Living a healthy lifestyle is the goal of many. On the other side, everyday routines and obligations are often showstoppers in starting a healthy lifestyle. For example, stress, pace, and expectations keep you from preparing healthy food, meditating regularly or exercising.
“I have no time for that now” or “I’m too tired for that” are excuses that you might have told yourself before. Humans are creatures of habit and don’t like to change their everyday life and their processes.
Consider this saying though: “Watch your habits, because they will become your character. Watch your character, because the character will become your destiny.” That being said, if you want to change your life, you have to change your habits first.
A healthy lifestyle starts with healthy habits. The good news is that leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be exhausting or time-consuming.
In this article, we’ll define what a healthy lifestyle is and what benefits come with it. We’re also going to show you how to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle by adjusting your mindset and optimizing your habits.
Jump ahead to any of the sections below:
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 1: Decide for Change
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 2: Avoid Procrastination
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 3: Exercise Regularly
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 4: Pay Attention to Your Hydration
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 5: Meditate Regularly
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 6: Optimize Your Sleep
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 7: Be Grateful
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 8: Do Intermittent Fasting
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 9: Work on Your Physical Endurance
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 10: Relax Your Body
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 11: Keep an Eye on Your Stress Level
- Healthy Lifestyle Habit 12: Get to Know Your Diet
How to Start a Healthy Lifestyle: 12 Tips for a Healthy Body and Mind
Before we start our list of healthy lifestyle habits, we would like to introduce you to some of the basics first. A long, healthy and active lifestyle is an honorable goal that many seek but how exactly do you define healthy?
What Is a Healthy Lifestyle?
Being healthy means more than just not being sick. Health is a state of physical well-being, inner harmony, and happiness. You feel good and can cope mentally and physically with the challenges of your everyday life.
Just because you are sick or have a cold doesn’t mean you necessarily live an unhealthy life. Infections are training for your immune system because they cause your body to deal with germs.
However, if you are often sick, your immune system seems to be overstrained. First signs of problems with the immune system may be:
- Feeling weak
- Fatigue (mental and physical)
- Lack of concentration
You can tell from the symptoms that your mental state is crucial for your physical health. In fact, it’s important for your health to have your body and mind balanced. Sleep problems, for example, can have both a physical or a mental cause. You may feel the effects both: physically and mentally.
Let’s assume you have permanent pain in your shoulder from a healed fracture. The pain makes it difficult for you to lie down comfortably which causes your sleep quality to suffer.
In addition to your pain, you’ll lose precious energy your body needs for the healing process, caused by sleep deprivation. The lack of regeneration causes your immune system to suffer and you become more susceptible to new diseases.
A simple cause can trigger a chain of reactions. Therefore you should always pay attention to your physical and mental health in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires you to develop a certain awareness of your own needs. Every human being has biological needs such as:
- Physical activity
In addition to your physical needs, you should also be aware of your emotional needs:
- Mental stimulation (books, movies, music, puzzles)
- Social interaction
In order to live better and healthy, your awareness of yourself, your body and your mind is decisive. That’s why you have to determine the following:
- What kind of exercise is good for you?
- What foods can you eat?
- How much sleep do you need?
- How much stress do you tolerate?
Our tips will help you to better cover your needs and will set you up for living a healthy lifestyle, starting today.
Many of our tips for routines have to be adapted by you to your personal needs. Try what suits you best and to what extent.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 1: Decide for Change
Starting a healthy lifestyle begins in the mind, with a goal. You have to consciously decide for change in order to make it happen.
Vague goals like “I want to live healthier” are doomed to fail. Your mind needs small steps and clear goals because it can implement these best. Being clear also helps you to measure your progress better and ensures quicker success, which in turn, promotes your motivation and keeps you going.
Setting goals alone, however, isn’t enough. You also have to work on them. That’s why it makes sense to define simple and measurable goals like “I want to drink 3 liters of water every day and eat two servings of fruits“.
Besides setting goals and execute on them, you should treat yourself with positive incentives when you hit them. If you have managed to eat healthy every day for a week, reward yourself by going to the sauna or a massage at the weekend, for example.
Phillippa Lally, a health psychologist at the University College London, stated in a study on habits that a new habit forms on average after 66 days. This means that you can change your daily routine after a little more than two months, you just have to want it.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 2: Avoid Procrastination
Many people don’t live their lives actively, but reactively. Unpleasant tasks are postponed until the very last moment. This is one of the reasons for living a stressful and passive life. It also damages your self-confidence in the long run, because you will feel like not having control over your life.
Stress in procrastination is mainly caused by a lack of time and options. If you like to put things off, you should do something about it. Start to change your everyday life in small steps. For example, open mail directly instead of putting it aside.
How’s that connected to a healthy lifestyle? First, you will have less mental ballast to carry around with you. You also need less energy, thinking about stuff you still have to do. Most of our tips only work in line with a routine and establishing habits and it’s easier to do so if you don’t procrastinate.
If you would like to read more, check out our detailed article on how to deal with procrastination.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 3: Exercise Regularly
To live a healthy life, you don’t need a sophisticated and tedious fitness routine. 15 minutes of physical activity a day is enough to maintain your fitness. Amongst others, we recommend holistic methods like Yoga, Qigong or Pilates. With these methods you get:
- A great combination of relaxation and tension
- Awareness for your breathing
- A balanced body workout
- A more intense awareness of your body and your environment
You can read more about this in our Yoga guide and in our Qigong guide.
Each of these methods challenges you both mentally and physically. Through concentrated bodywork, you will get to know yourself and your limits better. This will help you to better understand your body’s signals in the future and to react to them accordingly. Although these training methods are intensive, they are also worthwhile.
We find Qigong particularly interesting because you can practice it at any stage of your life. Thus you can live fit and healthy even at an old age.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 4: Pay Attention to Your Hydration
When it comes to daily water needs, there are more myths than you can imagine. You probably know the rule of thumb that everyone should drink 2.5 to 3.5 litres of water a day. In fact, the daily need for water varies from person to person. Gender and age are some of the many factors that affect your daily water needs.
The bottom line is that men between the ages of 19 and 30 need about 3.0 litres of water a day, and women of the same age about 2.1 litres. However, if the woman is pregnant, the daily requirement increases to 2.4 litres. (Source)
If you drink too little, your body will dehydrate. This can lead to the following side effects:
- Reduced productivity
- Circulatory problems
Your body draws fluid from food, but you should support it by drinking water regularly. Routines and habits will help you get the amount of water you need. Start your day with a large glass of water or a cup of tea.
A glass of water in the morning will boost your circulation and make you feel better. It’s ideal to have a large glass of water right after getting up. This has some benefits such as:
- Stimulates your metabolism
- Transports toxins that have been degraded overnight
- Gets your digestion going
- Reduces the acid content in the stomach
Water has no stimulating effect like coffee, but it also enlivens you after sleep without burdening your body with any ingredients.
You should also drink a large glass of water before each meal and before going to bed. With a routine like this, you can make sure that you hydrate your body well.
Tip: If you are thirsty, your body already suffers from dehydration. Drink routinely throughout the day.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 5: Meditate Regularly
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a good connection with your body. A useful addition to your everyday life is therefore meditation. Through meditation you will learn:
- Letting go
- Regulated breathing
- Inner peace
- Clearness of thoughts
Regular meditation gives you energy and helps you to concentrate. In any case, it has many benefits for you and your body, most of which are scientifically proven.
In our detailed meditation guide for beginners, we introduce you to different techniques and summarize for you how meditation enriches your life, stating various studies.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 6: Optimize Your Sleep
Sleep is not only important for children, but also for adults. On average, you should sleep between seven and eight hours a day as an adult. You should also pay attention to your sleep rhythm and try to fall asleep and get up at similar times.
As you sleep, your body regenerates, processes emotions and events, and prepares your mind for the new day. That’s why sleep is so important for your health.
For most people, watching TV, using a smartphone or a laptop just before going to bed has negative consequences for falling asleep and their quality of sleep. You should spend at least one hour, or better two to three media-free hours before going to sleep.
Further tips and details on healthy sleep can be found in this article.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 7: Be Grateful
Your world is shaped by the way you perceive it. If you always focus on the big, long-term goals, you may be dissatisfied with the present. Those who concentrate on details and perceive the little things in life will find many reasons for joy.
Gratitude is a fundamental approach to life that eases the difficult phases and enables you to live happier.
Focus on the present and less on the future or the past. Writing down the beautiful moments of the day in a journal every evening helps you change your perspective on life.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 8: Do Intermittent Fasting
During intermittent fasting, you withdraw food from your body for a longer period of time. The 16-8 system is widely used for interval fasting, which means that you fast for 16 hours and are then allowed to eat for 8 hours. Drinking (water) is allowed during the fasting phase, as is black coffee, as long as it remains within limits.
Intermittent fasting (IF) can have the following advantages:
- Efficient weight loss (study)
- More brainpower through more BDNF proteins (BDNF protects and helps neurons grow and is mainly active in those parts of the brain that mediate learning and complex thinking) (study)
- Reduction of insulin resistance and lowering of blood sugar levels
- Reduction of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (study)
- Prevention of age-related diseases such as cancer (shown in animal studies) (study)
Intermittent fasting reduces the intake of calories and gives your body the opportunity to regenerate better during the fasting periods. In addition to the 16-8 system, there are also the following methods:
- 5-2: the 5-2 system allows you to eat food normally for five days and then reduce your intake to a maximum of 500 calories daily for two days.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: you fast completely no more than two days a week.
Intermittent fasting can be easily integrated into your daily routine. The feeling of hunger is reduced or disappears completely after two to three weeks of fasting.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 9: Work on Your Physical Endurance
You can train your physical endurance with a few simple adjustments in your everyday life. Use every possibility to add more movement into your day. For example, you can ride your bike to work instead of driving by car.
Another hack is to always choose the stairs and walk as often as you can. This increases your physical fitness and is a good way to start a healthy lifestyle.
Exercising in open nature is ideal in many ways. Not only will it improve your physical endurance, but you reduce stress and relax your body.
Pay attention to your routines and habits, and how you feel about them. When a certain habit is stressing you, change it. You can find other interesting methods for working on your physical and mental stamina in our Biohacking guide.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 10: Relax Your Body
Your body has a superficial and deep muscular system. Our suggested exercises like Yoga or Qigong train the deep muscular system and ensure a stable body center.
Despite all the exercises, your job might force you to sit a lot. This leads to tension in your superficial muscles. In order to relax them, you can do some fasciae exercises. Fasciae form a complex network in your body and connect muscles, tendons, organs, and bones with each other.
You can do fascia training before or after your 15-minute daily exercise. If you don’t have time for fascia exercises, just stand up and stretch a bit.
Here you can find our article about fasciae.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 11: Keep an Eye on Your Stress Level
Stress is one of the biggest health risks of our modern world. In general, there is short-term stress, eustress, and long-term stress. In eustress, you will experience a short period under stress, for example during an exam, and then your body will relax again. Eustress is also called positive stress.
The long-term and consequently also negative stress, called distress, puts your body into a permanent state of emergency. As a result, the hormones in your body become unbalanced and you suffer physically and mentally.
Especially when your days are packed with appointments, it is helpful to plan your days ahead. Which tasks in your everyday life make you feel uncomfortable, but have to be done? For example, is cleaning giving you a stressful time? Then pass the cleaning on to someone else.
The weekly grocery shopping stresses you every time? Then think about getting your groceries delivered. Automate and optimize your daily tasks to give you more time to relax.
Read our proven tips on stress reduction here.
Healthy Lifestyle Habit 12: Get to Know Your Diet
With a healthy diet, you give your body a good basis for a healthy lifestyle. Here’s the secret: A healthy diet doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
It’s important to develop a certain awareness for your diet and to eat less “reactively”. For example, you can start today to monitor your intake of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Use simple tracking apps to keep track of what you’ve eaten and how much you’ve eaten.
Reactive eating is not only harmful to your body, but it’s also bad for your wallet. Pay attention to what and when you eat.
Use free days to try new dishes. How about Moringa, for example?
With a few changes in your habits, you can improve your life and health in the long run. In order to change your lifestyle to be healthy, you simply need to develop habits that meet all your needs.
We at Mindmonia believe that a holistic approach is important. Your body and your mind are constantly interacting. If you want to live healthier, both your mind and your body must be in balance.
Our list of tips for a healthy lifestyle will help you on your way to more mindfulness for your mental and physical well-being. It covers many different aspects, from diets to an overall healthy and active lifestyle. In order to integrate our tips into your everyday life, you only need to develop a certain level of mindfulness.
Learn more about Mindfulness and subscribe to our free newsletter, directly under this article. Thank you for reading.