Do you want to be on a path to greater health and happiness? Set yourself up for lasting success by adding small, healthy habits into your life—over time. And if you’ve got a family, and you start integrating healthy lifestyle changes, there’s a greater chance that your kids will adopt them, too.
Here are a few ideas of small (but powerful) healthy habits you and your family can start adding to your daily routines. You don’t have to do everything at once! But if you start with one thing today, imagine where you’ll be in just one year?
The link between eating good, quality food and being healthy and happy is too strong to ignore.
- Make half of every plate veggies and fruits
Eat a lot of them, and eat a rainbow of colors—different veggies and fruits have different vitamins, minerals, and health benefits!
- Lose soda and sugary drinks
Since refined sugar can do so much damage to our bodies, try losing it in what you drink. You can replace sugary drinks with carbonated water or add a variety of flavors to your water—like fruit or grated ginger.
- Add healthy protein to every meal
Protein at every meal is important. But since red and processed meat is associated with increased risk of disease, including cancer, choose more plant-based protein. Try tofu, lentils, nuts, seeds, and beans.
Move more to feel better, have more energy, maintain or lose weight, and stay healthy.
- Take the stairs
This is just one example of a simple habit you can easily add to your daily activities. You don’t need special equipment—and most of us have multiple opportunities to choose the stairs during the course of a day.
- Get up from your desk every half hour
More and more studies show that our sedentary lifestyle is making us sick, and research has linked sitting for long periods of time with many health concerns including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Commit to 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity
In general, if you aim for 30 minutes of physical activity per day over the course of a week, you’ll improve bone health, and cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness. Plus, you’ll reduce the risk of depression.
Health and happiness don’t just come from a strong body. A strong mind and sense of purpose matters.
Stressed? Anxious? Worried? A simple, every day meditation practice doesn’t require any special equipment (but many choose to invest in meditation apps like Calm or Headspace), and it doesn’t require a lot of time. More and more studies show that the benefits of regular meditation, even conscious deep breathing, are profound for mind and body.
- Go to bed at the same time every night
Creating a healthier sleep routine can improve your sleep quality and your overall health, too! Numerous studies repeatedly show that people who get enough sleep and get good quality sleep show improved learning, memory, and mood. Getting enough sleep and quality sleep can help your heart and vascular system, regulate stress, and keep your hormones in check—including the ones that influence weight regulation.
- Be thankful
Gratitude can improve numerous aspects of your health and overall feelings of happiness
There are many health benefits that can come from feeling grateful. Feeling grateful can contribute to being more patient, and contribute to feelings of connectedness. It can help you sleep better and may even help you make better decisions when it comes to self-care and impulse control.
Going for regular health screenings is a powerful way to assess and reduce your risk for diseases and conditions.
- Go for regular screenings
All of the above healthy habits may help prevent disease and chronic conditions, but nothing is a substitute for regular, preventative health screenings. No matter if you’re 20 or 70, take some time and look at the health screenings that you should be asking your doctor about. This resource has info about screenings for both Canada and the United States: https://www.cbc.ca/life/wellness/a-guide-to-more-efficient-medical-screenings-whether-you-re-35-or-75-1.4389140