Have you ever scoured wellness trends hoping to find that magic bullet in a sea of endless possibilities? Maybe you’re downing your Lions Mane tea, soaking in detox baths, and trying out the latest diet. I get it. I do. Most of us have spent many years trying to find that thing that will change our health.
Even though we know a magic pill doesn’t exist, we still live as if we’ll be the first to find it. While I’m all for trying new things, living a life of growth, I wonder, has a life of addition been a culprit in keeping us stuck?
The key to health success is sticking with something long enough to see results. To stop living a life of addition, trying the next best thing, and going back to the basics. The simple things that healthy people have adopted as a way of life. These are the habits we want to build, even if they aren’t the most trendy thing on the market. We know they work long-term.
Here are five habits guaranteed to enhance your health and how to add them to your life.
1. Find joy in your exercise routine.
No matter which way you look at it, the research unanimously points back to movement as a vital element of a healthy lifestyle. The truth is, your body was designed to work, and it thrives on being pushed. Moving your body shouldn’t be a decision you have to make but something you do.
The problem with exercise is rarely the movement but the type of movement. The good news is, a HIIT workout isn’t the only way to shed excess weight.
The research shows that the people who are continuously active, regardless of intensity, show the most improvements. So don’t get wound up in what type of movement. The most important thing to know is moving your body is essential. How that looks should be based on what you enjoy.
Find a type of movement that actively fills you up. Whether that’s an afternoon walk in the park, joining a water aerobics class, or picking up a step counter and aiming to hit a target each day.
Healthy people don’t just exercise, they find joy in it, which is the element that keeps them coming back.
Action: Make a list of active activities you enjoy and rank them on the joy-meter scale. Set a rule, 10-minutes of doing the activities that bring you the most joy. I bet when you get started, you’ll stick it out longer than 10-minutes.
2. You pay more attention to what you should eat rather than what you shouldn’t.
The world is full of thoughts on what you shouldn’t eat. Sometimes it feels like nothing is safe. Putting labels on food dictating some moral code in your mind. It’s exhausting to sort through what you shouldn’t eat, leaving you questioning what in the world you can eat.
Most likely, you end up eating whatever you want anyway.
But what if you spent the time focusing on what you shouldn’t eat and started to focus on food as nourishment. Putting your attention and energy into the foods that fill you up, living unconcerned with what doesn’t. I think you’ll find a lot more peace and be excited to nourish your body, rather than living overwhelmed by what you can’t have.
Fixating on what you can’t have keeps your mind circling in scarcity – which makes you rather rebellious, leading you to eat more than you would otherwise.
Action: Make a list of all the foods that nourish your body. The ones that leave you feeling really good. Go ahead and write down foods that you thought you shouldn’t eat – we’ll sort through that later. Put your attention here and commit to making your meals heavy in these foods.
3. Daily awareness of energy levels.
Body awareness doesn’t feel like a habit. In fact, you may want to skip over this one. But don’t! If there is something we know about healthy people, it’s their awareness of how they’re feeling. And not just being aware of it but taking necessary action to get back on track.
Pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day. I know you may feel like you’re exhausted 24/7 but are you? Perhaps you have more energy mid-morning than you realize. But when you do feel exhausted, think of one way to recharge those batteries—doing things that fill your life.
ACTION: Make a list of 5-Minute energy fillers, activities that give you energy. Write them in a notebook, on a sticky note, or in your planner, and keep it with you. The next time you feel your energy lacking, take an energy filler for a test spin.
The more you recognize how much control you have over your energy levels, regardless of your environment, it makes it easier to change it.
4. Drink water first thing every morning.
Water is one of the most critical elements of a healthy lifestyle. Next to movement, sleep, nourishment, hydration is up there. While you’re aware that keeping yourself full of fluids, it’s easy to pay more attention to fluid consumption over-hydrating your body.
One of the most influential times to hydrate your body is first thing in the morning. Yes, even before that cup of coffee.
Action: Drink 8 ounces of lukewarm water first thing every morning before you eat or drink anything else.
It’s free, simple, and influential. Just keep it lukewarm to aid in digestion and absorption. The further away the water temperature is from your body temperature, the longer it takes to warm it up for absorption.
5. Cook and prepare foods at home.
Driving through Starbucks on your way to work may be a comfortable habit that’s hard to give up. But, We know that the foods you cook at home, even making your own fancy drinks, are significantly healthier than what you’d buy.
I’m not saying this is possible all of the time, but making a habit of eating more foods from home that you cook, can change your health. The idea is that you make what you cook delicious and convenient that way, you always have something healthy on hand to eat.
ACTION: Pick one meal a day that you are tempted to eat out and focus on making a plan to cook food at home. Instead of getting takeout over lunch, try batch cooking food that you can pack to reheat at work. One meal each day and commit to cooking it yourself.
If you’re struggling with this step, I have your back.
Pick one thing.
These habits may feel like a daunting list, even if they are simple. You don’t have to do them all, at least yet. Pick one area to focus on and work to conquer it. Remember, it’s okay to let go of what doesn’t serve you in the process. You can’t do it all, nor should you.
Get back to the basics and commit to putting your energy and time where it pays off most!