It is no surprise that good health is on top of everyone’s priority list right now. Then again, even without a pandemic, we should always put a premium on making sure we live a healthy lifestyle.
Improving your way of life is not something to be afraid of. It definitely means leaving bad habits behind and moving on to good habits, but you do not necessarily have to make drastic changes in one go. In fact, making a few small changes here and then is better for you and would make it easier to stick to the new habits consistently.
You may not notice it at first, but the little things you do daily are the ones that make a big difference. If you are looking to live a healthier lifestyle, here are some little changes you can make to your daily routine.
1. Take a three-minute breather.
Don’t disregard the importance of taking a small breather every now and then! No matter what you do, your daily tasks can be stressful and can definitely take a toll on your health. However, by remembering to take even a three-minute break from time to time, you can also remember to breathe slow and breathe deep, which helps alleviate stress.
2. Stretch daily.
Stretching takes more or less than five minutes, but it is an essential habit to practice daily. If you work out, stretching can make your body less sore. Stretching can also reduce injury as well as relieve stress and reduce pain.
3. Drink more water.
Staying hydrated is key to great health! Drinking more water results in many health benefits, such as weight maintenance, increasing your energy level and physical performance, improving your brain function, and preventing various issues like headaches, constipation, and even medical conditions like kidney stones.
4. Walk whenever you can.
Another thing that you need to add to your daily routine is walking. This is especially important if you don’t have time to go to the gym or do a proper exercise routine. A 15-20 minute walk each day can have a significant impact on your metabolism, reproductive system, and cardiovascular system. So take a stroll outside – even the fresh air would do you wonders!
5. Eat more slowly.
Aside from physical activity, it is also crucial to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. But if you find it too challenging to give your diet a complete overhaul, you can begin with a simple step: eating more slowly. By eating more slowly, you give your brain enough time to process and perceive fullness. Thus, by the time you finish your plate, you would already feel full and satiated, which does not happen when you eat too quickly. Plus, chewing your food more also benefits your digestion!
6. Use smaller plates.
Another small thing you can change if you seek to lose or maintain weight is to use a smaller plate. Psychologically, a large plate can make your portion of food look smaller, which makes you feel less full. On the contrary, a small plate makes the same portion look bigger and you tend to eat less.
7. Eat a nutrient-packed breakfast.
Start your day right by eating breakfast! Not all breakfasts are the same, though. Eating sugar-laden cereal not only is unhealthy but makes you feel lethargic by midday, which is why you find yourself reaching for another sugar-laden snack to give you an energy boost. However, by eating a filling breakfast meal packed with fibre, protein, and healthy fats, you will have more energy that would last the entire day (or at least before lunch time).
8. Cook more often.
If you want to eat healthier, you need to limit the number of times you eat outside. Instead, be more in control of your food by cooking at home more often. Aside from being cheaper and more practical, food cooked at home tends to be healthier as you know exactly what went into it when you made it.
9. Replace your cooking oil with a healthier oil.
Since you are getting into the habit of cooking more often at home, make your food even more nutritious simply by swapping your cooking oil for a healthier alternative. Refrain from using highly processed vegetable oils like canola and soybean. Instead, use healthier oils like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
10. Replace junk food with nuts and fruits.
On its own, snacking is not a bad habit. Hence, you don’t really need to nip it in the bud. However, what makes snacking bad is our choices of snacks. Rather than reaching for chips or candy in the afternoon, it is a lot better to eat nuts and fruits instead. To make sure you are always making the healthier choice, stop buying junk food and stock up on healthy snacks.
11. Read nutrition labels.
Ideally, we should all eat only whole foods, but in reality, packaged foods are a convenient and practical option that can be really handy in emergencies. Because buying packaged foods is virtually unavoidable, you need to do the next best thing: read nutrition labels. Avoid foods with a high amount of sugar and those that contain hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup.s.
12. Go to sleep earlier.
Enough sleep is of the essence, and getting too little sleep is associated with negative health issues like increased calorie intake and excessive weight gain. Aside from these, sleep deprivation also results in loss of focus, reduced productivity and physical performance, and an impairment of the immune function. Hence, it puts you at risk of serious diseases.
13. Wake up earlier.
A natural effect, of course, of going to sleep earlier is waking up earlier. But did you know it’s a good habit to maintain, too? Having enough time in the morning to prepare for the day would greatly reduce your stress level and you get to have some alone time for other good habits such as exercising and eating a healthy breakfast.
14. Avoid impulse purchases by ordering online.
Ordering online is a norm during the pandemic, but it is actually a good habit that you might want to maintain in the future. This is because it keeps you from making impulse purchases that are most likely unnecessary and even unhealthy. Ordering online could help you spend less money, too!
15. Wash your hands frequently.
There has been a lot said about washing hands and pandemic or not, it is a practice that needs to be done frequently to prevent diseases. Read this article for tips on how to teach your kids good hygiene habits, including the proper washing of hands.
16. Replace your household cleaners with better alternatives.
Cleaning and sanitizing your house on a regular basis is a must, but it is even better if you can replace your commercial household cleaning products with better alternatives. Commercial products can have toxic ingredients that are harmful for your family, particularly your children and your pets. Instead, try to make your own cleaning products from ingredients that are not only safe but also cheap.
17. Don’t take your shoes inside the house.
No matter what household cleaning products you use, your effort to clean and sanitize the house could be futile if you don’t maintain its cleanliness. One of the little changes you can make for a healthier lifestyle at home is to tell everyone to leave their shoes outside. By simply doing this, you can keep the dirt, germs, and even hazardous chemicals, off your home.
18. Plan your week.
Finally, in order to maintain these little changes for a healthier lifestyle, try to set some time, preferably during the weekend, to plan the week ahead. Schedule your online grocery shopping as well as your cooking or meal prepping. Set daily schedules that include mealtimes and workouts or walks. Make healthy meal plans and shopping lists, too, to keep yourself on track. By simply planning your week, it would be easier for you to practice the small, healthy changes consistently.