My Top 10 Healthy Habits

One of my good friends, Jodell :)
One of my good friends, Jodell 🙂

In our hectic lives, we tend to put our health on the back burner.  It’s no easy task, but how often do we catch ourselves saying, “I wish I exercised more” or “I wish I ate better” or even “I wish I took care of myself”?  Not every job gives us the time, but if you can, take a little bit of time each day to recenter and take care of yourself.  Here are my top 10 healthy habits to support a healthier you.

Healthy Habit #1:  Schedule exercise. Then, do it. 
If you make time to eat, poop, or sleep, you can make time to exercise.  1 hour a day is 4% of your day!  An easy way to do it is to block off one hour on your work calendar each day.  This way, you will have a daily reminder to go work out and you can schedule meetings around it.  Otherwise, use a permanent red marker and make it an “unmovable” to-do item!

Healthy Habit #2:  Eat out less.  Cook at home more often.
Eating out can be convenient for many with busy schedules, but consider cooking at home more often.  Cooking at home has a lot of benefits.  It can save you money on food costs and help you control what you eat and how much of it.  It is also a fun way to spend time with your friends and family

Healthy Habit #3:  Go Grocery Shopping with a List.
How often have we gone to the grocery store when we’re starving.  Worst idea ever!  We end up with a billion things we won’t eat and they are mostly overly processed junk food.  Instead, try planning out your lunch/dinner menu for the week and make a coordinated grocery list.  Make a rule to stick to the list!

Healthy Habit #4:  Sleep for 8-10 hours.
Sleep has many benefits that you already know: helps your body heal, increases productivity/brain power, decreases stress, and contributes to a more positive attitude.  Personally, only one reason appeals to me: sleep feels so damn good.

Healthy Habit #5:  Drink water throughout the day.
My friends call me a “water pusher” because I’m constantly asking them if they want water to drink.  We get some fluids from our whole foods, but many of us do not get enough water to supplement our daily activity, esp working at your desk for 8-10 hours a day.  Try placing a tall glass or reusable bottle in front of you on your desk.  It says, “drink me…I’m oh so good.”

Healthy Habit #6:  Eat your fruits and vegetables
This one is a hard one for many.  I make it a rule: at least one servings of vegetables at lunch and dinner (and potatoes don’t count).  Here are some simple ways to get your daily vegetable intake. 

Healthy Habit #7:  Give yourself a treat everyday
Being on a diet can be very restrictive.  As a result, many of us eliminate all the things we love until we can’t take it anymore and we binge on a bucket of ice cream or 2 double-doubles and animal style fries from In-and-Out.  So, treat yourself to a small indulgence.  Whether it’s once a day or once a week, giving yourself that treat will really improve your success at healthful eating.  Each day, I treat myself to a small handful of chocolate in the form of Almond M&Ms or a small scoop of chocolate ice cream.

Healthy Habit #8:  Turn off the electronics (esp before bed)
We’re a generation constantly connected to the internet.  Ironically, we end up not connecting with anyone!  By disconnecting, we can engage in other healthful activities.  Instead of watching TV or constantly refreshing your Facebook page every 5 minutes (I’m guilty of that too), get out and go for a nice walk or play a game with friends and family.  Turning them off will increase your productivity at work/school, reduce stress, and help you unwind properly before bed.

Healthy Habit #9:  Nix the alcohol
Our liver perform over 500 functions for our bodies.  Most importantly, it helps with digestion, detoxification, and energy metabolism.  When we drink alcohol, it stops all 500 functions to metabolize alcohol!!  It also can reduce the amounts of restful sleep we get, thus, reducing our productivity and increasing our irritability the next day.  No thank you.

Healthy Habit #10:  Make your health your number 1 priority
We tend to cycle through healthy and unhealthy phases of your lives due to many variables.  Practicing healthy habits is hard because it requires constant and daily effort on our part.  Motivation can be hard to find.  For me, I make my health a priority.  No work, school, anyone, or anything will stop me from making sure I’m healthy.  I want to feel energized, well rested, and healthy everyday. Without my health, I wouldn’t be able to do everything else.  We push our children and our parents to be healthier; isn’t it time for us to make sure we’re healthy?  (Answer: heck yeah!)

Good luck, friends.

Thomas Ngo
Dietetic Intern
NASM Certified Personal Trainer

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One Comment Add yours

  1. eatwellchef says:

    This is a great list, Thomas, and strongly rooted in common sense. Keep up the great work. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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