a bad day, suffer a tragedy or face a challenge, let’s be grateful for what you (still) have. And instead of getting angry, criticizing, complaining about others, let’s show gratitude towards them. It’s too easy to react negatively and put blame on others, ourself and/or our situation. Taking a minute everyday to appreciate what we’re grateful for can make us feel better.
Surround yourself with positive people. People have a huge impact on our life. By surrounding ourselves with positive people (people who are both positive by nature and positive about their life) we inherently become happier and successful ourselves. When we are happier, we are more optimistic; optimism is the first step in building self-confidence and a healthy perception of ourselves. They are people we also practice daily healthy habits, such as positive thinking. Positive people encourage forward motion.