5 Health Habits You Want To Begin Immediately

Lifestyle habits are challenging to change, especially when trying to change everything all at once. This is a sure route to failure, as this leads to feelings of incompetence, which makes us give up on all of our new habits and resort to our usual non-beneficial health habits that do not support our health and weight loss goals.  

It is easy to become overwhelmed with all the things that need to be changed to follow the path to health and well being. This may lead the individual to a lowered self-esteem, which leads them to give up on themselves, and sadly, this happens over and over again. 

It is most beneficial to change nonuseful habits one habit at a time to prevent becoming overwhelmed and stop any efforts altogether.  

Therefore, the key to success in changing health habits is to begin gradually. 

There are a few simple actions that you can begin with that will promote better health and wellbeing, and don’t require much effort on your part but do have a significant effect on your health and well being.

So here is where to begin: 

1.    Change One Meal at a Time to a More Whole Food Plant Based Meal 

Even if you eat much meat and dairy products throughout the week, or you snack often on processed foods, or ready-made meals, if you aim to change just one meal each day in the right direction for health, you will slowly be supporting a healthier microbiome, be feeding your body with a higher density of nutrients, and fiber, which will slowly, but surely benefit your health in the long term. Whole food meals consist of fruits and vegetables of all sorts, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes. 

One meal change a day adds up, and it is the easiest way to incorporate new dietary habits into your life. Furthermore, this gradual shift will slowly support a healthier population of bacteria in your gut, which will make the transition to healthier dietary choices both more comfortable and more friendlier.

You can also begin by cooking a healthy meal once a day. People seem to think that they are too busy to cook a healthy meal, but this is simply not true, it just means you need to change the way you are currently cooking, and take on new, healthier ways of cooking. This will take some more time in the beginning, but overall healthy meals can be prepared in under 20 minutes just like unhealthy meals. Healthy cooking will also help focus your thinking and attention towards healthy foods and wholesome food and cooking options, and focus = power.

2.    Drink Sufficient Water a Day 

Water is vital for life and is necessary for optimal daily functioning of our body. Water is also known as nature’s champagne. 

Water balance improves not only a person’s physical performance, but also a person’s attentiveness, critical thinking skills, and memory. Water transports nutrients around the body and regulates body temperature, while also lubricating the joints. Research also shows that water facilitates weight management (15,17). 

It even tastes wonderful when you become accustomed to drinking only water instead of sugar-laden soft drinks. Asking on a new habit usually does not take longer than one month, so changing your drinking habits to water will happen quite fast but will have a significant effect on your overall health.

To incorporate this habit easily, make going into your kitchen a cue to drink a glass of water. Every time you go into your kitchen, which for most of us is quite often 😉 first to drink a glass of water. Using entering the kitchen as a cue to drink a glass of water will help you stay hydrated and achieve better physical and cognitive performance throughout the day. 

This small change will not only improve your overall health but will also positively affect your looks by enhancing the condition of your skin!

3.    Develop a More Positive Mindset 

A negative mindset is discouraging, stressful, straining, especially on relationships, reduces overall happiness levels, and makes us less productive. 

Mindset is also linked with intelligence as well as psychological wellbeing.

So, how do you become more positive?

It all begins with your self-talk. Once you begin to notice your self-talk and the amount of negativity you accommodate, you will understand the importance of banishing this internal negative conversation and replacing it with a more positive conversation that promotes high self-esteem. Since our conscious mind only can accommodate one thought at a time, when we are accommodating a negative thought, we cannot accommodate a positive thought.

Also, the opposite is true, so it is always better to choose positivity over negativity since just by choosing a positive mindset, you will already feel happier, and this will lead you to a calmer happier and healthier body.

Appreciation for what you already have is another easy way to develop positivity.

One can and should be grateful for the people in their lives, for the support they receive, for the warm bed they can sleep in. Not all people are so lucky to have these things.

Most negativity triggers are quite insignificant in the larger scheme of life. When we take things in the right context, we will notice that most negativity triggers are just there because this is the way we are used to behaving. We can always change this and create a more positive mindset and a more positive life.

Getting sufficient sleep also helps support a positive mindset. Being tired makes some feelings overwhelming, puts more stress on our shoulders, limits our focus, and can make one more susceptible to disease. Go for 7-8 hours of sleep at night for the benefits that good sleep has to offer. Please read my article on the importance of sleep for health and weight loss to learn more about this subject.

4.    Spending Time Outdoors In Sunshine

Going out in the sunshine has a prominent impact on your mind and body. 

Firstly, sunshine helps our body produce vitamin D, which is created by our body in response to sunlight exposure on our skin. Vitamin D has received worldwide attention not only for its importance for bone health in children and adults but also for reducing risk for many chronic diseases including autoimmune diseases, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, heart disease, many cancers (pancreatic, colon, ovarian, breast, prostate cancer, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma), as well as neurocognitive disorders, infectious diseases, multiple sclerosis, and mortality. 

Vitamin D deficiency is now a pandemic because people either avoid sunshine or wear sun protection for fear of skin cancer or have cultural or religious reasons to cover up the body, preventing sunlight skin exposure altogether.

Vitamin D influences our epigenetics and gene regulation, and for these reasons, sunlight exposure has such wide-ranging health benefits throughout life. 

People living in higher latitudes have a lesser exposure to the beneficial UVB rays from the sun and therefore should supplement with vitamin D, but can benefit from spending time outdoors nonetheless. Please read my guide to vitamin D to learn how to get sufficient quantities of this life-giving nutrient.

Furthermore, the scent of trees, grasses, and flowers is very relaxing and helps reduce stress. Even half an hour during lunch break spent out in the sun will significantly improve your productivity and lessen stress levels while also making you happier.

Sunshine also helps you sleep better. Just a few minutes of sunshine during the right time of day has been found to help you get to sleep more quickly and will help you stay asleep for longer. 

5.    Walking Regularly. 

The fourth leading risk factor for mortality on a global level is inactivity, with over 4 million deaths annually.

Regular physical activity develops and sustains physical fitness and has been proven to reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness.

Regular physical activity, even at low intensity, has been shown to offer similar effects to some drug interventions in terms of mortality benefits.

Walking, when carried out consistently, is associated with significant cardiovascular health benefits, and since walking at any pace expends energy, it also supports weight control. Furthermore, walking has also been shown to improve metabolism of high-density lipoproteins and improve insulin and glucose dynamics. This helps battle against diabetes, lowers BMI, and reduces high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Walking can benefit anyone at any age and can be done entirely alone, with a phone as company, or as a social meeting. It costs nothing, no special skills or equipment are required, and has both short and long term health benefits. Walking is self-regulated in duration, intensity, and frequency, and can be done all year round and is very safe.

You only have to ensure is that you are walking in a place with good air quality and low in traffic fumes.

Your aim should be to progress from a slow pace (4 km/h, 2?m/h), to a somewhat faster speed of walking (6.4 km/h, 4?m/h), and to increase the duration to 30 minutes or more on most days of the week.

Start by being active during lunch break. Even with a half-hour lunch break, it usually doesn’t take that long to eat lunch. Before sitting down to eat, then take some time for a brisk walk, preferably outdoors. After 15-20 minutes of walking, you can then sit down to eat more calmly, and more happily.

You can even involve the whole family and go for a walk around the block or to the park, if you have one in your vicinity, to enjoy some fresh air and exercise together instead of sitting down in front of the television. 

Make it an evening ritual after dinner.

Conclusion   

These 5 activities offer significant benefits to your health and well being and are very simple to incorporate into your daily routine. A minute change today will make a big difference in your life in the long term through compounding benefit.

These activities, when incorporated into your daily routine, will improve your physical and psychological well being, making you both healthier and happier. So do them and enjoy them!

If you are enthusiastic about making a real transformation in your health and well being, I suggest you look at my Guerrilla Diet Wholistic Lifestyle Program which takes you gradually to a healthier, slimmer and happier you in just 12 weeks. Check it out; you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

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Thank You, 🙂

Galit Goldfarb