Building consistent healthy habits is something that starts at home. If you can establish a regular and healthy routine, you’ll be able to accomplish much more in your day to day life than if you didn’t keep your healthy habits. In order to start building positive habits at home, consider the below tips and ways to start making your daily life healthier.
How to Build Healthy Habits at Home
Limit Processed Foods
There are many foods out there that are packed with preservatives and added sugars that do nothing to nourish your body. It’s important to limit these foods as much as you can, although realistically you will still eat them from time to time. Moderation is important — it’s okay to have that bag of chips or bowl of ice cream once in a while, but having it with every meal isn’t the best choice that you can make. However, if you do have more than you “should,” make sure not to punish yourself for it.
Instead of focusing on the foods that you should be avoiding, try to focus on the foods that are healthy for you that you actually enjoy eating. For example, if you love berries, you can try maqui berries — they have been linked to potentially reducing inflammation and helping with heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and some lung conditions. Fruits and vegetables all have a range of health benefits, so try out as many different foods as you can and keep the ones in your diet that you enjoy eating. If you hate kale, even though you know it’s good for you, don’t force yourself to eat kale. Spinach has a similarly positive impact on your body but a very different taste, so you may enjoy it more.
Think Before You Snack
Snacking is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you find yourself reaching for a snack between every meal, it’s possible that you aren’t eating enough at your mealtimes. If you’re snacking when you aren’t even hungry, then it’s more of a habit than a form of nourishment. Try to break the habit by giving yourself 15 minutes where you determine if you’re actually hungry or if you’re just bored. Getting into the habit of listening to your body before eating is a great way to build healthy food habits.
If you are actually hungry enough for a snack, try to reach for a fruit or vegetable snack as opposed to something processed and less than natural. Food crops fight against 30,000 types of weeds, 3,000 types of nematodes, and 10,000 types of plant-eating insects to end up on your table, so make sure that you actually eat the things that you buy. You can enjoy things like apples, bananas, or clementines if you’re craving something sweet, and carrots or celery with hummus if you’re looking for something savory.
Find a Fitness Routine That Works
We’ve all been there: you create a very ambitious plan to start working out every single morning, and after two days you decide to take a rest day, only to never return to your original plan. Instead, try to build a sustainable workout routine that you actually enjoy — if you like the way that you’re working out, the odds are that you’ll actually keep up with your routine over time.
When you first start working out, try to only do workouts two to three times a week. Once that routine has been created, you can add in another day or increase the amount of work that you do on those two to three days. Make sure to give yourself adequate time to recover after your workouts. When you first start out, it may take some time for your body to get used to working out and moving consistently.
Working out is a healthy habit for many reasons — it can help control your weight, give you an outlet for stress, or serve as a confidence boost if you are having a hard day. Two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and this can lead to issues like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and imbalanced blood sugar. Working out consistently may not necessarily cause you to lose weight, but you will definitely be lessening your chances of experiencing those health issues. Before you start any sort of new workout routine, make sure that you talk with your doctor about what will best work for you.
Our bodies function their best when they’re fully hydrated. Drinking enough water is a relatively easy habit that will help you stay healthy and help your body work more efficiently. You can consult your doctor or do independent research online to find what the right amount of water is for you to be drinking daily. If you feel thirsty, that means that you are already slightly dehydrated. Try to drink enough water to prevent from actually feeling thirsty, and you’re on your way to proper hydration.
Drink Less Alcohol
Although drinking alcohol can be okay in moderation, if you drink too much or too often, it can start to have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Try to limit yourself to only drinking once or twice a week, and keep your number of drinks low. If it’s a special occasion, like a party or a holiday, it’s okay to drink a little bit more, but overall you should try to keep your intake low. If you think you have an addiction to drinking, you should talk to your doctor to get help with breaking your habit.
Take Movement Breaks
Many of us spend most of our days sitting at a desk and only getting up every few hours, only to come home and spend the night lounging on the couch. This is not really the ideal situation for our bodies. Instead, try to take a short break every hour or so to stretch your legs and move some. It can be just a minute or two of walking around your office, doing a quick stretch, or even going to get a glass of water, but incorporating more movement into your day is usually a good thing. If you usually spend your nights at home watching TV on the couch or otherwise lounging, try to do some bodyweight exercises or yoga poses while you watch, and take breaks to get up and move often.
You can start to build healthy habits without ever leaving your home. By changing small things, like how often you snack or how much water you drink, you can begin to positively impact your health right away.