Healthy Lifestyle Choices - Changes to Make

Alyssa Atkinson

Check these off your list daily.
Beautiful nature scene.Luca Bravo/Unsplash

Throughout my life, I have always enjoyed living simply. Even when I was a little girl, I liked to stick to the basics. I ate my bagels plain and wore my hair in a sleek pony tail or braid. My school lunch often consisted of a sandwich with two ingredients — peanut butter and bread.

As I grew older, this way of living translated into my passions and hobbies. In high school and college, I enjoyed running, hiking, drinking coffee with almond milk, and cooking fresh, healthy meals at home.

Flash forward to today, and I have come to the realization that you don’t need a lot to be happy and healthy. In my 24 years of life thus far, it’s probably one of the most crucial lessons I’ve learned.

My healthy lifestyle really boils down to a few simple acts that I commit to every single day. You can always incorporate more complicated habits into your routine, but that doesn’t make the basics any less valuable. The following six simple steps can do a lot for your health, so I think they are worth sharing. Here they are.

Hone in on this.

Making sure you are properly hydrated is more important than you might think. If you’re anything like me, you probably struggle to drink 64 ounces of water each and every day. However, both your body and mind need that hydration.

Something that has helped me immensely has been carrying my water bottle around with me all day. It sits at my desk while I work, it comes with me to the dining table when I eat my meals, and I place it on the coffee table when I’m watching TV at the end of the night.

Having water nearby at all times will encourage you to drink more water.It’s something I highly recommend you try if you struggle to stay properly hydrated.

Move your body for this long.

Moving your body for 60 minutes each day might seem like a difficult task in theory, but you don’t necessarily have to spend all that time on a cardio machine.

You could go outside for a run or hike, walk or bike to the grocery store, lift weights, etc. Getting in some sort of daily movement is healthy for both your body and mind. It’s a simple yet effective habit that you shouldn’t neglect.

My top tip is to find a form of movement you love, and then repeat it daily. That could be walking, running, biking, swimming, hiking, lifting weights, doing yoga, and the list goes on.

Eat these daily.

Eating ample fruits and vegetables is a simple habit that is often overlooked. These plant based ingredients are absolutely packed with vitamins and minerals that will help your body thrive.

People tend to skimp on vegetables especially. I get that they may not seem like the most appetizing choice, but if you know how to cook them well, they actually taste incredible.

I love to roast my veggies and use them in hearty soups and salads. I even add them to some of my favorite pasta dishes for extra nutrients and flavor.

Find a way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your meals, and your health will receive a serious boost form all those plant based nutrients.

Don’t neglect this.

For some reason, people often try to cut corners when it comes to sleep. Trust me when I say I’ve been there, done that, and the end result is not good.

Back when I was in college, I pulled the closest thing I ever have to an all-nighter (I went to bed at around 3 AM and had to get up at 6 AM). I ended up sick, tired, and my brain was fried for days.

Trying to function on minimal sleep will quickly backfire on you, so it’s best to avoid the situation if at all possible. Prioritize sleep, and your overall well being will receive a serious boost.

Read for at least 30 minutes daily.

This is a habit I have been trying to commit to in recent months. I have really enjoyed reading business and finance articles, and I’ve learned a lot as a result.

I also recently finished Let Your Mind Run, a story written by accomplished marathoner Deena Kastor. It was really inspiring, and it reminded me just how exciting it can be to immerse yourself in a world that is completely different than your own through reading. Just 30 minutes per day can benefit your mind and body immensely.

Reading is the fifth simple habit that can help you live a healthy life. Mental health is just as important as physical health, which is why I felt this was an important point to include on the list.

End each night with 10 minutes of this.

Ending each night with ten minutes of reflection, planning, or journaling is something I have been doing for a while now.

I have noticed a huge difference in how much more prepared I feel the following morning as a result of adopting this habit.

Journaling, goal setting, and planning are all strategies that can help you stay organized and work towards your physical health and fitness goals. Give one (or all) of them a try and see if it makes a positive difference in your life.

Living a generally healthy life is not as complicated as it is often made out to be. While every individual has unique health/fitness goals, a great place to start is by focusing on the basics.

Just by getting into the habit of hydrating properly, sleeping plenty, moving your body daily, eating your fruits and vegetables, etc., you’ll be well on your way to living an incredibly healthy life.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC

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