What is a healthy life?
To many of us, healthy life is a life without any sign of physical illnesses or physical pain. When you take a closer look at it, it is not as simple as that. Healthy life involves more than the physical aspect of your overall health. In order to achieve a truly healthy life, you have to take care of your body inside and out (physical), your general wellbeing (mental, emotional, spiritual), your interaction with other people (social), your knowledge and skill development (intellectual), your work-life balance (occupational) and your surrounding (environmental). If any of these health aspects receive less attention than it requires, the balance between them will easily fall apart. When these health aspects are not working in harmony due to the lack of balance, your overall health will be negatively affected even if you don’t experience any negative signs physically. However, your physical health will eventually be compromised if no action is taken to restore the balance.
Fortunately, there are good habits you can adopt to ensure all of your health aspects are not being neglected so that the balance between them can be maintained accordingly. A list of 10 habits, which will cover all of the aspects of a healthy life, is included in this article. Of course, there are other good habits outside of this list. These good habits, unfortunately, are being unfairly omitted to ensure this article is not going to overly extensive read for you.
Habit Number 1: Exercise Regularly
A healthy lifestyle is not going to be completed without a routine to exercise regularly. This is because exercising regularly can be beneficial to many aspects of your life. The most obvious example of these benefits is your improved physical health. With better physical health, you are going to have:
- better cardiovascular endurance
- better energy level
- better strength
- better body composition (less body fat, more lean mass)
- better bone density
- better joint health
- decreased risk of many obesity-related diseases
Besides that, this habit can help improve sleep, which in turn, improves your attention to your daily tasks. With better capability at handling daily tasks, your confidence and happiness will be positively affected as well.
Habit Number 2: Plan Meals Ahead
Your food choices are playing an essential role in determining if you can sustain good health over your lifetime. This is because the right food choice can ensure that you are getting sufficient nutrients from your diet to nourish your body. In order to make sure your food choices do not stray away from the list of nutrient-dense options too often, you should always plan your meals ahead.
By planning your meals ahead, you can anticipate what you are going to eat in your day. This can help you keep track of the amount of food you eat and the portion size of your meal. Armed with the knowledge of how much you eat and what food do you eat in your usual diet, you will be able to better control your body weight.
Besides that, planning your meal ahead also allows you to leave some rooms from your usual diet to enjoy some good foods with your friends and family during weekends or special occasions.
Habit Number 3: Have a Morning Ritual
Having your daily routine well organized is beneficial to your general health in a few ways. Firstly, the daily routine gives you clarity about your day on a daily basis so that you can have better control over your life. Secondly, you can create a healthy environment to enforce a healthy lifestyle by being able to control your life. Because of that, you will have better confidence to deal with challenges in life and better interaction with others in your social circle.
A well organized day should always start with a morning ritual. This morning ritual can include a range of activities such as making your bed, writing down your daily plan, reciting affirmations, meditating, and exercising.
Habit Number 4: Have a Sleeping Routine
Sleep is one of the most undervalued activities for building a healthy life in modern society. Instead of sleeping, modern lifestyle places a higher priority on spending more time on activities that provide instant gratification such as spending time on streaming services and social media. Sleep is also being sacrificed for the sake of doing more and being more productive in our 24/7 non-stop functioning society. Consequently, your health is deteriorating due to the lack of sleep.
Sleep allows your body to recover from the daily grind so that you will be freshened up for the new grind in the new day when you wake up. Therefore, a good sleeping routine is necessary to put priority back to sleep to pave the way for building a healthy life. This routine should include the following actions:
- Go to bed at the same time every day,
- Wake up at the same time every day,
- Aim to have 7 – 9 hours of sleep per day,
- Don’t consume any stimulating foods or drinks before bed,
- Sleep in a dark and comfortable room,
- Set sleeping space for sleeping purposes. Work and entertainment should have their own spaces, if possible.
Habit Number 5: Prioritize Your Daily Tasks
You are surrounded by many distractions such as social media, video streaming service and etc. These distractions are most likely sharing the same virtual space with your works so they are just one click away from works. If you let your guard down against these distractions, you are going to be tempted to put off your work to get a dose of instant gratification. As a result of putting your work off, you are also going to start off a vicious cycle where your work piles up and you are going to be overwhelmed by the pile-up. This will inevitably add stress to your life because it is hard to take your mind off the accumulating tasks even during your personal break. This stress can then have negative effects on your overall health.
In order to make sure you can keep your focus on your work, you should prioritize your daily tasks based on their importance and urgency. By finishing off the important and urgent tasks at hand, you will be able to remove the stress from being overwhelmed by accumulating tasks. Besides that, you will also be able to enjoy your time outside of work. Therefore, you will not only have a better-managed stress level but also a better work-life balance. Both of these can contribute positively to your overall health.
Habit Number 6: Have a Relaxation Routine
Stress is inevitable in life. A good amount of stress is necessary for achieving your goals in life because it can be a motivating force to drive you to make decisions and take action. However, stress can also have negative effects on your health if you don’t have a good strategy to keep it at a healthy level.
One of the good strategies to manage your stress level is to establish a relaxation routine for you to take regular breaks from life stressors. In your relaxation routine, all you need to do is to spend some time outside of work, family commitment, and fitness-related activities on your hobby. This should be your personal time and space to focus on yourself and what you love to do to relax. If you enjoy the company of your friends and family, spending time with them can also be a part of your relaxation routine to relieve your stress. Besides, a relaxation routine can help you create a better work-life balance as well.
Habit Number 7: Stay Hydrated
Up to 60% of the human body is consists of water. Water plays an essential role in a number of bodily functions, including transporting nutrients and oxygen, removing toxins out of the body, regulating body temperature and etc. Because of that, it is important for you to consistently stay hydrated so your body can do its works optimally. However, it is not uncommon that many of you are not drinking enough water on a daily basis.
Mild dehydration is not only going to have negative effects on many of the bodily functions that require water but thirst as a result of mild dehydration is also going to mask itself as hunger. This hungry feeling will then lead to cravings for snacks between meals. The excess calorie from snacks can push your overall calorie intake into a calorie surplus. Weight gain will then be inevitable if you are on a calorie surplus over a period of time.
Therefore, staying hydrated consistently not only helps you to optimize your bodily functions but it also helps you to better control your hunger as well as your body weight as a result of controlled hunger. In order to make sure you get enough water for optimal health, you can aim for 35-40 ml of water per kg of body weight (0.6 to 0.65 oz of water per lbs of body weight). If you are struggling to drink water, you can start with low-calorie drinks such as the diet version of soft drinks, low-calorie fruit juice, or low-calorie fruit with high water content (watermelon, for example).
Habit Number 8: Learn New Things
Intellectual health is one of the health aspects that does not receive the attention it deserves from most people. It is safe to say that your health would not be complete if you are not putting effort into expanding your knowledge base, skill sets, and insights through learning on a regular basis. There are many forms of learning to build intellectual health, including reading, attending courses (online or face-to-face), listening to audiobooks, mentorship, and etc.
By improving your intellectual health through learning, you are not only going to keep your brain healthy and expand your knowledge but also can slow down your aging process and possibly reduce your risk of certain brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, you can improve your social interaction with others, expand your social circle, and keep your life interesting as well.
Habit Number 9: Socialize with Your Family, Friends and Your Tribe
Socializing with others is an essential part of human life since our ancestors walked the earth. Therefore, it is beneficial for your health to spend some time with your family and friends as part of your social activities. While socializing with others is a time for you to take a break from your life stressors, this is also an opportunity to talk to someone if there is a need to talk about the challenges you are experiencing in your life.
In addition to that, you should also spend with your tribe. Your tribe is a group of people who share similar interests and views as you. These people are happy to celebrate your wins, both big wins, and small wins. They are also happy to help you out when you need help in the pursuit of your ambition. Besides all of that, they could be the inspiration that drives you forward in the endeavor of your life success. Your time with these people is an opportunity to improve your overall life quality.
Habit Number 10: Be Grateful About Good Things In Life and Appreciate More
Oftentimes, it is easy to pay attention to trivial things when they are annoying and inconvenient. Besides, the negativities from our surrounding environment such as news about “dooms and glooms” and destructive debates on our social media newsfeed are not making the world a safe place to enjoy your life.
A good strategy to fight off the negativities is to set a few moments aside in your day to be grateful for the nice things in your life. These things do not have to be as good as world-class achievements or picture-perfect illusions you see on social media. They could be as simple as “sleep in a warm bed at night”, “ the smell of the cup of coffee in the morning”, “ the company of your partner”, “close group of friends who listen to you” and etc. The gratitude you plant into your mind will help you to become more open to appreciating other people and little things in your life. As a result of that, your general wellbeing will be improved as well.
Healthy habits are essential building blocks of a healthy life. This is because healthy habits help you to build a set of positive routines in place for you to follow consistently day after day. There is no need for motivation to drive you to follow these routines because habits set things in motion without you having to think twice about them. For example, you never think twice to pick up your toothbrush to brush your teeth in the morning if brushing your teeth in the morning is a habit for you. Besides, healthy habits enforce a positive attitude towards any circumstance in life.
By adopting these 10 habits, you are setting yourself up to look after all of the aspects of your health. When all of your health aspects are getting the attention they need, they can all work in harmony with each other. As a result, you can rest assured that a healthy life is going to be guaranteed for the rest of your life.