Living a healthy lifestyle seems like a lofty goal. After all, who has the time to go to the gym, meal plan, and schedule doctors’ appointments? But it doesn’t need to be a difficult endeavor. Small, simple changes, especially when combined with other easy adjustments, will bring major results over time.
Physical activity is critical to a healthy lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend hours at the gym each week. Stretch when you wake up each morning, take a walk around the block during your lunch break, or set a reminder to get up and move a little every hour or so. Every little bit of motion adds up to progress!
Indulge in Nature
No nearby parks or time to go to them? Bring a touch of nature indoors with plants like croton petra, an eye-catching, beginner-friendly option. Tending to your plants can decrease stress and loneliness and even improve the air quality in your home. Just be warned: you might not be able to stop at just one plant.
A healthy diet doesn’t mean sticking to “good” food over “bad.” Instead, make simple substitutions and adjustments, like adding more fruits and vegetables to your favorite meals. Consider adding edible plants, like herbs, to your indoor garden for an addition that’s fresh and healthy—and grown with your own two hands.
To those who’ve never tried it, meditation can seem intimidating. Start by simply focusing on your breath and, when your mind inevitably wanders, returning to that focus. If you’re looking for a little more guidance, try downloading an app or searching YouTube for more structured meditations.
Our bodies are largely made up of water so it should come as no surprise that drinking plenty of H2O can help you be healthier. Try drinking a glass of water before each meal or switching one other drink, like soda or juice, to water each day. Gradually, you can increase your water intake and reap the benefits of hydration.
Take Time for Yourself
If you feel like you don’t have enough time to take a break, you probably need one more than most. Try to cut back on less-beneficial activities like scrolling through Instagram or rewatching shows on Netflix and fill that time with something that truly relaxes you or brings you joy. Even a few minutes spent tending your plants, reading a book, or moisturizing your skin makes a difference.
The general 8-hour guideline is a good starting point but every person is different. Try to track your energy levels and hours of sleep to see where that “sweet spot” falls for you. Wearable technology like a smartwatch or fitness tracker can make tracking effortless—simply wear the device to bed and it will note when you’re asleep and factors like heart rate or blood oxygen levels.
Regular wellness visits and preventive measures like screenings and immunizations can help you to stay healthy and catch any issues early. Talk to your doctor about what tests, shots, or other preventive measures are recommended and review your health insurance policy to ensure they’re covered. If not, consider comparing health insurance providers to find a better fit.
Focus on the Positive
Alongside physical measures like eating right and exercising, your health will benefit from adjustments to your mindset. Positive thinking has been shown to lessen depression, improve cardiovascular health, and even increase resistance to the common cold. Watch a funny video and laugh along. Smile. Express gratitude for the good in your life, even if it’s as seemingly insignificant as seeing a cute dog walk by.
Your journey to a healthier lifestyle can be as simple as buying a plant, getting a checkup, and getting to bed at a decent hour. Even if you take just one small step today, you’ll be one step closer to a happy, healthy life.