Having a healthy lifestyle sometimes seems like an overwhelming challenge that doesn’t fit well into our daily lives. Holding down a full-time job, eating well, training for a marathon, making homemade green juice, spending time with family/partner, and meditating for an hour each day is difficult. 😰
Health and fitness can often be incorporated into healthy living (if you want them to), but they shouldn’t be defined by grand displays of health and fitness.
We do so many small things daily that make up healthy living – things that are so small they certainly don’t seem that important, but when done consistently over time, add up to make a difference.
Tips for healthy and happy living
Here is, simple things you can easily incorporate into your daily life to live a better, healthier lifestyle:
1. Immediately after waking up, drink a glass of water
A full glass of water is the best way to start your day, followed by a cup of coffee. When you drink water first thing in the morning, you help your digestion, keep your skin healthy, and boost your energy.
2. Walk up the stairs
You can get a little more exercise in your daily life by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. While you’re at it, your legs and core will be strengthened and toned!
3. Include vegetables on half of your plate
Adding half your plate to veggies at each meal is a simple hack for healthy eating (and portion control). In addition to vitamins and minerals, vegetables are rich in phytonutrients that promote health and longevity. Additionally, their high fiber content aids digestion (keeping you regular!) and makes you feel full for a longer period of time.
4. Track your steps with a fitness tracker
Making sure you’re getting enough physical activity each day is easy with a fitness tracker (like a Fitbit or Apple Watch). Taking 10,000 steps every day is beneficial for the body and mind. In addition to helping you get 250 steps every hour (see tip #9), fitness trackers will also remind you to do so. Take a look at our favorite smartwatches for tracking activity in 2021.
5. Replace toxic household cleaning products with non-toxic ones
We are exposed to harmful chemical ingredients in conventional household cleaning products (or the health of our children and pets). Change your home’s environment to be healthier in order to reduce your exposure to environmental toxins. See our Healthy Cleaning Guide for information about choosing safer household cleaning products.
6. Make sure your skincare and personal care products don’t contain toxic substances
Cosmetics contain toxic ingredients we should never let our largest organ absorb. Conventional skincare and personal care products are no different. Use non-toxic personal care and beauty products to reduce the toxic burden on your body (see our specific recommendations on deodorant, sunscreen, and green beauty products).
7. Take a daily probiotic
In addition to digestive health, skin health, immunity, and mental health, a healthy gut has positive effects on many aspects of health. The simplest way to boost your gut health is to take a daily probiotic with a glass of water each morning (which, in turn, boosts your overall health). Shop our favorite probiotic supplement and learn how to get more probiotics in your diet.
8. Invest in real food
It’s best to choose food that’s made with ingredients that would be found in your grandmother’s pantry or that you would find in your own. Definitely, packaged food is out, sorry!) This is a little bit different from recommending you eat only healthy foods (many of which are increasingly processed!). Foods including apples, cucumbers, soybeans, steaks, and butter can be considered real food, as can foods loosely made with one (or few) real-food ingredients, such as olive oil, yogurt, and tofu. To put it simply, choose foods that you can reasonably prepare in your kitchen and avoid those that must be prepared in a laboratory.
9. Stand up every 30 minutes while you work
Get up every half hour and move around for a minute or two to reduce the harmful effects of sitting (such as at your desk job).
10. Spend time in the sun every day
The sun is one of our best sources of vitamin D, which is one of the most important nutrients for overall health. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of sun each day, preferably in the afternoons, and without sunscreen. Can’t get enough sun in the winter? Consider taking a vitamin D supplement or eating other food sources of this nutrient.