It’s easy to get excited about a new health fad, but strategies that you implement as part of a short-lived health kick have equally short-lived benefits. The best way to manage your weight and improve your health is to adopt lifelong habits that you’ll stick with consistently. Try incorporating these simple habits into your day for increased health and wellness.
Enjoy Leisurely Mealtimes
Dr. Gillian McKeith, the naturopath and nutritionist behind “You Are What You Eat,” recommends that you “Really savor each mouthful — feel the texture and capture the flavor of your food.” She recommends chewing each bite 20 to 30 times to improve the digestive process. If you’re not interested in counting your way through mealtime, try simply slowing down. Don’t eat while driving or as you work on deadlines at your desk. Make meals a slow and mindful affair where you take time to make healthful choices, connect with your fellow diners, and fully appreciate your dining experience.
Keep Your Water Bottle Handy
Drinking plenty of water is essential for your overall health. Proper hydration promotes weight loss, increases your energy, supports your immune system, and improves your complexion. Drinking water will help flush toxins and keep your digestive system moving regularly. Adult men should drink 13 cups of liquids daily, while women need 9 cups. Keep a water bottle on hand throughout the day, so you can easily keep up with your recommended daily water intake.
The Mayo Clinic recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. A regular exercise routine is often easiest to maintain when you make it a daily habit. Try taking a 30-minute walk each evening after dinner, waking up with an hour of yoga, or visiting the office gym for part of your lunch hour. Lifesum recommends everyday activity, so you can get all the benefits of a consistent fitness regimen, including improved memory and a stronger immune system.
Look Away From the Screen
If you spend the majority of your day looking at digital screens, it’s important to implement smart strategies to minimize eye strain. Try using the 20-20-20 rule. This states that you should take a break every 20 minutes and gaze at something that’s at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Identify a good focal point near your workspace that you can regularly use for this exercise. Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to take these breaks throughout the day.
Go Screen-Free at Bedtime
Get into the habit of putting away your screens at least 30 minutes before bed. This means putting your phone on silent for the night, turning off the television, and putting away the computer or tablet. The blue light emitted by these screens inhibits melatonin production and makes it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
Implement your new habits one at a time, so you can focus on a single task for several weeks or months until you no longer have to remind or force yourself to do it. Slow and steady is the best way to adjust your habits for lifelong success.