It’s never too late to start integrating healthier habits into your daily routine. Your health is a work in progress, and the little changes you make each day add to your long-term well-being. A healthy lifestyle and mind-set can help you build resilience, challenging you to strive toward reaching your goals despite setbacks and strengthening your overall health.
Experience a fresh start by taking control of how you feel today and committing to small improvements. These are the building blocks that put you on track to feel stronger, prevent illness, and improve your quality of life for years to come.
Healthy lifestyle changes
Here are ten ways to make small but impactful changes:
1. Set daily intentions.
Much of your physical and mental health is a reflection of the belief systems that affect your thoughts. Start your day by writing a daily intention, a decision that will bring consciousness to how you approach every person and task you encounter. Intentions can look like:
Smiling and expressing more affection during your day, releasing serotonin that lifts your mood
Eating more fruits and vegetables each day, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease or stroke
Testing out new recipes, encouraging you to save money and eat healthier with whole-food ingredients and home-cooked meals
2. Nurture your inner caretaker.
Showing kindness to others can boost your mental health and have a positive effect on the way you treat yourself. This could include fostering or adopting a pet and learning to tend to its needs. The companionship of a pet can also reduce stress and cortisol levels, reducing your risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Embracing your nurturing side could also include planting a garden or bringing plants into your home. You’ll likely feel a sense of accomplishment when you are responsible for nurturing something else, inspiring you to tend to your own needs as well.
3. Get regular checkups.
Staying on top of regular checkups with your physician is a preventive health practice that is crucial to your overall well-being. This is the best way to monitor any developments in your body, as well as ensure you’re up to date on any screenings that could alert you of potential health conditions.
4. Find a physical activity you love.
The best way to keep physically active is to find renewed passion in movement. Whether you tune in to an online yoga class, purchase a jump rope, or commit to riding your bike more, making your exercise regimen an enjoyable process will motivate you to show up again and again.
Exercise is essential for your physical and mental health, aiding in weight loss and boosting your mood through the release of endorphins. Make movement a consistently exciting experience by finding an online program or instructor who changes the routine each time.
5. Eat more leafy greens.
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, leafy greens are a staple in a healthy, diversified diet. Nutrients such as folate, vitamin E, and vitamin K, to name a few, all strengthen mental processes by reducing inflammation in the brain and preventing the buildup of plaque that can inhibit cognition as you age.
Leafy greens are also rich in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxides. These stabilize blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity. Adding spinach or kale to a smoothie has become a common practice these days, but you can also get creative! Sauté Swiss chard in olive oil with a little garlic to ramp up flavor and ensure your body will absorb those fat-soluble vitamins E and K!
6. Eat or supplement your diet with probiotics.
Referred to as our second brain, our gut is responsible for not just digestion but regulation of mood, hormone balance, and even the healthy functioning of nerve cells! The gut contains about 100 million nerve cells that signal the release of hormones into the body to support healthy metabolism, toxin removal, and much more. When something’s wrong in the gut, your body will often communicate the problem through indigestion or even your emotions and behavior.
Support your gut microbiome by eating or supplementing with probiotics. Yogurts and fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut, can populate and balance the gut with good bacteria. Good bacteria boost immunity, prevent disease, and support emotional well-being.
7. Prioritize getting vitamin D.
Your body craves fresh air and sunlight, not just as a break from being inside but also for the production of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that supports bone health, blood cell production, and a healthy immune system. A day spent enjoying the sunlight can also boost your mood!
As an alternative to sunny weather, experts recommend getting in the habit of taking a daily vitamin D supplement or adding vitamin D–rich foods to your diet. These foods include fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products and cereals (watch for added sugar, though!).
8. Limit social media time.
How many times a week do you find yourself glued to social media? If this struggle sounds familiar, it may be time to try a social media detox. A detox can break the habit of checking your Facebook or Instagram during downtime, creating space in your day to stay productive and prevent procrastination.
A social media detox can also reduce headaches and eye and neck tension that often come from staring at a screen too long. Quitting social media all at once will likely backfire, so start small. Set a time-management app on your phone, turn off notifications during work hours, or simply put reminders on your fridge.
9. Stick to a healthy sleep schedule.
A good night of sleep can improve productivity, boost your mood, and stabilize your blood sugar to control hunger and cravings. Set yourself up for success by creating a nighttime routine that lets your body know when it’s time to wind down and relax.
This routine may include making a cup of tea or cocoa, diffusing essential oils on your pillow, or making an effort to avoid screen time an hour before bed. Your body’s circadian rhythm functions best when you make a habit of sleeping and waking at consistent times, which eventually stabilizes energy and mood.
10. Make time to foster positive relationships.
Healthy relationships are what we at IIN call primary food, the things that nourish and satisfy you off your plate. Think about the people in your life, and commit to spending more time cultivating relationships that make you feel good, uplifted, and inspired. Catch up with a friend over the phone or plan a weekend hiking with family or friends. By nourishing your support system, you’ll create a lasting impact on your health, as you’ll have someone to turn to during all phases of life, good or bad.
Building a holistically healthy life
Healthy living is about prioritizing daily the little things that energize and inspire you, creating lifelong habits that promote and sustain health. A healthy lifestyle looks different for everyone. This means that how and when you incorporate any of the 10 tips above depends on your unique health needs, environment, and life circumstances.
The most important thing to remember is that these unique differences – what we call bio-individuality – will help you live your healthiest, happiest life in ways that work for you. Take each day as it comes and eventually you’ll see that those little, healthy changes you’ve been making daily add up to great outcomes!
If you’re ready to explore how this concept of bio-individuality applies to more areas of your health, take our Sample Class today!
Rebecca holds a bachelor’s in English with a focus in public relations and has a writing background in retail and entertainment advertising. Her love for all things health and wellness led her to IIN...
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