Basic Habits for a Healthy Life

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If you’re like me you’re always looking for ways to elevate your health. You’ve got goals to better your eating habits, practice self care, get your daily exercise in, sleep long and deep...the list can go on and on. Whether you’re succeeding or not is another story. Often I see women neglecting themselves because LIFE happens. You get busy, stressed, overwhelmed and your healthy habits and diligent efforts go out the door. This can be frustrating and make you feel like you are never going to make any progress. But fear not! When that happens to me, because even as a health coach life happens, I try and focus on the basics. Making these habits non-negotiable in my daily life, no matter what the week throws my way, ensures I am always on the right track.

Drink more water

Aim for half your bodyweight in ounces as a standard and add more when you are doing any kind of exercise. So that means if you weigh 150 lbs aim for 75 oz of H2O every day. To do this I keep a water bottle with me basically at all times and keep refilling.

Walk as much as possible

Some experts have described walking as the best exercise. It can lower your risk for a number of diseases, reduce your stress levels, improve your mood, and help you stay trim. Plus you can make going to the grocery store a quick workout. On days I know I’m not going to get a traditional workout in I’ll park further away from the store or work, take the stairs and try to get in a lunch time stroll. Anything to get you up and moving around more frequently throughout the day is going to be a huge benefit to you.

Skip the juice and eat the whole fruit

It’s quicker to grab a piece of fruit than to make a smoothie or juice and will provide you with a higher dose of fiber than its juice counterpart. I’m a big fan of smoothies and pressed juices on the other hand I am also a big believe in eating whole foods in their natural form. So for me that means balancing out my juice intake by skipping them and simply grabbing a whole apple or orange instead. On very full days this saves a few precious minutes you may need to get out the door on time.

Oatmeal for breakfast

Oatmeal is quick, easy and super nutritious. It is the perfect go to breakfast! Anytime you are strapped for time or unsure about what to have; you can rely on oatmeal to fill you up from breakfast through lunch. Depending on my time available I’ll make it a few different ways.

1. Longest: Bring to a boil on your stove and simmer for 10-15 minutes (follow the label instructions)

2. Just a few: Boil water and pour on top of oats in a glass container with a sealable lid (mason jars work great for this). Close the lid and allow to sit until water is absorbed. I’ll make this as I am headed out the door to work and it will be ready when I get to the office.

3. Ready to run: When you know you will have zero time in the morning prepping the night before will save you. Make overnight oats by adding oats, toppings and almond milk to a jar, mixing together and leaving in the fridge overnight. Just grab and go in the morning.

Practice gratitude

Your mindset can completely shift your health! I know that may sound very “woowoo” and not scientific, but the mind/body connection is a huge topic in the wellness world and is has been widely studied. Think about it, when is it easiest to stick to healthy habits? When you’re relaxed and happy, right? And when is it hardest? When you’re stressed, sad, depressed. In the words of Elle Woods “Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't.” And if you don’t get my reference go watch Legally Blonde ;) Practicing gratitude everyday will help you stay in a positive mindset, which will translate into better choices and more overall joy. I do this by saying out loud every morning what I am grateful for that day. You could do the same, think about it while you brush your teeth, keep a gratitude journal, or just focus on being appreciative of everything in your day.

Snack on nuts & seeds

I’m like a squirrel because I have bags of nuts and seeds stashed everywhere! My purse, car, kitchen, office anywhere I frequent where I may find myself hungry. Keeping your blood sugar stable is an essential part to a healthy diet. And always having something healthy on hand will ensure you’re not hitting the vending machine or drive through window when you realize you’re suddenly starving. A small handful all you need for a quick snack that will give you all the nutrients you need to get to your next meal!

Sleep 8 hours a day

Even if all you did that day was sit at your desk, working long hours, your body still needs time to repair itself every night. I’m sure you are SO tired (hehe) of being told to get enough sleep but it cannot be stressed enough! Getting a consistent 8 hour (at approximately the same time each night) will keep you body on a good schedule. Lack of sleep even 1-2 hours can drastically increase your risk of disease. Making the time to catch enough Zzz’s is just as important as hitting the gym and a healthy diet!  

So let’s recap:

  1. Drink more water

  2. Walk as much as possible

  3. Skip the juice and eat the whole fruit

  4. Oatmeal for breakfast

  5. Practice gratitude

  6. Snack on nuts & seeds

  7. Sleep 8 hours a day

Which of these are you already doing?

What will you start to incorporate right away?

If you’ve not got a list of 7 things you need to start doing, which is the most important (gut reaction, first thing that pops in your head)?

Life gets crazy sometimes but by keeping these 7 things as the bare minimum you’ll always be on the right path!