Thursday, February 6, 2014

3 Habits to Adopt Now To Live a Healthier Life

A healthy you is a beautiful you

What good is all the makeup or cute clothing you wear if you're not healthy on the inside?

This is one of the main messages I try to get across on this blog, and today I was reminded of this. I was talking with a friend about weight gain, feeling tired because I hadn't exercised in awhile, and how I needed to get back into good habits because I fell off a little after catching a cold. It brought to mind a few habits that I have adopted to maintain a relatively healthy mindset. Mind you, I'm not perfect and sometimes I'll revert back to bad habits, but for the most part I think I'm pretty consistent.

In this day and age of cancers, diabetes, and heart issues, I thought it was important to share what I think the best habits to adopt in order to be healthy on the inside and outside. In one form or another, I've written about these before, but it doesn't hurt to have reminders every now and then...

Meditate - This is something that I talked about awhile back, and if you don't do anything else, at least try meditating once a day for 5-10 minutes. It definitely helps with stress and anxiety. I always feel more relaxed and energized after closing my eyes and releasing all the mindless chatter that occupies the mind. I also like to visualize being healthy and happy, which puts me in a good mindset to start my day.

If you've never meditated before, it can be a challenge to quiet the mind. I recommend going on YouTube and searching for "relaxing guided meditation". You'll come across many videos, but choose one that resonates with you. Focusing your mind on what the person is saying is easier than sitting in silence when you're starting out with meditation.

Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It's like the ultimate rest. It's better than the best sleep you've ever had. It's a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh. --Hugh Jackman

Limit snacks - This includes the number of unhealthy snacks you buy as well as the amount of snacking you do throughout the day. Let's face it, most of us like chips, cookies, or donuts. I'm not saying you should totally deprive yourself of these types of snacks, but when you go grocery shopping, only buy 1 or 2 unhealthy snacks for the week. Once those snacks are gone, that's it until the next week. No quick runs to the convenience store or visiting the vending machine at work. I like to think of it as "budgeting" your snack consumption. I highly recommend reading my friend's blog, Noshtopia, for inspiration on healthy eating.

Consistent exercise - Exercise comes in many forms. I've talked about exercise plenty of times, so I sometimes feel like I'm beating a dead horse by telling you to do this. Just about everyone talks about this as being a healthy thing to do, right? What I'm not going to tell you, though, is that you need to get a gym membership or do aerobics for an hour. Find something you enjoy doing that gets your body to move. That could be dance, yoga, or simply walking around the neighborhood - just get up and move.

I like to do different things for exercise because doing the same thing every day is boring for me. One day I'll go running, another day I'll go on YouTube and find a Zumba video, and another day I'll lift weights. Here are tips I've shared to stay motivated and inspired to exercise.

All of these habits have to be done on a consistent basis to reap the benefits. If you have to, write them on your To Do list in the morning or post reminders around the house so that they're embedded into your subconscious. They say it takes about 21 days to form a habit, then after that they'll become a part of your normal daily routine.

Have you adopted any of these habits to become healthier? Do you have any other tips to share?

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