Doesn’t it seem like some people are just naturally fit and healthy? It almost feels effortless for them…In reality, they have just adopted healthy lifestyle habits into their daily routines that make it easier to get and stay fit. Of course, they put in the work and watch what they eat, but maybe we can copy what they do to makes things just a little easier long-term. Here are a few healthy lifestyle habits of the fit and healthy that I’ve picked up on and hope to incorporate in my life.
5 Top Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Getting enough sleep is definitely the topic of the day. We all know how we feel when we don’t get enough sleep… lousy. When we are tired and feel like junk it is a ton easier to pick up that doughnut right beside you than to get all of the ingredients for a healthy salad put together.
While you are sleeping, your body also repairs itself. In order to do that, it burns calories. Sadly, if you get over nine hours, you can actually gain weight. So, aim for 7-8 hours of restful sleep each and every night. Put the electronics down, make sure your bedroom is dark and cool (65 degrees is ideal) and try running a fan or a white noise machine to drown out any distractions that may be keeping you up.
Water helps to flush out toxins in your body, helps you burn calories and keeps you hydrated so your bodily functions can keep humming along. When you are dehydrated, it may make you feel like you are hungry instead. Try drinking several glasses of water and then wait 20 minutes to see if it is actually hunger or if it is just dehydration. For men, the ideal is 12 cups per day and for women it is around 8 cups. To spice things up, you can add lemon or any other herb and fruit combination (strawberry mint and cucumber melon are always nice), but stay away from fruit juices, soda and massive amounts of coffee. Those only dehydrate you further or load your body with unwanted calories and sugar. You can also try to always have a water bottle with you so it reminds you to drink throughout the day. I prefer a glass or stainless steel version.
You may be thinking that all fit people count calories religiously. I have found that this is not necessarily the case. While the amount of calories do matter, the kind of calories you eat matter more. Refined or processed calories slow your metabolism down and make your body work harder to process them, making it harder to lose weight. Stick to whole, unprocessed ingredients that are usually around the perimeter of your grocery store. Think, vegetables, fruit (raw, steamed, grilled or frozen – organic is always best), whole grains, and lean protein sources (chicken, fish, beans, tofu, etc…). Remember to check the ingredients list on any packaged food you do eat. If you don’t recognize 95% of the ingredients, then it is probably not a good idea to eat it. Also remember to keep the sugar and saturated fat low, and absolutely no trans fats. I like the My Fitness Pal or Lose It smartphone apps/trackers for helping me keep track of what I’m eating and the nutrients I’m getting.
Have a Personal Goal
This is one that I didn’t really think about. In order to be ultimately successful at something, it helps to have a goal. Having short-term and long-term goals are also a great idea. Maybe your ultimate goal is to have a BMI of a certain number or to be able to run a marathon, while shorter-term goals could be not drinking any soda this month or not having any fast food. The idea is to pick goals that are for you and not for someone else. In that way you will feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving something personally satisfying. Learning how to stay fit and healthy is definitely a step-by-step or goal by goal process for fit people. There are some great books out there for goal setting that can help you get started.
This is one of those healthy lifestyle habits that is sometimes easier said than done. Fit people try to mitigate stress as much as possible. When your stress levels are high, it also raises your cortisol levels in your body, which can make it harder to lose and keep weight off, especially around your mid-section. Try meditation (see my post: Meditation and Weight Loss | 3 ways a 5 Minute Meditation Can Help You Keep the Weight Off), exercise (see my post: The Easiest Way to Make Yourself Exercise: Portable Exercise Equipment), or doing a favorite leisure activity to keep calm. Even simple deep breathing can help.
These 5 healthy lifestyle habits are relatively easy to incorporate into your life and are pretty common sense, yet many of use overlook their importance. Try to copy some of these habits into your own life to see if you can be one of the
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