We have been told since we were children that we should take care of our health. Most of us tend to prioritize our job responsibilities first and make time for other people in our lives second. We forget to focus on our own health and well-being. We don’t even have health habits in our daily To Do list.
In order to live a well-balanced life, we should practice daily health habits. These enable us to keep our selves healthy and active so we can have the energy to face life’s challenges. Being healthy also allows us to be fully present when interacting with the important people in our lives.
Here are 5 daily health habits that you can practise to maintain balance in your life.
Drink your water, lots of it
It is a healthy habit to drink water as soon as you wake up. Drink at least a cup or a glass, if you can, to start your day. This habit helps your body to activate its functions and get ready to work. Think of water as the oil that will jumpstart your engines. This means that whatever food (your body’s fuel) you eat will be properly processed by your body.
Also, make sure to drink your water throughout the day. Drink a glass of water at least 30 minutes before each meal. You can also do this before your snack to ensure that you get your recommended daily water intake. This also helps you feel fuller faster, so you don’t end up eating more than you should.
If you are trying to lose weight, drink water first when you feel a food craving. This should help you curb your craving to eat more than you should. Don’t worry too much if you have to go to the toilet more than usual. Drinking your water means cleaning your body internally so don’t hesitate to flush out those toxins.
Eat healthy and healthier
It is common sense to eat healthy for a healthier body. However, most of us associate this health habit only with athletes and beauty queens or for losing weight. We should take responsibility for our own health by being mindful of what we eat and put into our bodies.
Don’t be apologetic about eating your greens and fruits. Don’t feel shy when you go for a salad instead of the regular meaty items on the menu. Choose to drink just plain water or a fresh fruit juice instead of soda. You may be criticized or ridiculed by your friends and colleagues; but keep in mind that you are only looking out for your health.
Try eating at least one healthy meal each day. When you’re ready, go for 2 healthy meals. Do this until you are finally able to make healthier choices for all your meals and snacks.
Don’t stay still (for too long), keep moving
This doesn’t mean you absolutely need to go to the gym to get your sweat on. You can do simple, at-home exercises to start integrating movement as part of your daily health habit.
Deciding to take a walk instead of riding the tricycle and taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. These are some simple ways you can keep moving throughout the day.
Even on your office chair, you can do some stretching exercises from time-to-time while seated. You can also walk around the office and chat up some colleagues while you do so. Or you can walk outside the office building as a break from sitting for several hours. Check first if this last one is OK with your HR department. You can dance a bit, stretch while your standing as you print, or wait in line at the water cooler.
You can always choose to exercise in the morning before going to work or in the evening before your dinner.
Allow yourself some “Me Time”
During the day, take at least 10-20 minutes to have some time alone. Whether you spend this in meditation or doing something creative; such as doodling or writing on your diary or journal, is your choice entirely.
You can also use this time to visualize your goals to reaffirm them to yourself. Spend this time contemplating the things that you are grateful for in your life. You can spend this time in prayer. You can spend this time to contemplate and reflect about your day or to think about your important plans.
The important thing is to be alone, with yourself, with your thoughts. Focus your attention on yourself for this duration of time.
Get your regular dose of sleep
Going on overtime might seem financially rewarding, but you won’t be as productive the next day.
Ideally, you should sleep not later than 10PM. Research has shown that your body repairs itself from 10PM to 3AM in the morning; so you should be sound asleep during these times.
Better sleep means better waking times and a brighter start to your day. You can schedule “Me Time” in the early hours of the morning, and at the end of the day.
As you integrate these daily health habits, you will notice and feel the difference in the days to come. You will feel lighter, have clearer thinking, can concentrate better and become more productive. You can also start taking steps to ensure your health in the 6 dimensions of wellness in your life.
Most of us don’t take our health seriously. We tend to think that only athletes and celebrities should be strictly following diets and exercising; because it is their job to look good. Shouldn’t we be responsible for keeping ourselves healthy? Wouldn’t you want to feel and look good too?
Take your health seriously so you can enjoy your daily activities more fully and with more focus. You can slowly integrate these morning habits to help you achieve your goals.
Updated. First published in Pinoy Smart Living 12.03.2018.
Feature Image: Original Photo by THE 5TH on Unsplash.