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78 Healthy Habits To Start Today

Road sign with two arrows pointing in opposite directions. One says old habits, one says new habits

If living a healthier, happier life is something you’re interested in, then you might be wondering what you need to do in order to reach that goal. The good news is, it doesn’t take much to make an impact, it just takes doing some new things on a regular basis to push you towards that goal.

Let’s take a look at 76 Healthy Habits that you can start implementing into your life TODAY to start getting closer to the life you want to live. Let’s see which healthy habits appeal to you the most!

What are healthy habits?

Healthy habits are a set of practices that are carried out regularly to maintain good health. These habits can range from eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, to getting enough sleep and managing stress levels. 

Not all healthy habits have to do with diet and physical activity. Some have to do with relationships, emotional well-being, and happiness.

The goal is to incorporate these habits and commit to them so they eventually become engrained in your lifestyle, thus solidifying the habit. Building a healthier lifestyle takes time and practice and you’re probably going to make some health mistakes along the way. Just try to have patience with yourself and keep choosing better habits as often as you can.

Why are healthy habits important?

Healthy habits create healthy lifestyles. A healthy lifestyle can help to improve energy levels, reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, and promote overall well-being. Additionally, healthy habits can help to improve mental health and emotional well-being.

So, if you’re looking to live a healthier life, start by developing some healthy habits!

75 Healthy Habits to improve your life.

It doesn’t matter which habits you start with, as long as you pick one and start. Read through the list, find a habit that feels doable, and make it a priority.

Healthy Diet Habits

1. Cook more

A guy chopping tomatoes

When trying to incorporate more healthy eating into your life, it’s important to take back control of your food. The only way to know exactly what you’re eating is to prepare it yourself, so check out some food blogs or buy some new cookbooks and get cooking.

2. Plan your meals

If you’re not used to cooking all the time it can be overwhelming at first. Planning out what you’re going to eat ahead of time can take the stress out of cooking and make it less likely you’ll resort to take-out or fast food.

3. Meal Prep

Taking this a step further, meal prepping on the weekends can make cooking so much easier during the week. Whether you make full dishes ahead of time, or just take care of some of the prep work, meal prepping can make cooking during the week a lot easier.

4. Eat more veggies

From reduction in cardiovascular disease risk to helping achieve a healthy weight, eating more veggies is one of the best things you can do when trying to get healthier. Even if you didn’t like veggies as a kid, you might be surprised what tastes delicious to you now.

Tip

Roasting veggies is a game changer! Oil them, season them, and throw them in the oven at 400º until they’re cooked to your liking.

5. Eat more fruit

Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants – not to mention, they’re delicious. Fruit can satisfy a sweet tooth while also providing health benefits. Try not to fear the fruit, no matter what that guy on Instagram says.

6. Eat more protein

As time goes on, we learn more and more about how important protein is for maintaining health, especially as we get older. It’s important for body composition and maintaining lean muscle mass. This becomes critically important the older you get.

7. Eat more fiber

Fiber is super important for bowel health, but it also helps to control cholesterol levels and blood sugar. Try to get 25-30 grams of fiber a day, minimum. Try to get that from food, not supplements.

8. Eat the rainbow

Fruits and vegetables come in a variety of colors and those colors are linked to higher levels of specific nutrients. The more colors you eat, the more diverse the nutrients your body receives. Skittles aren’t the only way to eat the rainbow and they’re definitely NOT the healthiest way.

9. Eat more fatty fish

Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, cod, and mackerel are high in Omega 3 fats which can help to reduce inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk. Not only do they contain healthy fats, but fish are delicious so try to get a couple of servings every week.

10. Choose whole grains

The low-carb and paleo diet crazes made grains an enemy for a lot of people, but they can still have benefits and most people don’t need to cut them out completely. The key is to choose whole grains whenever possible. They have more fiber and nutrients than highly processed grains and they can be really tasty too.

11. Start your day with a smoothie

Three smoothies in cute bottles

Smoothies are a great way to pack nutrition into an easy-to-consume form. You can put protein, fats, fruits, and veggies into a smoothie easily, and you can drink it on the go. It doesn’t get easier than that!

12. Eat probiotic-rich foods

Probiotics can help to improve our digestion, boost our immune system, and even help to prevent certain diseases. Foods like sauerkraut and yogurt contain good bacteria which help to keep our microbiome healthy and working for us, instead of against us.

13. Keep a food journal

When you want to eat healthier it can be helpful to keep a food journal for a short period of time to see where you’re starting from and where you can make improvements. A giant overhaul of your diet can be overwhelming, but a food journal can help you see where you can make small improvements to start building upon.

14. Make your first meal as healthy as you can

Your first meal can set the tone for the rest of the day. If you make that first meal super healthy, you’ll be more encouraged to eat more healthy foods the rest of the day. And if you don’t, you at least got some good nutrition at the start.

15. Try Medicinal Mushrooms

Functional Mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Turkey Tail, and others have amazing benefits and have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. From reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, and helping with stress and anxiety, mushrooms are an interesting supplement that can be found in many forms these days. From tinctures to gummies, you can experiment with these powerful fungi in a number of different ways.

16. Drink more water

Proper hydration can help increase energy levels, improve brain performance, and can help you lose weight if that’s one of your goals. Bottom line: it’s better to be well hydrated than dehydrated, so try to drink some water throughout the day.

17. Limit sugar-sweetened beverages

If soft drinks, juices, or sweetened teas are your usual drinks of choice, cutting back on those can have a huge impact on your health and body composition. The sugar content of many of these is astounding and cutting back is nothing but positive.

18. Cut back on overall sugar consumption

You don’t have to cut sugar out completely, but cutting back would do most people some good. Dessert has become a multiple-times-a-day thing for a lot of us and we’re paying the price with our health. Next time you reach for that treat, ask yourself if you really need it or if you can skip this one.

19. Eat more whole foods

Fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are the foods that are going to give you the most nutrition. Try to incorporate as many of these into your diet as you can. They’ll eventually start to crowd out the unhealthy foods and your health will be better for it.

20. Eat mindfully

When you’re mindful of what you’re eating, you’re more likely to make healthier choices overall. You might even begin to learn that you’re regularly eating food you don’t even really like anymore.

21. Use more herbs and spices

An overhead shot of different herbs and spices

Herbs and spices not only add amazing flavor to your cooking, but they also have amazing health benefits. From reducing inflammation and nausea to controlling blood sugar, herbs and spices are powerful tools that you can use every day

22. Eat Slowly

Eating slowly allows us to enjoy our food more, to chew more thoroughly so we can digest our food better, and it gives us time to feel full. Eating slowly can help you eat more mindfully, so slow down and enjoy your meals.

23. Drink Bone Broth

Bone broth is an ancient food that has many health benefits. It’s great for immunity and gut health, is high in protein and collagen, and is rich in minerals. You can make it at home with leftover chicken and beef bones, or buy it online or in stores.

Healthy Movement Habits

24. Exercise more

We all know that regular exercise is a healthy habit, but we often think about it in terms of weight loss. There are so many other reasons to exercise – mental health benefits being a big one. You don’t have to go all in. Start small, commit to it, and build up over time.

25. Morning Movement

One of the best ways to start your day is with a little movement. It doesn’t have to be a full workout. Even just a little bit of intentional stretching can greatly impact how your body feels.

26. Stretch your body

Next time you’re binging your favorite show, instead of spending all your time on the couch, get down on the floor and stretch a little. You’ll probably avoid the stiffness that comes with sitting for long periods of time and you’ll maybe even find some range of motion you didn’t know you had. Flexibility tends to get worse as you age, so start working on it now so you can maintain it as you get older.

27. Build some muscle

Having a good amount of lean muscle mass is so important for our health, especially as we get older. Building muscle doesn’t have to mean being a bodybuilder. It just means lifting some heavy things to get strong so you can handle what life throws at you.

28. Zone 2 Cardio

Zone 2 cardio is a moderate-intensity exercise that keeps your heart rate between 60-70% of your max. Brisk walking or a jog where you’re out of breath, but can still carry on a conversation, is a way to gauge if you’re in Zone 2. This type of training is great for endurance and lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease. You don’t need to do it every day, 2-3 times a week is great.

29. Go for a walk

If you want to start with the easiest healthy activity that packs the biggest punch, walking is where it’s at! Our bodies were built to walk and we’re still learning just how beneficial it is for us. Get outside and walk as much as you can. You won’t regret it!

30. Join a Gym

Gyms are a great place to find guidance if you’re new to working out. You can find personal trainers there, group classes, tons of equipment, and other people trying to improve their health and wellness. Think of it as an “adult playground” with cool equipment to play with.

31. Take a Dance Class

Adults in a dance class

Dance is one of the best forms of exercise because it not only works your body, but your brain has to work really hard to pick up choreography. When you can challenge your mind and your body at the same time, the benefits are multiplied. Not to mention, it’s super fun!

32. Lift Heavy Weights

Lifting heavy weights is great for building lean muscle, but it’s also great for being able to handle daily activities. That 50lb box is nothing to pick up and bring into the house when you regularly lift heavier than that. Your physical health gets an upgrade when you start lifting heavy things.

33. Hang

This one might sound weird, but grip strength is really important and hanging is a great way to build some strength in your hands. It’s also great for the shoulders and back. Put a pull-up bar in your doorway and hang for a few seconds when you pass through.

34. Walk 7,000 – 10,000 steps a day

The average person gets around 5,000 steps a day, but we want to be better than average. The higher your step count, the lower your risk of many health issues. It’s so easy to sit at a desk all day working and barely get any movement in. Tracking your steps is a great way to make sure you’re up and moving throughout the day.

35. Strengthen your core

Strengthening the abs, back, and butt is a great way to avoid unnecessary injuries. The older you get, the more likely it is that you’ll hurt yourself doing the most mundane things. A strong core lowers the chances that you’ll have to tell your friends and family that you threw your back out turning off your alarm clock. I just started playing around with this ab roller and it’s lighting my core on fire!

36. Play outside with your kids

If you don’t like traditional workouts but have young kids, you’ve got a very demanding personal trainer at your disposal. They always want to play longer than our bodies want to, but if you start looking at playing with them as a workout, and you push yourself to stay in it a little bit longer, you’ll benefit and they’ll be so happy. Win-win!

37. Play Tennis

Tennis is one of those sports that you can play for almost your entire life. It’s great for cardio, balance, power, agility, and more. It’s also a great social game since you’re playing with someone. Find a clinic or take a lesson and discover your inner Venus Williams.

38. Try Pickle Ball

If tennis seems like more than you can handle, give Pickle Ball a shot. The court is smaller so it’s easier to manage, but you get a lot of the same benefits.

39. Golf

Female playing golf

Golf is another one of those sports that you can play forever. It’s not only a great way to stay active and get outside more, but it’s a great way to practice patience and acceptance. If you’ve never been on a golf course I highly encourage you to get out there. There’s just something magical about them.

40. Work on your balance

Balance becomes so important as we get older. Falls can lead to fractures and head injuries which can be difficult to come back from the older we get. Spending some time working on your balance can lessen the chance of this.

41. Try something that seems a little crazy

When it comes to exercising and moving more, one way to make it more fun is to try something that might seem a little “out there.” One of my favorite forms of movement, Animal Flow, would fit into that category for most people. You never know how trying something that seems a little crazy will change things for you.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

42. Make getting healthy a game

We often look at healthy lifestyle change as a chore when it doesn’t have to be. You’re going to get to learn new things, play with new ideas, and try fun stuff. It can be so fun if you just adjust your mindset.

43. Keep a gratitude journal

Someone writing in a gratitude journal

Life can be tough but there are so many things to be grateful for and writing those things down can help you see just how lucky you are. It can shift your outlook and the more positively you see the world, the easier it is to navigate.

44. Learn something new

Learning new things keeps our brains active, and an active brain is a healthier brain. Not only that, but learning new things can make life so much more fun.

45. Do the opposite of what you used to do

If you’re not happy with your current habits, then a great way to improve them is to do the opposite of what you are currently doing. If you always say yes to dessert, say no today. If you usually turn down that invitation to go out after work, say yes this week. You never know what’s on the other side of the things you rarely do.

46. Quit Smoking

This one is obvious to most people. If you’ve wanted to quit for a while now and never have, NOW is the time to do it. Find help if you need it, but now is the time.

47. Get Offline

Spending too much time on social media can be a negative thing for lots of people. Put your phone down, choose any activity you want from this list, and do that instead. You’ll be happy you did.

48. Cut back on alcohol

Not everyone needs to do this, but if you’ve ever thought you MIGHT need to, then you probably could benefit from drinking a little less. Make every other drink non-alcoholic and you’ve cut your consumption in half.

49. Get good sleep

Sleep is essential to our overall well-being. Getting the proper rest can boost your immune system, improve mental health and focus, improve your mood, and even aid in weight loss!

50. Tidy up your home

A clean and well-maintained space can bring many positive benefits to your life. With a tidy house comes a sense of organized peace and clarity, as opposed to the tension and stress that typically accompany messiness.

51. Meditate

Meditation can do wonders for your mental and physical well-being. Meditation helps to reduce stress, clear your thoughts, relax the mind and body, and reveal a sense of inner peace. There are many meditation apps that can help guide you, like Calm and Headspace.

52. Read more

Female reading a book with a warm beverage and a fire

Reading can help transform many aspects of our lives in positive ways. Reading helps build knowledge, improve grammar, build vocabulary and analytical skills, and help us better understand the world around us.

53. Avoid screens before bed

The light from televisions, phones, and tablets can affect our sleep in negative ways. It’s a good idea to turn them off a couple of hours before bed if you want to maximize the quality of your sleep. It’s a great way to make space for more reading.

54. No caffeine after noon

Caffeine is a stimulant, so it should come as no surprise that having caffeine before bed might not be the best idea. Caffeine can make it harder to fall asleep and cause lighter, less restful sleep. A good rule of thumb for those who want to get the most out of their sleep is to avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime.

55. Create a bedtime routine

If you have kids you know the importance of a bedtime routine. That importance of that doesn’t go away when you get older. Following a bedtime routine gives you the chance to wind down from your day and relax which increases your chance of having a peaceful night’s sleep.

56. Floss

Flossing also goes far beyond just keeping your mouth clean; research shows flossing is linked to overall wellness. Flossing daily has been known as a major contributor to healthier hearts, improved digestion, and reduction in inflammation throughout the body.

57. Take a cold shower

Cold showers, ice baths, and other forms of cold exposure can do wonders for your health! Cold exposure activates our body’s own mechanisms to improve circulation, detox, and repair. It might sound dreadful if you’ve never done it, but the more you do it, the more you crave it!

58. Sauna

Saunas are a great way to relax and boost your health & wellness. Sauna sessions can help improve blood circulation, reduce stress, and soothe tiredness & fatigue. Sauna also boosts your immune system and helps you detoxify.

59. Get uncomfortable

You’ve probably heard the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” It might sound cheesy, but it’s true. The more you can challenge yourself and get uncomfortable, the more you’ll grow.

60. Spend time with friends

Relationships are what make life enjoyable. Spending time with friends who lift you up is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellness.

61. Keep a journal

Journaling provides an opportunity to express your feelings, organize your thoughts, gain insights about yourself and the world around you, and set goals for the future. Journaling can help reduce stress levels and increase creativity.

62. Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are an extremely effective way to boost your health and overall well-being. Breathwork is a tool used by many traditional healing practices to relax and restore balance in the body, and modern science is also starting to recognize its deep healing power.

63. Garden

A guy planting green plants

Gardening provides an opportunity to get out into the fresh air, move around and directly interact with nature. Gardening is known to improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

64. Create a vision board

Vision boards can be an incredibly powerful tool in helping you manifest your dreams into reality. Crafting a physical representation of your hopes and desires can help bring clarity and focus to your goals.

65. Listen to personal development podcasts

Listening to podcasts that focus on ways to improve your life is a surefire way to get some ideas. You never know when you’ll hear that idea that gets you moving in the right direction.

66. Practice kindness

Studies have shown that those who are kind to others experience more happiness, less stress, and better overall health including lowered blood pressure.

67. Confront your fears

This goes hand in hand with getting out of your comfort zone. We’re capable of more than we realize and when we conquer our fears it gives us confidence that we can conquer other things as well.

68. Find a hobby

A lack of hobbies can lead to monotony and even boredom in life. Incorporating hobbies into your daily routine can provide benefits from a physical, mental, and emotional standpoint.

69. Create a morning routine

Starting your day off in a positive way sets the tone for the rest of the day. Having a solid morning routine can help you make sure each day starts off the right way.

70. Watch more comedy

Laughter is truly the best medicine! Studies show that laughter significantly reduces stress hormones and encourages our bodies to produce endorphins that improve our mood.

71. Take a class

Taking a class and learning something new can be a great way to boost your well-being! It increases your sense of purpose and accomplishment, encourages social interaction, and encourages a state of mindfulness.

72. Get healthy sunshine

Sunshine is known to be an important part of a healthy lifestyle. By getting some sunshine, we can get our daily vitamin D fix. Vitamin D is linked to improved bone, heart, and mental health. Just make sure you protect your skin if you’re going to be outside for prolonged periods of time.

73. Use a habit tracker

Habit trackers are basically to-do lists for your habits. It’s easier to stay on track when you write them down and…track them.

74. Find an accountability partner

It’s often easier to stay accountable to someone else than it is to hold ourselves accountable. Not only that, but an accountability partner can often help us figure things out when we’re struggling.

75. Stop multitasking

Multi-tasking can seem like an efficient way of getting many tasks done at once, however, it often leads to a decrease in quality for all of the tasks that are being worked on. Focus on one thing at a time and do it well.

76. Take an Epsom salt bath

A bathtub with epsom salt and a towel

Epsom salt baths have a wide range of healing and wellness benefits. From reducing pain and inflammation to improving skin health, Epsom salt baths can provide relief both physically and mentally.

77. Wake up at the same time every day

Setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it can do wonders for sleep hygiene and quality of life. Waking up at the same time every day ensures that you have consistency in your sleep, which helps to regulate your body’s biological clock.

78. Pay it Forward

When good things happen to you it’s always good to pay it forward. If we all did this the world would be a much better place.

How to use these habits

With so many healthy habits to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which ones are best for you. Remember that any healthy habit is a step in the right direction.

Don’t feel like you need to take on all 75 healthy habits overnight; just pick one or two and start making them part of your regular routine.

These healthy habits will benefit both your physical and mental well-being, so pick a habit and give yourself the gift of better health!

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