10 Rules To Kickstart Healthy Habits
The question I'm asked most frequently as a health coach and yoga teacher is, “Can you give me some ideas and tips on how to be healthier?” You might be asking yourself or others the same question, especially during this time of internal and external spring cleaning.
Although it's hard to put in a nutshell due to each human’s individual dietary needs, I've honed in on 10 simple, general tips that can give you an idea of what to focus on if you’re feeling bombarded with wellness information. This stuff can get confusing when magazines and TV and the interwebs are feeding us what seems like thousands of different articles every day on the newest study or trend.
Remember to take baby steps. Each individual is unique, so what works for you may not be so awesome for your neighbor. As you slowly integrate these practices into your daily life (keyword: slowly), you’ll eventually be seamlessly living these goals. You'll also learn to react without flipping out when things don’t go exactly the way you planned. For example, I'm one of the many urban wellness junkies who enjoys city life, but I also choose to integrate healthy choices into the mix.
The tips below help me keep things simple and attainable; I understand that not everything is always possible, and that's totally acceptable.
1. Eat more veggies.
Buy tons of them (freeze them if you need to). Eat tons of them as often as possible, especially dark leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach, and collard greens. Raw or cooked, frozen or fresh, eat them.
2. Drink more water.
Drink a lot in the morning and throughout the day, and less at night to avoid waking up with an unhappy bladder.
It will center you, calm you down, and help you set positive intentions. When you feel good, you want to eat good food. As your stress levels decrease, there's a whole list of physical and mental improvements that will follow suit (improved digestion, sleep, mood, etc).
4. Eat more whole grains.
Quinoa, brown rice, and oats are great places to start.
5. Eat in season if and when possible.
Find local farmer’s markets and pick a new fruit or vegetable as often as possible.
6. Eat organic and/or GMO-free if and when possible.
Take advantage of any chance you're given to limit the amount of chemicals that enter your body.
Walk 15 minutes one way, then turn around and walk back. Do yoga. Dance around your living room. Play basketball, tennis, football, baseball, soccer — whatever you feel like playing. Move your body for endorphins and healthy organs and muscles.
8. Laugh and smile.
Do things that make you happy.
9. Get 7-8 hours of sleep.
Don’t hit snooze, eat at least two hours before bed, and resist the urge to Instagram in bed (maybe try picking up that book you’ve been meaning to read instead).
10. Take time off.
As you take time for yourself to travel, have a spa day, play hooky, or just be, you’ll find yourself more motivated as you head back to work. This is, admittedly, a constant learning process for me — please share if you have any tips!
Pick and choose from these as you please, be adventurous and try one of them today! What are you waiting for?
Be patient, be compassionate, and be well.