For the last eight years, first lady Michelle Obama has been a superstar role model for healthy living. She is known for her love of gardening, her Let's Move initiative to fight childhood obesity, and yes, of course, her killer arms.
In honor of M'Obama's unwavering dedication to wellness, we scoured the internet for her best advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are 12 habits—straight from the White House—that will keep us all feeling good well beyond January 20, 2017:
1. Eat dinner as a family.
For the first family, dinnertime is the most important time of day. As a family ritual they sit down, between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., and enjoy a conversation while they eat. Mindful eating is high on her list for maintaining balance.
2. Maintain a holistic view on health.
When asked about her definition of health, the first lady often responds that health is multifaceted and that good health is a combination of positive physical, mental, and emotional states of being. We couldn't agree more.
3. Prioritize yourself.
The first lady stresses the importance of putting yourself first on your priority list. So many women forget to do this, but, especially when it comes to exercise, don't compromise! You deserve to look and feel your best. And hey, if the first lady of the United States can find time to exercise—no excuses for the rest of us.
4. Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal. And yes, indulge occasionally.
It may seem too simple, but making the commitment to include fruits and vegetables at every meal will help establish good habits until eventually, eating with a plant-based mentality becomes second nature. And don't deprive yourself: A healthy diet most of the time allows room for a splurge.
5. Give in to some of your guilty pleasures.
We love that Mrs. Obama is known for indulging in The Real Housewives. No matter what your profession, it's important to relieve stress, and if that means occasionally binge-watching reality television in your downtime—who are we to judge!
6. Eliminate processed foods.
The unhealthy nature of processed foods is well-known, and the first lady made it a top priority to get rid of packaged lunches, canned juices, and other processed foods from her family's diet. Again, it may seem simple, but eliminating these foods will effortlessly reduce your intake of unhealthy fats, sugars, and salt, and may even help banish your cravings.
7. Educate and empower yourself.
Many foods are advertised as healthy but actually do more harm than good. Learn how to read and interpret food labels, think for yourself, and do your own research if you have to. You know your body best, and we're huge advocates of tuning into our gut feelings and intuition to inform a healthy lifestyle.
8. Start healthy traditions.
In one interview, Mrs. Obama reflected on her childhood; her grandmother was a working woman who loved to cook and incorporated at least two vegetables into every meal. Don't underestimate the power of wholesome family traditions; they can really stick! (Spaghetti squash is one of our current faves.)
9. Switch up your workout routine.
Last year the first lady released a video for one of her public health initiatives. She lifts weights, jumps rope, and boxes. Also frequently spotted at SoulCycle and Solidcore in D.C., she proves that she is willing to mix it up and inspires us to get the blood pumping.
10. Don't fear aging.
When asked about aging, Mrs. Obama responded that she's not afraid of getting older. In fact, in her experience, everything gets better with age. Her goal is to be a good-looking 70-year-old, and aging gracefully is a concept we can get behind!
11. Early to bed, early to rise.
In an interview with Oprah, the first lady said that she often gets up as early as 4:30 a.m. to exercise or work. Rising with the sun can be a great way to feel on top of your day and increase productivity. Not to mention, getting an early start to the day helps reset hormones.
12. Look on the bright side.
Often seen dancing and laughing, our first lady leads by example when it comes to positivity, injecting fun into life, and never taking ourselves too seriously.
While it's quite likely that Michelle Obama's life is pretty different from ours, we can still incorporate a few of these nuggets of wisdom into our daily routine. Thank you, Michelle, for being an inspiration and a driving force in health and wellness!