Lifestyle choices and the habits we inculcate determine our health. Our physical and emotional wellbeing highly depend on the behavioral patterns we follow. While some habits may be a part of our routine since childhood, others can be easily formed through small lifestyle changes every day. Step-by-step changes incorporated in our day-to-day activities significantly improve the quality of life. To make it simpler, we’ve made an elaborate list of habits that can change your life starting today!
Consistency is the most important factor when trying to achieve a goal. Working on it every single day can cause a permanent shift in your lifestyle for the better. Anybody trying to make such changes or add a few healthy habits into their life must firmly keep the 21/90 rule in mind. This states that it takes a total of 21 days to form a habit and about 90 days to make it a permanent addition to your everyday routine.
So, to keep things simple and organized, we have broadly classified these habits into four categories and have provided some tips to get you started.
Food is an essential part of our lives. The old saying “you are what you eat” absolutely holds true. And it’s important to form certain dietary habits to lead a healthy life. Here are some essential tips that help improve your daily routine.
- Eat a healthy and balanced breakfast
It is a well-established fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
A study from Harvard Medical School informs us that individuals who skip breakfast are four times more likely to end up with obesity than those who regularly eat breakfast. But while it’s essential to have breakfast every day, it’s as crucial to know what to include in those meals. Even though cereals, pancakes, and waffles sound good any day, such indulgence every day first thing in the morning might not be such a great idea. Instead, try striking a healthy balance of proteins, slow-digesting complex carbs, and fats.
- Eat a colorful meal
This tip is not just for aesthetic reasons. Including a wide variety of fruits and veggies in your diet helps you obtain the essential nutrients you need. Colorful fruits and veggies like carrots, beetroot, berries, and lettuce are not only pretty to look at but are also filled with antioxidants, fibers, vitamins, minerals, and certain phytochemicals that can only be obtained through these sources.
- Plan, or at least track, your meals
Being accountable for what goes into our bodies is a great aid to shedding unnecessary fat. It also helps us track whether we’re getting the necessary nutrients from our food or just consuming empty calories. Meal-planning helps control our impulsive buying tendencies in the junk food aisle and save a lot of time and money when we’re out grocery shopping. Just chalk some time out every whenever you can and make a list of meals you wish to cook and the ingredients you’ll need. Sometimes, just having a visual idea of the ingredients going in our body can help us be more aware of how much of it is good.
Our physical wellbeing is highly dependent on the habits we build. Our body naturally requires some amount of movement, so we have listed a few habits that could help you stay fit and active throughout the day:
- Focus on sitting up straight
Many of you are probably hunching over while reading this article on your PC. Maintaining a good posture can have more of a long-lasting impact on our health than we choose to believe. It relieves stress on the back’s muscles, prevents aches, and even makes you appear taller. Having a good posture can also be quite a confidence booster.
- Don’t be a couch potato
Avoid sitting in the same spot for longer periods of time. It not only adversely affects your spine but also reduces your activity throughout the day. Set a reminder on your phone, if you must, to get up from your seat every couple of hours. Even if it is to grab another cup of coffee or a glass of water, make it a point to frequently get out of your chair during the day. A 10-minute walk or a quick stair workout can be monumental in keeping your health in check. Ensuring that you’re getting up and moving around a few hours in the day will help you stay active avoid those hunching backs.
- Pick an outdoor activity that you love…
…and do it often! Whether it’s a tennis session at the lawns, a spin class with your friends, or a high heels dance class, pick whatever makes you feel the most excited and start incorporating more of that into your routine. Any physical activity that gets your heart pumping faster keeps your body in good shape while giving you those feel-good endorphins. Your day can never go wrong after a good workout.
As a society, we are now starting to understand the importance of mental wellbeing. With the rapidly changing and developing world, it is important to pay close attention to the effect of such a life on our minds. Here are some ways through which you can be more observant of your mental health:
- Read something every day
Whether it’s a newspaper column, a book, a research paper, or this blog post, make it a point to do some light reading every day. This helps you learn something new and informative every single day and helps keep the mind healthy and agile. If you are passionate about books, stock up your library with informative non-fiction books alongside your beloved fictions.
For those of you who prefer news articles or blogs, try reading something different from your usual genre. It can be an exciting and educational experience to learn about a topic that we don’t usually gravitate to.
- Don’t stay online too long
Taking a break from the Internet, or just screens in general, is a great habit in the long run. If you are someone who can’t necessarily do that due to work or other reasons, try setting a time around an hour before you go to bed to turn off all your smartphones and laptops. You can use this time to read a book, take a walk, or even meditate. Taking time off from the screens can be extremely beneficial for the health of your eyes and brain and will surely give them a much-needed break from all the extra strain.
- Be mindful
In simple words, mindfulness is the act of being aware of the present moment while being conscious of our emotions and feelings we experience in that time, but in a non-judgemental way. Our lives can incorporate mindfulness into on various levels wherein we may either choose to just be more aware of every moment as it goes by. Or, we may choose to dedicate some time during the day to meditate and get into that state of complete mindfulness. Studies tell us that adopting mindfulness into our daily routine has resulted in a significant decline in stress levels in an individual. It can also help you to get to know yourself on a deeper level.
Maintaining good personal hygiene is as important as eating right and staying active. It significantly lowers the risks of diseases and illnesses and also helps you stay presentable and clean throughout the day. Here are a few hygiene habits that you should regularize within your routine:
Once a week, mark a day to get everything trimmed and groomed. Nails, hair, beard…anything that needs grooming to keep you clean and fresh. Make it a priority every week to chalk out some time for this. It may seem like a small thing, but in the long run, it’s going to help you dodge a lot of unwanted complications.
- Dental care
It is absolutely essential to brush your teeth at least twice a day. We have been learning this since we were kids. But somehow, some of us always just skimp out by brushing maybe just once a day, or not at all. Getting into a habit of brushing twice day not only helps keep our teeth clean but it also improves gut health.
- Change your sheets every week
This may seem like a very small thing to do, but the difference is massive. Just knowing the variety of germs and dirt that settles on your bedsheets and pillowcases each day will make anyone feel disgusted. So, do yourself a favor and change those sheets every week or so. This will also prevent any skin problems like acne on the face as well as the back.
- Wash your makeup before bed
This isn’t just for those who use makeup on a regular basis. It is important for all of us to sleep with a clean face. No matter how tired you are, and no matter how much you want to just fall straight to bed, do not go with a full face of makeup on. Even if you are someone who does not use any makeup, your face is still covered in sweat and dirt from throughout the day. Your body goes into a state of healing when sleeping, and you do not want all that extra stuff on your face when that happens. Most of our skin problems arise due to the fact that many of us don’t wash our faces properly before sleeping. Making a habit of this will be very helpful in the long run.
Healthy habits for kids
Children are naturally more adaptable to learning new things faster than adults. It is during these foundational years that we must teach them certain habits that will shape their lives in the long run. Apart from the ones already mentioned above, here are few habits that can be catered specifically toward kids:
- Family dinner
It is important for kids to understand and get to know their family from an early age. A great way to ensure that your kid builds a strong relationship with their family is to eat at least one meal a day together. Maintaining a good atmosphere and limiting the conflicts happening in and around the house can be extremely beneficial in teaching the kid good values and manners.
- Limit highly processed foods
This should be a no-brainer for every parent. Processed and junk food should have minimal to no place in your house pantry. Instead, encourage healthier snacks like fruits, nuts, or home-cooked meals so that you know the ingredients going into the food.
- Set a curfew for screen time
Ideally, children under the age of 11 shouldn’t be spending any more than two hours in front of a screen. While it’s important for kids to be up to speed with the latest technologies, being careful about their health holds the same value. Set clear boundaries when it comes to screen time; instead, encourage your child to participate in outdoor activities and sports.
- Indulge in learning activities
Spending some time with your kids on developing their skills and brain functions can be extremely helpful to the kid in the long run. Aside from regular academic activities, try and incorporate more fun activities during the day that will help sharpen your child’s mind. They include abacus training, coloring, reading stories, and solving puzzles.
In this new day and age, we humans tend to get a little carried away while trying to keep up with the world around us. Building a strong and healthy set of habits can prove to be a great way of grounding yourself and staying disciplined.